I Am Not Used To It
“Long black again? Seriously, Tae?” Tiffany shook her head after Chris put down Taeyeon’s order on the table. The blonde only smiled sheepishly to Tiffany’s complaint.
It had been two weeks since Tiffany joined the company and having breakfast with Taeyeon had been her new early morning routine after she knew that both of them were always the two first persons in office. Taeyeon always arrived in office at seven o’clock. Tiffany arrived fifteen minutes after. Both girls always had their breakfast in the coffee shop where they first met. Tiffany no longer needed to ask Taeyeon’s permission for joining her table, which of course was not declined by the petite boss. Taeyeon was definitely okay with that, even she was beyond happy to start her day with Tiffany’s company.
“I believe Chris has more to offer beside long black. Yet, you always order the same every morning. Ah, and with that cheese bagel too. Every. Single. Morning.” Tiffany continued.
“I do not see something is wrong with that though.” Taeyeon answered as she took her first bite.
“You always have the same routine and choices through out the day, don’t you realize? I even believe that I can mention what you have in a day perfectly.” Tiffany said.
“Really? Try then?” Taeyeon dared Tiffany.
“Here. Arrive in office at seven. Have your breakfast in this coffee shop, in this exactly favorite table of yours, and the menu always are cheese bagel and a cup of long black. Go upstairs at 8:15. Start whatever it is you need to work on. Mostly it’s all about meetings with board of directors, meeting with sales department, meeting with top management, checking your team’s report, supervise your team’s works, working on new marketing strategic or tactic, et cetera. Have your lunch at twelve, with that spicy cheesy chicken that always be your choice, except if I drag you to join me with Yuri and Jess. Back to office at one, continuing your works. You will stay in office until ten unless, again, I insist you to have dinner with Yuri, Jess, and me. Then, you will go back to your apartment or drive me to my place first if I successfully make you join the dinner. I don’t exactly know what you do after that but my guess will be: you continue working from home until I don’t know when. Maybe you don’t even sleep at all, that’s why you always need your cup of long black every single morning, and then repeat the same exact routine all over again.” Tiffany stared at Taeyeon’s eyes with full of confidence as she mentioned Taeyeon’s routine breathlessly. Taeyeon stopped chewing her bagel. She stared back at the adorable girl in front of her who just happened to perfectly mention her daily routine. She was surprised by how Tiffany could spill it out easily as if she had known Taeyeon for a very long time.
“Well…” Taeyeon finally managed to say a word, continued chewing her bagel, swallowed it down before continued talking.
“I thought I hired you to be Marketing Junior Manger. But now I think you fit better to be my personal assistant. Should I tell HR department about this?” She grinned playfully to the girl only to earn an annoyed groan from the latter.
The atmosphere between the two girls had changed a lot. To Tiffany’s surprise, Taeyeon was actually a dorky friend despite of her professional attitude. While on the other side, it was Taeyeon’s first time for not being insecure about people knowing her real self. She felt so comfortable with the girl’s presence that she did not even try to hide her dorky side. Her heartbeat still went crazy every time she saw the girl’s eye smile, heard the girl’s husky voice, smelt her soft strawberry fragrance, and especially when they had the simplest skin ship like slapping each other’s shoulder as they joked around. But, the comfort she got from being around the girl made her felt so intact.
“Tae? Why can’t I see this dorky side of you in working hour?” Tiffany asked out of the blue.
“Huh? Why are you asking such a hard question early in the morning, Fany?” Taeyeon pouted cutely, hardly told the girl the reason.
“My dork boss. How could that kind of question was categorized as ‘hard question’? Remember when you asked my opinion about unstable currency rate yesterday morning? That was hard question, Taetae.” Tiffany laughed, showing Taeyeon’s favorite eye smile.
“That currency rate topic was such a trending topic recently. So it was easy to point out your opinion, Fany. The last time I checked google, dorky Taetae was not even recognized by the search engine.” Taeyeon gave a fake serious face resulted another laugh from the eye smile girl. Taeyeon secretly relieved knowing her attempt to divert the topic was successful. In addition, she even made the eye smile girl laugh. Tiffany’s laugh was one of the best melodies she ever heard in her life. Just by listening to her laugh, the blonde would feel the rush of happiness in her heart. They continued their morning light talks while enjoying their breakfast.
Finally when the clock showed it was 8:15, Taeyeon asked for the bill for their breakfast. They no longer had to argue about who should pay because they had dealt, as long as it was not business matter, the girls would pay for their own bill instead of treating each other. Both girls immediately went upstairs to their office in ninth floor. Taeyeon made her way to her room while Tiffany made her way to Jessica’s room since she mostly worked with Jessica even though her line manager was Taeyeon.
“I will see you at lunch time, Taetae!” Tiffany gave her a bright smile when they needed to split to their respective rooms.
“You wish, Fany.” Taeyeon smirked playfully before came in her room, leaving Tiffany who shook her head in amusement, seeing her boss’ childish attitude. She then opened the door to Jessica’s room and made her way into her own desk.
“Done having breakfast with your Taetae, Tiff?” Jessica teased as soon as she saw Tiffany plopped herself on the chair.
“Yes, and since when Taeyeon is my Taetae, Jess?” Tiffany chuckled as she opened her laptop.
“Since both of you have that cute puppy name.” Jessica answered nonchalantly.
“Then Yuri must be your Yul, and you must be Yuri’s Sica then.” Tiffany teased Jessica back, making her senior gave her a death stare. Tiffany shivered at Jessica’s stare. Two weeks working with Jessica had made Tiffany understood that Jessica sure had a reason why she was called ‘Ice Princess’ in the office. She always had this cold appearance and attitude towards everyone, especially when she glared at people with her fierce eyes, it would definitely made them shivered in horror. If a stare could kill, then Jessica might have killed all GG Corporation’s employees by the time.
“Whatever, Tiff. Now let’s start working.” Jessica ended their silly argument in English, shifted her gaze from Tiffany to her laptop, and busied herself with today’s workload.
Both of them focused on their works. Tiffany sometimes approached Jessica’s desk to ask some confusing matters or ask for the latter’s approvals for some decisions she was not sure to determine. Jessica, despite of her cold appearance was actually a very nice girl who happened to be very bright and helpful. That answered Tiffany’s question on the first meeting, why did Taeyeon choose Jessica to lead the meeting instead of other more senior looking people in the room. Tiffany, on the other side, was pretty much quick in adapting and learning her new job. Jessica did not find it hard to mentor the latter. She even appointed Tiffany to be a project leader in one of marketing’s biggest activity this semester.
“Tiff, I’m going to have my leave next week for three days, started from Wednesday to Friday. I will leave these important documents and decision in your care. If there are any questions regarding to them, please ask Taeyeon. I don’t want anyone to interrupt my mini getaway.” Jessica approached Tiffany’s table, bringing a small stack of documents that would need to be taken care by Tiffany.
“Really? I need to ask Taeyeon?” Tiffany felt a little bit nervous. She was really good at adapting with her new office, and her new colleagues. But she had not yet succeeded in adapting with Taeyeon’s professional side. It still made her nervous. Jessica gave her another fierce look of the day, noticing her junior seemed really nervous to ask help from Taeyeon.
“Come on, Tiff. You seem to be really close to her. You girls even always have breakfast together. Why are you so nervous?” Jessica asked.
“I always have breakfast with Taetae. Not with that intimidating Miss Kim Taeyeon. You know they are kind of different…” Tiffany explained.
“The only difference I see is that she seems to be really comfortable around you and looks a bit more humane than a working machine. Come on, I do not take ‘no’ as an answer. In addition, you’re still in probation period. If you don’t want me to give bad review, you should just say yes.” Jessica threated.
“Okay! Okay! Okay Jess…” Tiffany sighed in defeat. Jessica’s threat was scaring her. She had dreamt of working in this company and nothing would stop herself to give her best to be a permanent employee even if it meant to face Taeyeon’s intimidating self.
“Thank you, Tiff! I know I can rely on you.” Jessica smirked and made her way back to her table as both girls started to work again.
It was lunchtime already. Taeyeon sat alone on her favorite spot as usual with a plate of spicy cheesy chicken and a glass of iced long black, seriously replied an email from her phone when suddenly a husky deep voice interrupted her.
“I told you that I will you see you at lunch and you literally ran away so I wouldn’t drag you to go with Jess and Yuri, didn’t you?” Tiffany already stood in front of her, crossing her arms on her chest, giving Taeyeon an annoyed look. Taeyeon grinned nervously as she locked her phone and put it on the table. She indeed tried to run away from Tiffany since she noticed earlier this morning, she hardly put her best on her works because she couldn’t stop thinking about Tiffany. She thought about where would Tiffany brought her for lunch, would Tiffany asked her to have another dinner after working hour? Would Tiffany be able to do well on her job? Did Tiffany have a boyfriend already? Was there any possibility for her to be more than friends with Tiffany? And any other thoughts that repeatedly drifted her focus away from her works. So, she finally decided not to see the girl for the day to let her mind worked as her normal self instead of being the stupidly-in-love Kim Taeyeon. But as soon as the girl who had occupied her mind since the beginning of the day appeared in front of her, she was not even be able to resist the urge to ask the girl stay with her, accompanying her through one hour lunchtime they had.
“Are you angry?” Taeyeon asked with pleading puppy eyes. Tiffany sighed and took a seat in front of Taeyeon, leaned forward while propping her elbow on the table to support her upper body, minimizing the gap between them. Taeyeon felt nervous at the gestures Tiffany made.
“Are you having a problem, Tae?” Tiffany asked with concern look. Taeyeon was taken aback for a while noticing the sincere attention form Tiffany. She really wanted to answered that yes, she had a problem and the problem was she most likely fall in love with the girl in front of her. But instead of blurted it out, she decided to brush it off and turned into another topic.
“Are you going to eat here, Fany? Let’s order some meals for you.” Taeyeon offered as she plastered a fake smile. Tiffany let out another sigh and made her way to the counter, spilling out her order to the waiter, then sat back on her previous seat.
“You were in the middle of replying your email before I came. You can continue that. Don’t mind my presence here. I just want to have lunch.” Tiffany sulked out of a sudden. Taeyeon was confused. She had no idea why did her crush suddenly have such a bad mood. She assumed that Tiffany was angry because she ran away from her.
“Are you angry because I ran away?” Taeyeon asked carefully.
“No, Tae. Never mind. You can continue whatever activity you had before I came. I will just quietly have my lunch here, if you don’t mind. Or maybe you want to be alone? I can move to another table of you want me to.” Tiffany replied without even looking at Taeyeon.
“No, no. It’s okay. You can just sit here.” Taeyeon quickly responded. She did not want Tiffany to move especially when she knew that she just made the girl’s mood turned bad.
“Okay, thank you.” Tiffany replied shortly and started to play with her phone.
Taeyeon hesitantly unlocked her phone to continue replying the email before, while eating her meals. The awkward silence surrounded them as if they did not know each other at all. Tiffany’s meal came later and both girls had not had any conversation yet. She started to eat in silence. Tiffany was actually feeling uneasy with the silence but she chose not to open up any conversation with her boss because she felt disappointed. First of all, she excitedly came to Taeyeon’s room to ask the girl for having lunch with Jessica and Yuri only to find the room was already empty, indicating that the owner had left the room for lunch. She obviously told her that she would see her at lunch but to her disappointment, the girl already went to get her own lunch without her. Second reason was, she already considered Taeyeon as her friend. Of course, Taeyeon was her boss after all. But, these recent days they had been very friendly to each other out of working hour. But here she was, trying to be a caring friend while Taeyeon did not even want to share her problems when obviously the supposedly dorky girl had this troubled face drawn on her face.
On the other side, Taeyeon just finished replying her email. She still had dozens of emails to be replied but she decided to reply them later because the girl in front of her seemed to need more attention than those emails. She had no idea what she had to do. She wanted to be a good friend, a reason for Tiffany to smile and laugh, a person who can be Tiffany’s shoulder to rely on, and above all, a good girlfriend material for the girl if she ever had a chance to be one. She tried to arrange her logic in attempt to find out what to do but she could not find any. She finally gave up and let herself doing a thing she felt right at the moment.
“Fany, I’m sorry.” She said softly without leaving her eyes from the sulking girl in front of her. Tiffany looked up to find that Taeyeon had this sincere look to her. But, Tiffany was unsure that her boss knew why was she disappointed.
“What are you sorry for?” She asked.
“For making you angry.” Taeyeon answered with a frown, which made her looked like an elementary school student. Tiffany sighed knowing that the blonde really had no idea about the reason behind her sulk, but she appreciated her willingness to apologize even without knowing her fault.
“I’m not angry, Tae…” She finally gave up. Sulking all day long would not help her to make Taeyeon knew her disappointment.
“I’m just disappointed…” Tiffany continued.
“Ah, whyyyy?” Taeyeon panicked as she furrowed her eyebrows and had showed a pair of sad eyes. Disappointing Tiffany was the least thing she wanted. In Taeyeon’s opinion, anger could be cured by kindness, but nothing could ever cure disappointment. Taeyeon sometimes got angry in the meeting when she found that her team did not get the best performance yet her anger would soon subsided when she knew they already put the best effort on it. But, when she knew that their team slacked on their job which resulting an awful performance, she would feel disappointed and in that case, it was hard for her to see them as they were used to be. Anger could fade, but disappointment changed. She did not want Tiffany’s disappointment changed what they already had right now. It had been nice between them. It was nice to finally have someone whom she could show her true self to. It was nice to finally feel the adrenaline rush every time her heart beat to their contacts. It was great to know she had a true friend instead of a colleague or business partner. It was great to know that someone was actually caring for her. And it was great to finally fall in love.
“Because I thought we were friends.” Tiffany answered.
“We are, aren’t we?” Taeyeon was so confused. She did not understand what Tiffany implied to say. Even though it was mostly Tiffany who made the effort in the beginning of their friendship, and kept saying that they were friends, Taeyeon actually considered the same. Besides the feeling she had for Tiffany, Tiffany was actually the only person she considered as a friend. That was why she did not mind showing her dorky side to the girl. She was really surprised when Tiffany said that she thought they were friends. That supposed to mean they were not actually friend as Taeyeon assumed. Taeyeon’s feeling mixed up with panic, confusion, and sadness.
“Friends share their feelings, Tae. That was why I asked whether you have problems or not. I could see it all over your face. But you did not even mind to give me a slight clue about it.” Tiffany frowned. Friendship was one of the most important aspects in Tiffany’s life beside her family and her boyfriend. She cherished friendship a lot and would do anything for her friends. As she had this friendly personality it was easy for her to consider people as her friends. And in Taeyeon’s case, she had this huge admiration to the girl and really wanted to be friends with her because she found Taeyeon was very unique. She was the total opposite of her. She would love to be friends with Taeyeon and she was happy that recently they had made some progress in their friendship. She loved to see how Taeyeon slowly showed her true self. But to her surprise, seemed like this friendship only meant a lot for her side. This girl in front of her still found it hard to open herself. And noticing the way Taeyeon diverted the topic when she was actually worried about her friend, made Tiffany disappointed. Despite of all the efforts she made to be friends with Taeyeon, the latter seemed like not even considering the same.
“I… I am not used to it.” Taeyeon sighed. She was indeed not used to share her feelings. She had lived her independent life for as long as she could remember and it made her used to keep everything by herself. And the word ‘feeling’ itself meant a lot when Tiffany was the one who said it. Taeyeon knew that friends shared everything including their feelings. But, in her case, the feeling she needed to share with Tiffany was something bigger than the one that could be shared with just friends.
Somehow Tiffany was not surprised with Taeyeon’s answer. She had learnt a lot about Taeyeon personality during these two weeks since they spent a lot of time together. She learnt that Taeyeon always had the same routine every single day. She always chose the same menu for her meals. She only drank long black and mineral water. She could be the brightest person in work but became clueless in personal relationship. She mostly talked about business and works rather than having personal life’s conversation. She was the best when it came to logic yet the worst to follow her heart. Tiffany also knew that Taeyeon did not really have any close friends, most of her friends were colleagues or business partner. That was why Taeyeon usually had serious Topic to be talked instead of talking about something more personal like most friends did. It was not easy for Tiffany to finally make her boss showed the dorky side of her. She supposed to understand that two weeks was not enough to make Taeyeon totally opened up to her.
“I know, Tae. I’m supposed to understand. I should’ve known that not everyone is like me. You know, being all friendly, touchy, and clingy all the time. I’m sorry for interrupting your space. But you should at least tell me if you need your own space. I won’t bother if you need one.” Tiffany explained as she stared at Taeyeon’s eyes intensely. Her eyes reflected how sad and disappointed she was at that time.
Taeyeon stared back at Tiffany’s eyes, and for the first time since they met, her heart did not beat uncontrolled. Instead, she felt an immense pain in her chest and for a split second there, she thought her heart stopped beating as she saw her favorite pair of eyes in front of her did not show any spark as usual.
“Fany… I… I am confused.” Taeyeon finally spoke. She shifted her gaze from Tiffany to her glass of long black. She did not have any courage to be honest to the girl. She had two choices for this condition. The first one was kept her feelings hidden by not telling Tiffany why did she act this way with the consequence of losing this friendship she had with Tiffany because it would just make the latter felt more disappointed. And the second option was to told the girl honestly about what bothered her mind with the consequence of making the girl disgusted with her sexual preference and did not even want to talk to her at all. Both choices resulted in her being alone all over again. Taeyeon cursed her logical brain for automatically calculating any logical consequences that would happen, while the only thing she needed right now was trying to follow her heart. But, how could she follow her heart if every time she started listening to what her heart said, her smart brain kept interrupting her with those logical calculation.
“It’s okay Tae. I’m just being silly. Never mind. We’re not even best friends.” Tiffany immediately replied. She did not want to be more disappointed by knowing that Taeyeon maybe did not even consider her as a friend.
“No! That’s not it. I do consider you as my friend. A good friend of mine.” Taeyeon returned her stare to Tiffany, showing that she was being serious. The word ‘best friend’ was something foreign for her. But regardless of what term she used, Tiffany was indeed one of the most important persons in her life now.
“In fact, you are the first person I consider as friend ever since I started my career.” She continued.
Tiffany did not say a word. She just looked back at her blonde friend intensely, trying to understand what the girl had to say. She actually felt bad as she saw Taeyeon was being uneasy. She cursed herself for pushing the girl to the edge. She supposedly stopped herself once she understood that Taeyeon maybe just needed time to get used to these friendship things.
“But I just… I’m confused…” Taeyeon put her gaze back again to the glass on the table.
“Tae, you don’t need to…” Tiffany had not finished her words when suddenly Taeyeon’s word cut hers off.
“I think I’m in love, Fany…”
“I think I’m in love, Fany…” Tiffany chuckled after imitating Taeyeon’s confession earlier today.
“Don’t you think my boss is too cute, babe? She had that worried looks all over her face just because she falls in love! I thought she got such a huge problem.” Tiffany told her boyfriend about what happened in lunchtime.
“Hahaha, she sure is cute. Then, what happened next?” Nick plopped himself on the couch in Tiffany’s place, gestured the girl to sit right beside him. Tiffany followed, snuggled her head on Nick’s shoulder, while her boyfriend wrapped his arm around Tiffany’s shoulder.
“I seriously wanted to laugh. But since I felt bad already for pushing her to the edge. I just tried assuring her that it’s okay to fall in love. She just needed to follow her heart. Seemed like she still wanted to say something but she brushed it off again. I did not want to push her even further.” Tiffany continued the story.
“And who’s the lucky guy that successfully makes her fall in love? Based on your stories, I guess it won’t be easy to make your boss fall in love.” Nick was getting curious.
“Babe, trust me… It’s so hard just to persuade her to have lunch with Yuri and Jess. Can you imagine how hard it is to make her fall in love? Unfortunately, Taetae didn’t tell me who’s the person.” Tiffany answered.
“You know what? People tend not to tell the one they love if they know their love would be unrequited. I hope you’re not the one she falls in love with.” Nick teased her girlfriend.
“Hahahaha, no waaayyy! Taetae seems too straight to be gay.” Tiffany laughed.
“Oh, come on! My baby is so pretty that even straight girls would turn gay for you!” Nick continued teasing.
“Awww, then you should be worry, babe. Because Taetae also has the charisma that can make me turn gay for her.” Tiffany teased back.
“Oh no! I should keep you with me 24/7 now? So she won’t steal my baby away.” Nick replied jokingly as he leaned his body to his girlfriend, pushing Tiffany to lie on the couch while the latter just giggled.
“Should I make a sign that you’re mine, babe?” He asked, leaning his face closer to Tiffany’s until their noses brushed.
“Hmmm… How?” Tiffany replied, plastering a seductive smile on her pretty face.
“I think some love bites will do.” Nick said as he pressed her lips on Tiffany’s and proceeded the kiss to her neck, which soon followed by Tiffany’s moan.
Tiffany had a hard time choosing her clothes for work since Nick successfully ‘marked’ her by leaving some hickeys on her neck. She managed to cover some of it with foundation, yet there’s one mark that could not be covered. It still obviously showed the purplish color on her white fair skin. She looked at the clock on the wall, which showed it was already her time to off for work. In fact she was already fifteen minutes late than usual. She decided not to change into other clothes, instead she immediately snatched a black scarf to cover her neck.
Tiffany repeatedly looked at her watch, counting the time as the second passed, dealing with the heat inside the bus in the middle of Jakarta, and the scarf she wore definitely did not help at all. Here was another disadvantage of living in Jakarta. Fifteen minutes late departure could lead to an hour late arrival. The bus finally reached her office. She jumped out of the bus, ran her way into the office complex, when her phone suddenly rang. She rummaged her bag to find her iPhone to check the caller, finding it was her boss calling her.
“Hello.” Tiff answered while kept running to her office building.
“Fany… Are you still mad at me?” The voice from her boss sounded so cute. Taeyeon must be in her Taetae mode. Tiffany chuckled at her boss voice.
“No, not at all, Tae. Why?” She asked.
“I’m waiting for you to have breakfast as usual but you do not show up.” Taeyeon replied, resulting a laugh from Tiffany.
“I’m sorry, Tae. I was a bit late this morning. I’m already in office complex, running to our building.” Tiffany managed to explain while she panted from running.
“Ah, I see. I’ll be waiting for you in the coffee shop. Don’t trip yourself over, OK?” Taeyeon said attentively, making Tiffany somehow felt happy.
“OK, Taetae. See you really soon.”
As the line cut, Tiffany managed to reach the coffee shop. She walked in and automatically directed her feet to Taeyeon’s favorite spot.
“Morning Taetae!” She greeted the adorable senior manager who seemed to be busy replying emails from her phone. Taeyeon looked up and soon smiled brightly as she saw her favorite eye smile in front of her.
“Morning, Fany!” Taeyeon showed her best smile to Tiffany.
“What time is it now, Tae?” Tiffany seated herself in a chair in front of Taeyeon.
“08:05.” Taeyeon answered after checking her watch.
“I can’t have my breakfast, then.” Tiffany frowned a bit.
“Yes, you can. I’ve ordered beef bagel for your take away. You can just eat in the office. But, since we still have ten more minutes to spend, you can enjoy that cup of chamomile tea.” Taeyeon said as she pointed her index finger at a cup of chamomile tea in front of Tiffany.
“Is it for me? And you also ordered some take away for me? Awww, that’s so sweet of you, Taetae!!” Tiffany squealed, showing her amazing eye smile for her boss’ attention. Taeyeon slightly blushed at the sight but brushed it off quickly.
“Hmmm?” Tiffany hummed as she sipped her chamomile tea.
“Errr, thank you…?” Taeyeon said hesitantly.
“Thanks for what, Tae?” Tiffany asked.
“For… You know… Understanding me?” Taeyeon fixed her gaze to her own hands on the table.
“Taetae… You’re being sentimental right now.” Tiffany replied, giving the blonde a reassuring smile. Taeyeon looked at Tiffany’s eye smile, smiling back at her crush, showing her cute dimple on her chin.
“I know… I just feel thankful.” Taeyeon replied shortly.
“I also feel thankful knowing that you slowly open up to me.” Tiffany mesmerized at the sight of Taeyeon’s sincere attitude. Taeyeon became sentimental in front of her was another new thing she found from her boss. Taeyeon rarely showed or even uttered her feeling towards people, and here she was telling Tiffany that she felt thankful for being understood.
“I feel like I should give you something in return. I mean, I wouldn’t know how it feels like to have a real friend, not just colleagues or business partners, if it wasn’t because of you and all your efforts in our friendship. Do you want me to give you something?” Taeyeon asked.
“No need, Taetae… We’re friends, do not make our friendship sounds like a sales deal.” Tiffany replied half joked.
“But I insist.” Taeyeon half pleaded. Tiffany thought for a moment then finally decided on something.
“I don’t want you to give me something. But, would it be okay if I ask you to do something?” Tiffany asked with a secretive smile. Taeyeon nodded in agreement without even thinking.
“Have a date with me tonight, Tae?” Tiffany offered.
Taeyeon hardly believed what her ears heard. Her eyes wide opened and her jaw dropped as soon as she heard Tiffany. Tiffany asked her for a date just now. She was not sure she was awake at the moment. All of this must be just a dream.
“Taetae?” Tiffany called out after seconds of silence.
“Uh, yes?” Taeyeon immediately answered.
“So, how?” Tiffany asked again.
“How? What?” Taeyeon tried composing herself. Tiffany chuckled at the way Taeyeon answered.
“The date, Taetae. I asked you for a date.” Tiffany repeated what she asked for.
“Date? What date?” Taeyeon really could not arrange her logical thought at the moment. What Tiffany just said sounded so unreal. She started to think that God must be in a very good mood that He granted her wish so fast.
“Yes. A date. You know, that kind of girls’ date. When we can talk about anything. Let’s try to make yourself a bit more open.” Tiffany explained.
“Ah, yes. That kind of date. Uhm… I guess that would be okay.” Taeyeon mumbled knowing what Tiffany meant as a date was a quality time between friends instead of a romantic date like she imagined before.
“That’s great! Just don’t run away from me again! Especially this time because you’re the one who insist me to ask something from you. I will be going to your room right after office hour and if I don’t see you there, I swear, I’m so gonna kill you, Kim Taeyeon!” Tiffany warned.
“Okay. Deal.” Taeyeon smiled. She was a bit down knowing that the date won’t be the kind of romantic date she wished to be. But hearing Tiffany said not to run away from her somehow made her felt really good. Tiffany finished her cup of chamomile tea while Taeyeon checked her watch and started to pack up her things, seemed ready to off.
“I’ve paid the bill before you came, and here’s your breakfast.” She handed a paper bag with beef bagel in it as she stood up.
“I have a meeting at 08:30 sharp with the board of directors. I need to go upstairs now.” She continued and was about to leave when Tiffany suddenly spoke up.
“Wait. I’m going with you.” Tiffany immediately stood up and held Taeyeon’s hand, resulting a surprised look from the latter.
“It’s our morning routine. Going upstairs together after breakfast.” Tiffany explained as she saw Taeyeon’s surprised face and misinterpreted it as confusing face.
“Ah, okay.” Taeyeon mumbled, hardly hid her mixed feelings. Their fingers were not intertwined but feeling Tiffany’s hand in her palm felt so right at the moment. Yet, she was terribly nervous with the contact and her heart kept thumping as if it could just pop out from her chest at anytime.
Both girls made their way to elevator hand in hand. Taeyeon mentally thanked God for this opportunity and also thanked for the fact that even though Indonesia was relatively homophobic but the sight of two girls walking hand in hand was something common as it was regarded as friendly actions between friends. The elevator in front of them finally opened. They walked into the elevator and Tiffany pushed number nine button with her hand which also held the paper bag without releasing Taeyeon’s hand in her other hand. This is so far the most intense contact they had.
“What’s wrong with you, Tae?” Tiffany asked, realizing that Taeyeon acted weird since they left the coffee shop.
“Well, do you want an honest answer or my diplomatic answer?” Taeyeon hesitantly answered and was about to divert up the question. But remembering the argument between them the day before made her thought twice and she decided to asked her crush back.
“The honest one, please.” Tiffany said, giving a warm smile.
“Well, I’m very nervous right now.” Taeyeon sighed. She was being honest. The nervousness from the contact Tiffany made to her was not something she could stand right now.
“Why? Is it because of the meeting? Don’t worry! My Taetae is going to be okay! I know how smart you are and I’ve heard a lot of people talked about how good you are at handling the BOD. You really do not need to be nervous.” She replied excitedly, squeezing Taeyeon’s hand intended to give composure yet it only made Taeyeon’s heart beat like crazy. Taeyeon relieved Tiffany thought that her source of nervousness was the meeting instead of the real reason, yet Taeyeon could not unnoticed at the word ‘My Taetae’. It was not her first time hearing Tiffany called her ‘Taetae’. But today the eye smile girl just called her ‘My Taetae’, and it sounded so right yet so wrong in Taeyeon’s ears. She was about to ask about the new nickname when the elevator opened up again on the ninth floor, which was their office’s floor. Taeyeon decided to save the question for later. Both girls, still hand in hand, made their way to the meeting room when Taeyeon noticed that the meeting room was in the opposite direction of Jessica’s room, where Tiffany should be working.
“Jessica’s room is in the other way if you forget.” Taeyeon reminded Tiffany.
“I’m not having problem with my memories, Tae. I know where it is. I just want to usher you to the meeting room, soothing you from the nervousness.” Tiffany beamed a bright smile to Taeyeon, which of course did not help at all in lessen Taeyeon’s anxiety. In fact, it was the source of it.
“Thank you, Fany.” Taeyeon replied weakly.
They finally arrived in front of the meeting room. Tiffany let go off Taeyeon’s hand and put both her hand on Taeyeon’s cheek. Taeyeon felt her cheek got warm at the touch. She hoped that her face would not blush as she kept putting on her calm expression.
“You can do it, Taetae! Don’t be nervous and smile now!” Tiffany said as she pinched Taeyeon’s cheeks softly made the latter blushed even harder.
“Awww, my Taetae’s face is so red right now! Are you shy because I know that you’re nervous? Hahaha dork!” Tiffany now pressed her hands on Taeyeon’s cheeks, made the latter’s lip a bit jutted. Finally Tiffany let go off her hands.
“I’m going to Jess room now, Tae. Good luck! See you after office hour, okay?” Tiffany said as she turned her heels to opposite direction.
“Are we not going to have lunch together?” Taeyeon asked after recovered from her blush.
“Nope. I promised Jess to have lunch meeting since she is going to take her leave next week.” Tiffany answered.
“I see. Thanks again, Fany. Have a nice day.” Taeyeon beamed her cute smile. Tiffany nodded and finally walked her way to Jessica’s room while Taeyeon walked into the meeting room.
Taeyeon was alone in the meeting room. Everybody else had left the room after the full day meeting had. The meeting was so intense and full of arguments. The board of directors did not satisfied with the country’s performance. Of course Taeyeon’s team was an exception since Taeyeon managed to make her team outperformed through out the years. But as part of country’s management, Taeyeon definitely felt burdened by the board of directors’ expectation. She felt the needs to contribute more yet she did not want to push her team even harder. She needed to think of ways to some marketing national programs that could effectively increase the country’s performance. She stared at some important data, trying to make analysis when suddenly the meeting room was opened.
“I thought you tried to run away from me again when I found your room was empty.” A husky familiar voice greeted her. Taeyeon looked up at the voice’s owner to find her favorite pair of eye smiles.
“Of course not, Fany. We made our deal, didn’t we?” She answered, pulling a chair beside her and gestured Tiffany to sit on the chair. Tiffany took the seat, looked at her attentively.
“Tough Friday, Tae? You looked so deep in your thought. Your serious face was kind of adorably cute though.” Tiffany chuckled at her own remark. She found it weird how could she keep thinking that her line manager was so cute all the time. Taeyeon also chuckled at Tiffany’s remark. She loved it every time Tiffany complimented her as ‘cute’.
“I’m always cute, aren’t I? I lost count how many times you call me cute.” Taeyeon joked. She already forgot the stress she had before Tiffany came. The girl’s presence somehow always helped her to loose up.
“You are cute, Tae. Yet intimidating as well. You have no idea how stress I was when Jessica told me to ask for your help during her leave.” Tiffany frowned remembering how intimidating Taeyeon could be in her professional mode.
“Why?? You know me the best, yet you still feel intimidated by me? Is my cuteness not enough to make you forget the feeling of intimidation, Fany?” Taeyeon tried hard to put up a cute face, yet she only managed to make a dorky face instead. She was naturally cute but when she tried hard to be cute she always failed. Tiffany burst a loud laughter at the dorky sight in front of her eyes. This is one of the reasons why she kept clingy to Taeyeon out of office hour. The sight in front of her was a rare event.
“Hahahaha. Okay, Tae. Enough please. Oh my God, my Taetae is a dork!” Tiffany tried to stop her laugh. Taeyeon noticed Tiffany called her ‘my Taetae’ again.
“And since when I am your Taetae? You do not own me.” Taeyeon said.
“Uh-oh, Tae! You belong to me. Friends belong to each other.” Tiffany playfully explained.
“So, you belong to me as well?” Taeyeon asked with a blush, answered with a nod from Tiffany.
“Then, I can call you my Fany?” Taeyeon asked again, and still blushing.
“Yes Tae. You’re my Taetae, I am your Fany, and we belong to each other. Deal? Oh my God. Talking like this make me feel like five year-old again.” Tiffany chuckled.
Taeyeon smiled happily at Tiffany’s summary. Even though she knew everything Tiffany said was all in a friendship way, it still sounded really good in her ears. She even never imagined that she would hear Tiffany said they belong to each other. Tiffany pulled out her phone from her bag, and asked Taeyeon to shut her laptop down so they could get off from office. Taeyeon did not need to be asked twice. She immediately turned her body to face the laptop, saved some opened documents before closed it, and shut the laptop down.
Tiffany obliviously paid her full attention to the blonde in front of her. She wondered how the girl in front of her could be so cool yet cute at the same moment. Sometimes she also found that her boss was actually so pretty yet handsome at the same time. The sight of Taeyeon who looked so focused in front of her made her boss looked cool and handsome, yet her overall feature was actually pretty and the way she furrowed her eyebrows also made her cute. How could a girl be so attractive that it could even attract another girl, Tiffany thought. She unlocked her phone, opening camera application, and unknowingly by Taeyeon, she took a picture of Taeyeon. She smiled at the picture and switch to instagram, to upload the picture. She typed a caption and tagged Taeyeon’s instagram account in the picture. She finished uploading the picture when she heard the sound of laptop being closed.
“Done, Tae?” Tiffany looked at her boss.
“Yes. Shall we go now?” Taeyeon slid the laptop to her bag.
“Yes. Come on!” Tiffany jumped off the chair and stretched her hand to Taeyeon. Taeyeon got nervous again but she still received Tiffany’s hand, which soon pulled her from the chair. Both girls then walked hand in hand to the parking lot.
Tiffany already had a place in her mind for her ‘date’ with Taeyeon. It was not a fancy restaurant. It was a small café, which only had ten small tables, but the ambiance was really homey, in fact the café exterior was exactly like a normal home. Taeyeon would not even notice that this place is a café if Tiffany did not tell her. A middle-aged woman came out from the counter to greet them.
“Oh my God, Miyoung! It’s been a long time! I missed you so much!” The woman expression became cheerful at the moment she saw Tiffany.
“Aunt Christine! I missed you too!” Tiffany skipped her way to the woman and gave her a hug.
“Look at you, Miyoung! You get prettier as time goes by, while I get more wrinkles here.” Aunt Christine said as they broke their hugs.
“Aww, thanks for the compliment! And I barely see wrinkles on your face honestly. You look as young as 50 year-old lady. Tiffany replied jokingly.
“I am 50, Hwang Miyoung! Hahahaha. Oh, my… Who is this cute kid over there? Is that your niece?” Aunt Christine shifted her gaze to Taeyeon who just stood near the entrance did not want to interrupt them. Tiffany laughed hard at Mrs. Christine question.
“She’s not my niece, auntie. We’re in the same age and she’s actually my boss.” Tiffany chuckled.
“Come here, Tae. Let me introduce you to Aunt Christine.” Tiffany continued. Taeyeon made her way to them and gave Aunt Christine a polite nod.
“Aunt Christine, this is Taeyeon, my friend slash my boss. Taeyeon, this is Aunt Christine. She’s like my own mother.” Tiffany introduced them.
“It’s nice to meet you Aunt Christine.” Taeyeon smiled politely, also offering a handshake to the older woman.
“Sure it’s nice to meet you too, young lady.” Aunt Christine smiled widely yet ignoring Taeyeon’s hand. Instead, she gave a hug to Taeyeon. Taeyeon’s body immediately stiffened at the contact, as she was not used to being hug.
“Ah, you do not like skin ship, do you?” Aunt Christine noticed as she broke the hug.
“Ehm, I am not used to it. I’m sorry…” Taeyeon smiled sheepishly and mentally face-palmed herself for the obvious reaction.
“It’s okay, young lady. Sometimes I get too friendly when meeting new people. Anyway, please take a seat. I will get you the menu book.” Aunt Christine said as she left Tiffany and Taeyeon. Tiffany walked to a table in the corner.
“You feel more comfortable in excluded spot, right? Let’s just sit here.” Tiffany sat on a chair, and Taeyeon sat on a chair in front of her.
“Aunt Christine is like my own mother. I was eighteen when my mom passed away. And at that time, I usually came to Aunt Christine’s café with my horrible look, only to get a cup of hot chocolate. Her hot chocolate is the best, and it helped a lot to get rid of my sadness during the time. One day, the café was empty, and that was the first Aunt Christine sat with me only to ask why did I always looked so sad. I always acted to be strong in front of my family and friends but when she asked, I don’t know why I felt like I needed to spill out all the sadness that had been bottled up in my heart. She was there, listening to my stories and soothed me. Ever since that day, I kept regularly coming here only to talk to her, and we were getting close. I could tell her all my stories. She’s like a guardian angel whom sent by God to help me get through the worst days of my life.” Tiffany suddenly told Taeyeon about her first encounter with Aunt Christie. Taeyeon noticed that Tiffany’s eyes were glistened when she talked about her mother.
“I’m sorry to hear about your mother, Fany.” Taeyeon mumbled. She did not have any idea what to say.
“It’s okay, Tae. It’s been a long time ago. I’ve fully recovered from my despair and here I am, cheerful like ever, right?” Tiffany shared her eye smile to Taeyeon.
“Hello young ladies, here’s the menu books. Hot chocolate as usual, Miyoung?” Aunt Christine asked Tiffany as she put the menu books on the table.
“Yes, auntie. And please make me my favorite Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast. I miss your signature dish!” Tiffany made her order without looking at the menu while Taeyeon furrowed her eyebrows, hardly decided what meal should she have.
“What will be your recommendation for me, Aunt Christine. The menu looks all delicious. I can’t make my decision.” Taeyeon finally gave up and asked Aunt Christine.
“Hmmm, what about Lemon-Basil Butter Chicken Skillet?” Aunt Christine offered.
“That sounds good. Ah Auntie, do you have long black? I couldn’t find it on the menu.” Taeyeon asked.
“Just give her a cup of hot chocolate, Auntie. She must try the best hot chocolate in town.” Tiffany answered quickly.
“But I don’t like sweet drinks, Fany.” Taeyeon frowned.
“No, no, save your argument until you taste Aunt Christine’s hot chocolate.” Tiffany insisted.
“Okay then. Lemon-Basil Butter Chicken Skillet and hot chocolate, please Auntie.” Taeyeon summarized her order.
“Noted, young ladies. Now, please excuse me. I’m going to make your order. And Taeyeon, if you want to drink mineral water, please helps yourself by taking it from dispenser. A little bit of self service won’t hurt, right?” Aunt Christine informed Taeyeon before she finally walked to the kitchen to cook their meals.
“Why does Aunt Christine call you Miyoung?” Taeyeon asked.
“That’s my Korean name. But don’t you ever dare calling me by my Korean name, Tae. It feels weird.” Tiffany answered.
“OK, then. You should call me Vanessa from now on.” Taeyeon replied.
“What? Vanessa? What’s that?” Tiffany confused.
“My international name. You can only call me Taeyeon or Taetae if you allow me to call you Miyoung.” Taeyeon smirked naughtily.
“You! Silly boss.” Tiffany sighed at her boss childish behavior.
“Hahaha, I’m kidding, Fany. I just made up some random name. Just call me, Taetae. I love it.” Taeyeon said with a slight blush on her fair pale skin.
“Ugh, my boss is a dork kid!” Tiffany put up a fake annoyed face, which only made Taeyeon grinned.
“Fany, is there anything you want to know about me?” Taeyeon suddenly asked. Tiffany was shocked hearing the question. She thought she misheard what Taeyeon said.
“Are you really asking me that question?” Tiffany asked in disbelief.
“You said the objective of this date is to make me open up myself more, right?” Taeyeon innocently answered.
“I thought you wouldn’t be that blunt, though. Is it really okay?“ Tiffany chuckled at Taeyeon’s answer. The latter nodded without a doubt. She thought it was a nice start to learn opening herself to people around her.
“Let’s start from the easiest question. Why can’t I see your dork side in the office hour?” Tiffany asked a question she blurted the day before.
“I managed to escape from that question yesterday. And I think I cannot flee right now.” Taeyeon chuckled. She remembered the question Tiffany asked.
“Unfortunately, this time you offered me to ask. So, please don’t try to run away, Taetae.” Tiffany gave her boss a threatening smile.
“Well. It’s simply because I do not want people to see me as Taeyeon. As you might already see, I’m an introvert and I don’t like people being nosy about my personal life. I also do not feel comfortable if people try to invade my personal space. That’s why I always put up my professional manner from the beginning of my career only to make sure people only interact with me for work-related stuff.” Taeyeon answered truthfully.
“Why? I mean, most people would love to be seen as themselves instead of their professional status. Why do you want the otherwise?” Tiffany was curious.
“Can I skip that question? I honestly am not ready to answer that.” Taeyeon requested to Tiffany. The only reason why she did not want people to know her as her real self was because she was a lesbian. She was not ready to accept the impact of being known as a lesbian. She was afraid.
“Oh… Okay. I will change the question. Then why do you show your dork side to me?” Tiffany asked playfully.
“That’s because somehow I feel really comfortable with you being around. I know your personality is the total opposite of mine. But, ever since I met you I know that I like…” Taeyeon immediately stopped when she realized she was about to say that she liked Tiffany.
“You like…? Me?” Tiffany teased the girl in front of her. Taeyeon blushed at the remarks and quickly continued her sentence.
“Noo! It’s not that! I was about to say I like to see how you can be so friendly even to new people. And I envy you for that. Fortunately, you’re very kind and patient. As matter a fact, you put the most efforts in our friendship. Thank you, Fany… Thanks for being my friend.” Taeyeon smiled sincerely.
“Awww, you’re so sweet, Taetae…” Tiffany was touched by Taeyeon’s words.
“And you are the sweetest girl I’ve ever met.” Taeyeon accidentally let the words in her head slipped out from her mouth.
“Awwww, my Taetae… Now I feel like having a romantic date.” Tiffany laughed at Taeyeon’s answer, while the later smiled sheepishly yet relieved that Tiffany did not take her unintended slipped words seriously.
Aunt Christine soon came in with their orders. Taeyeon fascinated by the meals cooked by Aunt Christine. The meals were as delicious as what fancy restaurant offered. And Tifany was right about the hot chocolate. It was the best hot chocolate Taeyeon ever tasted. She could not remember the last time she drank something beside long black and mineral water but Aunt Christine’s hot chocolate was definitely nice. It was made of pure dark chocolate, brought the mixed sensation of bitterness ended with pleasing sweetness. As Taeyeon sipped her hot chocolate, she noticed how much her life had changed since she met Tiffany. How she slowly opened up herself, how she started changed her daily routine, added some social interaction in between her professional mode. Her life was the same old cycle every single day and Tiffany’s presence drifted her away from running around the circle she always had.
Both girls finished their meals and continued their conversation. Tiffany felt thankful for Taeyeon’s effort in answering her question about her personal life. She was a bit shock knowing Taeyeon had never been in a relationship. Her boss was indeed a very pretty girl. Despite of her stiff and professional manner, she was always stunning with her blonde straight hair, and great choices of professional attire. It was impossible for boys and men not to be attracted to the girl in front of her. As matter a fact, Tiffany was even sure that girls would also admit how attractive Taeyeon was. Tiffany herself found her boss very attractive. So attractive that sometimes, she could not resist staring at the blonde’s figure in admiration.
“Let’s go home, Fany. It’s almost ten.” Taeyeon requested.
“Really? Whoa, time flies so fast. Let’s pay our meals then. You will drive me home, won’t you?”
“Sure. Let’s go.” Taeyeon stood up and walked to the counter to pay the bill. They then bid farewell to Aunt Christine who requested them to come more often, which immediately agreed by both girls. They left the café and Taeyeon drove Tiffany home. It only took half an hour until they reached Tiffany’s place. Tiffany unbuckled her seatbelt and prepared herself to got off from Taeyeon’s car.
“Thanks for the date, Taetae. Will there be the second date?” Tiffany chuckled at her own remarks. She planned to tease the petite girl yet somehow her heart skipped a beat when she asked the question.
“I don’t know. Should there be?” Taeyeon smirked playfully, while deep in her heart she screamed for another date.
“My dork boss.” Tiffany pouted at Taeyeon’s answer.
“Hahaha. That’s your call, Fany.” Taeyeon smiled.
“Okay! Can’t wait for the second date, then.” She beamed her eye smiles to Taeyeon.
“Okay, deal.” Taeyeon replied.
“I’m off now. Anyway, check your instagram. I tagged you there.” Tiffany said as she got off from Taeyeon’s car and entered her place. Taeyeon immediately took her phone from bag and opened instagram app, then smiled at the photo that was tagged by Tiffany. It was a photo of her looked so serious in front of her laptop. Her smile grew wider as she read the caption:
hwangtiff: My boss, my best friend, my dork, my Taetae. #MyPrettyBoss #MyAnnoyingBoss #MyIntimidatingBoss #MyFavoriteBoss #MyDorkBoss #MyTaetae ❤ #HwangPhoto
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