#nowplaying: Say You Won’t Let me Go – James Arthur
Taeyeon hardly believes it herself that she is in the place at the moment. The deafening beats of music fill up the room, the contrast lighting beeping on and off in turn to light up the dark room, the smell of alcohol filling her nostrils, and all the dancing crowds on the dance floor. She mentally screams to get out of the place since the very first second she entered the room but she maintains to keep the smile on her face because Tiffany asked her to accompany her. Tiffany. The name of the special person she secretly loves for as long as she remembers. Tiffany is her best friend, her mood booster, her energy pills. Tiffany is anything she is not, but that never bothers her. For as much as the difference can take them apart, it will only add up the closeness between the two girls and it includes the feeling that grows inside Taeyeon’s heart for all these years.
“Taeyeon-ah!” The husky voice automatically brings her smile a little bit wider than it already is.
“Yes?” Taeyeon answers as she turns her head to see the voice’s owner.
“Are you bored?” Asks Tiffany, concerns are visible on her flushing face. “I am sorry for forcing you here.” She then giggles and takes a seat on the bar stool, right next to Taeyeon. “But I need some fun!!” She continues half shouting.
Taeyeon only chuckles a bit and pats her best friend’s back. “Yah! You’re drunk.”
Tiffany puts her elbow against the table and leans her cheek on her opened palm. Her gaze seems hazy, a proof that she is barely sober. But the smile never leaves her face, along with the curved of her eyes that shapes a pair of crescents. The breath taking smile that always mesmerizes Taeyeon.
“You should get some rest.” Taeyeon states calmly. Her hand still on Tiffany’s back.
“But the night is still young.” Tiffany whines but soon turns chuckling. She is definitely drunk.
Taeyeon only shakes her head in amusement. As much as she does not like the club nor drinking, she will never protest when it comes to Tiffany. She keeps rubbing Tiffany’s back but her friend suddenly straightens up her seat and jumps off the stool.
“I think I am gonna throw up!” Tiffany says right before she covers her mouth with one hands and takes Taeyeon’s hand with her other hand then pulls her best friend along with her to the rest room. They get inside the nearest stall in the restroom and Tiffany immediately squats in front of the toilet bowl, throwing up whatever liquor she has drunk along the night. Taeyeon locks the door and helps her best friend by holding the hair back so it won’t be stained. She also rubs the back once in while. After couples of minutes of displeasing voice and smell, Tiffany finally stands up and flushes the toilet. She takes some toilet paper to wipe her mouth. She then turns her head a bit and smiles over her shoulder.
For a minute, Taeyeon is stone cold sober. No matter how many time she sees the smile, it still has the same effect at her.
“Can you stay over?” Tiffany asks as she spins her body around so she can face Taeyeon. “I think I need someone to take care of my hangover tomorrow morning.” She groans, feeling her head spins again. Thanks to the alcohol.
Smiling understandingly, Taeyeon nods and holds Tiffany’s arms, making sure that the girl in front of her can stand up properly. “I’ve told you that you should get some rest.”
“But the night is still youuung~!” Tiffany whines again.
“Sshhhh, no more alcohol for you, missy. Now let’s get going to your place. Or I won’t stay over.” Says Taeyeon sternly, which resulting a cute pout on Tiffany’s face.
“You are no fun.”
“And you are no sober.” Taeyeon chuckles and leads their way out of the rest room with Tiffany holds on to her, because she does not seem to able walking on her own. After what it feels like hours, Taeyeon finally manages to get them into her car. Putting Tiffany on the passenger’s seat, she carefully buckles the seatbelt before gets inside the driver’s seat, fastens her own seat belt, and ride the car away to Tiffany’s place.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to finally crashes in Tiffany’s place. With her not-really-strong figure, Taeyeon tries to balance their steps until they reach the door. She punches in the key numbers and opens the door with a grunt. Not caring about the shoes that was still on, she steps inside the apartment and walks towards the couch. She needs to at least put Tiffany’s there before locking the door and takes her shoes off. She carefully lays the drunk girl on the couch, and smiles once again noticing the soft snore. How can she be so cute even when she is drunk?
Walking back to the front door, she locks the door and takes off her shoes and coat before approaching the sleeping girl on the couch. She squats down and takes TIffany’s shoes off before stands up again, hovering her best friend.
A grunt answers her.
Chuckling softly, she taps the cheeks gently. “Hey, don’t you want to at least wash your face?”
Taeyeon smiles at the whines and pulls the girl up. “Let’s go to your room then.”
Tiffany obediently stands up and follows Taeyeon’s lead to the bedroom. With the extra weight on her shoulder, Taeyeon manages to put Tiffany on the bed but Tiffany has not let her go, still having her arms around Taeyeon’s neck. Taeyeon blushes at their position, fully aware of the lack of proximity between them.
“Fany-ah, let me go.”
The answer is caught Taeyeon off guards but she tries to keep calm no matter how her heart beat erratically.
“Yah! You need to sleep, and I need to sleep as well.”
“But you will stay, right?” Tiffany lazily opens her eyes while pouting. Taeyeon blinks her eyes couples of time, trying her best not to leans in a bit more to capture the pout with her lips. Gosh, if only we are not best friends.
Tiffany hesitantly lets go off Taeyeon. “Okay then.” She closes her eyes again and shifts a bit to lay on her side.
Taeyeon straightens up her position and stays a bit more until she hears a snore from the girl in front of her. Smiling at the sight before her eyes, she sits, at the edge of the bed and strokes Tiffany’s hair carefully, afraid to waking up the girl.
“Wash up and sleep, Taetae…” Mumbles Tiffany but not opening her eyes at all.
“Okay.” With that, Taeyeon stands up and washes up. She also changes her clothes into a more comfortable one. Being best friends for over ten years now, she does not need to bring clothes when she stays over. She has some her clothes in Tiffany’s closet. After changing her clothes into loose tees and comfy short pants, she gets in bed, next to Tiffany, laying on her side, facing her best friend’s back.
“Fany-ah,” Taeyeon calls out her name.
Tiffany does not answer.
Sighing softly Taeyeon scoots closer, minimizing the gap between them. “Fany…” She calls out once again only to be answered with silence. After making sure that her best friend is sleeping already, she shifts to lay on her back, staring at the ceiling.
“Why are we best friends, Fany?” She asks to no one. “Do you know how difficult it is for me to play it cool while my heart beats like crazy whenever we are together?” She closes her eyes, playing the memories only she and TIffany has over the years. “Do you know that I need you more than as a friend, or best friend? But I never show it, Fany. Because I am too scared. I wanna stay with you, not only as your best-est best friend. I want to love you as something more.”
She stops for a moment.
“But what if you hate me because I love you the way I am not supposed to? What if you want us to be apart? To be strangers all over again?”
She takes a deep breath. It feels a bit better to spill out her feelings like this once in while. Sometimes she feels that she is not strong enough to keep the feelings bottled up inside. But it is impossible to tell Tiffany. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever. Her best friend should not know about it.
“Sometimes, I wish, if one day you know all my feelings toward you, you won’t be angry. I wish that you will feel the same way about me. I love you, Fany-ah…”
A rustle is heard from beside her so Taeyeon opens her eyes and turns her head only to be surprised that Tiffany is already facing her, with her eyes wide opened. An awkward silence deafens the room. The two girls looking at each other without saying a word.
“To whom were you talking to?” Tiffany finally breaks the silence.
“Uhm, no one,” Answers Taeyeon nervously. “Sleep, Fany.” She decides to play it cool as if she did not say anything.
Tiffany’s eyes flutters as she closes her eyes. “Don’t talk alone like a crazy, girl,” mumbles the girl as her eyes finally closes.
Taeyeon heaves a relief sigh. She is not sure whether TIffany heard everything she said, but judging from the drunken state of her best friend, she concludes that even if Tiffany heard what she said, the latter will not remember anything the day after.
She lays on her side, facing Tiffany who seems to be sleeping already. Her lips slightly parted and soft breaths escape from them. Taeyeon gulps, trying hard not to lean forward to taste the lips. She stares at the sleeping beauty, she seems peacefully deep inside the dreamland. Biting her lips unsurely, Taeyeon scoots over a bit more, making the gap gets smaller, faces only an inch apart, their noses almost touch.
Can I kiss her?
The gap is almost non-existent.
Just one kiss, and that’s all.
Taeyeon keeps leaning in. Her lips brush Tiffany’s.
I love you, Fany.
A soft kiss, a light peck and Taeyeon shivers at the smallest contact. Tiffany’s lips against hers, the taste of alcohol faintly tasted but it does not bother her.
Another peck but Taeyeon does not want to pull away just yet. Tiffany’s lips feel so soft, she has wanted to do this ever since long time ago. But she never was brave enough, and now here she is, kissing her best friend, when the latter is sleeping. The thought puts some sanity back inside her brain and Taeyeon pulls away from the kiss. Her best friend is still sleeping, her breath is steady, signing that she has not been bothered from her sleep. Sighing in guilt, she makes some distance between them, and turns her back against Tiffany. “I am sorry, Fany…”
Tiffany wakes up with a nice scents on freshly brewed coffee. She blinks her eyes couples of time before stretching her limbs outwards while yawning. She can feel her head throbs, effect of the alcohol from last night.
“I bet you won’t be able to pass the casting for bed commercial. If you wake up that way.” Says Taeyeon who just entered the room with a tray of bacon & egg, a cup of coffee, and bottle of aspirin.
Tiffany groans as an answer. “I should tell you that your jokes is not funny, especially when my head is about to explode like right now,” answers Tiffany as she sits up and rests her back against the bedpost.
“Bacon and egg, coffee, and aspirin. Go away, hangover! Shoo! Shoo!” Taeyeon keeps joking around while putting the tray on the nightstand. She then hands the plate to Tiffany who still has her eyes closed, trying to deal with the hangover.
Tiffany takes the plate and blinks her eyes repeatedly before taking the first bite into her mouth. “Next time, please do not allow me to drink too much.” She mumbles while chewing the bacon.
“You won’t listen to me. You will say ‘You are no fun, Taetae!’ and then you will order another round of drink or run away to the dance floor.” Taeyeon shrugs nonchalantly.
“I am serious, Tae. I had a weird dream last night.”
Taeyeon’s heart stops for a while upon hearing Tiffany’s statement but she acts cool like she always does. “Maybe you’re tired.”
“You said you love me.” Tiffany continues.
Taeyeon hums and takes her phone from the nightstand, and starts to play with it, trying to let Tiffany knows that she is not interested to talk about it.
“You said you want to love me more than as a friend.” Tiffany does not seem stopping.
“And that is a very weird dream.” Taeyeon fakes a chuckle. “Or maybe, you secretly have a crush on me?” She wriggles her eyebrows to tease her best friend.
Tiffany does not seem amused by the response and shrugs as she takes another bite. “I thought it was a dream.”
“It is, isn’t it?”
“But it did not stop there.” Tiffany chews her bacon and shallows it. “You also kissed me.”
It is Taeyeon’s turn to shrugs. “We kiss each other’s cheeks once in a whi-…”
“On the lips.” Tiffany cuts Taeyeon’s sentence off.
And Taeyeon gulps.
“What makes it weird is because it feels so real. So vivid. It is as if I still can feel the kiss the moment I woke up.” Tiffany looks up from her plate to stare at her best friend with unreadable expression.
“That’s one hella weird dream.” Taeyeon responds coolly.
“But the weirdest part is…” Tiffany seems hesitant but she continues. “When I opened my eyes, I saw your back and I heard you say ‘I am sorry, Fany.’ What were you sorry for, Taeyeon?” Tiffany’s face turns serious and she puts the plate back on the night stand, looking at Taeyeon sternly.
Taeyeon opens her mouth to answer, but closes it again. Her mind is in a mess, she silently curses herself for making a stupid move last night and here she is, facing the consequences of her act.
“Did you kiss me last night? Do you like me, you know, that way?” Tiffany continues questioning.
“I…” Taeyeon sighs and puts her phone on the nightstand before staring back at her best friend. Guilt present in her eyes, as she bites her lips nervously. “I…” She tries to reply but she has no proper answer.
“You did.” Tiffany sighs along and covers her face with her hands.
Taeyeon stays silent and looks down to her lap, does not have any courage to look at her best friend anymore. She can imagine what will happen after this: Tiffany yells at her. Tiffany cannot accept the fact that she loves her. Tiffany asks her to leave her alone. Tiffany does not want to see her face again. Tiffany will pull herself away from her. And they will be stranger all over again. Taeyeon needs to prepare herself to lose the precious friendship she has built these ten years, and she knows it also means that she will lose the most precious person in her life. There will be no more Tiffany in her life.
“I am sorry…” She mutters softly.
Tiffany uncovers her face, her eyes are teary and she still has unreadable expression on her face. “Why?” She asks bitterly, her voice is shaking.
“I love you.” Taeyeon replies weakly. “And not as a best friend.” She can feel tears also formed in her eyes, and they are at the verge of spilling.
“Why you love me that way?” Taeyeon looks away, not wanting to see the hurt on Tiffany’s face. She knows her best friend must’ve felt betrayed. And she does not want to see that, especially she is the sole reason behind it.
“I did not choose it, Fany. It just happened. I don’t know why, or how, or when. The feeling is suddenly there. And I don’t know how to get rid of it.”
Tiffany bites her lower lip and shakes her head in disbelief. “You did not choose. Cliche.” She snaps then groans in desperation. “Can you please leave me alone, Tae?”
There goes the sentence Taeyeon does not want to hear.
“Okay.” Taeyeon stands up and walks out of the room, with her head hangs low. “Don’t forget to take the meds,” she says before closing the door behind her and leave Tiffany’s apartment.
It has been a week since the incident and Taeyeon has not heard a word from Tiffany. No call, no text, no chat. The week feels really strange for Taeyeon. She and Tiffany was never been apart for too long. Even when they were apart, they still had intense communication, be it phone call, video call, chats, or texts. But now, they do not have that anymore.
Taeyeon shifts a bit from her bed. Ever since that day, she only gets out of her room to go to work or to get some food when she feels hungry, which she only feels once every two days. She rarely eats, and all the food she eats tasted bland. She never been in a relationship before and she does not know how heartbreak feels. But with this, living without Tiffany, she knows what heartbreak is. She takes her phone and browse her gallery, staring at some pictures of her and Tiffany. She smiles a bit but then her lips tremble and tears escape her eyes.
“Fany-ah… I am sorry.” She says to herself. Her sight gets blurry as the tears stream down her face. She wipes her eyes with the back of her hand when her phone vibrates. A notification pops out on the screen. She reads the notification and immediately sits up, tapping the notification that leads her to the an opened chat. From Tiffany.
Just a ‘hi’. She waits for a moment, wishing there will be more lines to come but there is nothing. She types a reply.
A reply comes after, “Busy?”
“Can I call?”
Taeyeon freezes. She misses Tiffany so much but she is not ready to talk to her. She is not ready if Tiffany says that they cannot be friends anymore. She does not want to face the bitter truth now, or tomorrow, or ever.
“Sure.” She types and tap the enter. A moment later, her phone rings, Tiffany’s name on the screen. She answers it right away.
A sigh is heard across the line. “Can you stop loving me that way?”
Taeyeon keeps silent. She has two choices at the moment: saying that she can stop loving Tiffany and has her friendship back; or saying that she cannot do that and loses Tiffany forever. No matter how much Taeyeon wants to keep her friendship intact, she knows she cannot lie to herself.
“You can’t, can you?” Tiffany’s voice sounds disappointed.
Taeyeon does not say a word.
“Do you really love me?” A pause. “That way?”
Taeyeon nods weakly but immediately answers when she notices she is on the phone. “Yes. I am sorry.”
Another sigh is heard across the line. “What can I do to make you stop, Tae?” Tiffany’s voice sounds desperate.
“I don’t know, Fany.” Taeyeon answers truthfully. If she knows how to stop it, she would stop herself from long ago.
Another silence fills Taeyeon’s ear.
“Don’t you think it is just curiosity? You know, we spend too much time together, so you might develop this kind of mixed feeling. Maybe it is not love, maybe, it is just curiosity?” Tiffany tries to reason.
Taeyeon shakes her head in disagreement. Tiffany would not understand. How much she tried to date boys and even girls, of course she kept the latter secret from Tiffany, it only makes her even more sure that she falls for Tiffany.
After not getting any response from Taeyeon, Tiffany finally speaks up again. “Can we meet up? Should I go to your place? Or can you come over?”
Taeyeon gulps, she does not know what will happen after this, but she cannot say no to Tiffany. “I will come over.”
“Okay. Do you want me to order some food? Bet you haven’t had proper food.” Tiffany sounds normal now. And Taeyeon feels a bit relief for that.
“Kimchi jigae will be great.” She answers with a small smile on her face.
“Okay. See you soon?”
Taeyeon can hear the line get cut and she immediately runs to shower, and prepares to go to Tiffany’s apartment.
Taeyeon and Tiffany are sitting next to each other, eating a bowl of kimchi jigae for each of them. The atmosphere is not as awkward as Taeyeon thought it would be. Tiffany seems trying her best to act normal, but the distance between them cannot lie. Taeyeon knows, Tiffany keeps making sure that there are some distance between them. It hurts Taeyeon but she is still thankful because Tiffany at least tries. Taeyeon also does not dare to look at Tiffany. Even when they are talking to each other, Taeyeon prefers to focus on her bowl as if the kimchi jigae is the most interesting thing on earth.
After finishing their meals, Taeyeon takes initiative to wash the dishes. Tiffany used to help her, but not today. Tiffany chooses to sit on the couch, watching some TV series while playing with her phone every once in a while. When Taeyeon finishes, she joins Tiffany, sitting on the couch at the furthest distance from Tiffany. Her friend, steals a glance at her and scoots a bit closer, but not as close as it used to be.
“Tae…” Tiffany calls out.
“Hmmm?” Taeyeon answers, not sparing a glance at Tiffany but keeping her gaze to the boring program that is played on the TV.
“Tae, I am talking to you. Look at me, would you?” Her voice sounds stern.
Taeyeon turns her head only to look at Tiffany for a split second and averts her eyes back to TV again.
“Taeyeon.” Tiffany starts to run out of her patience and Taeyeon knows that. “Let’s talk.” Tiffany states as she switches off the TV and sits closer to Taeyeon, cupping her best friend’s cheeks, turning her head forcefully. Once their eyes meet, Tiffany smiles at Taeyeon, the same smile that usually melts Taeyeon’s heart, but this time, the smile does not reach her eyes.
“We are best friends, aren’t we?” She asks, still cupping Taeyeon’s cheeks, making sure to maintain the eye contact. Taeyeon nods dejectedly.
“Can you love me only as a best friend?” She asks softly.
Taeyeon shakes her head lifelessly. She knows she cannot. She has tried, but she could not.
“Try harder, would you?”
Taeyeon can feel tears formed in her eyes again, she shakes her head again, disagreeing at what Tiffany asked.
“Please?” Tiffany keeps insisting and Taeyeon shakes her head furiously.
“I can’t.” Taeyeon bites her lips. “If I could, I would stop it already.” A lone tear escapes from the corner of her eyes and it is caught Tiffany off guard.
“No, Fany. No. I can’t.” Taeyeon’s voice is shaking, her lips are trembled. “I can’t…” She sobs and let another lone tear wets her cheek. Grabbing Tiffany’s hand, taking them off her cheek, she pulls away and folds her legs up on the couch, hugging her knees, she buries her face behind her knees. “I am sorry. I can’t.” She mumbles.
Tiffany looks at her crying best friend. She knew it for a long time already that Taeyeon’s affection is somehow a bit too much for just a friend. She knew from the way Taeyeon looks at her, her best friend has a special feeling towards her. She knew that this day would happen one day. But she tried to reason, she tried to ignore all of the signs, she holds on her own belief that Taeyeon only loves her as a best friend. And she somehow feels guilty for ignoring them all, if only she acted sooner, maybe Taeyeon’s heart could be spared. If only she was brave enough to talk about it, maybe Taeyeon would not be this broken. And she feels guilty because she knew all of these years, she knew she takes Taeyeon’s love for granted. She takes a deep breath, and takes Taeyeon’s hands once again, pulling them so her best friend no longer hugs her own knees.
“Taetae…” She calls out softly.
Taeyeon keeps hiding her face.
“I will only say it once, so could you please look at me this time. Because I am not gonna repeating what I am about to say.”
Taeyeon hesitantly lifts her face up, revealing her wet cheeks and her red nose. Tiffany smiles and wipes the tears with one hand.
“Listen to me, okay?”
“I need to be honest to you.” She decides to tell Taeyeon. “I’ve known about this, I mean your feelings, even before that night.” She clears her throat groggily.
Taeyeon blinks in surprised. She was sure she hid it really well. It is impossible that Tiffany knows about it.
“Your eyes and affections can’t lie, Taetae.” Tiffany explains without being asked, and Taeyeon nods once again. “But I was too afraid to face the fact. Not because I don’t want you to love me. I love you too, that’s a fact. But only as a friend. I can’t return your feelings, that’s why I act as if I didn’t know anything.”
Taeyeon keeps silent. She does not know what to say or how to react. It is all clear. Tiffany will never be hers.
“I am sorry. I take all your love for granted.” Tiffany looks deep into Taeyeon’s eyes, and Taeyeon can see, how sincerely sorry Tiffany is.
“It is okay. I do not wish something in return.” Taeyeon finally answers.
“Lie.” Tiffany shakes her head. “I still remember what you said that night. You said that you wished that I would feel the same way.”
Taeyeon sighs, it is true. Every person who knows the feeling of fall in love, must’ve had this wish that the one they love will return their feelings.
“I do not feel the same way, Taetae.”
Taeyeon wishes Tiffany would stop talking. It hurts a bit too much for her to handle.
“Not now at least.” She continues making Taeyeon furrows her eyebrows in confusion. Tiffany closes her eyes, she seems hesitant but when she opens her eyes and looks at Taeyeon’s sad face she decides to do what she thinks was right at the moment.
“Can you give me time? To at least like you that way?”
Taeyeon can feel her heart stops for a second. She did not see it coming. She has prepared herself hearing Tiffany would say that they would never be friends anymore.
“I… I never been in a relationship with uhm… girls. I don’t know if I will ever be able to return your feelings, but would you let me try?”
Taeyeon blinks her eyes. Once. Twice. Thrice. She tries to digest everything she just heard. It sounds unreal.
“I do not mean to experiment with you.” Tiffany quickly explains. “I just think that… I wouldn’t be fair to you, to your feelings, if I do not even give an effort to return it.”
“Fany…” Taeyeon finally says a word. “You don’t need to do that.”
“What if I want to?”
“I’ve been thinking about this for a week now. I don’t wanna lose you. No, I can’t lose you. You’re one of the most precious person in my life, Tae.” She chuckles a bit. “Do you remember one of my favorite songs, Overjoyed?”
“The lyrics say, ‘all true love needs is a chance. And maybe with a chance you will find you too like I, overjoyed, over loved, over you.’ Give me that chance, please? I can’t promise you anything. I can’t promise you when will I be able to return your feelings, I can’t even promise you that I will ever return your feelings. But a chance is all I ask now, Taetae.”
Taeyeon finally smiles a little, fixing her seat and rubs her eyes with the back of her hand. “Thank you…” She whispers. “But, I am afraid… What if it won’t work out?”
Tiffany holds Taeyeon’s hand gently and gives a soft squeeze. “A chance. That’s all I ask.”
Taeyeon looks at their holding hands but doesn’t say a word. She then shifts her gaze to meet Tiffany’s eyes and once again she sees sincerity. “But I might want to hold your hand, hug you, and even kiss you every now and then. And you will feel uncomfortable with that.” She mumbles as she puts her gaze back to their holding hands when suddenly a soft peck lands on her cheek. She blinks and looks up only to find Tiffany grins nervously.
“We’ve kissed anyway. You stole a kiss when I was sleep.” She states teasingly, making Taeyeon blushes hard. “Uhm, wait. Not a kiss. It was two kisses, right?”
Taeyeon blushes even harder and turns her head to the TV. Tiffany chuckles at the sight before her eyes.
Taeyeon turns her head back to Tiffany and her heart stops for the second time today when a pair of soft lips land on hers, giving a quick peck.
“Fa-Fany?” She stutters and stares at Tiffany in surprise.
Tiffany smiles groggily but then laughs softly. “I think I can get used to kiss you after some more kisses.” She tries to stop her laugh and smiles once again. “So, a chance for me?”
Taeyeon still can feel her face is hot, and she is sure her face is all red at the moment but she nods. “Just tell me if you feel uncomfortable.” She whispers shyly.
“Thank you, Taetae.” Beaming her smile once again.
“Thanks to you too, Fany.” Taeyeon smiles along. A sincere smiles this time.