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April 23, 2015 in oneshots by lau0601

(for everyone who’s ever had a crush bc crushes, man, what are these things)

Groaning, Taeyeon felt under her pillow for her phone and stopped the alarm. She lay there for a while. Was it really time to get up already? It felt like she had just fallen asleep.

Taeyeon summoned all of her willpower and lifted her phone to her face. 10:30am. Ah, so it was time to get up. She quickly scrolled through the notifications on her homescreen – two junk emails, a text from Yuri (at 6am, why even was she awake then) reminding Taeyeon about their coffee date with Yoona, a Facebook notif from her brother. That one was probably another invitation to play Pirate Kings. 

She got up and stretched, shuffling to the bathroom. A gloomy day, rainy Seoul weather, better bring an umbrella – but at the back of Taeyeon’s mind she knew she was thinking of something else. Like a lack of texts from someone. But, well, time difference and all, and psh, who said she was even waiting for texts? Not Taeyeon, definitely not.

She hummed to herself as she put on a fresh shirt, only to look down and notice the yellow “USC” emblazoned across the front of the red t-shirt. Taeyeon hesitated. It was an accident, she hadn’t meant to pick that shirt. Should she change…? But, no. Just a shirt. Nothing to it. She nodded firmly at herself in the mirror, pointedly not looking at her shirt. Nothing to it.

Outside, on the street, Taeyeon huddled under her umbrella. Two more streets and she’d be there, out of this wetness. Rain meant puddles and, somehow, Taeyeon always got splashed whenever people walked past. If only they’d stop stomping everywhere! To her relief, she soon found the coffeeshop and hurried inside.

Five damp minutes later, Taeyeon sat in the corner of the coffeeshop, sipping her hot chocolate. Next to her, Yoona and Yuri were having an intense debate over the relative merits of beach towels. 

“Can you even swim?” Yuri demanded.

Yoona narrowed her eyes. “What does that even have to do with beach towels? And of course I can swim, Yuri, what are you trying to say? You wanna fight?”

Taeyeon smiled, about to say something, when something caught her eye.

A flash of pink? Taeyeon froze. Near the door, a tall young man bent down and picked a pink umbrella up off the ground. He straightened and handed it back to a little girl, apologizing. As the girl smiled up at the man, Taeyeon breathed out. 

It was just an umbrella.

“Taeyeon? You okay?”

Taeyeon blinked and turned to Yuri. “What? Oh, yeah, sorry. I’m fine.”

“Here, you spilled some on your jeans.” Yuri handed her a paper napkin, gesturing at the chocolate stains on Taeyeon’s lap. “You sure you’re okay?”

Taeyeon shook her head sheepishly. “I’m fine, just a klutz like usual.”

The other two laughed and teased her for a while as she tried to mop the drink up. Soon, they returned to arguing about beach towels – “What I’m saying, Yuri, is that they’re inherently unnecessary,” – and Taeyeon was left with blots in her jeans and a hollow feeling in her heart.

Cheesy and pathetic, she thought later that day, as she packed up her books after lecture. A hollow feeling? She was going sappy, that’s what it meant. A hollo-

Something crashed into her, knocking her books onto the ground. 

“Sorry!”

Taeyeon looked up immediately. That – that voice? She watched as the girl ran towards her friends, her short hair flying everywhere with each step. Taeyeon shook her head ruefully. Just someone else’s voice. First she was seeing things, now she was hearing things? Pathetic. No hollow feelings this time, she wasn’t even the slightest bit disappointed. Nope.

She shoved her books into her bag with maybe a little more force than usual. The zipper stayed stubbornly stuck; Taeyeon muttered darkly. Stuck zipper. Again. What a let down. There was more disappointment because of that one moment of irrational hope – that voice! – but this stupid zipper was such a let down. Stupid zipper. Taeyeon yanked it extra hard and the little metal tab snapped.

Stupid effing zipper!

Taeyeon ended up carrying her books, leaving her bag gaping open as she struggled back to her room. She dumped everything onto her bed and flopped into her chair, staring up at the ceiling. 

This, whatever this was, was so unhealthy and stupid. Like, actually pathetic. She stared at the ceiling for a few minutes until her phone buzzed.

Taeyeon jerked upright before she could force herself to move slowly and calmly. Probably just a text from Sooyoung, asking about dinner. Yeah, that was it, probably. Definitely not from, well, definitely not from — 

Sooyoung: when eat?? im hugnry

Taeyeon closed her eyes. Well, it definitely was from Sooyoung. She wasn’t expecting any different, anyway. It would be stupid to be, you know, waiting for texts; she would never do that. 

Taeyeon: 15 mins, find a table first

She turned the phone over and over in her hands, not bothering to open up a reply from Sooyoung. Ten minutes later, Taeyeon stood up slowly, turned off the lights, and went to dinner.

The cafeteria was full, like usual, as she wove through the crowds towards the usual table. Tiptoeing, she tried to catch a glimpse of Sooyoung’s giant limbs but — wavy brown hair! Was it—?

This time, Taeyeon felt her stupid heart stop, and then jerk violently back to life. Or, rather, jerk back to nonsensical disappointment. As the two girls in front of her stepped away, she saw that the wavy brown hair belonged to someone too tall and too slouched over. The hair wasn’t even the same color. 

Down to her toes – she finally understood what that cliche meant – down to her toes, Taeyeon felt numb. She stood there in the middle of the cafeteria. She really needed to stop doing this, stop expecting and hoping because it didn’t make sense, no one could fly halfway across the world in a night. It just wouldn’t be possible.

So why did she feel so sad?

“Yo, Taeyeon.” Someone tapped her shoulder. “Sooyoung’s over there. Have you gotten food yet?”

Taeyeon turned around and shook her head. “Nah,” she said, smiling at Yuri, “I couldn’t find her. Let’s go?”

Throughout dinner, Taeyeon stayed focused on her food. She carefully cut up her chicken and chewed it thoroughly. She listened to the conversation and laughed, sincerely. For dessert, Taeyeon got vanilla ice cream and sprinkled a liberal cupful of Oreo flakes on top. She ate that with determination and paid intense attention to the conversation, sparing no thought for anything but the extremely compelling topic, “How Much Does The Ironman Suit Really Weigh; No, Sooyoung, Hertz is Not A Unit of Weight”. 

After that heady discussion, she returned to her room and took a long shower. She dried her hair and started to work on that English essay that was due at the end of the week. She hated looking up quotes and citing sources, but she stuck to it and only gave up when the clock hit midnight. She brushed her teeth, changed into pajama, turned off the lights, got into bed.

Taeyeon’s phone buzzed.

Tiffany: morning! sorry for not replying the past few days, been studying like mad ): are you sleeping yet?

Taeyeon took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Then she opened them, squinting against the brightness of her phone.

Taeyeon: i’m about to! ready for your exam?

Tiffany: ): no…

Tiffany: it’s so hard! i studied so much yesterday but I still feel so worried

Taeyeon: you did well on the last one though, didn’t you? rmbr to breathe and just do your best!

Tiffany: thanks! >< I will!

Taeyeon: did you eat breakfast yet

Tiffany: and before you ask, yes i ate breakfast

Taeyeon: LOL

Tiffany: ahhahahahaha i knew it!

Tiffany: sorry, i gtg, good night! sleep well!

Taeyeon: good luck on your exam! 

Tiffany: btw…tonight’s me and ryan’s 6 month anniversary ^///^ i can’t believe we made it this far! 

Taeyeon: wow! omg congrats 😀 are you going out to celebrate?

Tiffany: yeah! i don’t know what to wear…i really wish you were here, there’s so much i want to tell you face to face

Taeyeon: just one more semester! hang in there 🙂

Tiffany: i know ): miss you…good night! don’t sleep too late, i’ll update you tonight

Taeyeon: good night! have fun, be safe <3

Taeyeon set her alarms for the next day and put her phone to sleep. She lay there for a while, just staring into the darkness. 

She just…no. This needed to stop; she had to stop seeing Tiffany everywhere, every day. Pointless, not to mention hopeless. Stop, before it gets out of hand, right? Stop. And yet…how?

Taeyeon closed her eyes. “Good night,” she whispered.