Remember to eat your fries xP
Taeyeon nodded in all seriousness upon reading Sunny’s message. Yes, she resolved to eat all of her fries this time. One had to learn from one’s mistakes. Her plan was to start on her fries even before they got to their table.
“Someone’s hungry today,” Tiffany commented as she wolfed down her fries like a hungry alligator.
Taeyeon shook her head, mouth full of fries and kept chewing. She had but one objective:
Finish her fries.
“Oh my gosh, Taeyeon, slow down.”
Taeyeon didn’t slow down. She chewed quickly and stuffed fry after fry into her mouth. Then, it happened. A fry went a little too far into her mouth and triggered her gag reflex.
She froze, her jaw locking up and with great effort, summoned all her self-control as she tried her best not to panic and end up spitting all her fries out from her mouth.
“Oh my gosh, oh my gosh. Are you okay?” Tiffany leapt from her seat and moved to pat Taeyeon’s back.
Chew slowly…move that fry over…okay. Okay. I’m okay now.
Luckily, the fry was maneuvered into safer territory and she was able to smile again.
“Mrm oge,” she replied.
“Please slow down. You might choke again if you don’t.”
Worry was written all over Tiffany’s face so she slowed down. “Don’t worry, I’m okay now,” she assured Tiffany, after swallowing the mouthful of fries, “and I’ll slow down.”
“Why are you eating so fast? Are you very hungry?”
Taeyeon wasn’t going to reveal the real reason so she opted for the vague grunt and head movement.
“Why are you so hungry? Didn’t you take breakfast?”
Taeyeon swallowed another two fries before answering, “Woke up too late.” At least this much was true.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You gotta take it.”
Taeyeon gaped. “Wow, you sound just like my friend when you say that.”
“I’d like to meet her one day.”
“You probably won’t like her too much.”
“She has a huge thing against burgers.”
“I’m sure we can put our differences aside and let our similarities bond.”
“Okay, I’ll introduce the two of you when there’s a chance. She’s housemates with Yuri and another two friends. So you should get a chance.”
“Are they the ones who were at that party with you?”
Taeyeon blushed at the thought of that party. She really hadn’t been at her best that night.
“Yes, I went with them. But not Seohyun. Seohyun doesn’t really go to parties. She’s too busy for them.”
Taeyeon nodded. “She’s taking a double major and ahead by two semesters. Her work load is insane.”
“She sounds like a beast.”
“Luckily for me, you’re not.”
“If you were a beast like Seohyun, you wouldn’t have time to have lunch with me.”
Tiffany’s cryptic message boggled her mind and her easy smile did strange things to her heart, making it flop this way and that.
“Hello? Cat got your tongue?” Tiffany teased, when Taeyeon failed to reply.
“No…no, it’s just…I was confused…”
“What you said.”
“What I said?” Tiffany blinked, her turn to be confused. “I didn’t say anything confusing, did I?”
“I-I don’t…I don’t know,” Taeyeon stuttered, feeling more unsure of herself than ever.
“Taeyeon, do you have something to say to me or ask me?”
She shook her head. No way was she going to jeopardize the situation by saying anything more. But Tiffany sighed and she wondered why.
“Normally, I’m a pretty patient person, but my patience is running thin this time. Do I really have to come out and say it?”
Taeyeon blinked. “Say…what?”
“Taeyeon, I think I’ve made it clear enough. The ball’s in your court now. Friday, 2027 is the deadline. I don’t think I can wait any longer than that.”
Deadline? What? What’s going on? And why is Tiffany standing up?
“Tell me what you want on Friday. I’ll be waiting.”
“Where are you going?”
“I need the bathroom.”
Taeyeon’s jaw hung loose as she followed Tiffany with her eyes. Thoughts flew wild in her mind and for a moment, it seemed clear. Tiffany wanted to know if she was interested. Right? But that would mean Tiffany was interested in her. Was that even possible? Or was she over thinking it.
Sunny. She needed to consult Sunny on this. Only Sunny would know how to clean this load of shit up.
Tiffany returned to their table after some time but was quiet from then on. They ate in silence, each deep in their own thoughts, until their food was gone.
“It was great having lunch with you but I have to go back to work. See you Friday.”
Tiffany smiled and hugged her, surprising her yet again.
Taeyeon grabbed Sunny the moment she got home and sat her down. She told her everything, from A to Z, as Sunny listened.
“Of course she likes you,” said Sunny at the end, “Are you dense or are you dense.”
Taeyeon frowned. “I’m not dense. I’m just being careful.”
“I think it’s obvious enough, Taeyeon.”
“Remember the time I thought Jieun was into me? Turned out she was only being friendly.”
“Well, Jieun didn’t issue an ultimatum, did she? But Tiffany did. She wants an answer. Yes, you like her too, or no, you only want to be friends.”
“Okay. You got a point there.”
“Of course I do.”
“Okay, okay. No need to rub it in.”
“So what’s your answer gonna be?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?” Sunny’s voice was just as capable of rising an entire octave in a split second as Tiffany’s was, thought Taeyeon. “Why wouldn’t you know?”
“I’m a little scared.”
“What are you scared of?”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“She’s pretty scary at times.”
Sunny narrowed her eyes for a moment before surprising Taeyeon by nodding in agreement. “Actually, you’re right. She has her scary moments.”
“You’ve seen them?”
“She was kinda fierce when she told Yuri she’s watching her.”
Taeyeon’s eyes opened wide. “She told Yuri that?”
“Quite protective of her friend, isn’t she.”
“They’re pretty good friends. Like you and I.”
“If that’s the case, I approve. Not that I didn’t before,” said Sunny before leaning forward to add, “So? What will it be? A yes or a no?”
Taeyeon bit her lip. Deep down inside, she knew that she wouldn’t be able to say no to Tiffany. It was definitely much harder to say no than to say yes. The problem now, was actually saying it out loud, to Tiffany, with Tiffany right in front of her. Her brain never seemed to function as well when she was with Tiffany and the last thing she wanted was to mess it up again.
“I know you’re gonna say yes.” Sunny grinned and patted her shoulder. “Go for it, Taengoo. I have faith in you.”
Right. Sunny had faith in her. Sure. No sweat. She could do it. No pressure at all.
Tuesday went by in a blur. Homework consumed most of her time and gaming with Sunny took up the rest. Wednesday was project day with Noeul in the library.
“I was thinking we could do an analysis on the narration using internal and external focalization,” Noeul suggested.
Soon, they were hidden behind stacks of books, then huddled behind Noeul’s laptop. They worked well together, having known each other for so long and it didn’t take too much time before they had done up several pages of notes and accumulated some samples to back up their points.
“I think we’re good for today,” said Noeul.
“Yeah, we have enough material to start on the essay. Shall we split it up and do our parts separately?”
“I’ll do external focalization if that’s okay with you.”
Taeyeon shrugged. “No problem.”
“This is why I love you so much,” said Noeul with a big smile.
“I mean, you’re so easy to work with. You’re a great partner.”
“Oh.” Taeyeon smiled, pleased to hear Noeul’s praise. “You’re a great partner too.”
Taeyeon nodded. “Yes. Really. I’d rather be your partner than be somebody else’s.”
“I’m really happy to hear that. I’m glad we can work together so well. Not all friends can do that.”
“Well, since we’re done here, do you wanna grab dinner with me? I’m really hungry right now.”
Noeul’s lips curved into a shy smile. “Are you asking me out on a date?”
Taeyeon’s jaw fell open. What?
“I’m so glad you asked,” continued Noeul, “I really like you, Taeyeon. Of course I’ll have dinner with you.”
Her mind was popping like crazy. What was Noeul talking about? Did it mean that Noeul…no. No, no, no. No way. They’d been friends for so long. Noeul had always been soft-spoken and shy so this couldn’t be a joke. But what was this? How did she go from nothing but toilet troubles to an ultimatum and a confession in a week? Her mind was having trouble coming to terms with reality and the tricky situation she was in. What was she to do now? She didn’t know. But she knew one thing.
She knew shit.