#NP 10: The Third Time

[H] NP 10 the third time

#nowplaying: Sometimes – Britney Spears



To know that someone liked you, it normally felt good. It made you feel special, one of a kind, even sometimes you felt like you worth everything in life. Most people would love to feel that kind of feeling at least once in a life time. But not for Taeyeon.

Taeyeon was never popular. She was the typical shy girl you would meet in the library or in a quiet cafe, working on her laptop, or reading some books. The type of girl who would put her earphone in her ears while walking down the road, making sure that no one would greet her. The kind of person who would sit at the corner of the room, away from the attention. The type of employee who would spend most of her time in her cubicle and had lunch alone in office pantry. Taeyeon was always shy and she could not help it.

No one said Taeyeon was unattractive. In fact, physically speaking, she was very attractive. Her petite figure made any clothes she put on looked perfectly fit her. Her sharp jawline made her looked good in every angle. Her small nose made her looked cute. Her innocent eyes could sway you away and made you lose yourself for a moment in its depth. But Taeyeon was too shy to notice them all.

She never really had a boyfriend. When a guy asked her out, she would not even dare to look into his eyes because she was nervous. When she hung out with a guy, she would make herself busy playing with her phone or fidgeting in her seat, making her looked uncomfortable. And that was why, her attempts to go on dates never resulted in getting any boyfriend. None of those guys she dated was persistent enough to know her better. They usually felt rejected, or simply thought that Taeyeon was uncomfortable with them.

But things were different when Taeyeon met this person, in one afternoon on her third day in the new company.


“Hi! Taeyeon, right?” A husky voice greeted her cheerily.

Taeyeon who was in the middle of reading training materials, halted her activity and looked up only to see a pair of eye smile greeting her sight. She smiled awkwardly and nodded without saying a word.

A chuckle escaped from the stranger’s lips, followed with a hand stretched towards her. “I am Tiffany. It’s Stephanie Hwang actually but I prefer to be called Tiffany.” The stranger introduced herself at Taeyeon and waited Taeyeon to shake her hand.

Taeyeon took a moment to see the stranger. She assumed that the woman in front of her was about the same age as her. Her hair was brunette, and red lipstic covered her lips. She wear a black formal dress topped with white blazer. Shyly, Taeyeon took the hand, giving a gentle handshake. “I am Taeyeon… Uhm… I think you’ve known my name already.”

Tiffany laughed softly and gave a gentle squeeze on Taeyeon’s hand. “Everyone is talking about you. Everyone is like ‘Hey! Have you seen Taeyeon, the new girl? She is so cute!’ There is no way I wouldn’t know your name.” She smiled again but not releasing Taeyeon’s hand yet.

Taeyeon only bit her lips, feeling embarrassed at the compliment. It was nothing new to her to be called cute but still, she still hadn’t gotten used to it yet. She looked at their hands and slightly tried to take her hand back. Even though this girl in front of her seemed friendly and nice, she was not really comfortable in having much skinship.

Tiffany noticed the gesture and immediately released Taeyeon’s hand. “Are you always this shy?”

Again, Taeyeon nodded, not saying a word.

“Ah, do I make you feel uncomfortable?”

“No. It’s just… uhm… I…” Taeyeon tried to explain but she did not know what to say.

Another soft laugh was heard and Tiffany waved her hand in front of Taeyeon’s face. “It’s okay. Just a heads up, though. I am so gonna be nosy and chatty. So you might hear my voice every know and then. And maybe you’re gonna stuck in a conversation with me. I just really love talking with people. I hope you don’t mind.”

“Are you in sales department?” Taeyeon could not help to ask. This kind of person usually was salesperson. Most sales people was always chatty and had bright personality, just like what Tiffany had.

“Me? Sales department? Hell, no! Cannot imagine to travel around so much. I love air-conditioned office. I am a market analyst.” She then pointed at a cubicle at another corner of the room. “That’s my cubicle. You’re always welcomed to visit me there.”

Taeyeon let out a soft ‘oh’ and nodded at the explanation.

A soft ding suddenly heard from Tiffany’s phone in her hand. the brunette looked at the phone and turned her head back to Taeyeon. “Got a meeting with the President Director in fifteen minutes. Gotta check my presentation now. See you around, Taeyeon!” Tiffany then waved Taeyeon good bye and walked toward her cubicle.

Taeyeon only smiled at the cheery woman she just met. She always admired a person like Tiffany. A person with friendly attitude. She turned her focus back to her training material, still had a smile on her face. It was not bad. At least she knew that Tiffany might be her new friend in this company.


Taeyeon was not a close-minded person but she was not really good at social interaction. She was open to new ideas but she was uncomfortable in meeting new people. With Tiffany around, she felt a bit at ease because the woman always helped her in interacting with people. Within a month, Taeyeon succeeded in knowing everyone in the office and interacted with them in daily basis. With Tiffany’s help, she made some new friends without too much effort in initiating any conversation because Tiffany really had a lot to talk, be it political news, latest gossips in office, idols’ scandal, stock market, and so on.

She started to get used to having Tiffany around because even though Tiffany was her total opposite, the woman always made sure she did not intrude Taeyeon’s bubble. There were no contact on weekends, because Tiffany knew Taeyeon needed time for herself after interaction with people on the weekdays. Tiffany was a nice friend, and Taeyeon appreciate what Tiffany had done to her.

And there was one day when a rumor about Tiffany arose inside the office.

“Have you heard about the news?” Her colleague asked Taeyeon in the middle of their lunch. Tiffany was not around at that time because she took a leave. Taeyeon only looked at her colleague, asking her to continue.

“She is gay. Who would expect her to be gay? She is so feminine, and she is pretty. If she is a tomboy, I might understand. But her…” The colleague whispered, making sure that no one would hear her.

Taeyeon only raised her eyebrows upon the statement and asked, “So?”

“Aren’t you afraid? I mean, she is like the closest person you have in office. Aren’t you afraid that she might like you?”

Taeyeon digested the information for a while and imagined anything that might happened. She then pouted and shrugged. “I don’t know,” She answered shortly before continued digging her meals. She was open with the idea of LGBT, even though she never really had any gay friends before. She remembered that her colleague no longer talked to her after she dismissed the conversation while her mind started to think, whether it was true that Tiffany was gay, and what if Tiffany liked her. She bit her lips as she imagined. There was no way Tiffany would like her that way. She was not attractive and she never really succeeded in getting any boyfriend for herself. There was no way a person like Tiffany would like her.


Tiffany was an open book. You could find out everything about her just by talking at her and she would tell you anything you want to know. But she never stopped surprising people. When she noticed that most women in office started to make distance around her, she knew that the gossip had gotten into them. One day, she gathered everyone in office pantry, leaning on the wall, she looked at the woman one by one and grinned.

Taeyeon was also there, joining the crowd, sitting at the corner of the pantry, watching as Tiffany casually waited everyone to be seated before throwing the question. The obvious question.

“So, you guys have heard that I am gay?” She said casually as if that was not a new thing for her.

None of her colleagues answered. They just looked at each other, waiting for someone to answer Tiffany’s question.

Tiffany laughed at the awkwardness and waved her hand in dismissal. “Watching at your response, I believe every single one of you have heard the news. Well, that’s right. I am gay.” There were low murmur after her speech, but Tiffany did not seem to be affected.

But!” She raised her index finger, trying to get the attention for the next thing she was about to say. “Don’t worry. I don’t have a crush at any of you.” She smiled but then she looked at Taeyeon with a mischievous expression. “There is only one person I like in this office.”

Everyone was surprised and followed Tiffany’s eyes, who were staring at Taeyeon. “If there is a crush I have in this office. It’s only Taeyeon.” She smiled softly at Taeyeon and dismissed the crowd before walked casually to her own cubicle leaving the people stared at Taeyeon who had this flustered expression on her face. She never got any confession before. Not from any guys because the guys usually gave up before they had chance to say they liked her. But here she was, getting indirect confession in the crowd, by a girl. How could her life went upside down in a day?


Taeyeon was in her car, which she parked right in front of office building. She stared at a certain familiar figure who was standing in front of elevator, seemingly waited for the elevator to pick her up to their office floor. She heaved a sigh and took her phone, deciding to play with her phone for a moment while waiting for that person taking the lift up.

The person was Tiffany. Ever since she announced to everyone that she was gay, the woman had changed a lot. She did not hesitate to put special attention to Taeyeon. Taeyeon did not mind at first. But the amount of attention she received from Tiffany had significantly increased and she was kind of afraid of their closeness. It was not Tiffany’s feeling to her that she was afraid of. It was not Tiffany’s feeling that she could not accept. The fact that she felt surprisingly comfortable with Tiffany’s affection was what made her afraid.

Taeyeon had read articles about LGBT, trying to find out any single information about what it was. Some people said it was a disease. Some people mentioned that it might be contagious. The more she heard from people, the more she freaked out. That was why she started her own research about LGBT.

Having Tiffany around her, made her feel at ease. No matter what people said, no matter how her colleagues told her that she needed to put some distance from Tiffany, she could not do it. But there were moments when her mind spoke louder than her heart, and at those moments, Taeyeon felt somehow insecure about herself. She was not insecure at Tiffany. She believed that Tiffany meant no harm. She believed that Tiffany would understand if she ever said that she was uncomfortable with all affection she got. But, the thing that made her insecure the most was the probability that she might get attracted to the latter.

Taeyeon repeatedly failed the game she played in her phone because of the thought and a knock on her car window made her almost dropped her phone. She jerked her head up and saw that Tiffany was peeking inside her car window. Taeyeon took a deep breath, trying to calm herself before carefully opened the door.

“Morning, cutie!” Tiffany greeted her, as cheerful as she always was.

Taeyeon only smiled awkwardly and pushed the door wider, letting herself out of the car. She then proceeded opening the passenger door to take her belongings.

“Why are you staying in your car?” Tiffany asked out of curiosity.

Taeyeon only answered by showing her phone screen which still showed the game she previously played.

“Ah, playing games?” Tiffany chuckled and waited Taeyeon to be ready before gesturing the latter to walk with her.

Taeyeon silently followed Tiffany without saying anything, which did not go unnoticed by the latter. When they were in front of the elevator, and waiting for it, Tiffany turned her head to Taeyeon and looked at her. She leaned herself a bit to Taeyeon, trying to get the latter’s attention.


“Yes?” Taeyeon looked into Tiffany’s eyes and blushed, noticing the proximity between them. She unconsciously stepped backward, making sure there were distance between them. She silently cursed herself when she did that. It was out of reflex when she felt her heart skipped a beat noticing the lack of spaces between them. It was the foreign feelings she felt aside from shyness that made her did the move.

Tiffany noticed it and smiled faintly. “You’re so quiet today.” She then took a step aside, giving more space between them. “Are you uncomfortable with me around?”

“Ah, no…” Taeyeon did not dare to look into Tiffany’s eyes as she answered.

“You know what?” Tiffany asked Taeyeon while shifting he gaze to the elevator in front of them.

Taeyeon looked up and felt relieved when she saw Tiffany no longer looked at her.

“You can always say that you feel uncomfortable with me and I will no longer try to get close to you.” She stopped talking for a while, stealing a glance at Taeyeon. “But, as long as you do not say it, I won’t stop, Taeyeon.” She finished her sentence right when the elevator dinged and the door opened.

Taeyeon could not say a word and again, only followed Tiffany inside the elevator. Silently thinking to herself. I don’t even understand myself what kind of feeling is this.


“Do you know that I really like to see into your pretty eyes?”

Taeyeon blushed at the sudden question and tried her best not to choke on the meals she had. She immediately took a sip of her drink and cleared her throat, making Tiffany laughed at the sight.

“Why do you still act like that around me, Taeyeon?” Tiffany handed a piece of tissue, which Taeyeon took to wiped her mouth.

Taeyeon only shrugged in answer, hardly hid the pink hue on her cheeks. It was not the first time Tiffany gave her random compliment and she still had not gotten used to it yet.

My pretty eyes?

She questioned herself and stole a glance at Tiffany who already continued chewing her meals while throwing her eye smile at Taeyeon. She smiled a bit at the sight. Ever since she knew Tiffany, Taeyeon always thought that Tiffany’s smile was beautiful, very beautiful.

Have you seen yourself in the mirror? You’ve got that pretty eye smile, Fany-ah.

Taeyeon blushed at her own thought and immediately continued eating, trying to distract herself from the thought she just had.

“Taeyeon,” The husky voice called out her name and Taeyeon looked at the voice’s owner.

“I know I am not supposedly say it now. It may be too fast. I like you so much. Wanna be my girlfriend?”

Taeyeon did not have time to react at the sudden confession. She believed her expression said it all to Tiffany without her needed to say anything, proved by a chuckled from the latter who just shrugged and continued eating.

“I guess not yet.” Tiffany said more to herself than to Taeyeon.

Taeyeon pressed her lips into thin line, not knowing what to do or say. So, just like what Tiffany did, she continued eating her meals.


“Sometimes I wonder…” Tiffany suddenly spoke, breaking the silence. They were in Taeyeon’s car. There was a company dinner event and Taeyeon offered Tiffany to joined her car instead of going to the venue by taxi.

“What is it?” Taeyeon replied while keeping her focus on the road ahead.

“You’ve known that I am gay, and you also know that I like you so much. And by saying I like you so much, means I like you that way. But here you are, still around me as if you’re totally okay with it.”


“I wonder… are you secretly gay?”

Taeyeon almost gasped at the question but she maintained her composure and shrugged, making Tiffany laughed at the awkward gesture.

The question was the question she had been asking to herself these past months, ever since she noticed that she did not mind having Tiffany around even after knowing that Tiffany was trying to court her. She had not had the answer for the question and the sudden question made her think again.

“Hey Taeyeon, if I ask you to my girlfriend again, will you say yes?” Tiffany suddenly asked making Taeyeon blushed hard.


Another laughed escaped Tiffany’s lips.

“I guess that is another no from you.”

Taeyeon bit her lips nervously and cleared her throat. “Why do you really like throwing out random questions like that?”

Tiffany hummed for a while before stealing a glance at Taeyeon who still had her cheeks tinted pink because of her questions. “Why? Do you feel uncomfortable every time I ask that question?”

“It’s not that…”

“Do you dislike me?” Tiffany threw out another question which made Taeyeon flustered.

“What? No.”

“Are you afraid of me?” Tiffany asked again.

This time Taeyeon took sometimes before answering. She tried to understand the fear she had. She tried to understand herself first before answering the question and finally she stole a glance at Tiffany who had her eyes stared at Taeyeon.

“Sometimes…,” Taeyeon answered. “Sometimes, when you asked me those random questions, I don’t feel like I am prepared to answer and that makes me afraid. Sometimes when you come too close, I feel somehow nervous.” She answered truthfully.

Tiffany only smiled at the explanation and looked at Taeyeon’s hands which gripped the steering wheel.

“And sometimes…” Taeyeon continued. “The way you say that you like me, or you say I am pretty or cute…” She stole another glance before continuing, “You said it so casually, sometimes I wonder myself, do you really like me? I mean… you know… it just sounds like… you know… you just tease me around.”

Tiffany chuckled and shifted her position a bit to comfortably look at Taeyeon. “I mean it, Taeyeon. I am just afraid if I said it too seriously, you will run away from me. But I guarantee you that I won’t ask you to be my girlfriend more than three times. Three is my limit.” She raised one hand, showing three fingers at Taeyeon. “I’ve said it twice. So, I only had one more chance to ask you. If you say no for the third time, I promise I will stop trying to get you.”

“But, you asked me twice within a very short period of time, Fany-ah. It was two months ago when you first asked me. And you just asked me again. How could I not think that you are just teasing me?”

Tiffany smirked at the protest and leaned forward, whispering right into Taeyeon’s ear, “So, if I won’t ask you for a certain period of time, you might say yes?”

Taeyeon mind went blank for a while at the proximity and the question but she noticed that she was driving so she immediately put her focus back, holding her breath, feeling too nervous with everything now. She did not see this coming be it; Tiffany whispered in her ears or the question Tiffany raised. But the thing that took up the most space in her head was, why she could not answer it right away. If there was no probability of her saying yes to Tiffany, she might blurted out that she was straight, indirectly saying that there was no such a chance for Tiffany. But instead, her brain processed the question too much and there was a teeny tiny voice in her head saying that there was a chance for Tiffany.

Tiffany laughed as she watched how Taeyeon react and finally pulled away. “Hey, Taeyeon.”

Taeyeon hummed in answer, she could not guess what Tiffany would say next.

“Sometimes…” Tiffany said “I wonder, how would it feel to hold your hand.” She smiled cheekily at Taeyeon. “Can I?”

Taeyeon bit her lips nervously. She actually did not mind by the idea. But the thought itself made her feeling somehow giddy. To imagine Tiffany’s hand in hers and Tiffany’s fingers in between hers was not a new thing for her. There were moments when they walked together side by side, arms brushed each other accidentally, the thought came into Taeyeon’s mind.

“Just hold hands, right?” She finally answered shyly.

“Yes, just hold hands. Can I?” Tiffany still had that cheeky smile on her face.

Hesitantly, Taeyeon took one hand off the wheel and opened her palm at Tiffany, which Tiffany gladly took. She could feel the warmth of Tiffany’s hand, and when Tiffany’s fingers slipped between hers, her inside felt fizzy and she could not explain, why would she feel that. So she let Tiffany held her hand while she kept driving. The latter no longer said a word after having Taeyeon’s hand in hers. Taeyeon took a glance only to smile at the sight next to her; Tiffany held her hand, closing her eyes with a wide smile on her face.


Tiffany really meant what she said. She kept her words by not asking Taeyeon to be her girlfriend anymore. But the affection she gave to Taeyeon never decreased. They always had their lunch together. Sometimes Tiffany would ask Taeyeon to get out of her place on weekend only to stroll around the city and had their coffee dates in Taeyeon’s favourite cafes.

Taeyeon had gotten used to have Tiffany around. At first, there were times when Taeyeon did not want to meet Tiffany simply because she felt like she already had too much dose of Tiffany in one week. Surprisingly, Tiffany understood and slowed things down. And when The brunette did so, Taeyeon started to be the one who looked for Tiffany. Meeting each other everyday had now become their routine and there was a small voice in Taeyeon’s head saying that she actually wanted to have Tiffany with her at day and night.


Taeyeon took her phone from the night stand and a smile curved on her face when she saw a message from Tiffany.

“Cannot wait for tomorrow! Morning coffee before office?”

She typed a reply right away.

“What’s happening tomorrow? Sure. Let’s get some coffee.”

A reply came really fast.

“I get to see you again! Ugh, I hate weekend. 7.30 tomorrow morning?”

“LOL. You didn’t ask me to hang out this weekend. OK. 7.30.”

“I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable. You need your ‘me-time’ to recharge your energy, cutie. OK then. See you tomorrow. <3”

“LOL. See you tomorrow :)”

She put her phone back on the night stand, still with a wide smile on her face. These past months, with Tiffany around, time passed so fast. Every time she spent time with Tiffany she always felt this fizzy feelings inside her heart. It felt foreign but it was also addictive. The way Tiffany would look into her eyes. The mischievous smile Tiffany had every time she teased Taeyeon. A pair of beautiful eye smiles which always made her heart skipped a beat. The way Tiffany would hold her hand and swung it playfully only not to make people suspicious. The way Tiffany understood her without she needed to say anything. The way Tiffany kept being around even though she had not made up her mind.

The last thought made her frown. These past months, she knew that Tiffany really meant it when the latter said she liked Taeyeon. It felt so good every time Tiffany said ‘I like you’ or every time Tiffany called her ‘cutie’. She never felt this kind of feelings before. Maybe, just maybe, after all these time, she had also fallen for Tiffany.

She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. There was only one thing bugging her at the moment, How long would Tiffany wait for her?


“Can I ask you something?” Taeyeon asked as she wiped her mouth. It was Saturday night and she had dinner date with Tiffany.

The woman in front of her did the same. Wiping her mouth with napkin and smiled while nodding. “Sure. What is it?”

“Why three?”


Taeyeon blushed a bit and sipped her water before continued. “You said three is your limit. You will only ask me to be your girlfriend three times. And if I answer ‘no’ three times, you will stop trying to get me.”

Tiffany shrugged, still with a smile on her face. “I don’t know. It’s just a rule I have for myself. Why?”

It was Taeyeon’s turn to shrug. “So, you apply the rule to all your dates?”

This time, Taeyeon’s question was answered with a soft chuckle. A voice Taeyeon had grown fond of. “I never asked anyone to be my girlfriend.” There was a mischievous twinkle in Tiffany’s eyes. “Usually, people would ask me to be their girlfriend. So, nope. It only applies to you.”

Taeyeon blushed hard at the answer, making Tiffany laugh. “”Aigoo, Taeyeon… Why are you so cute?”

And the compliment made her blushed even harder.

“Uhm…” Taeyeon fiddled with her own fingers, contemplating should she ask the question or not.

“Hmmm, what is it?” Tiffany looked at Taeyeon, patiently waiting for Taeyeon to finish her sentence. This was also the thing Taeyeon liked from Tiffany. The brunette always waited for her to finish her sentence no matter how long it took for Taeyeon to finally said it.

“What will happen after the third time?”

“Like I said before. I will no longer try to win your heart. We’re just going to be friends. No heart feelings, Taeyeon. We’re adults.”

Taeyeon nodded at the explanation, still fidgeting in her seat. It would take her every effort to finally speak up her mind tonight.

“It’s not that I don’t like you…” She spoke softly

“Hmmm, I know…” A smile presented on Tiffany’s face.

“I… I like you too…” Taeyeon could feel her cheeks burned in embarrassment as she spilled the words. She never said it before to anyone but here she was, saying the words to Tiffany.

“That I also know.” Tiffany’s smile was getting wider.

“So, the third time you’re going to ask me the quest-…”

“Do you wanna be my girlfriend?” Tiffany leaned forward, still had a wide smile on her face.

Taeyeon gasped at the proximity but this time she did not back away and blushed even harder. She bit her lips before nodding timidly at Tiffany. She could feel Tiffany’s hand cupped her cheeks and made her face the brunette in front of her.

“Taeyeon-ah…” Tiffany’s voice sounded gentle. Very gentle. She looked into Taeyeon’s eyes. There was no cheeky smile or mischievous smile like she usually had every time she teased Taeyeon, and Taeyeon was drifted into Tiffany’s eyes.

“Do you wanna be my girlfriend?”



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