“Would you like another glass of wine?”
The gentle voice interrupted Jessica’s thoughts. It was then she realised the wine glass in her hand was empty.
“No thanks,” Jessica said politely, setting the wine glass on the table.
The waitress smiled politely, cleared the glass and walked away.
Jessica watched the snow fall and blanket the streets in white. With a short sigh, she left some notes on the table and left the cafe.
For the past three years, Jessica had been visiting the cafe on Christmas eve. It was a promise she made with Taeyeon before the latter left Seoul to pursue her Masters in California. Taeyeon didn’t want to be distracted by modern technology while she was studying, hence they kept in touch via emails and the occasional phone calls. Taeyeon promised to meet Jessica at the cafe where they first met on Christmas eve, the day she was supposed to return to Seoul.
However, Taeyeon didn’t appear and hadn’t appeared since three years ago. Jessica was puzzled and bewildered. Taeyeon showed no signs of missing their date and even reminded Jessica about their date via her last email. When Jessica tried all ways to contact Taeyeon, she realised she only had Taeyeon’s home number. She kept calling that number for the next few days until someone finally picked up and said that Taeyeon had moved.
Worried, Jessica contacted Taeyeon’s parents in Jeonju and was informed that Taeyeon went on a soul searching trip. Taeyeon didn’t want to be disturbed on her trip and that she would be back when she had found herself. Jessica wasn’t convinced by the sudden change in attitude but didn’t argue with Taeyeon’s parents.
Throughout the three years, Taeyeon’s parents assured Jessica that Taeyeon was fine and didn’t provide any further details. Jessica asked about Taeyeon’s return date each time but her parents couldn’t give an answer. Her frustration was growing yet she knew she couldn’t forget about Taeyeon. On one hand Jessica wanted to give up on Taeyeon. On the other hand, Jessica’s heart was yearning for the older woman more and more each day. She thought time would made her feelings for Taeyeon fade but it turned out to be otherwise.
Tucking her hands in the pockets of her trench coat, Jessica walked down the street to the train station. It was a crowded night as everyone was out celebrating and Christmas tunes were playing from the shops along the street. However, Jessica felt like the loneliness person in the world. She stopped in front of a toy shop where there was a huge Santa Claus and snowman smiling merrily at the glass window.
“Dear Santa, my friends tell me you wouldn’t fail me and you would make my wish come true. I have been making the same wish for the past three years, won’t you please make it come true this year? I wish to see Taeyeon again. To see with my own eyes that she is okay…”
Tears filled her eyes as Jessica muttered those words quietly to herself. Loneliness was quickly filling up the void in her heart.
“Excuse me, you left your gloves at the cafe.”
Surprised, Jessica wiped a tear from her eyes and turned in the direction of the voice.
It belonged to a blonde whose face was hidden behind a black scarf and thick hooded jacket. The blonde stuck her hands out and handed the gloves to Jessica.
“Oh, thank you. It slipped my mind,” Jessica said gratefully, wiping her tears with the back of her hands.
“Your hands are always cold. Remember to bring your gloves wherever you go and don’t catch a cold.”
Jessica’s breathing stopped for a moment. That sentence was close to her heart. Taeyeon used to nag at her all the time in the same manner.
Just as Jessica was momentarily surprised, the blonde untied her scarf and revealed her face. The blonde’s complexion was as fair as the falling snow but there was a deep scar running from the top of her right ear to her jaw.
Jessica was stunned momentarily before she rushed forward to envelope the blonde in a tight hug. “Tae…Taeyeon…”
Taeyeon wrapped her arms around Jessica. “Sorry Sica, I am three years late.”
Jessica pounded Taeyeon’s back with her fists. “Where in the world did you disappear to?! What happened to you?!”
A short pause. Only sobs were heard.
“I got into a serious car accident on my way to the airport.”
Jessica pulled away from Taeyeon. She pulled the hood down and studied Taeyeon’s face. Running her fingers along the scar, Jessica couldn’t stop her tears from streaming down her face.
“The taxi I was in collided with a container truck. I was lucky to be alive. I stayed in the hospital for a long time and had to undergo physiotherapy to recover as I couldn’t walk properly after the accident. I didn’t want you to worry so I told my parents to tell you I went on a solo trip.”
“I can’t believe you would tell me such a crappy story!” Jessica yelled amid her tears.
A wave of sadness washed across Jessica’s face. “I could have flown there and be with you!”
“My mum flew there to look after me. I didn’t know how you would react if I told you. I didn’t know if you would still want to be with a broken me…”
“Seriously, if your impression of me is so poor, I should have given up on you three years ago!”
“I am sorry. I am okay if you decide to break up with me.” Taeyeon lowered her head.
“You have wasted three years of my youth just to wait for you and to listen to this?!” Jessica’s voice grew louder, frustration building up.
“Ouch!” Taeyeon exclaimed when she felt a sharp pain on her forehead.
“You deserve that!” Jessica proclaimed, half-satisfied with the flick on Taeyeon’s forehead.
“You need to make up for the time you went missing, starting right now. And stop giving me crappy excuses about being broken and such. What’s important is this!” Jessica jabbed at Taeyeon’s heart with her index finger. “Am I still in there?”
Taeyeon was puzzled for a moment before she realized what Jessica meant. A soft smile appeared on Taeyeon’s face. She grabbed Jessica finger, spread her fingers and laid the palm over her own heart. “Of course you are. In fact, I worked so hard at physiotherapy so that I can see you sooner. I want to keep the promise I made three years ago.”
Just then, the clock at a nearby building chimed. It was midnight. Everyone around them erupted into loud cheers and wishes for Christmas.
“Merry Christmas, Sica.”
Jessica’s intense glare softened to a loving gaze.
“Merry Christmas, Tae. Looks like Santa does make wishes come true.”
“Eh?” Taeyeon asked, puzzled by Jessica’s reply.
Blushing, Jessica shook her head. “It’s nothing.”
Sliding their hands into each other’s and intertwining their fingers, the couple headed off to join the crowd in the Christmas celebration.
= THE END =