“What do I do? What do I do?”
“I’ll get your charger back from Hyoyeon tomorrow. Don’t fret.”
“Take a chill pill. You look like you’re about to combust.”
Taeyeon whimpered. She was in deep shit now. Tiffany was going to think she was a liar through and through. Her head and shoulders drooped and she returned to her bedroom, defeated. Her life as she knew it was over. Tiffany wasn’t going to speak to her again.
She slumped onto her bed, face down. Her world was sinking, rainbows fading, stars dimming, winds dying.
She groaned, rolled over, groaned again, rolled over again, groaned yet again, roll over yet again. She was never going to be able to fall asleep like that. Pulling the covers over her head, she willed herself to sleep but a sudden idea struck her and had her hopping out of bed in a split second.
Dashing out of her bedroom, she yelled, “Sunny!!!”
“What? What?” Sunny was up on her feet, looking her up and down in surprise.
“Lend me your phone,” Taeyeon asked desperately.
“Okay…sure…” said Sunny, looking confused as she handed her phone over. “Why do you need my phone so badly?”
“I need to call her.”
Taeyeon shook her head and stepped back into her room. “It’s a long story. Next time.”
“You owe me the full story, Taeyeon.”
Sunny nodded, looking satisfied and turned back to their couch where a game was on pause. Taeyeon knew that Sunny would probably play till the wee hours of the morning like always. Tsk, tsk. Constant late nights were bad for her skin but Sunny wasn’t the sort who really cared about such things. Anyway…
She shut her door and returned to her bed to swap SIM cards. Card out of her phone, into Sunny’s phone, switch on. Yes! At last!
Please don’t be mad…please don’t be mad…pleaseeeeeeeeeee…
“Your call will be directed to a voice message. Please record your message after the tone…”
Taeyeon stared at Sunny’s phone in disbelief. Did she call somebody else by mistake? No. It was Tiffany. It said so on the screen. Tiffany Hwang. What? Why?
She called one more time and got the voice message again. Oh no. What did that mean? Tiffany was most definitely angry with her, right?
School on a Saturday morning had never been such a pain in the ass. Life had never sucked this much. She barely managed to get any sleep and arrived for her ten o’clock class with panda eyes, looking like a frump.
“Taeyeon! What…what happened to you?” Noeul gasped, plainly shocked to see her friend looking so dishevelled.
“Had a rough night.”
“It’s a long story.” Hah. Long stories were becoming her life now. Long, looong stories.
Taeyeon sighed. “Okay…”
She related the entire incident to Noeul, from the Yuri’s request to the date, to Tiffany’s request and her subsequent misfortune.
“Premium shit. I know.”
Noeul put her arm around Taeyeon and patted her shoulder. “I’m sorry things messed up for you. Did you manage to call her this morning?”
Taeyeon shook her head miserably. “She wouldn’t answer,” she sighed, and sank lower and lower down her seat.
Noeul patted the back of her head and ruffled her hair a little. “Aww, don’t be sad…I’ll treat you to ice cream after this, okay?”
Taeyeon perked up at once. “Okay!” she said, a little smile gracing her features.
Noeul giggled and patted her head a few more times. “See? I know you best.”
“Sunny knows me best.”
At that, Noeul frowned a little. “But I treat you the best, don’t I?”
Taeyeon pressed her lips together, deliberating the fact a little before smiling and nodding. “Yes. You treat me the best. You’re a great friend, Noeul.”
Noeul smiled rainbows and sunshine.
Noeul brought her to Jen & Berry’s after class. It was Taeyeon’s favourite ice cream and impossible for her to continue moping when her mind was focused on selecting her favourite flavours.
“We’ll take the jumbo.”
“Yay!” cheered Taeyeon. She watched with glee as the ice cream was scooped into a jumbo cup and was almost skipping for joy when it was handed over to her.
“Let’s sit over there, that corner.”
Taeyeon headed over immediately and set the ice cream on the table. Noeul joined her after paying for the ice cream and brought two spoons with her.
“Silly, you didn’t even take a spoon. Are you planning on licking it all up?”
Taeyeon grinned as she took a spoon. “Licking? Why not. I’m sure my tongue can handle it.”
Noeul laughed. “I’m sure, I’m sure.” Then, she smiled and squeezed her hand as she said, “Taeyeon, you’re so great to be with.”
Taeyeon thought Noeul sounded a little weird but she was more interested in the ice cream than anything. So into the chocolate and strawberry she dug and there was no turning back.
Taeyeon nodded and rubbed her belly. Noeul hadn’t eaten much of the ice cream so it was pretty much a solo act for her and she was stuffed.
“Great. Unfortunately, I have to go home now. We’re visiting my grandparents to have dinner with them and you know how long it takes to go back to that home.”
“Oh, you’d better get going then.”
“Taeyeon.” Noeul sounded so serious all of a sudden that Taeyeon stared, wondering what was up. “Don’t let Tiffany get you down. Remember, I’ll always be here for you. Text me, okay?”
Taeyeon smiled gratefully and nodded. “I’ll text you.”
“Alright, gotta go.”
Taeyeon was strolling back home from Jen & Berry’s, feeling relatively better, when a clench startled her. A squeeze. A quick tightening. Oh no. Bad news.
She quickened her strides and hastened for home. Not a moment to lose.
It seemed to her that the world enjoyed working against her. She could state many examples:
Never seeing a taxi available for hire when she needed one, then having a whole fleet of them pass her by when she didn’t.
Buses and trains enjoyed waiting till the last moment to leave, when she was just a few steps away from reaching them.
The rain never chose to fall when she carried a raincoat or umbrella, but would most certainly drench her in a torrential downpour when she didn’t.
The sun never chose to shine when she brought a pair of shades or cap out with her but would bake her with a vengeance when she didn’t.
But none of those were as critical as this moment—having the door refuse to cooperate with her keys when her rear muscles were on the verge of losing the long fought battle.
“Can you believe this?!”
She could hear Yuri’s voice in her apartment. What is she doing here? Her key finally slipped into the keyhole and she turned it, desperate to get in.
“Hey! You’re back!” Yuri chirped but Taeyeon was in too much of a hurry to stop and say hi.
“Taeyeon, Taeyeon, why are you always in a hurry for the toilet when you get back?” teased Sunny but Taeyeon ignored her too.
She dropped her bag in the living room and bolted into the bathroom, nearly ripping her pants off in her haste to let it all out. But at last, with her pants and panties around her ankles, she relaxed and let go.
She’d made it.
She’d made it, cleared her bowels and all, but she wasn’t feeling so good. After spending an inordinate amount of time sitting on her toilet bowl, she’d flopped onto her bed, cradling her belly.
Sunny tucked her into bed after rubbing some ointment on her belly. It warmed her up and made her feel better.
Sunny grinned. “Good thing your humour wasn’t flushed down the toilet with your shit. I’ll miss it if it was.”
Taeyeon smiled and closed her eyes. She knew she could always count on Sunny know what she needed.
“Rest well, Taengoo. Feel better soon…” added Yuri as they shut her door.
Taeyeon grunted and the door clicked shut.
A gentle touch aroused her from sleep, but she didn’t want to wake up so she grunted and tried to push whoever’s hand it was, away. It worked. Good. She turned her head and continued to sleep.
Mmm…what a nice voice…
“Taeyeon, are you awake?”
I’m dreaming, right?
Okay, this sounds way too much like real life talking. Or is this a lucid dream…
Still half-asleep and trying to return to slumber land, Taeyeon whined, “Why…”
“Kim Taeyeon, you’re just as bad as Jess at waking up, oh my gosh.”
Taeyeon’s eyes shot open and she turned her head towards the voice.
It was Tiffany. In the flesh.