Eleven

One Wednesday afternoon, Taeyeon and Tiffany were out at the mall to string couples, since both of them didn’t have any classes on and Taeyeon was very eager to complete her mission as soon as possible.

 

After stringing five couples in a row, they decided to take a break at an ice cream parlor in the mall. They took a corner seat and were chatting away when they heard boisterous laughter coming from the group of girls walking into the store.

 

Tiffany looked up and the colour drained out of her face instantly. Among the group of young girls stood someone she knew very well.

 

Kwon Yuri.

 

Yuri ended the track and field session earlier as her team was performing up to standards and they deserved a treat as a reward for their hard work. When she turned around to ask one of her teammates which flavour of ice cream she should order, she spotted Tiffany sitting in the far corner. A frown formed on her face when she saw that her girlfriend was spending time with some stranger. She told one of her teammates to place the order for her and handed her some money before approaching Tiffany.

 

Taeyeon was still chatting merrily away without realizing that Yuri was standing behind her.

 

“Hello dear, you’ve ended your practice earlier today?” Tiffany greeted somewhat unnaturally. There was a mixture of anxiety and fear in her tone.

 

Right at this moment, it dawned on Taeyeon why Tiffany had an unusual expression on her face and had seemed distracted. She slowly turned around and lifted her head to see the person standing behind her. She was startled by Yuri’s sudden appearance, since her practice wasn’t supposed to end until two hours later.

 

“Taeyeon?” Yuri uttered in surprise. Seeing Taeyeon chatting happily with her girlfriend confirmed her suspicions. There was a sudden ache in her heart when she saw the both of them together. “You two are…”

 

“Yul, I can explain…” Taeyeon couldn’t finish her sentence as Yuri turned around and stomped out of the ice cream parlor.

 

“I better go after her.” Tiffany grabbed her bag and dashed out of the store. She caught sight of Yuri’s back as she disappeared around a corner. She ran as fast as her legs could take her, hoping that she wouldn’t lose sight of Yuri.

 

“Yuri! Yuri!” Tiffany called out but Yuri merely sprinted, ignoring the red head.

 

They had chased each other for a while and Tiffany had sworn to herself that Yuri’s title as the captain of the Track-and-Field team was not to be taken lightly. The Kwon was as lithe and fast as a deer on the run. When Tiffany had finally caught up with Yuri, she flung her body towards Yuri and threw her arms around Yuri’s chest, enveloping the taller girl in a back hug in order to prevent Yuri from escaping her grasp.

 

Yuri stopped in her tracks, her breathing was heavy. Her heart was throbbing. Now, she was trapped by her girlfriend, or at least she thought Tiffany was her girlfriend, not Taeyeon’s.

 

“Yuri, please let me explain,” Tiffany mumbled through the Yuri’s hair as she nuzzled her nose into the latter’s neck. She finally felt the taller girl relax a little and she decided to loosen her grip.

 

“Speak,” Yuri said firmly when they found a seat at one of the quieter areas of the mall.

 

Tiffany took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. She held Yuri’s hands and rubbed them with hers.

 

“Promise me you’ll let me finish what I want to say before you make any decision,” Tiffany pleaded softly.

 

Yuri sighed. She knew she could never stay angry for long looking at the angelic face with pleading eyes staring back at her. She merely nodded and waited for Tiffany to continue.

 

“This story I’m going to tell you, may sound unbelievable, but it is the truth. Every single word is the truth and nothing but the truth. Taeyeon and I knew each other since a long time ago.”

 

Yuri’s face turned a shade darker but she didn’t break her eye contact with Tiffany.

 

“We’re Angels working in the Ministry of Love in Heaven. To be honest with you, I had the biggest crush on Taeyeon when I was transferred to that department. She’s friendly and humorous. Unfortunately, she was already attached and I’m fully aware that it is impossible to break them up as their love for each other is very strong,” Tiffany explained. She paused for a moment to let Yuri digest her words.

 

“Taeyeon’s lover was sent to Earth as a punishment for a mistake she made. Taeyeon was unable to bear the pain of seeing her loved one suffering, so she requested that she be sent to Earth to share the punishment that was administered on her lover. The Goddess of Love decided to send Taeyeon on a mission that would save the both of them if Taeyeon succeeded. As for me, I’m here to help Taeyeon complete the mission.”

 

Yuri’s eyes grew bigger and rounder when she heard that. “Are you kidding me?! Angels only exist in fairy tales, not in real life!”

 

“No, I’m serious. This is the truth,” Tiffany said desperately. She knew that it was difficult to make Yuri believe her words, but she had to try.

 

“What is the mission?” Yuri asked, folding her arms in front of her chest. She wasn’t fully convinced by what she had just heard from Tiffany. It was just too absurd.

 

“We’re supposed to string eighty-eight couples together in a span of three months. Taeyeon has to pull the threads of the couple together while I was tasked to tie the knot to ensure everlasting love and happiness between the couple. We can’t complete the mission on our own; it is something which requires both our gifts and there’s less than two months left to our deadline.”

 

“If the both of you don’t complete the mission, what would happen?” Yuri was still skeptical, but her interest was piqued on where Tiffany was going with this conversation.

 

“I honestly have no idea, but I think Taeyeon’s lover would suffer for eternity and Taeyeon will endure being helpless in seeing her beloved here on Earth forever.” Tiffany answered nervously. She hadn’t planned on failing since her purpose on Earth was to help Taeyeon complete her mission in the fastest time possible to shorten Taeyeon’s sufferings.

 

Yuri took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “Who’s Taeyeon’s lover?”

 

“In Heaven, she’s known as Jung Sooyeon. On Earth, she’s Jung Jessica.”

 

“Jessica?! The apple girl? She’s an Angel too??” Yuri exclaimed in surprise.

 

Tiffany nodded with a serious look on her face. “Jessica doesn’t know that Taeyeon’s her lover. Their memories of Heaven and of each other were wiped out before they were sent here on Earth. I just found out about the memory loss when you introduced me to Taeyeon back then. Taeyeon’s not supposed to be distracted by her mission and fall in love with anybody especially Jessica or else she would only bring misery to her loved one. But, I think this part backfired since Taeyeon found her lover…”

 

“You know, all these stuff you’ve just said sounded ridiculous to me. It feels like I’m listening to a bedtime story about fairies and angels. If you’re done, I’m going off now,” Yuri said curtly, shaking her head at the incredulity that Tiffany spoke of. She rose from her seat, ready to leave.  Before she could walk away, she felt Tiffany grabbing onto her wrist. Yuri turned around and looked at Tiffany with a stern glare.

 

“Yuri, since the day I met you at school, I was drawn to you instantly. You are cool yet dorky. You’ve a heart of gold and every time I see you smile, you sent the butterflies in my stomach fluttering. Since the day you asked me if I had something going on with Taeyeon, I realized that my feelings for you were different from my feelings for Taeyeon. I realized that I … love you.” Tiffany stood up and met Yuri eye to eye. The fiery look in Yuri’s eyes softened almost immediately.

 

“You may feel that everything I’ve just said was nonsensical, but my feelings for you are true. I love you, Yuri. I’m willing to forgo my time in Heaven to remain as a mortal so that I can stay on Earth just to be with you. Please believe me,” Tiffany pleaded for the last time.

 

Yuri didn’t know what to do. She felt the sincerity in Tiffany’s words and was touched by Tiffany’s love confession for her. Yet on the other hand, her rational mind told her that it was probably a cock and bull story which Tiffany had come up with, in order to give an excuse for her infidelity towards her.

 

“Prove it to me. Prove to me that you are an Angel. I’m sure you’ll have some special powers,” Yuri demanded.

 

“In order to show you my power, I’ll need Taeyeon’s help as well. Taeyeon and I are connected by a red thread. However, as a mortal, you wouldn’t be able to see it. Everyone has a red thread that’s on the fourth finger on their left hand. That’s the thread of Love and it’s the thread we’re supposed to string. Because of the mission, Taeyeon and I are connected by this thread.” Tiffany released her grip on Yuri’s wrist. She raised her left hand, clenched her left fist and made a quick swipe towards her body. It was as if she was pulling someone towards her. She intended to demonstrate how they string a couple together with Taeyeon’s help, hoping that Yuri would be convinced by it.

 

“What are you doing? Aren’t you going to call Taeyeon using your phone?” Yuri stared at Tiffany as she saw her girlfriend repeating the same action a few times.

 

A few minutes later, Yuri saw someone running towards them.

 

It was Taeyeon.

 

“Oh my God,” was all Yuri muttered when she saw her housemate stopping in front of them.

 

“Yul! Tiffany! I’m glad to see the both of you here. I thought you’ve left the mall,” Taeyeon panted, bending down with her hands on her knees. “Yul, I can explain.”

 

“Taeng, you don’t have to. Fany just told me everything, including your mission,” Yuri said, patting Taeyeon’s back, thoroughly convinced of Tiffany’s story. Then she turned around to face Tiffany and said, “Fany, I believe you.”

 

Tiffany couldn’t contain her emotions anymore and tears streamed down her porcelain face. Yuri stepped forward and enveloped the red haired woman in her arms. She tilted her head and kissed Tiffany’s ear. “I’m sorry for being so mean to you earlier on,” Yuri whispered. “I love you so much. It causes me pain to see you with someone else.”

 

Taeyeon smiled at the sight of the happy couple reuniting in front of her. Although her thread was still linked with Tiffany at the moment, she believed that Tiffany’s thread would ultimately be tied with Yuri’s when their mission was over.

 

“Come here, you shorty,” Yuri commanded when she looked up from Tiffany’s shoulder. She pulled Taeyeon in a group hug, determined to help her housemate complete her mission to the best of her ability.

 

~*~*~*~

 

“Tiffany, you should know why you’re summoned to my office at this moment,” Sooyoung said sternly, her hands clasped together on the huge oak table.

 

“Yes, Goddess Sooyoung. I confessed my love to a mortal,” Tiffany answered softly.

 

“Good. You should know that such love is forbidden between mortals and Angels,” Sooyoung continued.

 

“Yes, I do. But, I truly love her. I never thought I would experience the meaning of true love until I met her. Love is the most important thing in the world. Without it, there would only be depression and darkness.”

 

“If you decide to stay with the mortal, you would need to forgo your life in Heaven, a life of peace and harmony. Then, you’ll have to endure hardship and pain on Earth,” Sooyoung warned.

 

“I’m prepared for that,” Tiffany answered firmly.

 

“The power of true love is amazing and is something that even till today, people in Heaven are unable to fully comprehend. It makes people willing to sacrifice themselves and pay a high price just to be with their loved ones.”

 

“This is what Taeyeon did for Sooyeon. They truly love each other so much that Taeyeon is willing to sacrifice herself to save Sooyeon. Their bond is so strong that they managed to find each other on Earth.” Tiffany reasoned, hoping that Sooyoung would be able to forgive the couple.

 

Sooyoung looked at Tiffany straight in the eye for a moment before she threw her hands up in the air. “I wash my hands off of the three of you. All of you have shown me the meaning of true love and how it conquers everything. If you’re able to complete the mission on time, I’ll let you be together with the mortal Kwon Yuri in peace on Earth. As for Taeyeon and Sooyeon, their mistakes would be forgiven and I’ll bring them back here. Is that a deal?”

 

Tiffany wanted to jump out of her chair and give Sooyoung a hug but that would have been too disrespectful. Instead, she got up from her chair, bowed several times as she said, “Yes of course! I promise I’ll complete the mission with Taeyeon smoothly and within the stipulated time. Thank you so much for your graciousness!”

 

Tiffany opened her eyes when she felt Yuri move. The athlete had just curled one of her legs with Tiffany’s in her sleep. Tiffany couldn’t help but smile as a single tear fell from her eye. She leaned forward, placed her right hand on the side of Yuri’s face and planted a kiss on Yuri’s forehead.

 

“I love you, more than anything else in Heaven,” Tiffany whispered before closing her eyes and drifting off to sleep.

 

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