Kim Taeyeon

March 30, 2013 in lau0601, oneshots by lau0601

 

“What’s your favorite color?”

Taeyeon looked up briefly from her book. “Hmm?”

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Purple.”

“Okay.”

They sat in silence for a while, Taeyeon frowning suspiciously before returning to her book, Tiffany just sitting and staring at nothing in particular.

“Favorite ice cream?” Tiffany asked, suddenly. “Vanilla? Or was it red bean?”

“Well, both of those, and mint. And coffee. That’s kind of an unfair question, you know.”

“Good point. Favorite movie, then?”

Taeyeon put her book down. “What’s with all these questions?”

“Nothing,” said Tiffany, playing with the sofa cushion. “Just wondering.”

“Why so sudden, this wondering?”

“It’s nothing.”

Taeyeon didn’t say anything, just waited. Eventually, Tiffany sighed.

“I mean, okay, I was just curious.”

“About my favorite color and favorite ice cream?”

“No, like-” Tiffany looked down. “I just feel like, after three years of being roommates and friends and derp-buddies, I still don’t know you well.”

“What?” Taeyeon snorted. “Where did this all come from?”

“I was just thinking. I was going to get you a new umbrella-”

“Oh, after the one you wrecked-”

“But I realized I wasn’t sure what color you liked,” said Tiffany smoothly, ignoring Taeyeon. “And it struck me that, well, I’ve been a bad friend.”

“Yeah, I still haven’t forgiven you for killing my beloved umbrella, you know.”

Tiffany gave her a look. “Taeyeon, I’m being serious here.”

“Okay, okay. What do you mean, a bad friend?”

“What’s my favorite color?”

“Pink.” Taeyeon raised an eyebrow. “Wh-”

“Favorite ice-cream?”

“Strawberry, but-”

“See?”

Taeyeon blinked at Tiffany. “Huh?”

“I mean, look, you know so much about me,” said Tiffany in frustration, “and yet, after three years, I still don’t know, well, anything about you.”

“What, colors and ice-cream factor greatly into your personality?” Taeyeon absentmindedly fingered the corners of her book, an amused smile playing at the corners of her mouth. “Really, not knowing what color I like isn’t proof that you’re some crappy roommate, okay?”

“It’s more than that, Taeyeon. You know what’s going on in my life, what worries me, what classes I take, what I like, the small things that I do – you know a lot about me.”

“Um, right, just saying, though, I’m not a creeper.”

“No, you’re a fantastic listener, and, and-” Tiffany let out a breath. “That makes it so much worse. Because all along, you’ve been listening, and it’s always been me, me, me. And it just hit me that I know next to nothing about you, Taeyeon.”

Taeyeon didn’t move, didn’t say anything, just watched Tiffany quietly.

“Like…like now, you’re not saying anything. I don’t know what you feel, I don’t know what worries you, what you think about, what you find annoying, what you like, love, dream – Taeyeon,” she said, almost pleading, “Taeyeon, I don’t know you.”

“But you do. You know when to talk to me, when not to talk to me. Doesn’t that count?”

“That’s it? After three years, that counts as knowing someone?”

Taeyeon gently put her book to the side. “What are you trying to say, Fany?”

“For once, I want you to tell me what you’re thinking. Honestly. Everything.” Tiffany hesitated.

“Unless you don’t want to, that is. I’m okay with that, too, just say the word and I’ll stop prying. It’s just, well-”

“What do you want to know about?”

“Huh?”

Taeyeon looked at her. “It’s not that I don’t trust you, Fany; I’m sorry I made it seem that way.”

“Oh.” Tiffany smiled a little. “Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why do you, well, not talk about yourself? Ever?”

Taeyeon paused for a moment, her eyebrows creasing just slightly. “Well,” she started slowly, “I don’t think I do it on purpose? It’s just, easier, I guess.”

“To stay silent?”

“No,” Taeyeon shook her head, “it’s easier to listen than to talk. It’s a better feeling to hear someone tell you things than to talk about yourself – at least that’s how it is for me.”

“Don’t you ever want to, you know, interject with your experiences? Connect with someone else’s story? Put forth your opinions?”

“Of course.” Taeyeon nodded. “But that would interrupt the flow. I actually find more satisfaction in asking the right questions and keeping people talking than in talking about myself.”

Tiffany grinned. “Wow, manipulating, aren’t we?”

“No, I mean, it takes less effort for me because I don’t have to formulate coherent thoughts, and it keeps other people happy. It shows them that I’m interested in what they have to say and that I respect them – so why not?”

Tiffany looked at her for a while. It wasn’t until Taeyeon squirmed uncomfortably that she broke the silence.

“Interesting.” Tiffany tapped her chin. “Good, I’ve learned something new about you, Kim Taeyeon. Continue.”

“Uh, okay…what am I supposed to talk about?”

“What’s on your mind? You seem a little, uh, down, recently.”

“Uh…” Taeyeon made a face. “Homework? I have a lot due this next week and I want to just burn it all.”

“That’s it?”

“Hey! You asked, and I answered. Isn’t that what you wanted?”

Tiffany poked Taeyeon’s knee with her foot. “No, no, that was good. But is that really all that’s bothering you? Family? Plans? Regrets?”

“This is really all very sudden, you know.” Taeyeon wiggled her toes. “I mean, I think that’s it, at this moment.”

“Sorry.”

“No, it’s fine. Don’t worry about it.” Taeyeon flashed Tiffany a smile.

“Um…what about your major? Why did you choose Business?”

“I didn’t. My parents just suggested that I might do well in Business. I didn’t really want to, but, well, here I am,” said Taeyeon, a wry smile on her face.

“What did you want to do?”

“I wanted to be a photographer, or maybe a graphic artist. But I guess that dream really wasn’t a viable option.”

Tiffany nodded slowly. “And do you ever regret it?”

“Yes.” Taeyeon looked into Tiffany’s eyes. “I ask myself that every day – would I have been able to become who I wanted to be, or is this really the right path for me? I wonder, again and again, if I should have just done what I had wanted to do in the first place.”

“And what’s your answer?”

“There isn’t one. I don’t let myself answer that question because, frankly, I don’t think I’d want to know. Either way, it’s in the past now – there’s nothing I can do about it. I can’t go back and change anything.” She flicked a bit of something off the armrest. “So I don’t think about it.”

“I see.”

There was a subdued silence for a while. Just as Tiffany was about to ask another question, Taeyeon suddenly spoke up.

“I guess, though, I’m mostly scared.”

“What do you mean?”

She tilted her head a little. “Scared of, well, a touch of everything. I’m scared of the dark – yes, I am, now stop giggling.”

“Sorry.”

Taeyeon gave her a look before continuing. “I’m scared of sad endings to stories, I’m scared of losing time, wasting time; I’m scared of failing and I guess, I’m scared to say things because I don’t quite want to know what I’m thinking about.”

Tiffany nodded.

“What if what I think I’m good at – what if I’m wrong about it?”

“Wrong?”

“I mean, I see you, you’re good at details, at organizing things.” Taeyeon counted off her fingers. “Sica, she’s good with ideas and words and pictures, Hyoyeon is the happiest and most encouraging person I know, Sunny can cook and bake, and Sooyoung, well, she’s tall.”

They both laughed at that.

“And, okay, she’s actually really good at electronics, you know?” Taeyeon stopped for a moment. “I guess…what I’m trying to say is, what am I good at? I see you all, and I am proud of all that you can do, but sometimes, it’s kind of like, what about me? It’s…confusing. And…yeah. I don’t know what I’m saying.”

“I see.”

“I know it’s selfish to think that and all, that’s why I don’t say it. But,” she twitched her eyebrows, “since you asked, I guess I can say it out loud?”

Tiffany reached over and pulled at Taeyeon’s hair. “That’s not selfish. That’s normal, and I’m really glad you told me about this.”

“Right,” said Taeyeon, pulling away and trying to fix her hair.

“You’re dumb, you know?”

“Hey, what?” There was an indignant spluttering.

“You’re dumb,” repeated Tiffany, shaking her head.

“Why?”

“You,” said Tiffany, kicking Taeyeon’s book off the couch, “are dumb because you keep this all inside and struggle with it alone and you’re dumb because you don’t see how stupidly blind you are. That’s not selfish, Taeyeon, that’s being dumb.”

“Okay, I’m leav-”

Tiffany trapped Taeyeon with her foot. “What I’m trying to say is this: don’t keep it inside, Kim Taeyeon. See, that wasn’t so hard after all, was it? Now I know you a little better, and you get great advice from your wise, sagely roommate.”

“Right, the smartass roommate who told me I’m dumb.”

“Next time,” said Tiffany, making sure Taeyeon was looking at her, “don’t keep this all inside. You’re my friend, Taeyeon, and I want to get to know you. I want to help you grow, and I can’t do that if you keep everything inside. So, talk. Listening is good, but, well, talk. Got it?”

“Yes, ma’am.” The doorbell rang. “Woop, that’s them. Goodbye, silence; goodbye, my chips and cookies and jellies, adieu!”

Tiffany rolled her eyes. “Cut the drama, shorty. Go hide your stuff, I’ll go get the door.”

As loud voices and clunky footsteps grew suddenly louder and clunkier, as individual voices became clear –

 

“Fany, guess what I brought?”

“I smell food.”

“Dude, you’re blocking the doorway, lumpy.”

 

– as cupboards were opened hastily and junk food was stored safely out of the way, a small smile slowly found its way onto Taeyeon’s face.