Taeyeon let out a sigh. In two weeks’ time, it would be her deadline for her final year project. The library had been her second home for the past few weeks as she parked herself on one of the large desks near the window to finish her project.
“Going to the library again?” Yuri asked while packing her bag.
Taeyeon nodded, unable to answer as she was biting her notes while sweeping her textbook and stationery into her backpack.
“There’s an invention called the internet. I’m sure you can search for the information you need easily instead of flipping through stacks of books,” Yuri commented.
Taeyeon grabbed the paper from between her lips and shoved it into her backpack. “I prefer the old school way. Nowadays there’s information overload and tons of garbage online. Not all stuff posted online is credible.”
“You’re such a nerd, Taeyeon.”
“At least I’m special unlike all the cheerleaders, hip-hop lovers, fashionistas and sports captains in school,” Taeyeon grinned. The last part of her sentence was meant to tease Yuri, who was the netball captain.
“Aye, aye, no one’s going to fall in love with a nerd. It’s almost the end of our final year in uni and you’ve not dated a single soul!” Yuri gave Taeyeon a slap on her back as they left their classroom.
“Aish, just indulge in your own love story and don’t worry about me. Speak of the devil, the love of your life is here.” Taeyeon smiled at a fair skinned girl with jet black hair.
The girl skipped towards Yuri, threw her arms around Yuri’s neck and enveloped the tanned netball captain in a hug. Yuri wrapped her arms around her girlfriend and returned the favour before releasing her.
“Seeing the both of you together always reminds me of cookies and cream,” Taeyeon laughed. “One’s as dark as chocolate, the other’s as fair as cream.”
“I know you’re jealous of my healthy looking skin. I hear the library calling out to you. Go and date the books then. Farewell, thy fair one,” Yuri said dramatically. “Fany, let’s go have some cakes.”
Tiffany flashed her eye smiles at Yuri and nodded her head happily. She slipped her hand into Yuri’s and they walked away hand in hand.
Arriving at the library, Taeyeon muttered to herself as she headed for her usual seat by the window.
“A date with the library eh? I’m sure they would be other nerds who enjoy hanging out here too.”
Unfortunately, there was hardly anyone around. Taeyeon picked a few books off the shelf and started taking notes for her project.
An hour later, Taeyeon got bored. She got up to stretch herself. Walking to a shelf further down the aisle, she randomly ran her fingers along one of the shelves and pulled out a book.
“Advanced Chemistry. Yucks, I dislike this subject since high school. Can never understand molecular force, chemical bonding…getting a headache just thinking about them.”
Taeyeon placed the book back onto the shelf and strolled to the next aisle. She looked through the spines of the books, hoping to find something interesting to read. She spotted a dark brown leather bound book that was sticking out at the end of the shelf. Curious, she reached out and picked that book off the shelf.
It was a black leather bound moleskin journal with a rubber strap around the book. There wasn’t a title on the exterior of the book to reveal its contents. It looked like someone’s personal journal instead of a library book.
Taeyeon slipped her fingers underneath the rubber strap and loosened it so that she could see if there was a name somewhere. The moment she opened it, she saw a name embossed in gold letters on the inner cover.
Taeyeon let out a gasp and almost dropped the journal onto the floor. Jessica Jung was the top student in her cohort and she had the beauty to complement her good brain. She had long and straight blonde hair, coupled with big brown eyes that seem to have stars embedded in them. Her eyes always seemed to sparkle when she was talking. She always smelled of strawberries. Taeyeon also noticed a tiny mole on Jessica’s left cheek which made her look adorable in Taeyeon’s eyes.
Once, Taeyeon happened to queue in front of Jessica at the school canteen. Actually Yuri was queuing behind Taeyeon but the former disappeared the moment she spotted Tiffany, her girlfriend, in a distance. Taeyeon picked up a tray, intending to pass it to her friend before she picked another one for herself. The moment she turned around, she was greeted with a sight she would never forget.
Jessica was standing right behind her and was smiling warmly. She took the tray from Taeyeon and thanked her for the tray. Taeyeon was rendered dumb, taking in the beautiful sight in front of her. The scent of strawberries filled her nose. It wasn’t until Jessica tapped Taeyeon’s arm, telling her to move forward that she finally broke out of her daze. Embarrassed, Taeyeon quickly muttered an apology and moved forward. Her cheeks and ears were warm and she didn’t bear to turn around to see Jessica again.
At the end of the line, Taeyeon paid for her lunch, turned around briefly, uttered a quick goodbye and left. She failed to see Jessica giggling at her shyness.
Holding the journal in her hands, Taeyeon felt her heart beating rapidly. On one hand, she was tempted to read Jessica’s journal. On the other hand, she knew it was immoral to do so.
After a moment of deliberation, Taeyeon snapped the journal shut and went to a corner of the library where students hardly go. Taking a deep breath, Taeyeon opened the journal.
Neat handwriting filled the pages of the journal. One of the pages was folded at the corner and it caught Taeyeon’s attention. She flipped to that page and was surprised to see the title of the page.
Taeyeon blinked twice and read the title again. She couldn’t believe her eyes. In order to verify if Jessica was indeed referring to her, Taeyeon read on.
It started with Jessica describing her encounter with Taeyeon at the library. She had noticed Taeyeon for some time and found her cute, especially the way Taeyeon would furrow her brows and bit her lower lip whenever she was thinking hard.
The next few paragraphs were talking about Jessica’s encounter with Taeyeon at the canteen. She was pleasantly surprised to be queuing behind Taeyeon and wanted to start a conversation but she was worried if Taeyeon would think she was weird.
On another occasion, Jessica spotted an empty seat next to Taeyeon during an Economics lecture and wanted to sit next to her but the spot was swiftly taken by Yuri.
Jessica also wrote how she enjoyed reading Taeyeon’s fortnightly book review which was posted on the library’s noticeboard.
The last few pages were talking about different ways of how Jessica intended to ask Taeyeon out for ice cream, after finding out that it was Taeyeon’s favourite dessert.
As Taeyeon read on, it was certain that Jessica had feelings for her. She was trying not to squeal and her mind was dizzy with joy.
The next day during her break, Taeyeon managed to find out which lecture Jessica was attending. Stepping into the lecture hall, it was extremely easy to spot the blonde sitting among the students. Making her way towards Jessica, Taeyeon’s heart was beating a crazy tempo as she tried to calm herself down.
From a distance, Taeyeon noticed that Jessica was feeling upset and looking rather stressed. She presumed it had something to do with losing her journal.
Taking a seat next to Jessica, Taeyeon placed the black journal on the table. Jessica saw the familiar black journal and turned around to see the kind soul who had returned it to her.
Jessica’s eyes were wide open in surprise. She didn’t expect to see Taeyeon in her chemistry lecture since the latter took an Arts major. She mouthed a ‘thanks’ and hurriedly stuffed the journal into her bag.
Taeyeon grinned cheekily as she pushed a folded slip of paper towards Jessica. She gestured to Jessica to open it.
To answer your question, yes I’m free for ice cream anytime.
The corners of Jessica’s lips were lifted instantly and pink filled her cheeks.
Jessica was pleased that Taeyeon stayed throughout the chemistry lecture though it wasn’t part of the latter’s course. Both of them were secretly wishing for the lecture to end soon so that they could get to know each other better over ice cream.
= THE END =