I still remember the first time we held hands.


It was eight years ago when we were in college. You were the band majorette in our college’s symphonic band. The first time I noticed you was at the orientation when I first joined as a freshman. You looked so hot (and still am) playing the saxophone solo on stage. From that moment, I had an instant crush on you.


I joined the band (to get closer to you of course!) and we became friends. Though we were in different sections, you took time to coach me on playing the clarinet whenever my section leader was busy teaching the weaker ones. You couldn’t have imagined how I treasured every second I spent with you during those days.


Being the student conductor, you guided us through our band practices whenever Teacher Kim wasn’t around. I was sure you noticed me staring at you but you never let your eyes linger on me for a moment longer, choosing to glance at your music score. At times, I thought I saw you blush despite your tanned complexion. It was only five years later that you finally admitted you did.


It was a rainy afternoon after band practice. I forgotten to pack my umbrella in my backpack and I wasn’t prepared to dash to the bus stop in the pouring rain. I was sitting on the stairs, watching the rain pound against the concrete floor when I felt someone tap my shoulder. It was you.


You wore a look of exasperation on your face and it turned out that you had forgotten to bring your umbrella too. Both of us laughed at our forgetfulness. We ended up chatting at the stairs until the heavy downpour became a drizzle. Then you suggested making a dash for the bus stop else it would be quite late by the time we got home. We stood at the edge of the step leading out to the school gate and paused for a moment. The next instant, you held my hand and pulled me out of the building and towards the bus stop. We ran, giggling along the way. Even when we reached the bus stop, you didn’t let go of my hand immediately. We stood side by side, both too shy to look at each other directly. However, my bus came shortly and you had to release my hand. My heart sank as I boarded the bus, hoping it wasn’t the first and last time we held hands.


After that day, we started to hang out with each other more often. The band room was our usual meeting place after class ended. We practised on our respective instruments or chatted the afternoon away. About a month later, you held my hand again as we walked to the bus stop. That time, it felt like the most natural thing to do. It wasn’t awkward nor sudden. I remembered you were acting cool as you looked ahead while I was blushing from ear to ear. Our arms brushed against each other’s and that made the butterflies in my stomach flutter (and still do!) (Kwon Yuri, I am very sure your heart almost burst through your ribcage the moment you gathered enough courage to hold my hand. Till today, you refuse to admit that you were a nervous wreck that afternoon.)


Anyway, at that time, I didn’t know hand holding was a silent declaration of our love for each other. Friends came to congratulate us on being together despite us not announcing our relationship. Everyone was happy for us. It was a warm and delightful feeling. Plus, your hand fits perfectly in mine like it’s just made for me. (Not trying to be cheesy here.)


I remember the time when you comforted me during the passing of my mother. No words could describe the pain I was going through. You were there by my side, wrapping my hands in yours, giving them a reassuring squeeze every now and then, telling me that everything was alright and that you would become my pillar of strength. I never realised that a simple gesture of hand holding would give me the comfort I needed during that period. Thank you, Yuri.


On a brighter side, I like the touch of your hands on my cheek and the way you tilt my chin up whenever you close in for a kiss. I like how your hands run through my hair to smooth out the stray strands and end with the curling of the ends of my hair around your finger. The way your thumb strokes the back of my palm whenever we are watching movies or just lazing on the couch never fails to send tingles throughout my body. And you know how good you are with your hands. Hey, before your mind gets clouded with dirty thoughts, I am referring what a handy woman you are; fixing the light bulb, unclogging the sink, setting up our new audio system in the living room, playing the saxophone and more.


Yul, let’s grow old together and hold hands until our hands are all wrinkly and dry. I love you, Kwon Yuri. Happy Valentine’s Day!



Your doe-eye dear, Yoong