Another semester. Twelve coffees. And even more text messages later . . .
Yoona stares at the aisle of red and pink. Chocolates, chocolates and more chocolates, all packaged romantically in heart-shaped boxes. Too cheesy. Too childish. Taeyeon isn’t some teenager or rookie in the world of courtship. A sophisticated woman like Taeyeon should get a sophisticated present for Valentine’s Day.
Turning away, Yoona decides to leave the aisle but a little red box with a ribbon on top catches her attention. It fits in her palm and the words on top say: A kiss is a promise my heart makes. Yoona likes the quote and that’s what makes her buy the chocolates.
It isn’t until she gets home and puts the box of chocolates on her table that she realises how poorly she has planned this. She hasn’t even asked Taeyeon if she’s busy yet!
R u free this Sunday?
It depends. What time?
Yoona’s heart sinks. Did someone ask Taeyeon out for Valentine’s Day? Based on their conversation, Yoona has been able to ascertain that Taeyeon is single and not actively dating but her ex-teacher does have a few good friends who might be worth worrying about.
If u already have a date we can reschedule.
Lol yeah I have a date
Yoona’s heart hits the bottom of the deep, dark ocean and she stares sadly at the little box of chocolates.
I c. Some other time then.
Yoonaya…my date won’t last all day. I can meet u for dinner.
It’s ok. You should keep it open in case your date wants to extend the date.
Hahaha trust me. My date has to go home before it gets dark so I’ll be eating dinner alone.
Is ur date Cinderella?
Ahahaha no. She’s nothing like Cinderella.
Yoona can no longer hold back her curiosity.
Who is she?
Ur date is ur sis?
Taeyeon’s sister. Hayeon. Yoona’s heart lifts and begins to ascend to the ocean’s surface. Sun rays are shining through, lighting the way. Taeyeon has mentioned her sister several times before. Yoona knows that Hayeon is nine years younger which makes Yoona three years older than her. She also knows that Hayeon doesn’t live in Seoul and has to commute three hours to get home.
Yeah. She’ll have to catch the 5pm bus so I can meet u after.
C u soon.
Yoona smiles at the thought and can’t resist replying with a measure of recklessness and boldness.
Missing u till Sunday!
Sunday morning’s sun is brighter than usual. Sunday morning’s air is fresher than usual. Everything about this Sunday morning is better than usual and Yoona can’t stop smiling.
Make up, check.
White dress, check.
High heels, check.
Check, check, check.
Yoona puts the box of chocolates and the gift she has prepared into her bag. Her first stop is the manicure shop. Then the florist. A good chunk of her pay is going into this but she tells herself it will all be worth it.
Black dress. Not the kind that Taeyeon wears to work. Rather, it has a sleek cut across her chest, seemingly held together with a few gigantic safety pins. Slender arms hang by her side, swinging slightly as she walks and Yoona notices the killer black heels at the end of those fair, slender legs. Her breath catches as she takes in the full view.
Yoona shakes her head to clear it. “Taeyeon unnie, over here.”
The woman in black turns, her ash brown hair sweeping across her shoulders, and smiles with a wave. “Yoona.”
Yoona’s smile is wide as the river that flows through the city and her heart is thumping like Thumper’s excited hind foot. Will her heart ever stop reacting to Taeyeon in this way? She doesn’t think so. It’s an incurable condition she’s stuck with for life.
“You’re extra pretty today, unnie.”
Taeyeon smiles, stars shining in her eyes. “You’re looking very good yourself. And we match well, don’t we? Black and white.”
Yoona giggles, her heart rate doubling when Taeyeon suggests they match well. “I think so too unnie. We’re a match made in heaven.”
Yoona nods. “We are.”
A pleasant, happy candlelight dinner later, Yoona prepares to take out the presents she prepared. She takes the little box of chocolates out first. Taeyeon looks at her, eyebrows raised. “For me?”
“Happy Valentine’s Day, unnie.”
Taeyeon’s smile is sweet. “Thank you, Yoona-ya. I have something for you too.”
“What is it?”
A pretty white box slides into her view.
“It isn’t chocolate,” says Taeyeon as Yoona puts her hands on it. “I wanted to get you something a little more lasting than chocolate.”
“What is it? May I open it?”
Taeyeon ducks her head a little. “Yeah, go ahead.”
A pull loosens the ribbon and Yoona lifts the cover with fingers that threaten to tremble. “Oh my gosh. Unnie, thank you!”
“I’m glad you like it.”
Yoona looks up from the watch that matches the one Taeyeon is wearing and sends her love into Taeyeon’s eyes. “I love it. Would you put it on for me?”
Taeyeon pulls Yoona’s wrist to the middle of the table and puts the white Sheen on for her. “It looks good on you,” she says, after turning Yoona’s wrist this way and that. “Happy Valentine’s Day, Yoona-ya.”
Yoona can’t stop looking at the Casio watch that Taeyeon put on for her but she remembers the other present she prepared. Taking it out, she slides it to Taeyeon with a shy smile. “I got you a little more than chocolates too.”
“Oh, you sneaky girl.” Taeyeon’s smile is a mix of knowing and adoration. “What is it?”
Yoona blushes. “Open it and see.” Her heart proceeds to go into a dilemma as Taeyeon pulls the ribbon loose. To stop beating or to beat three times as fast. It is a mess as her heart tries to do both at the same time.
“Is this what I think it is?” Taeyeon says in a soft, gentle voice.
A wave of nerves attacks Yoona suddenly. Will Taeyeon be put off by this? Will Taeyeon end their relationship because of this? Her mouth runs dry. She had been so sure about this. The vibes were all there for the past couple of months. And Taeyeon had baked her heart-shaped cookies for Christmas last year. Surely that meant something? Or did she read it all wrong?
Taeyeon’s expression is unreadable. “I’ve been waiting.”
“Waiting?” Yoona asks, her tone more uncertain than ever.
“I’ve been waiting for you.”
A beam of light shines into the pitch dark corridor of Yoona’s heart. “You have?”
Taeyeon touch the two necklaces, running her fingers over the silver angel wing pendants that form the shape of a heart. “I’ve always considered the way you feel about me. And I’ve been questioning what I want for us.” Looking into Yoona’s stare, Taeyeon adds, “I have to be extra careful and considerate because you’re so young.”
Taeyeon holds her hand up before Yoona can protest. “I don’t mean your age. I mean it in terms of experience. I thought it would be better for you to date someone your own age and experience dating life in university. I mean, getting stuck with someone six years older is like losing this precious time in your life.”
“I don’t agree with this at all, unnie.”
Taeyeon nods with a smile. “I know, I know. I disagree with myself too. But I told myself to wait.”
“I wanted to give you time.”
“Unnie, I don’t need anymore time. I work part-time now. I have a job. I have money. Even if it’s not as much as what you earn.” Pointing at the necklaces, Yoona continues her offense, “I bought them with money I earned. I have enough to pay for our dinner too.”
Taeyeon takes Yoona’s hand and the contact stops Yoona from talking. “Close your eyes.”
“Just close your eyes.”
“Okay.” Yoona closes her eyes and her heart plunges in to a dilemma again as she waits. Then, she feels it. Taeyeon is behind her now. What is she doing? Something is going around her neck. The necklace? It is the lightest brush of lips on her cheek that opens her eyes. Did Taeyeon just kiss her cheek?
“The necklace looks very good on you. Will you put mine on for me?”
“Yes. Yes!” Yoona agrees without hesitation and leaps up to do the same. Plucking up her courage, she sneaks a kiss on Taeyeon’s cheek too and returns to her seat with extra bounce in her step. “Happy Valentine’s Day, unnie. You will always be my distraction.”
With a laugh, Taeyeon takes Yoona’s hand with both of hers. “That’s the cutest confession I’ve ever heard, Yoona-ya.”
Yoona simply grins even though her heart is close to exploding in happiness. “Do you like it?”
Taeyeon chuckles and nods. “I like it. I like being your distraction.”
Yoona can’t stop smiling as Taeyeon’s half of the necklace shines on her chest. After all this time. Finally. It’s all worth it. For the best distraction of her life.
An early Happy Valentine’s Day to y’all 💗