A broken small wooden stool lay on the floor with one of its legs lying at one corner of the room.
“Seriously, the sight of you makes my blood boil! Argh!” Donghae hollered as he stomped out of his bedroom and slammed the door.
Jessica buried her head in her arms as she sat in a corner crying miserably. She was helping Donghae in cleaning his room. It was a huge mess thanks to her boyfriend’s lazy attitude. However, she had accidentally folded Donghae’s favourite Superman t-shirt into a drawer containing his polo tees. Donghae was in a rush to go out to meet his friends and being unable to wear his favourite t-shirt caused him to blow his top at Jessica. The poor girl took a long while to locate his t-shirt and his patience had run out. With his anger boiling, Donghae grabbed a small wooden stool nearby and threw it across the room, missing Jessica just by an arm’s length.
After she had finally calmed down, Jessica reached into her pocket to take out her mobile phone. A person came into her mind and she immediately dialed the number. After several rings, the person didn’t pick up the phone.
“Taeyeon… you said you would be here for me whenever I needed help. I need you now, Taeyeon-ah…Taengoo…” Jessica said softly, her heart was calling out to Taeyeon. Unknowingly, she had fallen in love with Taeyeon since that incident at the orchard. Jessica’s heart ached when Taeyeon didn’t pick up. It seemed like Taeyeon had purposely ignored her phone call.
Taeyeon heard her phone ring and she hesitated in answering when she saw the name of the caller. Her hand trembled upon seeing a familiar name pop in her screen.
Tiffany’s constant reminder about staying away from Jessica for her own good, came haunting Taeyeon’s mind. Taeyeon’s finger hovered over the green ‘answer’ button but in the end, she decided not to pick up the phone. A sharp stab of pain rattled from her heart when she stood firm in her decision of not answering Jessica’s call.
If it’s urgent, she’ll call me again. Maybe she just wants to chit chat. Taeyeon thought to herself, but her pounding heart told her it was something urgent. Taeyeon could feel it in her veins, that Jessica didn’t just call her for a simple lighthearted conversation. Shaking her head and clenching her fist over her heart, Taeyeon took a few deep breaths before she assured herself that Jessica was just calling for something trivial.
Meanwhile, Jessica had decided to call Siwon, who was her childhood friend along with Donghae. Siwon had always told Jessica that she should call him whenever she needed help, especially when dealing with Donghae. He knew about Donghae’s bad temper and anger issues.
True to his words, Siwon picked up the phone after two rings. He rushed down to Donghae’s house without a thought. When he opened Donghae’s bedroom door, he was at a loss for words at the tear-stained beauty who was sitting in the corner of the dimly lit room. Squatting in front of her, Siwon wrapped his strong arms around Jessica and felt the fragile girl lean into his chest. Once again, Jessica began sobbing, this time, in the arms of a friend.
Donghae’s tolerance towards Jessica got worse as time went on. In public, he didn’t bother if she was a girl, treating her like a maid instead of his girlfriend. It broke Taeyeon’s heart every time she saw Donghae mistreating Jessica. She often stalked the couple from afar, since she knew that she would not be able to get close to Jessica for fear of hurting her.
Once, Donghae left Jessica alone at a restaurant without a single cent on her as he was angry with her (again). Taeyeon wanted to step in to help but she held back, contemplating her next move. It seemed odd that Taeyeon would appear at a high-end restaurant on a hill top alone. She looked into the restaurant from the car park, wondering about the best way to approach the situation.
About fifteen minutes later, a silver Audi R8 roared into the car park. Siwon emerged from the driver’s door, sporting a blue jacket and jeans, looking like a model that stepped out of GQ magazine. Taeyeon saw him entering the restaurant and minutes later, he came out with Jessica in tow. It was obvious that he had paid for the bill and saved the poor girl from any further embarrassment at the restaurant.
Taeyeon’s heart sank when she saw Siwon wrapping his arm around Jessica’s shoulder as they walked towards the car.
I should have been the one who’s comforting Jessica, not him. It’s me! Me! Me! Heaven’s so unfair to me!
On the other hand, she was thankful that Siwon was around to replace her whenever Jessica needed help. The grateful smile on Jessica’s face said everything.
Siwon opened the door for Jessica and waited for her to sit comfortably in the passenger seat before closing the door. He hopped into the driver’s seat but didn’t drive off immediately. Taeyeon wondered what was going on and decided to sneak behind a tree that stood closer to the car.
Taeyeon instantly regretted her decision of moving closer to the couple.
She witnessed Siwon wiping Jessica’s tears gently with a piece of tissue. He was leaning so close to her, too close for Taeyeon’s aching heart to bear. Taeyeon let out a sigh before retreating to Yuri’s car, which she had borrowed for that night.
As Taeyeon drove off, she couldn’t help but shed a few tears of her own.
“You look like a ghost! What happened to you?” Tiffany asked with concern.
“My dear housemate was out most of the night. She came home quite late so she’s probably tired from lack of sleep,” Yuri said, patting Tiffany’s lap.
“You went to stalk her again, didn’t you?!” Tiffany glared at Taeyeon as she flipped her hair.
Taeyeon stared meekly at the ground, unable to meet Tiffany’s eyes.
“Yul, you told me that Taeyeon needed the car for an emergency! This wasn’t an emergency! If you’re going to help her get closer to Jessica, then it’s the end for us,” Tiffany threatened.
Yuri’s face instantly turned pale. “Sorry dear, I was just trying to help Taeng. She was locked up in her room the whole day, refusing to eat something until I agreed to lend her the car. Ermmm Taeng, you heard Fany. It’s for your own good.”
Taeyeon said nothing.
“Come on, just a few more couples to go and the both of you will be free! Shall we try again?” Yuri encouraged, hoping that stringing couples would help distract Taeyeon from thinking about Jessica.
Taeyeon and Tiffany were down to the last ten couples and they would be freed of their mission on Earth. Tiffany couldn’t wait for it to be over so that she could be with Yuri. Taeyeon, on the other hand, was worried about losing Jessica after she completed her mission.
Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Yuri found themselves lounging at a café inside the mall. Tiffany and Yuri noticed that Taeyeon hasn’t been herself ever since she returned from stalking Jessica. The couple could only silently watch as Taeyeon fiddled with the fork, cutting the slice of cake into random sizes as she lost herself in her own thoughts. Her cup of coffee had also been neglected.
“Taeyeon, you haven’t eaten anything since you came.” Yuri pointed out, her eyes filled with worry for her friend.
Taeyeon looked up to meet Yuri with lifeless eyes.
“Not hungry,” was her only response. Her voice barely registered into the couple’s ears.
“But you need to eat something,” Tiffany said, eyes shifting between the Kim and the Kwon. “Would you like us to get you a slice of apple pie?”
“No thanks,” Taeyeon replied weakly.
“Now this is serious. She’s even rejecting an apple pie, something she loved to eat.” Yuri frowned and folded her arms in front of her chest.
“Kim Taeyeon, if you’re not going to eat anything, how are you going to have the energy to finish stringing the last few couples? How are you ever going to complete your mission? How are you going to save your lover?!” Tiffany scolded, her voice rising a little with each question she fired at Taeyeon.
Taeyeon merely stared blankly at her mashed-up cake.
“You’re such a selfish prick! Wallowing in your own misery just because the girl of your dreams now has a handsome guy to protect her, when it should have been you. Have you ever considered that this mission involves me, too? How do you expect me to complete it all by myself?!” Tiffany was very frustrated and she almost wanted to strangle the life out of the listless person sitting in front of her. Fortunately, Yuri held Tiffany back else there would have been a crime scene at the café.
“If I don’t see you eating two mouthfuls of cake in the next ten seconds, I’m going to walk over and force the cake down your throat,” Tiffany threatened, pointing a fork at Taeyeon.
“I mean it,” she added, emphasizing each of the three words clearly.
Taeyeon reluctantly picked up a fork and scooped a small piece of cake into her mouth. She chewed slowly before stuffing another small piece into her mouth. This time, droplets of tears were streaming down her face as she was eating.
Soon enough, sniffles and muffled sobs could be heard from the girl across the couple. Yuri’s heart ached at the sight of her roommate. She had never seen Taeyeon like this before.
“Fany ah, Taeng is eating. Calm down okay? Taeng, please take your time to eat, we’re not rushing you. After this, I’ll buy you your favourite apple sorbert,” Yuri encouraged, hoping to diffuse the tense atmosphere.
“I’m sorry to trouble you again, oppa,” Jessica said gratefully. Initially she thought of calling Taeyeon for help, but Siwon had appeared before her at that moment.
“Don’t be. I already told you to call me when you need help,” Siwon said firmly. He helped her carry Donghae’s heavy school bag, his stack of books and a bag of dirty clothes. “He shouldn’t throw all these stuff to you and run off to play soccer. He is so irresponsible!”
Jessica kept quiet. This wasn’t the first time such an incident happened. This time, she was fortunate that Siwon happened to pass by and spotted the poor girl trying to lug those bags to the bus stop outside the university. Siwon packed the load into his car boot and told Jessica to hop in.
“Oppa knows Jessica likes apples. I found a place that sells delicious apple strudels. The baker was formerly a student of a famous Japanese pastry chef and has won several awards. Shall we visit the café and try it for ourselves?” Siwon flashed a brilliant smile at Jessica when they sat in the car.
“I wouldn’t want to bother you, oppa. I don’t mind going home now.”
“That irresponsible fellow is busy enjoying himself with soccer, so let’s enjoy ourselves too!” Siwon insisted as he drove off.
They spent the afternoon eating and chatting at the cafe. Jessica realized that she enjoyed the company of Siwon. He was humorous and thoughtful. Most importantly, he was reliable.
Reliable. She thought Taeyeon was a reliable person but she was wrong. She called Taeyeon several times when she needed help or just wanted someone to talk to, but the latter often didn’t pick up her phone.
Call me whenever you feel down or need a friend to talk to. I’ll always be here. – Taeyeon
Those touching words from Taeyeon made her heart ache, knowing that Taeyeon didn’t stick to her promise.
Siwon and Jessica settled by the window seat at the café. They chatted for a long time, ate the delicious apple strudels and had drinks. Siwon just got back from his studies in the United States and he was to take over his father’s business in Seoul.
“I’m appalled that Donghae actually treated you like this.” Siwon shook his head in disbelief.
“He doesn’t know how to treat such a beautiful and precious girl well.” Siwon reached out and touched Jessica’s hand. All three of them had grown up together. Siwon left Seoul for studies during high school, therefore giving Donghae a chance to get closer to Jessica and they ended up as a couple instead, a few weeks after Donghae saved Jessica.
Jessica didn’t retract her hand. It gave her a comforting feeling to know that someone actually cared about her. Siwon’s presence made her forget about the pain and misery she was going through. It also made her forget about the unreliable Taeyeon momentarily.
“Oppa, thank you for being so nice to me. I appreciate it.” Jessica’s cheeks were in a shade of pink.
“Silly girl, what’s wrong with being nice to you? I’ll knock some sense into Donghae’s head,” Siwon said firmly, squeezing Jessica’s hand.
Their eyes met and it felt like there was an electric current that shot through their bodies. Both of them looked away shyly. Jessica was sipping her drink with her head down while Siwon was twirling the fork in his hand.
Siwon broke the silence first.
“Oppa needs to buy some new clothes for work and I would like to get your opinion on what suits me best. I remembered you used to help me choose my casual clothes and my friends always thought I was the one with the good taste when in actual fact it was you.” Siwon flashed a dazzling smile at Jessica.
“I remembered you once wore a bright orange pair of bermudas with a pink shirt. You were brighter than the sun at noon!” Jessica giggled.
That memory made Siwon laugh out loud, too. Both of them continued to reminisce the past fondly. However, little did they know that there was one person whose heart was being torn apart while watching the loving scene.
Taeyeon was watching them from the park across the street. Seeing the smile on Jessica’s face gave her mixed feelings. On one hand, she was glad to know that Jessica was happy and smiling instead of being sad and crying whenever she was with Donghae. On the other hand, her heart couldn’t accept the fact that she wasn’t the one who gave her happiness instead, it was another guy. A guy was standing in her place just because she wasn’t allowed to love Jessica as a result of their mistake in Heaven.
It was unfair, just so unfair.
A single tear escaped Taeyeon’s eye as she watched the happy couple spend their afternoon together, from the school to the cafe and finally at the shopping mall. She could only sigh and resign herself to fate.