Those Words

February 5, 2014 in rahmyun, Shots by rahmyun

A/N: completely unedited and written on a whim.

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She was standing with both feet planted on the ground when she realized the barista was talking to her.

“Miss? Excuse me, miss? ….Taeyeon?”

A sheepish grin crossed her face as she stepped forward. “Ah, I’m sorry. Just a little distracted, I guess.” She reached out for her cup when she realized she didn’t know which one was hers out of the three waiting on the counter.

“Er…”

“This one,” the girl replied, a laugh twinkling in her eyes.

A slender finger pointed at a medium-sized cup, and Taeyeon wrapped her hand around the cardboard sleeve saving her skin from the heat inside.

“Thank you…Tiffany,” she said, reading the name off the girl’s tag pinned to her shirt.

Tiffany nodded but didn’t look away. “Valentine’s Day keeping your thoughts occupied?” she asked, leaning against the counter.

“Ah…I guess it is,” Taeyeon said, noticing the hearts littering the sides of her cup. Oh right, it’s February now…

“I’ve been alone for so long though, you’d think I’d be used to it.” She gave the barista a small smile, the kind that barely tilted the corner of her lips, before hiding it with a sip of her drink.

Tiffany cocked her head. “You’re kind of beautiful, you know.”

She took a sharp breath, remembering too late that her throat was filled with a hot liquid. Gasping, she slapped her own chest, trying to get air into her lungs.

She barely registered her drink disappearing from her hand, only knowing that napkins suddenly replaced it; she covered her mouth with them, coughing as tears streamed from her eyes.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to surprise you,” came Tiffany’s rueful comment when Taeyeon had recovered. The barista had left her post behind the counter to help her choking customer.

Taeyeon shook her head. “It’s not your fault. How were you supposed to know that was the first time I had ever heard those words?” She chuckled lightly, unsure if she was laughing at her pathetic self or the absurdity that this girl could know her.

“Well, they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe you’ve been hanging around the wrong people,” Tiffany suggested.

Taeyeon blushed a little at what Tiffany’s words implied. She had never been hit on, much less in a public place.

“I’m sure you’ve never had that problem,” Taeyeon said, trying to brush the attention off herself.

“What problem?”

“You know, finding the right people to hang around.” As Tiffany’s brow furrowed, she realized the girl wasn’t getting it.

“I mean, you’re so pretty, I’m sure you’ve heard those words tons of times,” mumbled Taeyeon, averting her eyes and tucking her hands into her pockets.

Tiffany laughed, and Taeyeon shrunk further into herself, feeling her cheeks burn in shame. “I…I’m sorry.” She turned away, wanting nothing more than to disappear.

But a warm hand on her shoulder stopped her.

That same slender finger that had pointed out her drink now gently lifted her chin until Taeyeon was looking into Tiffany’s eyes.

“To be honest, I’ve heard those words so many times that they’ve lost meaning somehow. Except…except for when you said them.”

Taeyeon could only stare.

She couldn’t feel the ground beneath her, couldn’t hear the people around them, couldn’t see anything but Tiffany.

She didn’t know what to do or what to say. All she could feel was her heart thrumming inside her chest.

Tiffany giggled, the sound shocking Taeyeon back to reality.

“How are you so pretty?” she blurted just as Tiffany commented, “You’re so cute.”

A grin spread across Tiffany’s face, and Taeyeon felt her mouth stretch into a smile at the sight.

“I’m pretty because you think I’m pretty,” Tiffany said, tapping Taeyeon’s nose and laughing as a blush tinted Taeyeon’s cheeks again.

“I’m off shift in an hour,” the barista said, picking up Taeyeon’s forgotten drink and wrapping one of the girl’s fingers around it. “Wait for me?”

Taeyeon nodded, her mind distracted by the softness of Tiffany’s skin on her hand. She let Tiffany guide her to a seat and sat down, feeling as though she would never feel grounded again.