“Hi, do you have a minute to spare?”
“I have a quick survey for you and I need some info.”
How Sunny knew where and how to find Tiffany was beyond her but the last place Taeyeon wanted to be was behind a pillar outside the library, eavesdropping on her best friend doing her thing. But between that and not being there; not knowing what Sunny was up to, the former was a much better place to be. So behind the pillar she was, ears pricked and senses tingling. There was just one problem. She couldn’t hear them if they didn’t speak loudly enough.
“Your full name please?”
“Tiffany Hwang Miyoung.”
“Which year are you in?”
Taeyeon pricked her ears but she couldn’t make out Tiffany’s answer. Darn.
A huge grin stretched across Taeyeon’s face as she celebrated in her mind. At least she heard that!
“Any prior relationships?”
Too soft. Argh.
Sunny clicked her tongue, nodded and flipped the paper on her clipboard. “Fair enough. Let’s move on then,” she said, her tone all business-like.
“Actually, may I know what this survey is for?” Tiffany asked.
“It’s a survey on the state of love and relationships among undergrads. It’s for a project that we third year psychology students are doing.”
Dang. Sunny was so good at coming up with these excuses. She was too smooth for her own good.
“I see. Well, that explains a lot.”
Sunny pouted apologetically. “I’m sorry if the questions are a little personal. It can’t be helped. Your answers are completely confidential though.”
Tiffany smiled. “I see. In that case, I’ll try to answer them well.”
Sunny lowered her voice after that and Taeyeon could no longer hear her or Tiffany. Sigh. All she could do was try to read lips but that wasn’t a skill that she was good at so she settled for gazing at Tiffany and admiring how pretty her lips were.
Sunny clicked her tongue again and nodded and asked something. Following which, Tiffany nodded, her eyes holding their gaze steady but Sunny flashed a bright grin and spoke some more. What was that about? What did Sunny say? What did Tiffany say? The suspense was killing her!
They talked some more and Sunny smirked knowingly at one point. Taeyeon burned with curiosity but there was nothing she could do. Her curiosity grew even more when Tiffany burst into laughter at that and said out loud, “You’re funny.”
What? Sunny was funny? What? What? Why were they smiling at each other so much! Tiffany smiled beautifully again and Taeyeon twitched. Tiffany was smiling at Sunny too much for her liking.
It felt like eternity but Sunny and Tiffany finally shook hands and parted and Taeyeon could finally breathe freely again. She was ready to leave the pillar and go to class when Sunny jumped in front of her, making her yelp in shock.
“Sunny! Oh my gawd!” Taeyeon clapped her hand over her chest instinctively to calm her palpitating heart. “One of these days you’re gonna kill give me a heart attack.”
Sunny grinned, her eyes alit with mischief and said, “I’m not the one attacking your heart right now. Why are you even here? Spying on me?” She poked her tongue in her left cheek and waggled her finger at Taeyeon. “Stalker,” she teased. “Look at how low you’ve sunk for your pretty plumber’s daughter.”
“I was just worried about what you’d do okay.”
“Worried that I’d tell her that you have more than a crush on her?”
“I don’t have a crush on her.”
“Yeah, yeah. And I’m as tall as Sooyoung.”
Taeyeon snorted and turned to leave. “I’m not talking to you.”
“Aren’t you interested in what I found out?”
Taeyeon froze. She was dying to know but it wouldn’t be right. Would it? She decided that if she was going to find out anything, she would just ask Tiffany.
“Nah. I don’t want you to tell me.”
“You wanna hear it straight from the horse’s mouth huh. Respect for you.”
Taeyeon smirked. “Of course. I’m awesome that way.”
Sunny giggled. “Well, I’ll tell you one thing.”
“She’s into cute petite girls.”
Sunny grinned widely and nodded. “You stand a chance, little girl.”
Sunny was wrong and Taeyeon couldn’t stop pouting. She didn’t stand a chance. Her hopes had been up for nothing and it seemed as though none of it had happened. Running into her in the hallway, seeing her again at the party, being driven home by her, giving her number to her, had it all been a dream?
Taeyeon sighed and looked at her phone again. No calls, no messages. Nothing. Nothing for days. Boo hoo hoo. Maybe she’d been imagining things. Maybe Tiffany only asked for her number out of politeness. No, that wasn’t right. Asking for a number wasn’t the sort of thing that one did just to be polite. Suddenly, she wasn’t so keen on turning up for class anymore. It’d be so awkward. So awkward to smile and say hi to her, knowing that she hadn’t called or messaged for the whole week. Then again, who’d know that she had been hoping? No one. Yeah, she had nothing to be embarrassed about.
“Still hoping for something?” Sunny appeared by her side and put an arm over her shoulder.
Taeyeon shook her head, embarrassed. “I’m not.”
“You can’t fool me you know. You’ve been staring and sighing at your phone for days.”
“Maybe she’s been busy this week,” said Sunny, squeezing her shoulder to comfort Taeyeon and Taeyeon smiled, with gratitude in her eyes.
“Thanks for trying, but I think I can get a hint when I’m thrown one. She was only being friendly when she asked for my number. She’s not interested in me. Why would she be anyway? All she’s seen of me is just a ton of shit.”
“But that’s a great way to make an impression.”
“The wrong kind of impression.”
“It’s a fine line between right and wrong just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
“Are you a psych or philo major?”
“The two are similar in that they both deal with the state of the mind.”
“Right now, my mind is fried. It’s time to head for bed.”
“Goodnight, Taeyeon,” said Sunny as she hugged her. “And don’t you dare skip your 2027 lecture, you hear me?”
Sunny could read her mind with uncanny accuracy and it bordered on spooky at times. This was one of those spooky times.
“I’ll attend it, unnie.” Taeyeon finally smiled, thankful to have a friend like Sunny who cared for her.
Sunny grinned, nodded and left for bed. Taeyeon then proceeded to brush her teeth and complete her before-sleep routine of washing her face and applying moisturizer to her skin. She slipped into her favourite baggy t-shirt, shrugged off her shorts, and slipped under the covers. Her head rested on the pillow and her eyes closed. But her mind wandered.
She tried to rid her mind of the thousand and one random thoughts that swam around in it but the more she tried, the more she failed.
One green pea…two green peas…three green peas…am I going to flunk that quiz?
Taeyeon groaned and turned to her side. Not tonight. Please. She needed her sleep tonight. She had two classes to attend the next day and she couldn’t afford to be sleepy. Especially not in 2027. Unfortunately, her mind didn’t want to cooperate with her physical needs and it was almost morning when she finally fell asleep.
She woke up not knowing what the day or time was and it wasn’t until she checked her phone that she realized just how late she had woken up.
“Eleven fifty,” she murmured, barely awake. Eleven fifty? Oh shit!
She sprung out of bed and zipped around her room, grabbing clothes to change into. Eleven fifty! She had already missed her ten o’clock class and was about to be late for her twelve o’clock class. 2027’s lecture was beginning in less than ten minutes’ time.