Minjeong opens her apartment door to a grunting Ryujin, and a very drunk Jimin at her side. Blinking awkwardly, opens and closes to say something, but nothing comes out.
Ryujin sees her from the corner of her eyes, and lets out a sigh. “Can you help me get her inside, please?” The nurse didn’t seem surprised at all to see that she lived next door to her ex girlfriend, so Minjeong can only assume that Jimin hadn’t told Ryujin about her yet.
Scratching her head, Minjeong stammers. “U-Uh, y-yeah s-sure.”
She’s immediately at Jimin’s other side, throwing her other arm over her shoulder. Ryujin manages to get the key into the hole, kicking the door open, and leading the three of them inside of Jimin’s apartment.
Once they get Jimin onto her bed, Minjeong’s first instinct is to bolt out of there as fast as she can, but before she could say her goodbyes, Ryujin is asking for her help in settling Jimin into bed.
“Listen, I don’t think she wants me to even be in her apart—,” Minjeong starts to decline, but Ryujin is pretty adamant about needing her help.
“She’s not even awake. It’s fine.”
Blinking awkwardly, Minjeong only obeys, taking Jimin’s other foot and trying to get her shoes off. She grabs one of the pillows at the head of the bed, putting it between Jimin’s arms and laying the older woman on her side.
“She sleeps best when she’s hugging something.” Minjeong mutters.
Just like her.
Ryujin eyes Minjeong, and the corner of her lips curl with subtlety. Minjeong was all talk at this point, because Ryujin can see clearly that Jimin’s feelings did not go unreciprocated.
“I didn’t know that.”
Eyes widening, Minjeong steps away from Jimin. “I-I… sorry. That was—, I overstepped.”
Ryujin chuckles, “why are you panicking? Do you see me panicking?”
“N-No, but…” Minjeong stammers.
“Relax, Minjeong.” Ryujin waves her hand to tell her it’s no big deal. “Thanks for helping me get her in. She’s had a rough night. One too many drinks.”
Minjeong glances at Jimin, and her chest constricts. When she noticed Ryujin’s eyes on her, Minjeong immediately averts her gaze away.
“I’ll get going.” Minjeong excuses herself, “goodnight, Ryujin.”
Before Minjeong can step out of the room, Ryujin quickly thinks on her feet. Closing her eyes shut and cursing under her breath, she calls out for her quickly. “Wait.” She says, trying hard so that her voice wouldn’t wake up Jimin.
Minjeong stops right at the door, turning to give Ryujin a confused look.
Ryujin glances at Jimin again, making sure she was indeed sound asleep. “She’ll hate me for telling you this, but I think she’ll appreciate it later on.” It was more to assure herself, but she tells Minjeong anyway.
“I’m not her girlfriend.” Ryujin clarifies, “I don’t exactly know why Jimin hasn’t told you that yet, but we’re not dating.”
Dropping her hand from the door, Minjeong blinks in confusion. “B-But I saw—,”
“Yeah, I know what you saw.” Ryujin waves her off, glancing at Jimin again. Uncomfortable with the idea that the cardiothoracic surgeon would wake up through their conversation, she pushes Minjeong out of the room and quietly closes Jimin’s bedroom door.
Ryujin makes Minjeong take a seat in the living room, and she makes the observation that Ryujin felt… well quite comfortable in Jimin’s apartment.
“We used to sleep together, but we only used each other for, well, just that. Nothing more.” Ryujin felt weird saying it, like she was explaining to someone’s wife why she had slept with their husband. These two were still madly in love even after a decade, Ryujin might as well see it that way.
“Jimin stopped our arrangement after you caught us.” Ryujin added, but after hearing it out loud, it didn’t sound the most pleasing. “W-Well, if I’m being honest, it wouldn’t have happened even if you hadn’t caught us. She’d just been overwhelmed and stressed when she found out you were an intern at the hospital—,”
“Why are you telling me this?” Minjeong cuts her off. She maintained a straight face, but in reality everything that she was being told confused the hell out of her. “I don’t need an explanation. We don’t mean anything to each other anymore.”
Ryujin almost burst into laughter. “Don’t be so careless with your words, Minjeong. You and I both know that’s not true.”
Minjeong frowns, and grows defensive.
“I’m a Nurse, Minjeong. I can tell when people are lying.” Ryujin challenges her with a raised eyebrow, “and your actions contradict your words. Have you ever seen the way you stare at that girl?” She nods her head towards Jimin’s closed door. “Have you seen the way Jimin stares at you?”
Minjeong keeps quiet.
“Probably not, because you two are both in your own world of denial and hopeless pining.” Ryujin sighs, shaking her head.
“Doesn’t change the fact that she left me, and hurt me.” Minjeong whispers harshly, eyes lowering to her fidgety hands. “That will never change, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.”
Tightening her lips into a line, Ryujin looks at Minjeong with pity. She didn’t know the full story either. Jimin didn’t mention it, but if Ryujin could guess, Jimin probably had to sacrifice a lot more of herself than anything else to have made that kind of decision.
“Okay, well that’s where I draw the line that I won’t overstep. I’ll leave the rest up to Jimin.” Ryujin heaves a sigh, “or to you. Whatever you want to do with the situation. I know it’s affecting the both of you a lot. Personally, or professionally.”
Ryujin was right about that, Minjeong could agree.
“You don’t owe her anything, Minjeong. I know that. But, don’t you think it’s tiring to live like this?”
Of course it was tiring. Minjeong thought that a couple times over the past decade. It was so tiring. But it wasn’t easy to just flip a switch one day and force herself to stop thinking about Yu Jimin. That’s how much she had loved her, and that’s how much it had hurt her.
“Sleep on it.” Ryujin gives her a comforting smile.
When Minjeong asked her fellow interns to come out with her to grab a drink, it came very surprising to them that she was even the type to party. It also came as a surprise to them when Soojin agreed, only with a little convincing from Shuhua.
But here they were, in the pub down the street from the hospital. It seemed to be a very popular spot for other healthcare workers from the hospital because when they entered, they saw a few familiar faces.
“I like this side of you.” Mark tells Minjeong, grinning from ear to ear as he watches her down a shot of tequila.
“Tequila infused Minjeong is fun.”
Minjeong winces when the burn from the tequila stung more than she remembered. “No thinking tonight. I’m sick of thinking.” She asks for another shot from the bartender, “I just want to have fun.”
Mark grabs a shot of his own, “amen to that sister.” Their glasses clink and their heads tilt back as they drink their shot smoothly.
Hopping off of her stool, Minjeong almost topples to the ground. She steadily holds the bar counter for stability, giggling to herself. “Woah.” She snorts. “I’m only four shots in.”
“Well, you’re a tiny human.” Mark chuckles, also standing up from his stool.
Minjeong pulls Mark towards the small dance floor in the middle of the pub. Shuhua and Soojin had already been dancing, a few drinks in themselves. An upbeat, jazzy song plays throughout the place, and Minjeong lets herself go completely.
She gets close and friendly with Mark, d