Red. It is a colour of passionate love, seduction, anger, power and desire. It is sensual when it is on the lips, beautiful when it is the colour of fabric on someone’s body, striking when you drive a car in that colour and festive when it surrounds us.
When we first met, I saw red; figuratively and literally.
It was a rainy Monday morning. Roads were packed with cars, lining up back to back and moving very slowly due to the sudden heavy downpour.
At a traffic light junction, I decided to take a sip of my coffee while waiting for the lights to turn green. The hot brown liquid warmed my body and chased away my Monday blues a little. Just as I put my cup of coffee back into the cup holder, I heard a bang and felt something hit my car from behind.
The hot coffee spilled onto my steering wheel and clothes, burning my lips and dripping down my chin. Some of it scalded my arm, leaving a red mark. I grabbed a bunch of tissues from my bag and cleaned the coffee stains off my six-month-old car. This is the first brand new car I bought with my own salary after slogging for a few years at work. Seeing the coffee stains all over my car made my heart ache more than the pain on my lips.
It was a perfect morning to sleep in but unfortunately I need to work in order to pay my bills. Every Monday morning was a challenge to drag myself up and get ready for work, and this morning was no exception. I was definitely not in the mood to deal with such an accident.
The rain pelted down unforgivingly on my umbrella when I opened the door. My black pumps and pants were wet the moment I stepped out onto the road. I headed for the back of my car to inspect the damage. There was a dent in my bumper and I could feel my heart shattering to tiny bits as I thought about the damage done to my precious baby.
Angry, I turned around and stomped towards the car behind me, wanting to yell at that person. When I looked up, I realised I was part of a chain collison and I was the first car. There were two other cars behind me. The car directly behind me was a red hatchback while the last car was a silver SUV.
The driver of the SUV was examining the damage to the hatchback and my car. He apologised to me profusely, admitting it was his fault. He was trying to look up a location on his GPS but failed to notice that the traffic light was red. He drove straight into the hatchback, causing it to move forward and crashed into me. Both of us went to the driver’s side of the hatchback, wanting to settle this accident as soon as possible. We didn’t want to be standing in the rain and getting soaked by the minute as the rain fell relentlessly.
You had a look of shock on your face. In fact, you were still sitting in the car, with your hands gripping the steering wheel tightly. There was a dent on your bonnet and a much bigger one at the rear. In fact, I doubted if you could even open your tailgate at all judging from the damage. The SUV was definitely a much tougher car than a small hatchback.
I was rushing for time already and was feeling really frustrated. I tapped furiously on your window and you finally opened the door. Since you didn’t have an umbrella with you, I offered to share mine. You were definitely shaken by the unexpected accident. We went around to take photos of each other’s cars and exchanged our contact details so that we could resolve the payment of the damages on a separate occasion. I recalled you holding onto my arm tightly as we walked from car to car. Thinking back, that was our first skinship and I hadn’t realised it.
Your car was the most badly damaged one in the chain collison. You asked if I could drop you at a nearby train station as you were too stunned to drive to work. Though I was in a hurry, I decided to do you a favour since you were not the main cause of the accident.
We didn’t say a word to each other during the short trip to the train station. Only the sounds of the rain hitting against my car and the rhythmic squishy sound of the wiper blades cleaning the windscreen filled the silence in the car. Fortunately the traffic eased up a little and we managed to arrive at the train station ten minutes later.
“Thank you,” you said with a smile. Strangely, those words warmed my body in a different way from the hot coffee I had earlier on. Suddenly, Monday didn’t seem as gloomy as the dark clouds in the sky.
One morning, after sending my car for servicing, I had to take the train to work. Boarding the crowded train reminded me that I should be thankful I could afford a car. From the opposite end of the crowded carriage, I noticed a young woman in a red dress. Our eyes met and a sense of familarity washed over me. At first I couldn’t recall where I had seen you before. However, the moment you smiled, I instantly remembered where I met you before.
A stop later, most of the crowd exited the carriage as it was an interchange station. It was as if the Red Sea had parted, leaving a clear path between us. As if that was a signal, you started to walk towards me.
With each step you took towards me, my heart beat faster and faster. You looked beautiful in the red dress and black heels.
“Good morning, do you still remember me?”
I could still remember your nervousness when you asked me that question.
“Of course, you crashed into my brand new car,” I blurted out. I wished I could turn invisible at that very moment. I bet I was more nervous than you.
“Oh sorry, I don’t mean to blame you since, well, technically it wasn’t completely your fault! I mean…It was the fault of that SUV driver! Yes, yes, totally his!” Words just flew out of my mouth, beyond my control.
You merely giggled when I stopped talking. It was a delightful sound that caused butterflies in my stomach to flutter.
“I’m glad I made such a deep impression in your mind, Taeyeon.”
Taeyeon. That name sounded so angelic when it rolled off your tongue. I hadn’t expect you to remember my name.
We started chatting about our cars, then moving onto our careers and so on. Our interests were pretty similiar and we clicked well. It was such a coincidence that we got off at the same stop for work. It was then we discovered our office buildings were just two blocks away from each other.
I remembered our parting scene resembled that of a drama serial. We said goodbye, turned around and headed for our respective exits at the train station. Something made me stopped in my tracks as I was walking up the stairs. I turned my head around and saw you doing the same thing. Both of us burst out laughing at the same time. People around us must have thought we were nuts.
I pulled out my phone and hurriedly sent a text to you, inviting you for lunch tomorrow. I waved my phone in the air and pointed at it, hoping that you would understand that I was asking you to check your phone. I saw you taking out your phone and smiling as you read my message. As I hurried up the stairs, I heard my phone beep. I was confident it would be a ‘yes’ and you certainly didn’t disappoint me.
We met up for a few lunches together before you suddenly asked if I was free on a Saturday to watch a movie. It was an action movie and you told me that none of your friends wanted to watch it with you. At that time, I didn’t realised it was a lame excuse to meet me on a weekend.
Midway through the movie, you suddenly weaved your fingers with mine and held my hand. I was taken aback and turned around to look at you. However, you appeared to be engrossed in the movie and acted as if it was the most natural thing to do. To be honest, till today, I still couldn’t figure out why you chose an action movie to make your move. Don’t couples usually choose romance or horror movies instead? That made you special and we started dating ever since.
We were dodging the summer heat and decided to cool off in the Central Library. We strolled through the shelves hand in hand and picked out a few magazines and books to read. We chose a window seat and next to each other. Flipping through the magazines, I was done in a matter of minutes and was bored. I got up from my seat to grab some more new ones.
On my way back to the seat, I observed you from afar. You had a deep look of concentration on your face and it was captivating. You tucked your hair behind your left ear, exposing your left profile and that gave me a wonderful idea. I sneaked up behind you and swooped in with a kiss on your left cheek.
I remember the look of surprise on your face. I was trying to hold in my laughter because we were in a library. I didn’t want us to be booted out by the librarian as I wanted to enjoy the cool air. You rolled up the magazine and used it to smack me a few times. On the third smack, I grabbed your wrist before it could come down on me and pulled you towards me.
Our lips met and your lips were the sweetest thing I have ever tasted. Luckily you didn’t pull away from me. Instead, you unrolled the magazine and used it to shield our faces. Come to think of it, it was quite a comical sight.
Each kiss was special in its own way. I remembered the second time we kissed, my lips were stained with Dior Rouge Cannage, a matt red lipstick. It was your favourite shade of lipstick colour. After that time, I lost count of the number of times we kissed.
Another memorable moment in my life was when we celebrated our first Christmas at my apartment. It was a spur of the moment thing when we decided to decorate the living room in order to create a festive mood. We rushed out to get Christmas decorations and spent the whole day putting them up. The living room was decked in red, white and green.
After we were done, we collapsed onto the couch and admired our handiwork. At the stroke of midnight, we kissed under the mistletoe and did a slow dance together. We wrapped our arms around each other and you had your head on my shoulder. It was then I whispered into your ear, asking you to move in with me so that we could spend every precious moment together. A nod on my shoulder caused tears to well up in my eyes. I hugged you tighter and we remained in a tight hug for a while in silence as Christmas carols played in the background.
Making passionate love to you is the best thing I have ever experienced. Waking up every morning next to you is second. The sight of you curled up next to me, arm wrapped around my waist with your messy bed hair makes me want to protect you for the rest of my life.
Now, brushing my fingers through your silky hair and holding you in my embrace as we laze on the couch watching television, I feel I am truly blessed.
On this special day, I want to tell you that there is no other person but you. You fill me with desire and set my pulse racing. You are the apple of my eye, the diamond in the rough and the one I have always wished for.
I press a kiss against your temple and you scoot closer to me, playing with the wedding ring on my finger mindlessly. It is as if you know what I have been thinking about all this while. I can’t help but smile. I lift your hand to my lips and kiss the back of your palm.
Happy sixth anniversary, Sica. I hope to share many more with you. Saranghae.
= The End =
A/N: Inspired by the red brakelights when stuck in a traffic jam. Written for 2014 TaengSic day. (922)