This is an introductory chapter.
“Nice coat you got there. “
Taeyeon looked up, as she smelled strawberry scent filled through her nostrils. Taeyeon didn’t like fruity scents. She preferred musky, wooden fragrances. She didn’t like flashy clothes either. Pink, yellow, red, you name it. She preferred to stay at the corner than being the center of attention and the topic of every gossip at school.
But, here she was, looking up at the girl, dressed in pink blouse, velvet skirt with red lipstick. A complete yellowed Michael Kors Handbag was by her side, which looked like it had been with its owner for a few months.
“Err, thanks?” Taeyeon replied unsurely, not knowing how to react to a sudden compliment from a stranger, a beautiful stranger at that.
Her timid response made the latter giggled and her eyes turned into a crescent-moon shape. Taeyeon was stunned. She had never seen such beautiful eye-smiles on her 20 years of existence. Her hyperactive friend Kwon Yuri has it but it is nothing compared to this one. Nothing could compare to this view she just saw.
Taeyeon looked mindlessly at the hand in front of her. It might look she had a dumb face on but thousands of thoughts going through her brain and a stampede going on in her stomach.
She heard the chuckle again. Tiffany had a husky voice, she noted.
“When somebody gives you the hand, you should shake it.” Tiffany quipped as she smiled toothless at the girl who absorbed in her book minutes ago.
“S-sorry.” Taeyeon stuttered as she clumsily closed her sketchbook and took the hand and shook it nervously.
“And you should tell your name when someone offered their name as well,” Tiffany spoke as she looked at the girl whose face just showed hundred kinds of emotions in less than five minutes.
“A-ah dae…Kim T-Taeyeon immida.”
Tiffany smiled at her again, her crescent eye-smiles. Taeyeon noted this would be the image of Tiffany Hwang she would always remember.
“Nice to meet you, Taeyeon.”
“Did you do well on the assignments?” Tiffany asked as soon as she sat down besides her.
“If you meant messy handwritings for calculations and 34% plagiarism ‘well’, then yes. I did well on the assignments.” Taeyeon replied as she squinted her eyes to clear her vision. She was the one to blame for her lack of sleep. Playing games and sketching through the dawn, she didn’t notice until the alarm buzzed.
“Tsk, tsk, you are just not into Professor Park’s lecture. Why are you even taking this class?”
Taeyeon sighed as she leaned head on the desk and looked at the girl besides her. It had been two months that she got to know Tiffany, ‘The Tiffany’. Taeyeon considered herself as a fence sitter. She didn’t have many friends. She had Kwon Yuri whom she knew since the first day of school, Hyoyeon whom she knew through Yuri and Sunny aka Lee Soonkyu whom she clicked with the most and had been her friend since high school. And there’s Tiffany.
She didn’t know how to describe Tiffany.
“I failed this class last semester, Tippani. I cannot afford to fail this again and besides Prof. Park gives better grades than that old hag next door.” Taeyeon grumbled as she frowned at the thought of stepping inside of the tenacious Kim Shinyoung’s class.
“Tiffany! Beautiful as always!” The loud voice interrupted the conversation. She turned her head and saw Yuri walking happily to their seats. Taeyeon snorted at her friend’s never-ending hyper activeness as she prepared herself to take a short nap before the class starts.
“Haha, Good Morning Yuri-ah,” Tiffany smiled at the latter as she observed Yuri skipping lightly behind Taeyeon.
“No mood for pranks, Yul.” Taeyeon muttered without looking at her back. Yuri scoffed at her friend and sat down besides the latter. “And Kim Taeyeon, grumpy as always.”
“You are just being annoyingly lively today. What gives?” Taeyeon asked as she noticed a slight change in Yuri’s demeanor. Yuri’s lips tuned upwards as she heard her friend’s rare question. Hanging out with Tiffany might have changed her introvert baby-faced friend somehow.
She leaned in to Taeyeon’s face and looked at her eyes without blinking. She blinked her lashes for a couple of times and let out a flirtatious smile as she puckered her lips to her best friend.
“Don’t I look beautiful, Taeyeonnie~” Yuri spoke in a pitched voice that neither honey nor sugar could compare. Taeyeon groaned as she heard the tan girl’s annoying high-pitched aegyo voice, it was irritating to hear and not to mention, disturb her sleep. With two being polar-opposite personalities, it’s still a mystery how they became close.
Taeyeon faked a smile and leaned towards Yuri as she drew her finger along Yuri’s face. She stopped at the latter’s nose and smiled widely.
“You are so pwetty~”
“Jinja~~” Yuri continued to ask with her aegyo voice as she winked at her. Taeyeon gritted her teeth while smiling.
“Yesh~You are so pwetty that I felt like stuffing that nose of yours into dog poop!” Taeyeon shouted as she squeezed her best friend’s nose painfully.
“Ya!!YA!!” Yuri shouted as she frantically tried to remove Taeyeon’s hold from her nose. Taeyeon smirked as she released after a few seconds. ‘Serve you right.”
She then turned around and saw Tiffany’s smiling at them. But it was strange smile. Her lips was curled up just like she smiled with her eyes closed like a crescent moon but she looked strained.
Taeyeon looked at her new friend for a minute, trying to decipher the emotion the latter is feeling inside. It’s still a mystery how Tiffany got close with her. Even Yuri and Sunny asked her multiple times how Tiffany came directly towards her, stating that she would be sitting here and asked for her phone number, point blank.
Stephanie Hwang Miyoung as stated in her ID was considered the beauty queen of the Business Major in Seoul National University.Most of the campus gossip would be about her. She came to SNU with scholarship despite her wealthy background and would top the exams. Boys crushed on her, fantasized about her, Girls admired her, hated her. And she was also known to have several relationships that didn’t last long.Whether it’s true or not, Tiffany herself would only know it.
As for Taeyeon herself, she’s good at arts but she took business, as she needed to survive if she planned to stay independent in the future. Business is not her forte, but she considered herself already lucky enough to be accepted into such prestigious university. She had a serious relationship for about two years with someone a year ago which ended on a sour note. After what happened, she never wanted to be in love or considered about dating again.
“Okay, Class!! Let’s start.”
The professor’s voice interrupted Taeyeon’s thoughts as she involuntarily opened the textbook for the lecture. She looked at her new friend again who was already into the lecture but the distant gaze still lingered on her beautiful eyes. She made a note to ask her that another time.
Taeyeon smiled widely as she saw Yuri finished her drink in one go. Yuri had a high alcohol tolerance level but Sunny was the best.The girl was by far the best drinker she ever came across. For her, two rounds would be her limit. She also had to get up the next morning so she controlled herself not to drink too much.
“So, Tiffany~” Yuri chirped as she waved around her glass at Taeyeon, “What do you think of our shorty?”
They decided to have dinner as the celebration of completing assignments for the current semester. Two months still left before the exam and they hadn’t drunk for quite some time and also they hadn’t properly hung out with Tiffany after school.
“Umm, Come again?” Tiffany asked as she thought she heard wrong. Taeyeon bit her lips in embarrassment at her best friend’s question and kicked her leg from the table.
“Ya! That’s my leg!” Hyoyeon shouted as she touched the spot where she was kicked painfully.Yuri smirked as Taeyeon glared at her menacingly with flush on her cheeks.
“Frankly speaking, it’s still a wonder how you became friends with Taeyeon.” Yuri asked straightforward, without wavering her gaze from the brunette in front of her. Suddenly, her voice turned serious and sober,”Taeyeon told me that you complimented her coat and you guys got acquainted from there.”
Everyone can see the bluntness in Yuri’s voice. As much as Taeyeon appreciated her friend’s protectiveness, she didn’t dare to look at Tiffany. No one had ever approached her in second semester. She got to know Yuri after doing CA together when they were assigned as partners on freshman years and the rest was history.Tiffany just walked to her, asked her and sat down besides her in the class just bluntly.
“I’m envious of how protective you are,” Tiffany spoke genuinely while smiling. “But, I was intrigued by how she was concentrated on her drawing regardless of the environment. “
Taeyeon held her breath as Tiffany put down her beer glass not so gently. She was still smiling but it had lost the sparks. When she spoke, there was an edge along with the voice, “However, I do not like it if you guys suspected me along with a bunch of nuisances who would approach someone for their gain.”
She could also detect bitterness in the latter’s voice. Tiffany looked at her for a while before continuing to speak,“I had my fair share of those kind of people so I also watch who I am speaking with. I just want to know Taeyeon genuinely. No other facts.”
Yuri nodded after hearing Tiffany’s confession. It was not a surprise. If you are popular, people started to stuck up to you and you started to have problems trusting people. Tiffany would definitely experience this. There were even a fan club under her name, news that might be true or false, girls who bad-moutherd her, etc. But she knew her friend, Taeyeon. When Taeyeon trusted someone, she trusted this person with all her heart. It took her months before Taeyeon started to warm up to her. With Tiffany, it took less than a month.
She considered Taeyeon as a rare person who cannot be found easily. The girl was as pure as it can get. Although there were scars caused by the people in her past, she never had once had hatred or anger towards them. She only looked at things with kindness. With such reasons, Taeyeon was a valuable friend to Yuri.
“I had to ask that, Tiffany. As you already know, Taeyeon here,” she smirked as she hugged Taeyeon tightly, “is very kind-hearted. This midget takes things to heart. And I can see she is very happy whenever she sees you.”
“Ya!” Taeyeon shouted as she could felt herself embarrassed to her core. That Kwon Yuri
Hyoyeon chuckled as she joked, “You are blushing, midget.”
“You aren’t very tall, either.” came the snarky response.
Tiffany giggled at the interaction and looked at them with envy. “Are you guys always like this?” Taeyeon stopped choking Hyoyeon and turned to the latter and smiled sheepishly, “Not always.”
“I had a great time today.”
Taeyeon paused her steps and looked at the girl besides her. After the dinner, they decided to call it a night and left subsequently. As for them, they were in the same neighbourhood so they decided to walk together. Taeyeon observed the girl carefully. Tiffany had a high alcohol tolerance. She would make a good drinking partner with Sunny.A slight flush in her cheeks from the drinking, the girl looked beautiful in her red short jersey dress and platform sandals.
Beautiful Taeyeon thought unconsciously .
“I’m glad that you had.” Taeyeon replied slowly as she regarded her new friend. The girl was now looking up at the sky, smiling. She’s known Tiffany was incredibly good at hiding her emotions and able to fit in easily. But tonight, the girl seemed to lower her guard tonight as she started to skip slowly instead of walking.
Tiffany turned to look at her and stopped walking. “Thank you, Taeyeon.”
Taeyeon smiled and nodded, despite the confusion, “You’re welcome?”
The lovely giggles went through her ears again. Tiffany smiled as she shook her head, “It had been sometimes that I have been this fun. So, I just wanted to say thanks.”
No more words were spoken after a while.
The distracted thoughts were immediately disappeared as she felt arms around her and found herself swept into a tight hug with a familiar strawberry scent that was Tiffany. Taeyeon’s ears tingled as Tiffany whispered huskily,“Thank you for being my friend,Taeyeon.”
That was all Taeyeon could hear throughout the night.