No Strings Attached – Chapter Fourteen

Taeyeon arrived ten minutes ahead of time and parked along the road outside Jessica’s apartment. She was checking her emails on her mobile phone when she spotted someone coming out of the building from the corner of her eye.

 

Jessica had her blonde hair tied up neatly in a bun and was wearing a light blue translucent blouse with a pair of white capris. She was definitely the centre of attraction, causing the people who were waiting at the security post to turn their heads to see the blonde.

 

If looks could kill…I would have been dead a long time ago. Yes, that’s how distracting she is.

Jessica sashayed her way to Taeyeon’s car, opened the door and plonked herself at the passenger car.

 

“You’re early.” Jessica strapped the seatbelt across her body and stretched her legs.

 

“As always,” Taeyeon smiled sweetly, unable to take her eyes off Jessica.

 

“Is there something wrong with my make up? Why aren’t you driving off?” Jessica asked, flipping down the sunshade mirror to check her face.

 

“You look perfect…as always.”

 

“Of course,” Jessica said confidently with a smirk on her face.

 

On the way to the restaurant, Taeyeon decided to break the bad news to Jessica. At a traffic junction, she turned around to face Jessica. Her palms were sweaty and she wiped them on her jeans.

 

“Actually there’s someone else who’s joining us at the restaurant besides the usual gang,” Taeyeon stuttered. In actual fact, she was shaking inside as she was worried about Jessica’s reaction.

“Minjung?” Jessica said casually, looking at Taeyeon.

 

“How did you know?” Taeyeon blurted out in amazement.

 

“Woman’s intuition,” Jessica answered plainly before turning her head back and looking straight ahead.

 

“Are…are you okay with it? I’m sorry I didn’t tell you earlier. She wanted to have dinner with me alone but I refused. She kept persisting and I gave her the condition that all my friends should be invited if she wants to have dinner with me,” Taeyeon explained, hoping that Jessica wouldn’t reject the dinner date at the last minute.

 

“You don’t have to explain it to me. It’s just a dinner gathering anyway. I’m not obliged to entertain her since I’m not the organizer.”

 

Jessica had internationally dressed up for the dinner though it was at a neighbourhood suburb. She made sure she wasn’t going to be outshone by some random ‘middle-age’ lady and wanted Taeyeon to keep her eyes on her.

 

“Yul and Yoong would be there too. They can help to entertain her, you don’t have to be bothered by her.”

 

“Hm,” came a short reply.

 

~*~*~*~*~

 

As the Korean BBQ restaurant was very popular on weekend nights, Taeyeon had to park along a small side street which was a distance away from the restaurant. Just as Taeyeon wanted to get out of the car, she was pulled back into her seat forcefully by Jessica.

 

Jessica placed one hand behind Taeyeon’s head and kissed her hard on the lips. That random kiss lasted for quite a while as their passions went wild.

Finally, Jessica broke away, leaving Taeyeon gasping for breath. Jessica calmly flipped down the sunshade mirror and reapplied her lipstick as it was smudged during the kiss earlier on. It was her subtle way of reminding Taeyeon of her presence in case Taeyeon became too distracted with Minjung.

 

“That was one fantastic appetiser!” Taeyeon licked her lips, still a little breathless. She hurriedly buttoned the top two buttons that were undone earlier on and wiped off the red lipstick smudges from her face.

 

“Be good and you may have dessert later tonight,” Jessica said seductively as she stepped out of the car.

 

Minjung, Yuri and Yoona were at the restaurant when Taeyeon and Jessica arrived. There was an empty seat beside Minjung and the older lady immediately got up from her seat and pulled Taeyeon towards the empty chair. Jessica had no choice but to sit between Yuri and Yoona.

 

“Who is she?” Minjung asked Taeyeon.

 

“Erm…she is…” Taeyeon hesitated briefly, not sure of how she should introduce Jessica to Minjung. Her friend? Her bed buddy? Her girlfriend?

 

“Jessica. She helped in the development and design of the café’s website,” Yuri interjected, saving Taeyeon from having to explain any further.

 

Taeyeon and Jessica took their seats respectively. Taeyeon stole a glance at Jessica but the latter ignored her and started chatting with the other two women. The moment Taeyeon sat down, Minjung was all over her, ignoring the rest of them completely. It was as if Taeyeon was the only person at the dinner table. She was caressing Taeyeon’s face and occasionally leaving her hand on Taeyeon’s thigh while talking to her. Taeyeon was very uncomfortable and looked at Yuri for help but Yuri could only shrug her shoulders. They knew that Minjung was very stubborn and in the current situation, there was nothing Yuri could do.

 

Jessica couldn’t bear to look at Taeyeon. She focused her attention on Yuri and Yoona instead. She had expected Minjung to make her move on Taeyeon but seeing the physical interactions in real life was more painful than she had imagined.

 

Once the meats on the grille were ready, Minjung picked up a piece of meat with her chopsticks, blew at it gently with her mouth before feeding it to Taeyeon.

 

“Here’s a reward for baking such delicious cakes. Say ahhh,” Minjung cooed, batting her fake eyelashes.

 

Taeyeon tried to back away. “It’s okay, I’ll help myself with it. You can go ahead.”

 

“Aww…finish this piece,” Minjung persisted, waving the piece of meat in front of Taeyeon.

 

Taeyeon reluctantly opened her mouth and allow Minjung to shove the piece of meat into her mouth. She sighed inwardly, feeling very awkward that a customer was feeding her in front of all her friends.

 

Oh my goodness! This is really looking like a mother feeding her kid. She really thinks that Taeyeon is only 6 years old?

 

Jessica was chewing very hard and it wasn’t because the meat was tough. She was gritting her teeth while watching Minjung and Taeyeon.  She was a master at hiding her emotions since she had worked in public relations before and knew how to behave in a social setting. However, the sourness that gnawed at her heart was getting bad to worse during the dinner.  She knew she was in no position to control Taeyeon’s social life since they weren’t in an official relationship.

 

No strings attached. Yes, that sums up our relationship. She is definitely NOT getting any dessert tonight. Hmp! I’ll just eat my dinner and ignore those two people.

 

Occasionally Taeyeon would steal glances at Jessica but she was disappointed when Jessica didn’t look in her direction at all and even seemed to be ignoring her. She was wondered if Jessica was upset about the way Minjung was behaving towards her.

Minjung ordered four bottles of soju and offered a toast to everyone for the success of their café. Immediately after the first toast, Minjung quickly refilled Taeyeon’s glass and told her to drink another glass of soju with her.

 

“Miss Lee, I don’t usually drink that much. Maybe let’s eat something first,” Taeyeon persuaded, hoping to avoid drinking too much soju within a short period of time.

 

“Nah, what’s one more glass of soju while we wait for the meat? Come on, you’re already thirty, don’t tell me your alcohol limit’s so low?” Minjung said aloud, patting Taeyeon’s thigh. She leaned towards Taeyeon with a devilish smile on her face.

 

Yuri hurriedly picked up a few pieces of meat and placed them on Taeyeon and Minjung’s plates.

 

“Miss Lee, let’s tuck in first before the food turns cold. Cold meat and soju don’t go well together,” Yuri said, hoping to change a topic and thereby saving her friend from the agony of drinking.

 

Fortunately Minjung agreed and all of them started eating. After a few rounds of meat, Minjung started pressuring Taeyeon for drinks again. Taeyeon’s face was as red as a tomato by the end of the fourth glass of soju.

 

“Miss Lee, Taeyeon can’t drink much. Moreover she’s driving later. I’ll drink on her behalf,” Yuri offered.

 

“It’s such a happy occasion so we should celebrate! One of you can drive her car while I send her home. Just give me her address!” Minjung declared.

 

Minjung filled a glass of soju and handed it to Taeyeon, asking her to drink it in one shot. Taeyeon’s eyes were starting to turn red and watery. Then she felt Minjung snaking one arm around her waist. She wanted to move away but realised the older woman tightened her grip.

 

As Taeyeon reluctantly lifted the soju glass to her mouth, she felt someone snatch the glass from her. It was Jessica. She had gotten up from her seat and walked to Taeyeon’s side. She snatched the glass from Taeyeon’s hands and placed the glass on the table with a loud ‘clink’.

“What’s the point of making Taeyeon so drunk that she can’t enjoy herself when it’s meant to be a celebration for the success of her café?” Jessica growled. She had enough of the nonsense from Minjung and decided to put a stop to it. In fact, she was the only person who could treat Minjung that way since she wasn’t considered as a staff at the café. The rest of them were afraid to offend the customer.

 

“Yuri, Yoona, please bring Taeyeon to the washroom to freshen up,” Jessica requested politely.

 

Both of them did as they were told. Taeyeon turned around and watched Jessica taking a seat at one of the stools near Minjung as her two friends held onto her arms. Taeyeon’s eyes met Jessica’s eyes briefly and she thought Jessica looked a bit upset.

 

I hope no blood would be shed when I get back from the washroom. I don’t feel safe leaving them alone.

 

Jessica knew that Minjung was obviously displeased at what she did.

 

This is the time to knock some sense into this ahjumma.  

 

“Miss Lee, I’m sure everyone is very happy that you’re such a loyal customer of the café. You’re always sweeping the cakes off the shelves, especially those baked by Taeyeon. Why hers? Why not Yuri’s?”

 

“I like Taeyeon, she’s cute. I’ll support whatever she bakes,”Minjung said excitedly, clapping her hands.

 

Jessica raised her brows at Minjung’s reaction. It was odd for an older woman to behave like a small kid. “I’m curious about what you would usually do with the cakes after buying them?”

 

“It depends. Sometimes I donate it to the old folk’s home near my house or I’ll pass them to my neighbours. Wait, is this some interrogation session? Why are you asking me all these strange questions? You ought to mind your own business, young woman.” Minjung’s tone of voice changed and she sounded more serious.

“Let me be upfront then. I don’t like to beat around the bush. Since day one, I can’t tolerate your behaviour. You’re buying all the cakes which Taeyeon has wholeheartedly put in her effort to bake, thereby preventing others from tasting her delicious cakes.”

 

“I’m just being supportive. If fans of an idol group can buy hundreds of CDs to support their idol, why can’t I do the same for Taeyeon? Who are you to dictate what I should or shouldn’t do?” Minjung waved a finger at Jessica, her anger building up inside of her.

 

“I’m just being a loyal customer of the store. Most of the time I can’t buy the cakes I want because you’ve already swept the shelves cleaned,” Jessica said firmly. She swatted Minjung’s hand away from her face.

 

This ahjumma is really rude, pointing at someone with her finger. Gosh! Clothes don’t make a man, having good manners do.

 

“Too bad if you’re slower than me,” Minjung barked.

 

“Because of a selfish prick like you, the café has been receiving numerous complaints from other regular customers who fail to buy cakes. At this rate, Taeyeon and the rest are going to lose a lot of customers and potentially cause the café to shut,” Jessica reasoned.

 

“As long as I buy from them, they would be earning money and they won’t shut,” Minjung said conceitedly.

 

“How do I get the logic in that thick skull of yours? It’s not only about you buying from them. Are you sure you will support them forever? What if your taste changes? What if a sweet young thing comes along and you decided to abandon Taeyeon?”

 

“I…I…You…” Minjung stuttered, unable to continue. Jessica knew she hit the nail on the spot. All along she speculated that Minjung was just being obsessed with Taeyeon.

 

“Seriously ahjumma, look at the mirror. Why would Taeyeon like a person like you? Go find someone your own age. Taeyeon is not the one for you,” Jessica snapped.

Jessica didn’t realise that her jealousy had caused her to utter those words.

 

“How would you know?! Don’t tell me you like Taeyeon too?”

 

Jessica’s heart stopped for a brief second. It was as if Minjung had read her mind.

 

“What’s the matter? Has the cat caught your tongue? You ran out of things to say suddenly?” Minjung taunted.

 

Jessica hesitated. She clenched her fist, angry at her brain for turning blank at this crucial moment.

 

“You’re such a coward. You like a person yet you have no guts to admit it! Well, I have and I intend to declare my love for Taeyeon tonight, in front of everyone! She’s mine!” Minjung let out an evil laugh.

 

Jessica felt her heart exploding with emotions. She was faced with an accusation from a random stranger, someone who didn’t know her at all, but yet managed to point out the true feelings in her heart.

 

Taking a deep breath, Jessica said, “So what if you declare your love for Taeyeon tonight? How sure are you that she would accept? Have you ever spared a thought about her feelings? It’s all about you, you, and only you. It’s just nothing but an obsession and a one-sided love.”

 

“You’re just jealous that I’m going to confess first before you. Too bad for a slow coach!” Minjung  jeered.

 

“Oh my goodness! No wonder you’re still single. Do you know the reason? Let me enlighten you. It’s because you’re a selfish, thick-headed, immature ahjumma who’s just bored and trying to find someone to amuse you!” Jessica said very firmly, raising her voice a little.

 

“You’re so darn rude. I’m sure your parents didn’t teach you any manners!” Minjung barked. She got up from her seat, raised her hand and threatened to slap Jessica. Jessica didn’t move from her spot and merely glared intensely back at Minjung.

 

“They taught me well and I can assure you that they’ve also taught me never to use violence to settle a problem. Violence is what thugs would use,” Jessica rebutted, standing up to meet Minjung’s glare. Both of them were locked in an intense eye battle.

 

All of a sudden, Jessica heard a familiar voice from afar.

 

“Jessica, look out!”

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s