Knowing the reason behind the behaviour changes everything. It is no longer a mystery. No longer a flaw. But it is still a problem. It is still difficult. However, despite it all, Taeyeon tries. She tries because Tiffany is worth it. She tries because Tiffany is trying too.
After the big confession, Tiffany apologized and made up with her counsellor. She also set up regular sessions for the next couple of months. Taeyeon went along on one session because she wanted to know more about Tiffany’s anxiety issues. She wanted to find out how she can help. As it turns out, the best thing she can do is listen.
“Tiffany is aware of it and wants to fix it, so that’s a good start”, said the counsellor. “The mind is complex but the power of love and support are unrivalled in terms of helping Tiffany.”
The words replay in Taeyeon’s mind, advice that she takes heed of and endeavours to follow. Advice that she is putting into practice right now, as she sits with Tiffany on the couch, an arm draped around a shoulder.
“Then, Sooyoung told me to imagine life without you. I cried so badly that we had to stop.” Tiffany shivers and Taeyeon squeezes her arm to comfort her. “Please don’t let anything happen to you for a long, long time, okay?”
“The same goes for you,” says Taeyeon. “What will I do without you?”
Tiffany sits up abruptly, and Taeyeon’s arm falls off her shoulder. “Oh no. Is my anxiety getting to you?”
“No, it’s not. Come back here.” Stretching an arm to pull Tiffany back to her, Taeyeon presses a kiss on Tiffany’s forehead. “I have these thoughts but they don’t frighten me or make me anxious. It doesn’t mean I don’t care if I lose you either,” she adds when Tiffany tenses. “But I don’t dwell on it. Put it this way, we all know that our lives will end one day. It is the one and only fact we can say with absolute certainty. But life isn’t about the end. It’s about the process. The journey, you know?” Taeyeon smiles at Tiffany, raising the other hand to tuck errant strands of hair behind Tiffany’s ear. “And you’re part of my journey now. Just like I am part of yours. The chapters of our live have us in it. Think about it. We’re sharing these chapters right now. And nothing can take it away or erase it. We will always have these chapters. Forever.”
Tiffany is tearing. “Taeyeon . . . what did I do to deserve you?”
Taeyeon smiles. “I don’t know about you, but I think the charities I’ve been donating to, are finally paying back in kind.”
A sniff and watery smile surface. “What charities do you donate to?”
“The animal ones. The World Wildlife Fund is one.”
“I want to donate to them too. I should get in on it and chalk up some karma to ensure I get to keep you.”
“Fany, I’m not going anywhere.”
“I know.” Tiffany rubs her cheek on Taeyeon’s shoulder. “I know.”
“But do you believe it?”
“What do you mean?”
Taeyeon nudges Tiffany’s chin with her knuckles. “Do you believe that I will stay here with you, no matter what.”
Tiffany hesitates. Then, shakes her head. “I’m sorry. I’m still trying to work the rational part of my mind into the emotional, psychotic side.”
“Don’t say that.” Taeyeon looks deep into Tiffany’s eyes. “Don’t say that.” She lowers her lips to meet the pair of soft ones below and they seem to melt at first touch. Softly, gently, their lips nudge and part and lock and latch on, pulling apart only to come back together again. It is a dance. A love dance. A love song. A song that seeks to comfort. A song that seeks to sooth. Powered by love. Driven by care. It means so much to Tiffany and because of that, it means so much more to Taeyeon.
The kiss leads them to Taeyeon’s bedroom. They are conveniently lying on the couch but after Taeyeon slipped off and knocked her head on the floor the last time they tried to christen the couch, Tiffany no longer wants to risk it. So the bed it is, or Tiffany will be distracted by worry.
The first time they got to know each other better in bed, was after the session that Taeyeon had joined. It wasn’t planned. It simply happened. Perhaps they were emotionally drained and needed a distraction. Perhaps they needed an escape. Perhaps they wanted to be comforted in each other’s arms. They had fallen into bed, kissing, hugging, hands wandering, trying to give the other what they needed. There had been no nudity (there’d been more skin bared in the bathtub visit), and if one were to be strict with the definition, it couldn’t be counted as sex. But in Taeyeon’s opinion, what she felt in bed with Tiffany that night transcends the physical and emotional. It was ethereal.
That was two weeks ago and last week was when Taeyeon fell off the couch just as they were about to get to it. The awareness that this might finally be their first venture into each other’s uncharted territory lingers in a corner of her mind as she pulls her blouse off. Tiffany is already down to her panties and is slipping under the covers.
“You’re beautiful. I love seeing you in your bra.”
Taeyeon smiles. “Would you prefer I leave it on?”
Tiffany shakes her head. “No obstructions please.”
Reaching behind, Taeyeon unclasps her bra and pulls it off. It drops to the floor and Taeyeon steps over it, climbing onto bed. She hovers over Tiffany, propping herself up on her hands and knees, and gives herself in to the sparkling eyes of Tiffany’s.
“You’re beautiful too, you know. Very beautiful.”
With a dazzling smile, Tiffany pulls Taeyeon down for a kiss and the world vanishes from Taeyeon’s peripheral as she enters another world. Another world that she shares with a woman called Tiffany Hwang.