Three

A jolt of electric current shot through Taeyeon’s palms and went straight to her heart the moment she touched Tiffany’s hand. Taeyeon’s mouth was slightly opened and her palms became a little sweaty. Taeyeon had a strange feeling in the pit of her stomach.

 

“Taeng, why are you staring at Fany in such a weird way?” Yuri asked, feeling puzzled by Taeyeon’s reaction.

 

The shock of the touch melted away within seconds.

 

“I just find her familiar,” Taeyeon said, wiping her hand on her shorts.

 

“I have a very common face,” Tiffany added without breaking her eye contact with Taeyeon.

 

“Let’s go to the kitchen and have dinner. I’m starving!” Taeyeon rubbed her tummy and headed for the kitchen in an attempt to avert Tiffany’s attention from her.

 

The three of them had salad, soup, and pasta courtesy of Chef Yuri. Tiffany was a new transfer student from the US and she happened to be in the same class as Yuri which sparked their relationship. While scooping the soup from the pot, Yuri was gushing to Taeyeon about how she didn’t believe in love at first sight until she saw Tiffany in the classroom.

 

During dinner, a bizarre thing happened. Taeyeon felt a light tug on her finger. Turning her attention on her finger, she saw the red thread slowly unwinding itself. It was the first time this happened since she started taking notice of the thread on her finger. Taeyeon quickly removed her hand from the table and hid it below the table, wondering what was happening. However, in the midst of doing so, she accidentally flicked her spoon onto the floor and it landed with a high pitched clink.

 

“Taeng, is there something wrong? You seemed a little distracted,” Yuri asked with concern.

 

“Oh no, just being the clumsy me. Sorry about it. I’ll get it washed,” Taeyeon replied, picking up her spoon from the floor.

 

After five minutes and no sign of Taeyeon, Yuri decided to check on her housemate.

 

“You’re acting quite oddly. What’s wrong with your left hand? You’ve been staring at it as if something is growing from the back of your hand,” Yuri asked, sounding worried.

 

“No, no, it’s nothing. I’m just tired from rushing my assignments in the past week. Don’t worry about me.” Taeyeon wiped the spoon with a cloth and gestured for Yuri to leave the kitchen.

 

On the way to the dining table, Taeyeon caught sight of a red thread on the floor. Following its path, Taeyeon realized it ended up at Tiffany’s finger. Stealing a glance at Yuri’s hand, Taeyeon noticed that Yuri’s thread had untied itself from Tiffany’s thread.

 

What in the world is happening?

 

Sitting down, Taeyeon continued eating as if everything was normal. However, it wasn’t the case. The red thread on her left hand seemed to have a life of its own and it was slowly extending itself and creeping towards Tiffany’s. Taeyeon focused her thoughts on the long thread, trying to pull it back towards her but it was useless. The thread kept extending itself, picking up speed as it slid across the floor towards Tiffany.

 

How can this be possible? I don’t even know her! Taeyeon thought to herself, anxiety rising every minute.  

 

Just then, Yuri’s mobile phone rang and she excused herself to answer the call in the living room. The moment she walked out of the kitchen, Taeyeon’s thread coiled itself tightly around Tiffany’s thread.

 

They stared at each other awkwardly as the scene unfolded in front of them. Strangely, there wasn’t a knot forming with both of their threads.

 

“You’re able to see the thread?” Taeyeon asked, unable to hide her curiosity.

 

Tiffany nodded slowly. A smile appeared on her face.

 

“I’m so glad to find you,” Tiffany said, her eyes formed the shapes of small letter ‘n’s. She reached out her hands to touch Taeyeon’s and held them tightly.

 

“Wait, what’s going on? You’re Yuri’s girlfriend. Why did our threads interact? Today is the first time I’m meeting you, and…and it’s not like I knew you before this?” Taeyeon brushed Tiffany’s hands away. She didn’t want Yuri to misunderstand in case she came back and see Tiffany holding her hands.

 

Tiffany merely smiled and patted Taeyeon’s arm lightly. “We need to talk. Let’s meet at the grandstand tomorrow at 2pm.”

 

Before Taeyeon could ask any further questions, she heard Yuri’s voice coming from the doorway of the kitchen.

 

“Wow, did something happen while I was on the phone? The two of you seem closer now,” Yuri commented, looking at the both of them.

 

Tiffany stood up and walked towards Yuri. She slid one arm around Yuri’s waist and said, “Taeyeon was just telling me what a good cook you are.”

 

“Yup, you’re fantastic. Go spend some time with Tiffany. I’ll wash the dishes since you did the cooking,” Taeyeon offered. That would give her some time to digest what was going on around her during dinner.

 

“You sure? Thanks Taeng!” Yuri grinned. Taeyeon could tell she was happy to have Tiffany around. Slipping her arm around Tiffany’s shoulder, Yuri led Tiffany towards the living room. Just as Tiffany turned around, Taeyeon saw Tiffany giving her a mischievous wink.

 

“Remember our date,” Tiffany mouthed before she disappeared into the living room with Yuri.

 

What the hell is going on? Looks like I will only find out tomorrow.

 

Taeyeon washed some grapes and put them into a bowl. She brought it out to the lovey-dovey couple that was sitting on the couch watching television. They were giggling between themselves when she left the bowl of grapes on the coffee table.

 

“Sorry to interrupt. Have some grapes. I’ll be in my room if you need me.” Yuri had the look of love splashed across her face and Taeyeon was sincerely happy for her. She had several proposals from other girls before but it seemed like Tiffany was the one for her.

 

By this time, both Taeyeon and Tiffany’s threads were still linked and now there was a small knot.

 

“Thanks Taeng!” Yuri said happily.

 

“Thank you, Taeyeon.” Tiffany smiled. Taeyeon could sense she had an underlying meaning in her smile but she pretended she didn’t notice.

 

About an hour later, Taeyeon got sick of reading her textbook and wanted to get some apple juice from the fridge. On her way to the kitchen, Taeyeon passed the living room and saw a sight that made her blush immediately. Yuri had her back towards Taeyeon and she was tilting her head at an angle while facing Tiffany. It was obvious what Yuri was trying to do. However, Tiffany playfully pushed Yuri away when she saw Taeyeon coming out of her room. Embarrassed, Taeyeon hurriedly backtracked and shut her door.

 

A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door.

 

“Taeng, I’ll be sending Tiffany home now.” Taeyeon heard Yuri’s voice outside my door. She sounded a little disappointed. That was probably Yuri’s first kiss and Taeyeon felt guilty for ruining it.

 

Taeyeon opened the door to see the couple standing there. Yuri had a look of dejection on her face though she was trying hard not to show it.

 

“Bye bye Taeyeon,” Tiffany said politely, flashing her eye-smile at Taeyeon.

 

“Bye,” was the only word that came out of Taeyeon’s mouth. She didn’t mean to be rude but there was just something about Tiffany that made her feel a bit uneasy. Perhaps it was because Taeyeon hadn’t figured out what was going on during dinner.

 

Yuri popped into Taeyeon’s room after she returned back from sending Tiffany home. She sat on the edge of Taeyeon’s bed and told her about her failed first kiss. Yuri blushed and even her ears were red. Taeyeon bent over laughing at this supposedly suave Track-and-Field captain who was always acting so cool in front of her team.

 

“I like her, a lot,” Yuri said seriously after smacking Taeyeon on the head for laughing non-stop.

 

“I know,” Taeyeon said after she managed to stop laughing.

 

Taeyeon stole a glance at Yuri’s thread and saw that it was once again hanging loosely on Yuri’s finger. It was no longer linked to Tiffany’s.

 

Have I become a third party unknowingly?

 

~*~*~*~

 

Initially Taeyeon wondered why Tiffany wanted to meet at 2pm. Walking along the track to get to the grandstand, she found the answer. It was a very hot afternoon and there wasn’t anyone at the grandstand, which meant that they could talk privately. Still, she could have chosen to meet a café or a quiet corner in school.

 

Taeyeon took a seat on the highest step of the grandstand and it gave her a wonderful panoramic view of the school compounds. While she was admiring the sight, she felt someone tugging the thread on her left hand. She looked towards her left and saw Tiffany approaching. Tiffany was dressed in a pink sundress with floral prints and her red hair was fluttering in the breeze. Boy, she looked beautiful.

 

“Waited for a long time?” Tiffany asked as she sat down next to Taeyeon.

 

“Not really. I just arrived,” Taeyeon said plainly.

 

“I’m sure you have a lot of questions for me.” Tiffany flashed a bright smile at Taeyeon.

 

Taeyeon could imagine Yuri’s heart melting each time she saw that smile. It was captivating.

 

“On the contrary, my mind’s too occupied to think of anything. Why don’t you start by telling me something since you’re the one who invited me here?” Taeyeon crossed her legs and hugged her knees. She propped her head on her knees and stared at Tiffany.

 

“Haha, getting a little impatient eh?” Tiffany teased, as she reached out her hand to touch Taeyeon’s arm. Taeyeon felt the same jolt of electric current again but this time none of them was stunned by it.

 

“Hmm, how should I start? Okay, how about once upon a time…”

 

“Stop fooling around,” Taeyeon demanded. She was feeling frustrated and the hot weather wasn’t helping.

 

Tiffany giggled. “Okay, calm down. To put it simply, we’re partners who are working together on a mission.”

 

“Huh?” Taeyeon scratched her head. Now this was getting more absurd. How in the world was she partners with someone whom she hardly knew?

 

“You’re supposed to pull the threads of a couple together and make them meet, while I will help you to tie the two threads into a knot to ensure that the relationship lasts.”

 

“Ah huh, but what’s the mission thingy again?” Taeyeon was still feeling lost.

 

“I guessed your memory must have been erased when you came to earth. We worked for the Ministry of Love in Heaven. Because of a mistake you made, your punishment is to create eighty-eight loving relationships on earth before you could return to Heaven. You were allotted only three months to accomplish this mission. You can’t fulfill the mission alone and I’ve gotten permission to help you with it. Your three-month time limit was to start once we found each other. You can’t imagine how glad I am to find you, Taeyeon,” Tiffany explained.

 

She placed one hand on Taeyeon’s cheek and caressed it. The soft skin warmed Taeyeon’s cheek and heart, making her feel good.

 

“Why is it I can’t recall a single thing?” Taeyeon asked, still in disbelief. She didn’t make an effort to brush Tiffany’s hand away from her cheek.

 

“That, I’m not sure. Maybe something happened along the way to earth,” Tiffany shrugged.

 

Taeyeon’s heartbeat was picking up speed from Tiffany’s lingering touch. The red thread on her finger was pulling Taeyeon closer to Tiffany. Her sweet perfume filled the air around Taeyeon.

 

“We could just randomly pick people off the streets and string them together right? Sounds easy enough,” Taeyeon said. Subconsciously, Taeyeon touched Tiffany’s hand that was on resting on her cheek.

 

“It isn’t as easy as it seems. We can’t just make random people fall in love like that. They need to show some signs of interest in each other before we can perform our tasks. This means that we have to spend more time together because we have to work closely with each other.” Tiffany inched closer to Taeyeon. Tiffany’s face was getting nearer and Taeyeon could feel her warm breath on her face. Tiffany’s luscious lips were calling out to Taeyeon and she had the sudden urge to kiss Tiffany right then.

 

This is wrong. Why am I thinking of kissing my housemate’s girlfriend??

 

Taeyeon backed away, avoiding Tiffany’s advances.

 

“What will happen when we complete our tasks?” This was a burning question Taeyeon had since Tiffany revealed the background to their special gift.

 

“I guess we would be summoned to Heaven and reverted to our previous posts in the Ministry of Love,” Tiffany replied casually.

 

“So I would be dead? Or do I disappear without a trace?”

 

Perhaps I watched too many supernatural movies. My imagination is beginning to run wild.

 

“I really have no idea. We’ll know when the time comes.” Tiffany picked up her books and stood on the step. “Got to go, class is starting in ten minutes. I’ll be seeing more of you, Taeyeon. Goodbye.”

 

With that, Tiffany went back the way she came. Taeyeon felt the thread tug at her finger as she watched her back view. What Taeyeon just heard sounded incredible. She need time to figure out what was going on but she couldn’t think of someone to talk to.

 

 

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