Taeyeon propped her chin on her knees and stared at the clock in the living room. She was counting down to the hours Jessica would return from her business trip. Jessica was away for almost one week now and it seemed like eternity for Taeyeon. The younger woman had refused to let Taeyeon pick her up from the airport since it was quite far from their apartment and she was able to claim taxi fare from the company.
Taeyeon swept the floor, cleaned the tables, folded the quilt neatly on their bed and even washed the toilets. Soon she ran out of things to do. She didn’t have the mood to play games on her Wii nor watch the latest 3D movies on television. She just seemed listless without her soulmate around.
Lazing on the leather couch in the living room, she whipped out her mobile phone from her pocket and browsed through her photo gallery.
Bored out of her mind, Taeyeon started posting some old photos onto her instagram account. She realised she had a lot of food pictures in her phone. Since last year, she had the habit of taking a photo of the food before she ate them. It didn’t help that Jessica wanted Taeyeon to help take a selca with the food Jessica was eating too. They often spent more time taking photos of the food and posing with it instead of eating it.
Taeyeon wondered if Jessica wasn’t a consultant, she would have become a model. She had the perfect body proportions and her face was that of high fashion. Posing came naturally to Jessica unlike herself. She was rather awkward when it came to posing in public and often Jessica had to give her some pointers so that their photos would turn out nicely.
Taeyeon chanced upon a series of cupcakes photos on her phone. It brought back memories of the day Jessica and her decided to make cupcakes on impulse after watching a program on TLC channel. Glancing at the clock, she had some time to spare and decided that she would attempt to bake some cupcakes for Jessica as a surprise.
Digging around for the recipe book, she jotted down all the ingredients she needed in her phone and headed for the nearby supermarket to get them.
Forty minutes later, Taeyeon laid all the ingredients for making the cupcake on the table.
“Flour, cream cheese, sugar, baking soda, unsalted butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract…where is the most important ingredient?” Taeyeon said to herself. She emptied all the bags and finally found a small bottle containing red liquid.
Following the instructions of the recipe closely, Taeyeon began to mix the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. She tried her best to recall how Jessica baked the cupcakes as she wasn’t good at such stuff. Somehow, her dough didn’t resemble what Jessica made the last time. Jessica was the maestro in the kitchen, the master chef. All Taeyeon did the last time was to help Jessica wash up.
Looking at her own reflection in the glass cabinet, Taeyeon realised she had a wide smile on her face while she was mixing the ingredients. She recalled fondly of a memory when both of them were having a ‘flour’ fight midway through preparing the ingredients. It all started because she accidentally split some flour onto Jessica’s apron accidentally. The whole kitchen looked like it was a scene from a snowy mountain as both of them tried to throw flour at each other. In the end, both of them sat on the ground, exhausted from chasing each other around the kitchen. Taeyeon drew cat whiskers on Jessica’s face while Jessica gave Taeyeon two round white cheeks. They had so much fun that afternoon.
Recalling those moments only made Taeyeon longed for Jessica even more right now. She was determined to do a good job of baking the cupcakes and decided to focus all her attention on it.
An hour later, the tabletop was in a mess and the cupcakes not ready yet. An opened packet of flour, broken egg shells, cocoa powder and other ingredients were left haphazardly on the table. Rainbow sprinklers were scattered across the table. Meanwhile, Taeyeon was trying to open the small bottle containing the red food colouring. As her hands were covered in flour, the bottle flew out of her hand when she tried to unscrew the cap. The glass bottle smashed against the white tiles, breaking into pieces and causing the red colouring to splash onto Taeyeon’s clothes.
“Ahh, what the?!” Taeyeon exclaimed as she looked at the mess she made. She was indeed a disaster in the kitchen.
Bending down, she cautiously picked up the pieces of the glass bottle and dumped it into the trash. Her hands were covered in the red food colouring and it looked like she had just murdered someone.
While trying to clear up the mess she created, Taeyeon heard someone coming through the main door of her apartment.
“Taeyeon dear, where are you?” the familiar high-pitched voice called out.
Jessica was back earlier than expected. For a moment, Taeyeon wished Jessica wouldn’t be back so soon, as it didn’t give her enough time to clean up. The kitchen was Jessica’s pride and joy and she treated it with care.
Jessica let out a loud gasp when she saw the state of the kitchen.
“Darling, what are you trying to do?” Jessica asked calmly, trying to figure out what was going on.
“I am… erm… trying to surprise you,” Taeyeon replied sheepishly.
“This is a HUGE surprise indeed. And why is there blood on your hands? Did you cut yourself?” Jessica stood in front of Taeyeon and examined her hands.
“Erm…it’s just red food colouring.”
Jessica arched her eyebrow. “Are you trying to bake something?”
After surveying the ingredients on the table, Jessica concluded, “Red velvet cupcakes.”
“Sica dear, you’re truly a masterchef indeed. I wanted to bake some cupcakes to surprise you. It seemed simple enough when we baked it together the last time.”
Jessica shook her head and sighed. “Not we, but I. All you did was to play around with the ingredients remember?”
Taeyeon’s face turned red as she gave a sheepish grin. Jessica smiled as she wrapped her arms around Taeyeon’s waist.
Look at your innocent looking face. How can I ever get angry with you for long, Taeyeon ah?
“Thank you.” Jessica planted a light kiss on Taeyeon’s nose. It was the only spot that wasn’t covered in flour or red colouring.
“For?” Taeyeon asked, feeling puzzled. Her surprise attempt failed miserably and she felt guilty for messing up the place.
“For coming up with a plan to surprise me, for trying to do something which you’re not good at in order to surprise me, for being you, you dork!” Jessica laughed as she pinched Taeyeon’s cheek.
Taeyeon smiled widely and kissed Jessica.
“Did you just eat something sweet?” Jessica asked curiously as their lips parted.
“Erm..I was just tasting the sugar, I mean mixture. I need to ensure that the taste is right,” Taeyeon said defensively.
“You sweet-tooth devil, sugar is your weakest. Next time I shall ban you from all the sweet stuff if you misbehave,” Jessica threatened jokingly.
“Oops!” Taeyeon stuck her lower lip out and pouted.
Jessica chuckled as she closed the gap between them, enjoying the warmth of Taeyeon’s lips after being away from home. Being at home with her loved one was the best place to be.