According to wikiHow, there were nine ways to win a dog’s heart. Taeyeon hoped that some of those ways would work and she wouldn’t have to kiss anybody. Really, why did Sunny suggest such an extreme method when there were so many other ways to do it?
Anyway…there were nine ways and Taeyeon frowned as she read through the list.
Observe the dog for a while to understand what it wants.
Pet the dog to forge a bond.
The fastest way to a dog’s heart is through its stomach.
Teach the dog obedience routines.
Feed the dog and brush its fur every day.
Walk the dog.
Respect the dog’s space.
Don’t stare the dog right in the eye.
Praise the dog when it does things right.
Okay. There were nine but really, not all were viable. She didn’t have to observe Prince to know that he didn’t like her. And to pet him would be suicide for her ankles. The same went for all the others. Except for one. Point 3. That she could try.
She didn’t realize how crowded pet shops could be on a Sunday until it was too late to turn back. With a sigh, she ploughed into the crowd and tried to grab the most popular puppy snacks. She’d almost gotten her hands on the last packet of chicken and fish heart-shaped biscuits when a slender hand picked it up before she did. No!
Desperate to buy it, she grabbed the slender arm and pleaded, “Er, Miss? Could you please let me have that?”
The lady turned around and stared.
“Please, please can I have it? I’m trying to get a puppy to like me and that’s the most popular puppy snack in this shop. Please let me have it,” she begged, trying to persuade the lady with puppy eyes of her own.
Much to her relief, the lady smiled. “I’ll let you have it since you’re so cute. Good luck with your puppy.”
“Thank you!” Taeyeon was more than elated as she took the packet. “Thank you very much!”
The lady smiled one last time before turning away and Taeyeon stood still, gawking at the packet for some time. This was a good sign, surely.
Oh boy, was she excited when Monday came. She had the puppy snacks packed in her bag the night before and she was all ready for class and lunch with Tiffany afterwards. But more than that, she was looking forward to winning Prince’s heart with the puppy snacks. Yes. She couldn’t wait.
Class was as usual. She arrived on time and settled down. It was just like any other lecture complete with the same girl sleeping at the back. Taeyeon had noticed her since the first class but the girl had always mysteriously disappeared before the end of the lecture. It made her wonder why the girl even bothered to turn up. But there were all sorts of people in this world:
Strange. Super strange. Super duper strange.
This sleeping girl would qualify as super duper strange.
Since the girl’s face was always turned towards the wall on the right, she couldn’t see what she looked like because she usually sat on the left side. Today would be different, she decided. She would go to the right and sneak a peek at the sleeping girl before her curiosity ate her up. She walked all the way to the end of the row and tried to look natural as she passed the girl by. Her eyes strained to the left and when they managed to lock on the girl’s face, she got the biggest surprise.
Never in a million years would she have guessed but there she was, her face cradled by her folded arms. Her eyes were not playing tricks on her. Yet, on hindsight, she should have been able to guess who it was. For who else would dare to sleep in plain sight? Who else would have the guts to do so? There was only one and no other.
She wasn’t sure why, but she took the seat right next to Jessica and began taking her things out. It seemed a little rude to sit away from Jessica now that she knew. After all, she was dating Tiffany and Jessica was Tiffany’s best friend. They were related, in a way.
Her lecture pad and pen were in hand when she heard her soft voice. “Why are you sitting here?”
Taeyeon turned to Jessica and saw that her eyes were open and staring. “Because I realized it’s you.”
“Do I know you?”
“Er…well…you saw me once, at your house party.”
“It’s not my party. I’ve got nothing to do with it.”
“Okay. The party in your house then.”
“I’m sorry but I don’t remember who you are.”
“I was the one sleeping in one of your bedrooms. Tiffany was there.”
Jessica scrunched her face up, looking as though remembering took too much effort before giving up. “I don’t remember.”
“Are you Tiffany’s friend?”
“Yes, I’m sorry, I haven’t introduced myself. I’m Taeyeon.”
With that, Jessica sat up right, shocking Taeyeon with her quick movement. “You’re Taeyeon. The girl Tiffany is seeing.”
Taeyeon blushed. “Yes. It’s me,” she replied, feeling bashful. But Jessica shocked her yet again with an icy cold glare that turned her insides into slush.
“Don’t you dare break her heart.”
Taeyeon shook her head as though her life depended on it. “I won’t dare.”
“Good.” Jessica smiled and Taeyeon wondered how her face could change so much with just one smile. She watched as Jessica settled back down, placing her cheek on her folded arms and closing her eyes. Back to sleep, she presumed.
“Why are you always sleeping in class?” Taeyeon couldn’t resist asking even though she felt as though she were risking her life to do so.
Jessica’s eyes remained shut as she answered, “I’m not sleeping. I’m just closing my eyes.”
Taeyeon blinked. She was right the first time. Jessica was super duper strange alright.
Strange as shit.
“Bye,” whispered Jessica and it startled Taeyeon.
“Bye,” she managed to say as Jessica stood up and slipped out of the theatre, unseen by the prof. How, what and why were only some of the unanswerable questions she had in her mind. Perhaps she could ask Tiffany. Her heart leapt at the thought of seeing Tiffany soon. Hurray!
The lecture ended within minutes of Jessica’s departure and she packed up her things to go. She could wait no longer.
The burger place was more crowded than usual but Taeyeon managed to secure a table for two at the side. She looked around, impatient to see Tiffany again.
“Tiffany!” she called when she spotted her and she stood up so abruptly that her chair toppled over. It hit the floor with a loud clang and had her blushing in embarrassed as people turned to look. She bent to pick it up but Tiffany was faster. “Thanks, Tiffany,” she said, her embarrassment dug in deeper, intensifying her blush.
Tiffany giggled and took her seat. “Life can never be boring with you around, that’s for sure.”
Taeyeon found herself smiling even though she detected the subtle teasing in Tiffany’s words. It was hard not to smile when Tiffany was around.
“So what are we having today?”
“Bulgogi burger with extra large fries,” chirped Taeyeon without hesitation. Extra large fries were a must.
“Alright, I’ll go get it.”
“So did you manage to buy the puppy snacks?” asked Tiffany as she chomped on her fries. “Mmm…yummy.”
Taeyeon grinned and took the puppy snacks out from her bag. “The fastest way to win a dog’s heart is through its stomach,” she quoted from wikiHow.
“I hope it works but what if it doesn’t? Do you have a backup plan?”
Taeyeon’s lips twitched. She didn’t want to tell Tiffany about Sunny’s advice. “I may have another way but let’s hope this one works.”
Tiffany smiled. “I hope so too.”
They chatted and ate, taking their time, enjoying each other’s company. So it was a while before they were done and heading to Tiffany’s apartment. Taeyeon was anxious. The puppy snacks had to work. They just had to.
Pleaseee…please let it be a success.
Taeyeon took a deep breath when they got to Tiffany’s apartment. The packet of puppy snacks was in her hand and she gripped it like she would a life buoy. It was as good as a life buoy at this point. They were her lifeline. Her only hope.
Tiffany stepped in and indicated where Prince’s food bowl was. Taeyeon put her bag on the couch before heading to the food bowl. She squatted beside it, puppy snacks in hand.
“You ready, Taeyeon?” Tiffany called from her room.
Taeyeon closed her eyes and muttered a quick prayer. Then, she replied, “Yes!”
Tiffany reappeared with Prince in her arms. He was yipping already and Taeyeon put her faith in the little pile of snacks on her palm, ready to win his heart through his stomach. Tiffany placed Prince on the floor and he dashed across to Taeyeon who stretched out her palm. But Prince didn’t buy it. He came to a halt a short distance from Taeyeon and bared his teeth. Then, yipping louder than ever, he went for Taeyeon’s ankles again.
“Oww! Oww!” Taeyeon tried to dodge but squatting wasn’t a position that allowed her to move fast enough and she could feel Prince’s teeth beginning to sink into her skin. She dropped the snacks on the floor in her haste to get away and Tiffany hurried to her side as well.
“Prince!” Tiffany barked, her voice sharp and clipped. Prince stopped and looked at Tiffany for a moment. It was just a moment but that was the window Taeyeon was looking for and she ran for it. Straight into the bathroom she went, locking herself in to keep Prince away from her.
Panting a little, she put the lid down on the toilet bowl and sat on it. She then propped her right leg on her left thigh and examined her ankle. Thank goodness, it wasn’t serious. Prince had barely scraped her skin when Tiffany stopped him. But it still hurt a little and Taeyeon pouted. So much for her plan. She sighed, feeling dejected as she stared at the little wound on her ankle. What was she going to do?
Sunny’s advice came to mind and her lips twitched. Kiss somebody. Well, there was only one person she could kiss right now. And this person was also the only one she wanted to kiss. Maybe…she could work up the courage to ask Tiffany to kiss her. Tiffany did say that she would help her in her quest, didn’t she? Yeah, she did.
“Taeyeon, it’s safe to come out now.”
She stood up, straightened her back and reached for the door only to spot something hanging from the hook on it.
It was unmistakable. There was no room for doubt. It was fact, as true as the sun rising from the east and setting in the west.
Candy cane bra. She was staring at the legendary candy cane bra from that lingerie store.