Taeyeon could hear the sharp intake of breath from the girl besides her and a gasp from Jaehee but she could barely focus on them. Tiffany let out her signature smirk as she walked towards them in confidence stride.
She then stopped in front of the girl besides her.
“ Let’s just assume I have slept with half the guys from the campus? What’s it to you?”
“I don’t even have to lift a finger to make a guy drooling over me. Can you even make a guy you’re interested fall for you?”
The girl’s face went red in anger and shame instantly but she didn’t respond. Taeyeon could only stare at Tiffany acting like The Queen that she’s rumoured to be, her mouth gaping at the smug grin, the arrogant stares and the diva stance of the latter.
“If I am a piece of meat, then I’m sure no one at the campus will be the least interested in you after they got a taste of me.”
“You bitch!”,The actual bitch snarled as she raised her hand to slap Tiffany. Taeyeon immediately prepared to hold her hand off Tiffany. But Tiffany went ahead and grabbed the girl’s hand harshly.
“And you, Jaehee”, Tiffany looked at the gossip girl who had been silent throughout the whole ordeal, “You told me you owe me after I did your assignment. Remember?”
“Don’t you have a voice? I’m pretty sure I heard your voice loud and clear less than ten minutes ago.”
“Well, what you have to do for me in return as a favour of you achieving your very first A in two years of your degree will be”, Tiffany paused, “making sure that not a single student ever hears or knows about what happened here. Got it?”
“ What? Too ashamed to be known as a bitch?” ,the girl that Tiffany was holding sniggered.
Tiffany smirked at the remark and shrugged, “I’m already a bitch to you gossiping low- lives. Another petty gossip means nothing to me.”
“But if you ever dare trash talked about Taeyeon or any of her friends, I will make sure I can be a real bitch that you won’t even dare to step a foot inside the campus.”
“Don’t test me, Son Eunyoung. You wouldn’t want to be an enemy of Tiffany Hwang.”
“And you”, Tiffany made sure Jaehee also got the right message, “If I ever hear a single nonsense about Taeyeon, I will assume BOTH OF YOU as the masterminds and I’m sure you know the ending to that.”
Tiffany held Taeyeon by the wrist, bumping into the rude girl intentionally by the shoulders and left the restroom.
“Do you wanna sit down?”
Taeyeon asked Tiffany softly as she felt her shaking through the hand that was holding her. They were now standing at the rooftop of the restaurant after Tiffany dragged her along without saying a single word and she also didn’t pull out.
Maybe the touch was warm or she was still shocked, she didn’t care.
Tiffany let out a small broken chuckle and nodded. She sat on a nearby bench and closed her eyes, breathing in slowly. A warm feeling was felt over her shoulders, covering her sleeveless top. She looked up and saw Taeyeon looking around except her with a small blush on her cheeks.
“I-I’m wearing a sweater so just put on my jacket for a while.”
Tiffany bursted into tears.
Taeyeon immediately went over to the latter, freaking out internally. Tiffany instantly hugged her by the waist tightly and hid her face in their embrace, wetting Taeyeon’s sweater in the process. Taeyeon could hardly care even if her mascara and makeup were stained in the process.
But she couldn’t stand Tiffany’s crying.
“Please don’t cry? They don’t deserve your tears.”,Taeyeon comforted the brunette beauty as she patted her back. Taeyeon’s grip tightened around Tiffany as she heard the latter’s trying to stop her crying as she sobbed.
This was Tiffany Hwang.
The It-Girl of the Campus, the Queen of the University, the Beauty of the Major. They were the titles that people dubbed her. She didn’t choose it. She became a spectacle to be gawked at, hated, admired and lusted after.
And Taeyeon could see Tiffany made sure that she fit the persona that people made of her. She dressed to impress, dated guys after guys and did nothing to correct the rumors. But the beauty was actually one of the most sincere and genuine persons she’s ever known.
Now here she was, crying over the petty bathroom gossip that some ignorant students started.
The sobs eventually slowed down, replaced by a few sniffs. Taeyeon took out the tissue from her pant pocket which she intended to use in the restroom in case there wasn’t any tissue.
Tiffany leaned back a bit and looked at the tissue in Taeyeon’s left hand. Her eyes was red and her mascara were smudged with makeup around her eyes as Taeyeon predicted.
“It’s clean. I took it from our dining table.”
Tiffany slowly took the tissue and wiped away her tears.
Taeyeon awkwardly stepped away from Tiffany and looked around the surrounding. The hug happened by instinct at the heat of the moment, just to comfort somebody in pain. Now that they were not exactly in speaking terms, Taeyeon didn’t know how to escape this weird atmosphere.
Glancing at her watch, Taeyeon discreetly looked at Tiffany again. The latter was hanging her head low, her gaze focused on her worn out tissue in her hand.
“I-I should go. You might want to be alone for a while.”
Taeyeon turned around and prepared to leave the rooftop.
A small voice halted her steps. Taeyeon turned back to see Tiffany looking at her straightly.
Yuri worriedly ran up to the stairs leading to the rooftop of the restaurant. Taeyeon could do bizarre things when she got drunk and she hoped this wouldn’t be one of these moments.
She hurriedly open the latch of the door and greeted by the chilling cold air of Seoul. She looked to her left and Taeyeon stiffly sitting besides Tiffany, hugging the latter sideways whose head was hanging low.
She slowly approached the duo, “Hey, are you guys okay?”
Taeyeon nodded and looked at Yuri, “ We are fine.”
“You didn’t try to jump and prove you have Superman’s blood, did you?”,Yuri blurted remembering one incident involving drunk Hyoyeon and Taeyeon trying to jump over the two storeyed building to show that they’re superheroes.
“HAHAHAHA!!”,A laugh erupted from Tiffany as Taeyeon blushed furiously and glared at the tan woman in front of her.
This baboon , I outta….
“Tiffany, did you cry?!” Yuri went to Tiffany in concern when she saw Tiffany’s reddening eyes and nose after the latter raised her head while laughing.
Tiffany immediately stopped laughing and turned her head sideways.
“Is it okay for us to leave first?”
Yuri looked at Taeyeon and saw her best friend seemed to be actually sober.
“I think so? What happened though?”
Taeyeon ignored her friend’s question and continued,”I might leave earlier with Tiffany first. She needs some rest.”
Yuri decided not to probe further, noticing that something actually happened but she couldn’t guess. Taeyeon would eventually tell her later.
“It’s okay. I will tell our friends that you felt a bit sick so you needed to leave early.”
Taeyeon nodded, “Thanks.”
“And here’s your bag”, Yuri handed the bag to the owner.
“C-can you also bring me my handbag?”
Taeyeon looked at Tiffany and felt the latter trembling which made her grip around her tighten at the tension in her body.
“Can you wait here for a while then? I will go and take your bag and be back here quickly.”
Tiffany looked at Taeyeon in gratitude and nodded. She could stay here on her own for a while. She trusted Taeyeon to come back.
Taeyeon silently joined back the table with Yuri and sat down. She ignored the sudden quietness from the table next to hers. She smiled at her friends and informed them that she was leaving, earning whines from them.
She then proceeded to the table where Tiffany sat before and bowed a bit. She silently grabbed Tiffany’s handbag and cardigan resulting in silence from the table.
“Hey, what are you doing?”
Taeyeon looked at the guy who grabbed her wrist and faked a smile. She shook off his hand harshly and responded, “Tiffany felt sick from drinking so she asked me to bring her stuff to her. She had informed the professor that she will be leaving early.”
The groans erupted as she left the table.
“Dude, I told you not to make her drink too much!”
“I thought she was strong in alcohol tolerance!”
“You can’t do any action on a drunk girl, I tell ya!”
“Maybe better luck next time!”
And the sniggers followed along with the sound of clinking beers.
Taeyeon clenched her fists in anger and bit her lips. She could taste blood from her biting.How could they be that rude and presumptuous? Along the way, she made sure her fury could be felt by the certain classmates she encountered in the restroom who turned away abruptly when they met her menacing gaze.
Yuri was right. There’s nothing you can do about the ignorant stigma that came with the rumors and the gossips.
She briefly explained to Yuri about what happened in the restroom and the latter only told her to accompany Tiffany and not to say anything about what she felt because it wouldn’t do any good.
She shook her head, trying to ignore the anger. She had a friend she needed to take care of and that’s what mattered.
“Thank you for accompanying me.”
Taeyeon looked up and saw Tiffany smiling faintly at her. They were now at a café which was situated a few blocks away from the restaurant. Taeyeon smiled back in return and nodded, “No problem.”
“How have you been?”
“Fine, I guess. You?”
“I’m also fine.”
And the conversation stopped. The silence ensued and the awkward atmosphere came back.
Taeyeon decided to break the silence, knowing Tiffany still might be in a solemn mood after the confrontation.
Both chuckled at the coincidence and shook their heads. Taeyeon coughed a bit to clear her throat and decided she should start instead.
“I shouldn’t have given you the cold shoulder.”,Taeyeon looked down at her feet guiltily.“I knew you were genuinely concerned for me and yet, I behaved like a child. I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry too.” Tiffany’s voice cracked.
“What for? You didn’t do anything wrong.” Taeyeon replied, feeling confused.
“I-I wrongfully accused you of liking Siwon-oppa which you aren’t.” Tiffany bit her lips guiltily and looked away from Taeyeon in shame.
Taeyeon gently held Tiffany’s hand and patted it.
“Hey, it’s okay. It was at the heat of the moment.”
Tiffany shook her head, “No, I actually thought you liked him. And I thought you….”
“I’m not though. I don’t even know him that well.”
Tiffany squeezed her hand gently, “I know. Yuri told me.”
“I see. Why though? If you don’t mind me asking.”
“What? Me thinking that you like him?”
Tiffany swallowed unconsciously and looked down at their hands, “I don’t have many girlfriends as you can see.”
“I did try to have though” ,Tiffany paused, “But most them were fake.”
“They only wanted to know how to get boys like Tiffany Hwang”, Tiffany sadly chuckled, “And most approached me just to know the number of the guys I hang out with, particularly Siwon-oppa.”
“But it was wrong of me”, Tiffany looked at Taeyeon in guilt. “I,myself get judged a lot and yet, I judged you and accused you.”
Taeyeon smiled and shook her head, “You have been hurt too many times. It’s a normal reaction for you. I’m glad that you know the truth.”
“So, are we okay now?”
Tiffany looked at Taeyeon expectantly. Taeyeon chuckled at the cute expression and nodded eagerly.
“Of course, if only you forgive me first.”
“I do. You have already admitted you did behave like a child.” Tiffany snorted.
“Yah!” Taeyeon pouted. But she was glad. The Sassy Tiffany had returned and it was all that mattered.
Tiffany laughed and pushed Taeyeon hands away playfully.
“So, friends?” Taeyeon extended her hand to Tiffany.
Tiffany smiled widely and nodded. She grinned as she took Taeyeon’s hand and shook it three times.
“Now, I’m annoyed.”
Taeyeon glanced at her friends who were looking at her smugly. They were hanging out at Yuri’s home who asked them to help with her packing. Instead, they were lounging on the sofa in her room, playing games and eating junk food.
“We are here and yet, you are giving your attention to your friend who’s not here.”
“Tsk”, Taeyeon let out the sound of annoyance as she finished her text to Tiffany and sent it. She then closed her phone and looked at her friends.
“You guys were playing games and neglecting me. I was just killing time.”
“Dude, you lost”,Sunny snorted,”and if you didn’t notice, the game has been over five minutes ago.”
“And she won as usual,” Yuri mumbled.
“And yet, you still ask her to play”, Hyoyeon rolled her eyes as she sat down unceremoniously besides Taeyeon.
“I thought you called us to help you with your luggage”, Taeyeon commented, hoping to change the topic.
“You always fail at changing conversations”, Yuri smirked as she fist bumped with Sunny. Her shorty best friend had been hanging out with Tiffany a lot after they had talked at the cafe and cleared things out. Now they were talking on daily basis.
“So,care to share with some topics that you guys talk about everyday?” , Sunny remarked sarcastically, earning a pillow in her face.
“We just talk about boring stuffs”, Taeyeon mumbled. She didn’t even know what they chatted about sometimes. They would text each other goodnight and it would lead to discussing about a movie or a trend, etc which would go on through the night, both getting late to school the next day.
Nevertheless, she couldn’t deny the surge of happiness she felt whenever she chatted with Tiffany, whether in person or via SMS. And that was scaring her.
She neither wanted to go into deeper search about these emotions that she felt or defined about it. She wouldn’t dare to. And she’s still not ready to dare to.
“You need to set some boundaries though.”
Taeyeon frowned at the comment and looked at Sunny. “What do you mean by that?”
Sunny gave her a pointed look,“You guys are chatting 24/7. If you are not out of topics even with that rate by now, obviously you feel something else for her rather than a friend.”
“You guys are crazy.” Taeyeon denied vehemently, although she was freaking out internally. She cursed herself for freaking out knowing her friends could detect it.
“Taeyeon, you are a great friend”, Hyoyeon spoke softly, “But you are not that good of a listener to listen to someone’s nonsense daily. Does she discuss you about her lovelife?”
“…No.” Taeyeon replied. If she were to point out a topic they never particularly discussed, it would be dating. Tiffany had never brought up about her love life in details although she informed her about the dates she had if she had one. She also wasn’t ready to discuss her own love life so she didn’t ask the latter about hers.
“We don’t want you to end up in the confused whirlpool of emotions”, Yuri explained, “I maybe slow in grasping things but this is even too obvious for an oblivious person like me.”
“I’m not stupid and I think you guys are mistaken”, Taeyeon took a deep breath and deflated, “She’s a good friend of mine just like you guys. She’s actually a nice person to hang out with. And I have even introduced her to you already.”
“Yeah, you did but we don’t chat 24/7.”
“Well, I don’t either!!!”, Taeyeon shouted irritatedly, “Are you guys even listening to yourselves?! This is bullshit.”
“We are looking out for you, Taeyeon.”
“Well, thank you very much.” Taeyeon replied in sarcasm. She glared at Yuri and stood up, “Are you guys gonna continue to assume things about me or start packing bags for her Monkeyness? Otherwise, I’m leaving.”
The trio looked at one another and sighed. Their dear friend was still in denial. It would only be a matter of time until the bomb explodes.
“Let’s just start packing.”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Why did you defend me?”
Taeyeon switched her focus on the screen to look at Tiffany who seemed to watching the movie on the laptop but she knew the latter wasn’t exactly watching. She wouldn’t have asked her a question otherwise.
Taeyeon invited Tiffany to visit her tiny flat after the latter commented that she’s jealous of her other friends who had been to her apartment for countless of times. Now they were sitting together on her bed, blanket covering their legs with hot cocoa in their respective mugs. The break just started today and they decided to celebrate it by watching a random chick-flick.
“I mean you should have just stayed inside the cubicle and not confronted them. They always gossip about me anyway.”
“Doesn’t mean you are okay with it or used to it.”
“…I just don’t want you to get dragged into unnecessary drama that they all like to create.”
Taeyeon shrugged, indicating she didn’t really care. “I wouldn’t have gotten out actually but they used the B word and they took things too far. Women shouldn’t bash each other, right or wrong.”
She continued to watch the movie in silence, trying to not to glance sideways to see why Tiffany wasn’t responding. A few seconds later, she felt Tiffany resting her head on her shoulder and the latter’s hand gradually hugging her arm, intertwining their fingers.
Tiffany snuggled up to her and Taeyeon could smell her lavender-scented hair and her signature scent from the perfume the latter always tended to use. She could only stay still in her position, heart thumping wildly, unconsciously frozen at the unfamiliarly familiar feeling.
“Thank you , Taeyeon.”
The husky melodic voice immediately soothed her skittish mind, eventually relaxing her. Taeyeon also rested her head on top of Tiffany’s head and nodded. The warmth she felt tonight was indescribable. But she’s not gonna look into further than that.
A relaxed sigh was emitted from Tiffany as Taeyeon squeezed their intertwined hands, the movie long forgotten.
“Happy Holidays, Taeyeon.”
“Happy Holidays, Tiffany.”
It’s a bit late but Happy Belated New Year guys!!!! I still haven’t revised the chapter yet so please forgive the mistakes if there is one ^^
Until then ~~~