Be Natural

“Lipstick, check. Hair style, check. Perfume, check. High heels, check. Did I miss anything else?” Sooyeon muttered to herself as she slipped on her heels.

 

“This!” a bubbly voice said.

 

Yoona, Sooyeon’s younger sister, bounced in front of the nervous blonde. She used her fingers to part the furrowed brows on her elder sister’s face and pulled the corners of her lips upward.

 

“Smile, check. Good to go!” Yoona beamed.

 

Sooyeon was a bundle of nerves as she stepped out of her apartment. She was on the way to meet her former best friend turned lover. It was just two nights ago when Taeyeon suddenly confessed to her while they were at the supermarket.

 

~ Flashback ~

 

After dinner, Sooyeon wanted to buy some apples for her home so they went to a nearby supermarket.

 

Sooyeon picked up one red apple and held it up while examining it for dents.

 

“All apples are the same, why are you choosing them so carefully?” Taeyeon asked after returning from the confectionary aisle.

 

“There are many varieties of apples. Some are sweet while some are bland. Anyway, it doesn’t interest you since your interest is in gummies.”

 

Taeyeon let out a laugh. “You’re behaving like an ahjumma.”

 

“An ahjumma?” Sooyeon asked, puzzled by Taeyeon’s comment.

 

“Only ahjummas compare prices and take such a long time to choose one product.”

 

Sooyeon gave Taeyeon a smack on the latter’s arm.

 

“Hey, I’ll get you for it later. Don’t you dare call me ahjumma again.” Sooyeon glared at Taeyeon jokingly while putting the bag of apples in the basket.

 

Taeyeon bowed slightly as she said, “Yes, beautiful …. ahjumma!” Then she dashed away before Sooyeon could hit her.

 

As Sooyeon turned around the corner at the end of an aisle, Taeyeon suddenly surprised her with a bouquet made of broccolis and cauliflowers.

 

“What is this?” Sooyeon’s eyes opened wide in amazement.

 

“Be my girlfriend. I want you to be my girlfriend, not just my best friend.” Taeyeon’s face was serious as she held out the vegetable bouquet.

 

“Are you serious? You’re asking me to be your girlfriend at a supermarket?”

 

Taeyeon nodded slowly. “I’m being me, the practical me. I’m not a rich person and neither have a rich family. I can only promise you I’ll make you happy in whatever little ways I can. We can live a simple but fulfilling life, as long as we’re together.”

 

Jessica didn’t know if she should laugh or cry at that very moment. In the end, she took a picture of Taeyeon with the vegetable bouquet before accepting it from her.

 

“If we do get married in the future, I want a bouquet of pink roses that are at least ten times bigger than the current bouquet,” Jessica demanded, waving the photo on her phone as an evidence.

 

“Of course! I’ll start saving from … tomorrow!” Taeyeon proclaimed.

 

~ End of flashback ~

 

Taeyeon and Sooyeon had not met up  nor exchanged text messages since that night due to their busy work schedules. Today was their first official date as a couple and Sooyeon had a sea of anxiety deep down in her stomach. Yoona kept telling her to treat it like a normal outing with Taeyeon and not a date, but Sooyeon just couldn’t relax a single bit.

 

Walking towards the cinema entrance, Sooyeon spotted Taeyeon leaning against a pillar while staring at her phone. She knew Taeyeon must be playing Superstar SMTown on her phone.

 

“Hey,” Sooyeon greeted when Taeyeon finished a stage.

 

Taeyeon looked up with a wide smile on her face. “Hello… dear. Do I start calling you that from now?”

 

Sooyeon’s face burned with shyness.

 

“It sounds strange,” Sooyeon answered hesitantly.

 

“Nevermind, you’ll get used to it soon, dear.” Taeyeon grinned as they went to buy popcorn and drinks.

 

They were watching Minions and Taeyeon was having a good time laughing at almost every scene. Sooyeon wasn’t a big fan of animation but she laughed because of Taeyeon’s infectious laughter. During the movie, Taeyeon kept trying to slip her hand with Sooyeon’s but the latter felt a little uncomfortable. It took several tries before their fingers finally intertwined.

 

After the movie, they went to a western restaurant to have dinner. Sooyeon appeared awkward and kept quiet for most of the dinner.

 

Midway through their meal, Taeyeon set her cutlery on her table and stared at Sooyeon.

 

“Is there anything wrong?” Taeyeon asked, concerned about Sooyeon.

 

“No, it’s nothing.”

 

“Sooyeon, I’ve known you for years. Judging from your expression and the largely uneaten food on your plate, there is something wrong. Tell me, what is it?”

 

Sooyeon sighed. It was true she couldn’t hide anything from Taeyeon. They were as close as peas in a pod but she didn’t know why she suddenly felt so awkward in front of Taeyeon.

 

“It feels … odd.”

 

“What feels odd?” Taeyeon raised her brow, puzzled at Sooyeon’s comment.

 

Awkward silence.

 

“Come, let’s go out for a walk. Excuse me, could I have the bill please?” Taeyeon signaled to a nearby waiter.

 

“You’ve not finished eating yet.” Sooyeon pointed at the half eaten fish on Taeyeon’s plate.

 

“I can’t eat if you can’t eat and if I know that something is bothering you.”

 

Sooyeon felt bad.

 

“Don’t worry about me, I have enough fats to keep me going,” Taeyeon joked while pointing to her tummy. It made Sooyeon giggle.

 

They walked side by side along the pavement, listening to the sounds of the occasional cars that zoomed by. Their arms touched and it sent tingles of excitement to Sooyeon’s heart.

 

“Am I making you uncomfortable?” Taeyeon asked, breaking the silence when they arrived at the riverside.

 

“No, it’s not you. It’s just me.”

 

Just then, a sudden breeze made Sooyeon shiver a little. Taeyeon immediately picked up Sooyeon’s hands and warmed them up by rubbing them together.

 

Sooyeon’s heart was filled with warmth as she felt her nerves slowly loosen.

 

“Better? If you’re too cold, maybe we should go back,” Taeyeon offered.

 

“Sorry for being such a spoilsport,” Sooyeon said apologetically.

 

“Nah, why are you a spoilsport? Blame it on the sudden breeze. It’s summer, it isn’t supposed to be that cold at night.”

 

“It is our … first … .”

 

“Our first date and that’s why you’re being very awkward and weird around me suddenly?” Taeyeon grinned.

 

Sooyeon felt her cheeks warming up instantly and she was certain she was as red as a tomato. Fortunately it was quite dim where they were standing.

 

“Oh come on, let’s just be natural, like our old selves. Nothing’s changed, well, at least to me.” Taeyeon patted Sooyeon’s back. “It’s just like updating a Facebook status from single to attached.”

 

Sooyeon liked the feeling of Taeyeon’s hand on her back and it felt cold when the latter removed it.

 

“To be honest I was very afraid of losing a good friend like you but I’m sure you shared the same vibes as me, that’s why I had the courage to confess. It was on impulse, I must admit but loving you is definitely not an impulse. It is for real.”

 

Ripples of happiness surged through Sooyeon’s body. It was heartwarming to hear those words from Taeyeon and it calmed her nerves.

 

“Tae, I like you too…but I’m just not used to the ‘couple’ thingy,” the words came out very softly and shyly.

 

Taeyeon gave Sooyeon a quick hug and jumped up for joy. “That’s good enough. We can take things one step at a time.”

 

Sooyeon couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight of the overgrown child in front of her.

 

“Alright,” Sooyeon said with a smile.

 

A huge grin was plastered on Taeyeon’s face.

 

“So, step one, we hold hands.” Taeyeon quickly grabbed Sooyeon’s hand and weaved her fingers through the latter’s.

 

Taeyeon placed her other hand on Sooyeon’s cheek. “Next, we look lovingly into each other’s eyes.”

 

“This sounds so silly,” Sooyeon retorted.

 

Taeyeon’s eyes darted from Sooyeon’s eyes to her nose and finally stopping at her lips. “And next, our lips meet.”

 

Without hesitation, Taeyeon closed her eyes and pressed her lips onto a surprised Sooyeon.

 

Sooyeon’s heart was beating so fast and hard that it seemed that was the only sound in the universe. The next moment when Taeyeon’s lips moved a little, her heartbeat slowed down a little and her muscles loosened up.

 

They parted, foreheads touching for a moment before they finally separated.

 

“How is that being natural and taking things one step at a time?” Sooyeon asked as they held hands and walked along the riverside.

 

“It is one step at a time, just that I didn’t say how fast it takes from one step to the other!” Taeyeon announced before running away from Sooyeon.

 

“Ya ya Kim Tae Yeon, come back here. I wanna knock your head!” Sooyeon called out, chasing after the shorter girl.

 

Taeyeon laughed, knowing Sooyeon wasn’t feeling as awkward as she was earlier on. She turned around briefly as she ran. “Catch me if you can!”

= The End =

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