It really was Tiffany. But how in the world…?
“Am I dreaming?” she asked in disbelief, not realizing that she had said it out loud.
“Do you need a pinch?”
Tiffany reached for her cheek and gave it a good pinch, making Taeyeon yelp. “Oww!”
“You’re not dreaming, Taeyeon.”
The pinch was real. The voice was real. But still…
“Are you real?” she asked, stretching her finger and prodding Tiffany’s arm with it. “Ohmaagaaarrdd…” she gushed, “You’re real.”
“You’re so silly,” giggled Tiffany, shaking her head. “Are you feeling better now?”
Taeyeon could only nod.
“Sit up, then. You need to drink this soup before it turns cold.”
Taeyeon sat up, still stunned, and took the bowl of soup from Tiffany. She recognized it. It was Sunny’s vegetable soup—good for stomach aches. And things only got more and more confusing for her. Why was Tiffany here? Where were Sunny and Yuri? And why was Tiffany giving her Sunny’s soup?
“Where did Sunny go? And Yuri?” asked Taeyeon, before sipping the soup. Ah…as good as always. Sunny’s soup was the best.
“They said they had to go somewhere really urgently. Someone they had to get something from.”
Taeyeon snorted. What a load of bull. She knew what her friends were up to now and she wasn’t sure about how she felt about the whole thing. Having Tiffany here was surprisingly pleasant but she didn’t exactly want to look so frail and dishevelled in front of Tiffany either. However, it wasn’t as though she had a choice in the matter. Things were, the way they were.
“Sounds like a big fat lie, huh.”
Taeyeon stared at Tiffany, relieved to see a grin stretching across her face.
“So why are your friends trying to get us alone, together?” Tiffany’s husky voice crawled under her skin and gave her delicious shivers.
“They’re up to no good, that’s why.”
Taeyeon nodded. “Especially Yuri. Pranks are her forte.”
“And she’s the girl whom you gave Jess’ number to.”
“Don’t get me wrong, Yuri’s a great person.”
Tiffany shrugged, looking nonchalant. “I gave her a warning before she left anyway.”
Taeyeon blinked and swallowed hard. Why did Tiffany sound scary when she said that? She could only imagine how scary Tiffany was when she failed to call her last night. Oh no.
“Why do you look so afraid of me?”
Taeyeon bit her lip.
“Ah…the call that never came.”
“I waited two hours. Nothing.”
“I had some problems with my phone…but I did call. All I got was your voice message though.”
“Some problems huh.”
Taeyeon nodded. “And I called this morning too. But you didn’t pick up the call.”
“Sorry about that. I was still angry.”
“I called you back after I cooled off but Sunny answered.”
“Uh huh. That’s why I’m here now.”
So that’s how everything went down. Taeyeon understood now.
“But you know what?” ask Tiffany.
Taeyeon raised a brow, shook her head.
“None of it matters.”
She couldn’t agree more and nodded vigorously to show it.
“Right now, I’m more interested in knowing what got you sick like that.”
“Oh…I think it’s the ice cream.”
“Ice cream can make you sick?”
“I ate a jumbo at Jen & Berry’s. Probably a little bit too much for my tummy to handle.”
“You ate a jumbo all by yourself?”
“I had to,” Taeyeon protested. The last thing she wanted was Tiffany thinking she was a glutton or something. “Noeul didn’t eat her share so I had to finish it or it’d go to waste.”
“Noeul?” Tiffany questioned, her voice sounding almost an octave higher than usual. “You went out for ice cream with her today?”
Taeyeon nodded. “After class. I was feeling kinda down so she treated me to ice cream to cheer me up.”
“Why were you feeling down?”
With a jerk of her head, she gestured at her phone on the table.
“I was sure that you’d be angry. That maybe you wouldn’t wanna speak to me and we couldn’t be friends anymore.”
Her lips curled down but turned back up when Tiffany smiled and said, “Silly, I wouldn’t stop talking to you because of this. You’re making me sound like a scary, bad-tempered person.”
“You got pissed pretty quickly when I asked you for Jessica’s number.”
Tiffany shifted a little, casting her eyes onto her lap. “Well, that’s different.”
“How is that different?”
“I felt cheated.”
“Didn’t you also feel cheated when you didn’t get my call?”
“Well…a little…but I didn’t think you are the sort who doesn’t keep promises. Although I did get tired of waiting and went to sleep in the end…”
Tiffany shook her head. “Oh my gosh, why are we talking about this again. It’s not important. What’s important is you. I want you to get better quickly.”
Taeyeon rubbed her belly and grinned. “I’m feeling better already. Sunny’s soup is really good.”
“In that case,” Tiffany patted her thigh and stood up, “I’ll get going.”
“Already?” Taeyeon pouted.
“Homework.” Tiffany grimaced and she did the same. She had homework too. Shit. “See you Monday?”
“Monday? Are we meeting on Monday?”
“Unless you don’t wanna have lunch with me.”
“Oh.” Taeyeon blinked furiously. “Right, lunch. Yes.”
“And you still owe me a phone call. Two now, with interest.”
“I’ll call you. I promise.”
Tiffany smiled with her twinkling eyes and all was right with the world again.
“I’ll try to be a little bit more patient this time.”
Taeyeon cheered mentally but froze when Tiffany’s index finger pointed at her without warning.
“But don’t push your luck, Kim Taeyeon.”
She swallowed hard and nodded, determined to fulfill her promise as soon as she could this time. Upon seeing Tiffany turn to leave, she put the empty bowl aside and hurried to get out of bed but Tiffany spun around and pushed her back down.
“Rest. I’ll let myself out.”
So Taeyeon stayed in bed and dreamt of rainbows, butterflies and kisses in the light, cool breeze.
It was past dinner time and Taeyeon was eating a pot of ramen that she’d cooked for herself when Sunny returned home.
“How did it go with Tiffany? Did you get a kiss from her?” Sunny’s cheeky grin made her blush as she shook her head.
“She gave me the soup you made and left after I finished it.”
“Taeyeon, to think I went through all that trouble for you…” Sunny wore a look of disappointment that Taeyeon knew was just pretend so she decided to play along.
“I’m sorry, I’ve let you down. Please forgive me, oh mighty Sun!”
“Don’t worry, you’re still my favourite roommate.” Sunny tossed a phone charger onto her bed. “Besides, I owe you.”
“My charger!” Taeyeon grabbed it and held it as though it were the most precious thing in the world. “Thanks, Sunny! Now I can call her.”
Sunny grinned. “Go get her.”
Taeyeon froze for a moment. That was the most upbeat greeting she’d ever heard over the phone. Wow.
“Hello…? Taeyeon, are you there?”
“Er, hello Tiffany.”
She could hear Tiffany giggling and blushed. She was embarrassed that her blush was so quick to come but she took comfort in the fact that it couldn’t be seen over the phone.
“Are you all tucked into bed and ready to sleep?”
Taeyeon looked down at herself, snug under her covers, leaning against her pillows propped against the headboard.
“You look so adorable when you’re tucked in. Just like a little girl.”
She squirmed. Tiffany’s words were teasing and she could almost see the twinkling eyes and friendly smile of hers.
“I’m not adorable.”
“You are! You’re very cute.”
“I’m not cute.”
“Don’t people tell you that you’re cute all the time?”
Taeyeon shook her head before realizing that Tiffany couldn’t see her over the phone. “No.”
“Oh come on. That’s a lie and you know it.”
“Sunny is cute. I’m not.”
Taeyeon was confused. “Didn’t you meet her today? She’s my roommate.”
“Sunny is cute,” Tiffany giggled again, “…but I think you’re cute too. Just another kind of cute.”
“A weird kind of cute?”
“Yeah! A weird kind of cute,” laughed Tiffany. “I can’t believe you’d describe yourself like that. So cute.”
Taeyeon cringed and said nothing. She didn’t like cute.
“Is your stomach alright now?” Tiffany stopped laughing eventually and managed to ask.
“It’s good now.”
Taeyeon could hear the smile in Tiffany’s voice and smiled too.
“Thanks for coming today. I…I was very happy to see you.”
“Well,” Tiffany giggled, “…you do know that I didn’t actually go over to see you, right.”
“What do you mean?”
“Ask your roommate. Or Yuri.”
“Sunny didn’t ask you to come because I was sick?”
Taeyeon groaned. What did her friends do? What trick did they play this time?
“It doesn’t matter though. Your friends are cute too. I like them.”
“Yeah, they’re great friends.” Even though I want to kill them right now.
“I’m glad we’re friends too.”
That put a wide smile on Taeyeon’s face. “Me too.”
“So lunch on Monday at the same burger place?”
“Alright, it’s getting late. You’d better rest. Goodnight, Taeyeon.”
Taeyeon’s grin was wider than ever as the call ended. Monday! Lunch! Good things…good things were flushing all the shit away.