I’m sorry.

January 28, 2014 in one-shot, superricelol by superRiCElol

Very late post from the 1727 TaeNy Celebration. I’m so good at this game, right??

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Sorry. I’m sorry. I apologize. Please accept my apology. I’m so sorry. Can I apologize?

There are a lot of ways to apologize, she muses, and each way can be accompanied by a lot of emotions. Some are fake, like the apology is an excuse to get the receiver off their back, away from their face. Some are intentional, because having that person leave was for the better – specifically for the one leaving; a push, a farewell. Some are sincere, accompanied with regret and guilt, or pity and sympathy.

She doesn’t like apologies, and hates farewells even more.

The sorries that mean goodbye, meant to push someone away for their own good, are the worst. The martyr is left to cope somehow, without the one thing that helped them cope in the first place. The reason the martyr smiled in the morning every day, came home exhausted but hopeful every evening, now gone with the wrong kind of sorry – the sorry that actually meant goodbye.

Taeyeon hates that the most. Other apologies, she can take.

When she gets the strange, off-tone sorry, accompanied by a bowed head and choked-up throat, she can take it, and will reply with a hug and an it’s okay. When she gets a sorry full of unshed tears and a hug that is so afraid of losing her that she can’t find the heart to pull away, she can take it, and will return the hug with just as many unshed tears and an it’s okay.

But right now, she doesn’t know if she can take it, if she can reach her hand out and take the sorry that’s being offered between them.

“I’m sorry,” she had said, eyes full of unshed tears and throat choked-up with guilt. But Taeyeon can tell, can tell it was the wrong sorry, even as she tried to mask it up with the fake and sincere.

It’s intentional. It’s an intentional apology, a push, a farewell, and she hates it.

There’s no it’s okay, because it’s not. And she hates it even more that she won’t tell her why, why this apology needs to be intentional and why she needs to disguise it as a different sorry.

“You’re not.” And it was difficult to say that; Tiffany had never intentionally apologized before, just to push her away.

“I am,” she replies, expression working to hide her tightening throat and shaky breathing, and failing. “The most I’ve ever been.”

It strikes her then, strikes her partially, like the lightning only hit her arm and failed to incapacitate her in one go, that Tiffany doesn’t ever apologize like anyone else. She doesn’t say sorry like anyone else.

What others have in fakeness, is her awkwardness and inability to say anything else; her go-to response when she has nothing else. When others have sincere with guilt or pity, she has something that comes straight from the heart; an empathy that knows, but she herself can’t fathom.

And this, what Taeyeon knows should be playing the intentional martyr, is a sincerity with guilt, that she couldn’t do anything about it and can only say sorry.

So she tries again, tries real hard to say it’s okay as best as she can.

“Why?”

And then Tiffany, brokenly confused Tiffany, shakes her head so slowly with the words caught in her throat that Taeyeon can only think that it’s a shake of goodbye.

“I have to go,” comes the answer, and confirms it.

It confirms the goodbye, yet it doesn’t pin Taeyeon in place like she had anticipated. She doesn’t stand there feeling rooted to the spot; she doesn’t feel some lightning bolt of despair spear her through the chest. Taeyeon knows that Tiffany’s sure she won’t come back, won’t be able to, but it doesn’t scratch her mind blank of a response or thought.

Taeyeon knows, remembers. She once climbed up a tree, to get a kite or a balloon or something, and then fell after grabbing a hold of the thing – a pink balloon, she remembers, that she had gotten for Tiffany on a random occasion. And instead of saying anything, Tiffany had only looked at her, lips turned downwards, cast glowering glances at her every other second, and then tied the balloon ribbon around her wrist. She remembers feeling not sorry, but disapproval and a you’re an idiot, Kim Taeyeon.

So she didn’t say it’s okay, mainly because she was scared of that Tiffany.

Two days later, Tiffany had held onto her arm while they watched something on the TV – a movie, maybe, like that Twilight one Tiffany’s always wanted to watch – and Taeyeon didn’t know why Tiffany felt so sorry, to where she only said it’s okay because it was the only thing she knew to say.

 

This is the same Tiffany who apologizes for broken dishes or burnt toast, and gives a big, sheepish grin when she’s in for a mild scolding – and even then it’s more of a fond teasing than an actual scolding, because Taeyeon sees no reason for anything else. This is the same Tiffany who doesn’t apologize for things that can’t be apologized for, things of the heart.

 

When she revealed that the boy she’d liked for the longest time confessed to her, there was such a strange, moment of silence afterwards. Taeyeon will always remember the conflictions they shared, the confusion and realization that Tiffany conveyed to her in all of three seconds. She’ll always remember, because Tiffany then pulled her into a long, long hug, accompanied by an I’m so stupid (which Taeyeon will always deny and counter every time she remembers).

She’s always remembered, because Tiffany turned him down the next day, and that was the very first day Taeyeon agreed that yes, Tiffany is stupid. Stupid, but happy.

Not a single sorry was shared between them, because Tiffany was happy, and is still happy.

 

So all Taeyeon can do right now is smile, because Tiffany is apologizing for something that doesn’t need a sorry. She’s grateful, if anything, because Tiffany’s shown her a different kind of sorry – one Tiffany isn’t used to using and is trying hard to use correctly. But it’s wrong, it’s used wrong.

Tiffany doesn’t need to say anything at all.

“You’ll be back,” Taeyeon says, and she knows it’s true. Even if Tiffany isn’t sure, and is more certain that she can’t come back, Taeyeon is – she’s sure that Tiffany will be back, and if not, she’ll go to her instead.

“I’m sorry.”

Her smile remains. “You’re not.” Taeyeon figures this is the lightest scolding she’s given yet, and knows, when Tiffany’s lips quirk up a bit, that her message, full of fondness and surety, is understood.

“I’ll… I’ll call you?”

She smiles wider at the hesitancy, and can’t meet the eyes that earnestly seek out an answer from her.

“Yeah, and you better tell me your address.”

Taeyeon holds in a chuckle as her breath is stolen, knocked out of her in a hug. This is as close as she comes to saying it’s okay to a sorry that never had to be said. This is as close, she knows, as Tiffany comes to accepting the it’s okay, and Taeyeon is glad she realizes what kind needs to be said – nothing.

And she finds it a bit ironic, a bit funny. Here they both are, separated indefinitely, and all Taeyeon can think about is when she’ll get to fly to wherever Tiffany will be in the next few days; all Taeyeon can feel is a giddiness that they both share at this moment, a giddiness for the future even as they hug. It should be final, a finality that comes with distance, because this sorry meant goodbye. It should be.

“I’ll see you soon, Fany-ah.”

An apology she hasn’t ever seen before, with eyes that let the tears go after holding them for so long, and an unsteady smile that spoke everything but sorry. It doesn’t fall under fake, or sincere, or intentional. It’s new, and she wants to call it I’ll see you soon, too.

“Okay.”

For her, she smiles, for her it was the right amount of I’m sorry, and no goodbyes.