Chapter 4

Sweet Potassium

            There is a research that indicates that Christmas is the loneliest time of the year. It signifies the end of the year and like a slate wiped clean, we all wait in bated breath for a new year to come.  We celebrate our loved ones but also bid farewells at the same time. Along the long months and days, we might have done things we aren’t proud of, lost friends from arguments or even grief for the people who had come and gone. Jisoo had planned to be not one of those lonely souls tonight and had prepared for a night of passionate endeavors with Seulgi. The roses were all set up. The wine has been breathing and luxurious scented oil fulfills air of romanticism. Everything is perfect but nothing could have prepared her when her anticipated guest showed up.


‘What the… Seulgi?’

 

At first, she was surprised at the guy version of Seulgi and she was about the say something but Seulgi lifted her head to reveal a big sobbing mess. Seulgi keeps trying to say something but it’s like she’s speaking bear or something so Jisoo couldn’t understand her at all. Jisoo ushers her inside and spent the next hour trying to calm her down before getting the full picture down.


‘Wow, how horrible.’

‘I know, Jisoo. Everything hurts.’

‘I meant you, not your circumstances.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘So… let me sum it up. You’re saying you went on a date today with Wendy.’

‘Ya.’

‘Dressed as your brother.’

‘Ya..’

‘And you realized you are in love with your best friend.’

‘Ya...?’

‘And after said date and realization, you responded to a booty call from me.’

‘Well… if you put it that way, it sounds horrible. I prefer to call it doing a big ‘enlightenment’.

‘On top of that, you want to break up with me on Christmas.’

‘I mean… we’re not ser-‘

‘ON CHRISTMAS!’

‘Okay, point taken.’


 

Jisoo wanted to rip into Seulgi more but it’s the first time she has seen Seulgi so vulnerable. To be honest, she’s not really surprised. Other than Jisoo, Seulgi has had many suitors over the years but none of them ever came to fruition. The answer for that is simple, the one who has Seulgi’s heart belongs to Wendy all along. It is clear as day for everyone around them except for the girl herself. Actually, it’s more of a surprise it took this long for Seulgi to finally realize her own feelings. Bitterness and resentment start bubbling inside Jisoo but she kept pushing the dark thoughts down. She knew it would happen one day so what’s the point of getting angry now. The both of them had an understanding and Jisoo could only curse at herself for being so stupid over the past years. Jisoo swallowed her feelings once again to warm the poor girl up with a hot drink and warm blanket.
 


‘Is this decaf?’

‘Just drink it.’


Jisoo clicks her tongue and pulls the blanket over her ex-lover.

Ew, not our blanket please. Give me the one you sleep in.’

‘Okay, you are really pissing me off. Stop fussing before I kick you out of the house.’


Seulgi makes a face but says nothing.

‘Sigh… okay, so what do you want to do now?’

‘I don’t know. What if Seungwan doesn’t feel the same way and we lose our friendship forever?’

‘Then… don’t confess and come to bed with me? You’re looking very aay with guy clothes.’


Jisoo traces a finger from Seulgi’s shoulder down to forearm.

‘Please stop being gross. I’m pouring my heart to you right now.’

‘Okay, I’m just saying… it’s not exactly the best idea to ask for relationship advice from your ex-girlfriend.’

‘Agai-‘

‘I know, I know. Jeez, you don’t have to correct me at every turn. Let’s make it ‘intimate friend’ instead.’

‘It’s not like I have a lot of options, what do I do?’

‘Well, we can always ask our friends who are more emotionally adjusted than us.’

 

            Normally at 2am in the morning, we make some of the best and worst decisions of our lives. Sometimes, we decide to keep chasing bars and meet a totally awesome group of strangers who will get drunk with you. It leads to a fun night of games, karaoke, supper and a moment in time you will remember for life when you take the first bus home with the day breaks with warm lights shining on your every fiber. At other times, you drunk call your ex-girlfriend and leave a super cringey message about how you still love her but also hate her, followed by waking up on a pavement to do a walk of shame back home. Another example of bad decision making is to ask Kim Yeri and Park Sooyoung for relationship advice. Thankfully, the group chat is balanced out with two other mature(hopefully) adults, Irene and Jennie. Jisoo starts typing a long text to recount the full story of Seulgi and Wendy and with each passing moment, Seulgi is more and more convinced that this is the worst idea ever. Jisoo meets her eyes and Seulgi could tell that Jisoo is thinking the same thing too but Jisoo telepathically sends a mind wave to Seulgi, we’re in too deep now, all of them are already added into a group chat. With their chemistry, Seulgi easily catches the brain wave and replies back telepathically, ‘You take that back, Wedges are not superior to fries.’
 

            Curiously, the chat didn’t explode. The message indicator turned from unread to a single tick, then to a double tick and finally to a blue tick. Jisoo and Seulgi stares at each other, bewildered and lost at the lack of reaction. Suddenly, Irene is typing something and then it stops. Jennie starts typing and it stops.


JISOO
Guys, you can just say whatever you want. You don’t have to backpedal the messages.

SEULGI
Maybe they’re sleeping or busy.

JENNIE
*TYPING*
*SILENCE*


IRENE
*TYPING*
*TYPING*
*TYPING*
*SILENCE*


 

            Seulgi and Jisoo stares at the chat room for a hot minute and back to each other and back at the phone. Jisoo sighs and bring out the wine instead. Since it’s already opened, they might as well finish it and end the night on that note. The two girls drank in awkward silence while waiting for time to pass. The couple are usually much more talkative but it’s not every day that you get to break up with a girl and then stay for drinks. Suddenly, several knocks interrupt the silence. Even through the length of 2 rooms, they can hear loud cackling. The whispers grow louder into rowdy banter and then silence when Jisoo opens the door. An assortment of four unlikely companions stared at her wide-eyed as she stares back at them before they barge in with chaotic energy.


YERI
Excuse me, ma’am. Where’s the convict?

JISOO
What?

JOY
Step aside, we’re here to prosecute the identity thief.

IRENE
Merry Christmas.

JENNIE
Happy holidays! Jisoo-ya.

SEULGI
What are all of you doing here?

YERI
Ma’am, I need you to stay silent while I read to you your rights.

SEULGI
What? What did I do?

JOY
She’s a prisoner. A prisoner of love.

YERI
Disguising yourself as your brother to date your best friend? That’s a felony.

The skit duo starts laughing at their own jokes while Irene tries to comfort Seulgi and Jennie, Jisoo.

JENNIE(whispering)
You okay? Did Seulgi and you…

JISOO(whispering)
Yeah, we broke up. Hush, the others don’t know about Seulgi and me, don’t make a fuss about it.

The whispering sisters suddenly feel a chill and looked up to see an icy Irene staring at them.

JENNIE(whispering)
Does she know?

JISOO(whispering)
Oh, she knows alright.

IRENE turns to look back at Seulgi and back at Jisoo. She didn’t make any gestures, but her eyes said everything.

JISOO(whispering)
This is so unfair. I got my heart both broken and threatened on the same night?

JENNIE(whispering)
It’s okay. I’m on your side.

SEULGI(whispering) leans in to join the conversation
What are we whispering about?

JOY
Wait a minute. Rose petals…

YERI
Scented aromatics…

JOY
Massage oil, lube and wine on the tray table.

YERI
You two?

JISOO
Don’t do it. Don’t say it.

JOY
You guys banging?

SEULGI
Please stop.

YERI
THEY BANGING ALRIGHT.

The ex-couple turns red at the teasing and Jennie facepalms at their childish antics. Irene is however in no mood for jokes and just glares at them. The invisible death rays work brilliantly, and the skit duo quietens down. Now that the secret is out, Jisoo adds in the redacted part of the story without giving too much details.

IRENE
So… Seungwan, huh?

Seulgi gives a little nod but everyone else seems to be unbothered. Yeri and Joy are swiping away on their phones while Jennie and Jisoo chatters away by themselves.

SEULGI
Why are you guys so nonchalant?

YERI
C’mon, Unnie. You crushing on Wendy is old news.

JOY
Yeah, Jisoo and you on the other hand…

SEULGI
It’s not that obvious. It’s like my best kept secret.

JENNIE
Oh honey…

IRENE
You do have a tendency to pick emotionally unavailable partners because your heart is already reserved for Seungwan.

JISOO
Hey! I’m right here.

JENNIE
To be fair, I think Seulgi is the emotionally unavailable one.

SEULGI
Hey!

JOY
By the way, super loving the drip, Unnie. You are twice as hot with dude clothes.

YERI
Yeah! It’s on point. It’s right between fuccboi and classy. Super hot.

SEULGI
Thanks. I picked out this combination by mysel- wait, stop going off topic!

JENNIE
What about Wendy? What does she think of all this?

JISOO
It’s not like Seul can just straight up ask her. Based on what Seul said, Wendy probably likes your brother now.

JOY
You hear that, she called unnie ‘Seul’.

YERI
Kekekeke.

Jisoo stare daggers at them and the duo instantly shut up.

SEULGI
Okay, first of all, like is a strong word. Seungwan wouldn’t like a guy on the first date.

JENNIE
Are you… are you getting jealous of yourself right now?

SEULGI
No?! You are the jealous one.

JENNIE
That doesn’t even make sense.

JOY
So what are you planning to do?

JISOO
We don’t know so we’re asking you guys.

IRENE
What else is there to do? Just tell Seungwan the truth. Honesty is the best policy.


Jennie clicks her tongue at the sentence. In any other times, she would agree with Irene but part of her is feeling so indignant for Jisoo that she can't control herself right now.


JENNIE
What a load of crap. If being honest is so great, then why did she disguise herself as her brother? Why would she lead someone on for seven years if she doesn’t have feelings for that someone?

JISOO
Stop it, Jen. It’s not like that between Seul and me.


JENNIE
Why are you still speaking up for her?

 

Seulgi seems smaller by the second and even though she wants to argue back, part of her knows that Jisoo always had some feelings for her. She just didn’t know how big those feelings were.

 

IRENE

Isn’t what you implied exactly the reason why Seulgi should be honest with Seungwan? Besides, what happened between Seulgi and Jisoo is their business. Jisoo doesn’t need you to fight on her behalf.

JENNIE
Yeah and it’s totally okay for you to fight for Seulgi. I see how it is.

IRENE
Jennie Kim, what is your problem?

JENNIE
My problem is you. You and that stick so high up your that you can’t smell the like the rest of us mortals do. So please do me a favor and stop with that sanctimonious lecture about honesty.

           

Before the fight can escalate, Jisoo and Seulgi interrupts them. The two angry bulls are just about ready to charge at each other, making Joy and Yeri a little somber from the tension.

 

JISOO
Stop it, we’re here to help Seulgi.

JOY
I vote for telling Wendy unnie the truth.

YERI
I vote for keeping the secret. You don’t have to tell Wendy unnie now… maybe you can wait for a better or more appropriate time, right?

IRENE
And you?

JENNIE
Keep your secret. At least no one gets hurt that way.

Jisoo grabs Jennie’s arm, pleading silently for her friend to stop. Irene gives a sigh and turns her head away.

SEULGI
You’re the tie-breaker, Jisoo.

The rest of the girls turn to look at Jisoo. She feels the room closing in on her, but she didn’t know what to say. In a small fleeting moment, Seulgi’s eyes caught her own and it felt like she has no control over her own mind.

JISOO
You can’t tell her. Don’t tell Wendy.

Like Yeri said, you can wait for a good timing.

YERI
Plus, you can keep going on dates with her now.

JOY
Yeah! Go for the ajusshi-look next time.

YERI
AND if you hook up with her as a guy and THEN as a girl, it’d be like you hook up with Wendy unnie twice in a row.

IRENE
Kim Yeri.

YERI
just saying.
 

            Seulgi nods and gives a smile to the girls. The day had been wonderful and then it turned into a night of woeful regrets, but it has ended well in the end. It feels like a giant boulder has been lifted out of her heart. Even if it is a little clumsy, Seulgi feels like she can move forward again.

JOY
How are you going to break the news to her though? Will there ever be a good time to say, ‘Hi girl-friend, I’m the boyfriend you have been dating.’

SEULGI
I don’t know? I’ll figure it out as I go along.

YERI
Seulgi unnie… no offense. If you can figure things out, it wouldn’t have taken you so many years to realize your feelings.

SEULGI
Then what do I do?

JOY
Well, I’d just say good luck. Wendy unnie is un-courtable.

JENNIE
You are just saying that cause you tried and she rejected you.

IRENE
Oh, I remember that.

YERI
It was brutal.

JOY
Okay. First off, she didn’t reject me. Secondly, I wasn’t trying my hardest.

SEULGI
Wait, when this all this happen?

JISOO
It was around the time when we first met outside the club. Remember? You were hauling Joy who was dead drunk into a cab. You told me Joy had fallen out of love or something.

SEULGI
OHHH, that was so long ago. Sooyoung-ah, I didn’t know ‘friendzone-girl’ was Seungwan. I was wondering who got you so broken up.

JOY
Shut up, I was not dead drunk and def not broken up. It was lady’s night and they gave free drinks. It wasn’t because of Wendy unnie.

JISOO
Only the first drink is free in that club though.

YERI
Apparently, one drink is one too many for Joy. Kekeke.

JOY
Shut up. All of you. Stop laughing.

JENNIE
In all seriousness, Joy is kind of right. A lot of people tried going after her with very little success. Wendy is something of a local celebrity, you know.

SEULGI
What? Since when?

YERI
Have you have been to her bakery?

SEULGI
Blue Garden? Yeah of course, but always before the store is open for business. Seungwan gives me free bread in the morning.

JOY
Oh, if only you knew.

 

            Blue Garden is the name of Wendy’s bakery and its official name. There is however an unofficial name for it as well, ‘Garden of the Gods(and/or Goddesses)’. Rumor has it that you have to at a certain level of beauty or handsomeness to go into the store, Joy explains while Yeri stretches her arm outwards in exaggerated fashion. It has become so famous that some broadcast stations have used it as a set to shoot k-drama scenes. Essentially, all the patrons who shop there are a very niche audience of gods and goddesses. It’s also called the heartbreak bakery. People meet there to fall in and out of love ever so often.
 

SEULGI
What happens if you look like ugly and shop there?

JOY
You get judged at.

YERI
Very harshly.

SEULGI
By who?

JENNIE
Pretty much by everybody in the neighborhood. If you don’t look like this (gesturing to herself), you will face the eyes of ten thousand souls shaming you.

IRENE
At least five souls are judging you right now.

JENNIE
I… am going to let that go. Point is, the regulars are all very good looking and they aren’t there for the bread.

YERI
I bet a bunch of them have crushes on Wendy unnie too. Remember that time when Joy had bread for 3 meals a day for a month? By the end of it, she was crying while munching bread.

JOY
Kim Yeri, do you want to die?

SEULGI
Then what should I do?

YERI
Let’s do a recon mission! Let’s go to Wendy unnie’s bakery on Monday to scout out the competition.

JOY
Ooo, scandalous. I’m in!

IRENE
Guys, that is so childish.

JENNIE
I take it you won’t be there then? Good, then I’m definitely joining.

IRENE
Whatever.

JISOO
I’m single now anyway. Might as well try to meet someone at ‘Blue Garden’.

SEULGI
I’m in! So I can be there to tell Seungwan I loaf her. Get it? Guys? Stop walking away.

 

            The girls leave the apartment one by one leaving Irene to be the last. Jennie wanted to stay but Jisoo shoos her away and reminded Jennie the umpteenth times that she is fine. When Jisoo was left alone with Irene, the older girl had a softer and gentler look to her. Most of the time, Irene behaves like an unapproachable ice queen with her flawless beauty. It doesn’t help that Irene has an indescribable visage with a sense of timelessness and mystery. But right now, it felt like she has something to say and Jisoo worries that it might not be friendly.

 

IRENE
I’m sorry for earlier.

JISOO
It’s okay. Tonight is just a weird night.

IRENE
 Jisoo.

JISOO
Yes?

IRENE
You do know that Seulgi must tell Seungwan the truth at some point, right?

JISOO
…I know.

Irene didn’t press on and just gave her friend a hug instead. Jisoo sobbed a little before pulling away.

JISOO
I’m sorry for Jennie today.

IRENE
It’s okay.

JISOO
I don’t know why but Jennie tends to get all her buttons pushed when you’re around. I’ll talk to her about it.

IRENE
Don’t worry about it. I like it. She’s cute when she gets riled up.

JISOO
What?

IRENE
Nothing, goodnight.

 

            With that, Jisoo is left alone. She lets out a huge breathe of relief, now that she finally has some alone time. There couple of wine glasses are still half filled and she clicks her tongue. Some of her friends really need to finish their drink and leave as little thrash as possible for the host to clean up. Jisoo double checks to see that no one is looking and downs rest of the wine from the cups. Tonight has been a weird night.

           

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Mokamoca
Hi guys! I'm back for a bit.
Chapter 12 might feel very different but I just wanted to try out different writing styles.
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