Navy blue scrubs, white coats, pagers, whining, cries and a whole lot “Is there nothing you can do?” That was her life. It’s been months since that day – the day where she decided to place a facade and end a beautiful life with someone. She knew that the other cannot take more of the pain. But she didn’t know that it would be more painful for the other to let go. She needed not facades, she needed to keep herself busy and busy she was. She went on with rounds, took extra shifts and went out with colleagues for coffee just so she can take her mind of the other.
This morning, she went out for a cup of coffee with her interns and felt as if someone was watching her. She looked around and stopped at the tree at the nearby park.
“It looks like her.” She thought but shook her head and said, “Nah. It can’t be. Her work already started.” And went on with her interns for that much needed coffee.
“A Cafe Americana please and no milk.” She told the cashier
“Not the usual for you, Dr. Kwon?”
“Nah. I thought I’d have something else for a change.” “Coffee from coffee shops do taste good but what you made for me every morning tastes even better. At least, I get to taste a cup of coffee that you love.”
“Yah! Yuri-yah! Can I have your cup today?” A short kid-like, pale female clad in white coat, and navy blue scrubs asked Yuri as she walked through the halls of the Pediatrics department.
“Get your own cup! I need this! I’ve been up for 72 hours!”
“You know, you really should just get back with her. She’s unhappy, you know.”
“I need to find myself first Taeng. I need to be sure that I’m ready. I need to be sure that I won’t be hurting her anymore. If it was painful for me, I know that it was even more painful for her. She suffered more than I did. And before I get her back, I want to find myself.”
“You know, you working extra shifts isn’t doing you good. Your research is going great and so are your clinical trials. But look at you. Do you think she’d want to see your eyes all dark and you getting all skinny?”
“Haha. I know. She likes it when I’m huggable.”
“Yuri-yah. Remember you told her that you’ll go through things together? That you’ll hold her hand ‘till the end? Where’s that Yuri that promised her that?”
“Sorry Taeng. I got paged.”
*sighs* “I just hope you know what you’re doing Yuri-yah.”
“YAH! KIM TAENGOO! I’VE BEEN PAGING YOU!” A slightly taller brunette called out.
“Oh. Oh.” Taeyeon said out loud fearing for her life.
“Uh. Tiff! I’ve been talking to uh. I’ve been talking to the nurse.”
“You’ve been flirting again?!!!!”
“What? Uh. No! Not that!”
*sighs* “I’ve been talking to Yuri before she got paged.”
“Where is that scumbag?! I want to punch the life out of her!”
“Tiff. She’s also had it bad. Please.”
“You don’t know what Jessi’s been going through right now Kim Taeyeon. You’re not her best friend. And we will be breaking up if you keep on protecting that Kwon Yuri!”
“Tiff. Please. I beg you. I’m not the type of person to take sides. But I’ve seen Yuri these past few months. She’s been literally sleeping in this hospital! She’s taken research and clinical trials, she’s been taking extra shifts! You have to look at our lounge! It’s filled with all her clothes and things! Like literally!”
“Whatever Kim Taeyeon. I don’t want to see you tonight for protecting that scumbag. And to think I would have had a surprise for you too.”
“Wait. What? Yah! Tiffany! That’s not fair!”
*sighs* “You owe me one Kwon Yuri. I wouldn’t get to touch Tiffany because of you! But... I do hope that you realize that all Jessica needs is you.”
I know Taeyeon means well. And I know that she’s suffering more than I am. But I do hope that she’ll understand. I just need a little more time before I get her back. I just hope I’m not too late. I just hope she’d still want me back by then.
I didn’t want to break up with her. But with me constantly unable to refrain myself from being a masochist, I think it would be better to let her go than to make her suffer. I know that she’s been keeping to herself how painful everything is. I just don’t want to see her that way anymore. The fear in her eyes, the fear in her voice and the loneliness and sorrow that she constantly feels when I’m being a masochist. She’s the one who’s truly suffering. I love her. I really do. That’s why I had to let her go.
My shift’s over but I have to do research and clinical trials. But I want to see her. I guess I can drop by at the university and find her. If I’m lucky, I wish I would get to talk to her to explain.
Yuri arrived at a prestigious looking university. She was wearing her favourite shirt and a coat and jeans with sneakers. She didn’t look like a student there and she definitely didn’t look like one of the professors as well. She went around the university hoping to see one blonde and just one blonde.
But that’s university, almost everyone was wearing blonde.
“Aisht. Why are there so many blondes around?!” Yuri exclaimed without realizing that she said it out loud.
“So, you couldn’t recognize your own ex now?” A cold voice and a very dark aura emitting from behind Yuri said.
Yuri turned around only to see students looking out the doors and windows of their classrooms and a certain blonde with arms akimbo looking at her.
“Uh. Hi.” Yuri said with a very awkward smile.
“You did not only disrupt my class Kwon but you also couldn’t recognize me. That is great Kwon Yuri. Real great.”
Yuri wanted to die of embarrassment that instant. She wanted to just dig a huge hole to the core of the earth and hide there.
“Hi. Si-... Jessica. Uh. Would it be alright if we talked?”
“As you can see I have class.”
“Uh. I’ll wait out here.”
“Just come in Yuri. It’s warmer here and there’s a seat. You can be like one of my students.” Caring tone evident in the blonde girl’s voice
“I’ve always wanted to go to class and have you as my professor.” Yuri smiling as she remembered telling the other that she’d want to have the other as a teacher.
“We’ll talk after this, right?”
Jessica was teaching literature. She loved literature and she pursued a career in teaching. She wanted people to know about certain things people don’t usually learn in classrooms. She wanted to give to people what she learned in school and what she learns about the subject while reading. She became a professor at Seoul University at 23 while Yuri was a senior intern at Seoul Hospital. They were both intelligent in their own chosen fields and they were always good at what they do.
“So. What do you want to talk about?” Jessica started staring at anything but Yuri.
“You look skinny now Jessica.”
“You look older now Yuri.”
“Haha. I know. I’m sorry I couldn’t keep my promise.”
“You had a lot of promises Yuri.”
“About not letting you go.”
“Well, it’s already done.”
“Si-... Jessica... I want to apologize for everything.”
“It’s okay. It was my fault too.”
“Please let me finish.”
“I know throughout the year ever since that incident you suffered more than I did. I know that my pain was incomparable to yours. I know that your cries were silent because my cries were loudest. I know you were afraid of every single day that passed by. And I didn’t want you to suffer any longer. I didn’t want you to be afraid, to be in pain, to suffer. I want you to live a happier life.”
“But I was happy with you Yuri.”
“I’m sorry. I wanted to find myself before returning to you. I wanted to find who I was and who I’ve become and who I wanted to become before getting you back.”
“Then you shouldn’t have broken up with me.”
“But that was the only way Jessica.”
“Can you quit with the ‘Jessica’?! Can’t you see it Yuri?! I love you and I will always love you. If you wanted to find yourself, I could have went through that journey with you!”
“Quit apologizing! I’ve had it with your ‘sorry’s’!”
“I told you Yuri... I love you and I will always love you. I told you before that I know I’m not worth your love but I did everything I could to show the world that I am worthy. I did 1 mistake. And it was selfish. But that 1 mistake was an eye opener for me. I didn’t want to lose you. I didn’t ever want to lose you. I wanted you. Just you. But you let go. You lost your grip. You didn’t hold on. And I understand that. I know why you didn’t let go. So don’t apologize. It was my fault. It’s all my fault.”
“No. It’s not only your fault Sica. It was mine as well.”
“Look. If you’re just going to apologize and explain, I’m busy. I have class in 5 minutes.”
“Then 5 minutes is all I need to do this.”
“Apologizing to you is not what I came here for. I wanted to see you. This morning I ordered Cafe Americana with no milk because I missed you. Instead of picking sandwiches from the cafeteria, I picked pasta because that’s your favourite. I sleep at the hospital and I don’t go home because every time I do, I can smell your fragrance in every corner. I took extra shifts just so I wouldn’t think of visiting you here or at home, but today, I surprisingly turned down an extra shift. I went around here only to see everyone wearing blonde but in reality, not everyone is wearing blonde, for peeps sakes this is Korea! I walked aimlessly around this freaking huge university only to frustrate myself because I couldn’t find you thus embarrassing myself in like ¼ of this university’s population and to you. But I didn’t mind because I saw you, I get to see you teach and now I get to talk to you. It’s been 5 months but I couldn’t stop thinking about the what ifs. I couldn’t stop thinking about coming home to you. I couldn’t stop thinking about what if we were still together then you’d visit me at the hospital during lunch or that when I come home I get to see you reading and I get to wake up seeing your beautiful face. I couldn’t stop thinking about the what ifs that I dream about it! I dream about my life with you, our life together. I couldn’t stop thinking about you. My time is almost up, but I do love you. I really do. Just give me more time. Please.”
“I have class. Bye.”
Jessica left Yuri there seating at one of the benches. But Jessica couldn’t take any more of Yuri’s confessions. She was on the verge of crying. She was hurt. She was in pain. But what pained her most is what Yuri looked like now. Yuri, her Yuri was different. Her Yuri now was lifeless, like her. Her Yuri now was skinny and had dark eyes. She saw how her Yuri was tired, too tired of work.
“You’ve overworked yourself again Yuri-yah. You know I told you to stop if you’re tired. You’re wincing while you were talking. You’re having headaches again, aren’t you? I wish I can just drag you home and make you sleep. I want to. But will you let me? Will you let me take care of you even if we’re not together?”
“Sica-yah... You’re even more skinny now. You’re make-up doesn’t really cover much, you know that right? I’m sorry for bringing you pain. Will you let me love you again if I asked? I hope you didn’t notice my state. I love you.”
5 months is enough. I couldn’t take it any longer. She’s not going to wait for me forever. I know that. I just hope she’d let me in after this. I will take good care of her now. I know myself. I’ve always known myself. I’ve always found myself. And I am not myself when she’s not around. I became a better person because of her and I know for sure that I became a doctor for myself and for her, for our future together.
I need to ask Taeng for help. And maybe I can make good use of my interns. Muehehehe.
I went to Taeng’s office only to actually find her sulking.
Woah. I never thought she’s going to be in this really bad mood today. She was in a good mood yesterday.
“Uh. I think it’s a bad time. I’ll talk to you later!”
“Uh. Yes Taeng?”
“If this is about you asking me for help for Jessica, then please please please do so...”
Taeyeon? Begging? With puppy dog eyes?! What has the world gotten into?!
“Uh. Well, you pretty much figured out what I wanted to talk to you about... but how did you know? Do you like, have super powers?!”
“Kwon Yuri! If you don’t start talking about your plan now, I swear to those kids’ stuffed toys that I will murder you!”
“Geez! It feels like you didn’t get your touchy feely moments with Tiffany for quite a long time now.”
“Oh. It’s not just the touchy feely moments, it’s the s-...”
“Ooookaaaaay. I don’t want to know.” I quickly said before Taeyeon says anything I didn’t actually want to hear.
“I’m sorry Taeng. While you were protecting me, you were jeopardizing your time with Tiffany because she and Jessica are best friends. And thank you. For making me remember that I didn’t really change much. You know, you’re the bestest pal anyone could ever have and that you deserve a big bear hug right now!”
I know Taeng doesn’t like those bear hugs because she’d look like a very cute kid! Hahaha.
“Don’t you ever come near me Kwon.”
“Hehehe. I was just kidding you know. You didn’t have to be so cooooold~”
“So, what IS the plan?”
“Well, it’s like this...”
Few weeks have passed ever since Yuri talked to Jessica. Jessica thought that she pushed Yuri away that’s why the latter have not shown up anymore. It was the first time Yuri went to Jessica’s university after their break up and she felt bad for walking out on Yuri.
“Aisht. Why am I thinking about that Kwon again?! It’s not like I’m not used to this anymore. It’s been 5 months that I’ve been doing this routine. But it’s also been weeks since I last saw her. I have not been seeing her out of the hospital lately. Where is she now? How is she doing?”
While Jessica drifted to the days when they were still together, a certain tall tanned girl walked through the gates where minds are molded and professionals are made. She walked to a particular building and talked to a very important person, Lee Sunny.
A certain sound interrupted Jessica’s thoughts.
“To all students, your classes are cancelled for the afternoon. I repeat, to all students, your classes are cancelled for the afternoon.”
“Oh well. I guess I can also go home now and sleep.” Jessica thought
“Professors, you will have a meeting at the SM hall at exactly 1 pm. I repeat, professors, you will have a meeting at the SM hall at exactly 1 pm. Thank you.”
“Ugh! I thought I can also pass by the hospital and catch a glimpse of her. Stupid Sunny. Calling off classes for the meeting. Stupid meeting!”
“Is everyone ready?”
“Yeah. We are.”
“Thanks guys for helping.”
“You do know that our students need catching up to do for their final exams because of you, right?”
“I know. But they are the top students of South Korea! They can manage themselves. Hehe.”
“You and your plans Kwon Yuri.”
“Wait. You did say that it’s going to be at 1pm, right?”
“Yeah. You were beside me.”
“WHY IS SHE COMING THIS WAY NOW?! It’s only 12:30!”
“Fudge! Wait. Let me go out and stall her for a while. Go prepare!”
“Oh. It’s you.”
“Wow. Nice greeting?”
“What is the meeting about? Can’t you just tell me and then I can go back to sta-. I mean go back home to sleep?”
“Uh. Nope. I have to wait until everyone’s here.”
“Psh. Then can we go in? It’s afternoon and it’s freaking hot!”
“Fine. Fine. Go in first. I have to get some things from the office.”
“She’s going in!”
“Well, it’s better early than late than never, right?”
“What the hell, Kwon?!”
“You owe us, unnie.”
“I know Yoona. I’d let you guys perform your own surgeries after this, I promise.
“Really unnie? Are we allowed to do that?”
“Of course, Seohyun. I’d supervise you.”
“Yosh! Seohyunnie, we’re going to be able to operate on our 1st year as interns!”
“It is great, Yoona unnie.”
“Wait. She’s in. You guys, ready?”
...my silly heart says you’re a fool... go take care of her, she’s all that you’ve got... all that you’ve wanted and all that you’re not...
A familiar song sounded all throughout the SM hall. Lights suddenly turned on as Jessica went through the doors. It was decorated as if there was an event. The stage had a table for 2 with candle lights. It had a grand piano on the side and the way to the stage had a red carpet and petals of roses. Near the stage were 5 people – Taeyeon, Yoona, Seohyun, Sunny and Sooyoung (her colleague and Sunny’s girlfriend). Each of them was holding a bouquet of red roses, her favourite.
Jessica didn’t know what was happening but a young boy came to her and escorted her to the middle of the path. Slowly each of the 5 people in front went to her to give her the bouquet of roses.
“1 dozen of roses for the 12 months she’s made you suffer.” Taeyeon said.
“1 dozen of roses for the 12 months you’ve put up with her.” From Yoona
“1 dozen of roses for the 12 months you took care of her.” Seohyun was next
“1 dozen of roses for the next 12 months together.” Sunny said while giving Jessica the bouquet she was holding
“And 1 dozen of roses for eternal love from her to you.” Sooyoung said last.
Suddenly, the lights went out and when it came back again, she was alone. No Taeyeon, no Yoona, no Seohyun, no Sunny and no Sooyoung. Even the young boy who escorted her was not beside her anymore. There was only her, her 5 dozens of roses and a voice that resounded the hall.
“I’ve wasted 5 months trying to figure out who I was. I’ve wasted 5 months trying to tell myself that I am not the same person anymore. I’ve spent 5 months hurting you. I’ve spent 12 plus 5 months hurting you. I’ve wasted 5 months when all along, I know who I was. I’ve wasted 5 months when all along, I am the same person and I will never be someone else. I’ve spent 12 plus 5 months hurting you, when all along, all I wanted to do was hug you and tell you how much I love you...”
By this time, Jessica was crying. She didn’t know what to say or do anymore. All she knew was she wanted to see Yuri.
“Where are you Yuri-yah?”
“I’m here Sica. I’m right here. Where I’ve always wanted to be.”
Jessica felt a presence behind her but she was too scared to turn around. She felt alone but at the same time, she felt safe.
“You can turn around, Sica-yah. I’m here. Right behind you.”
As Jessica turned around, she was welcomed with a warm hug. The roses were squeezed between them but that was alright. She was in Yuri’s arms again. She felt warm. She felt loved. She felt everything that Yuri wanted to say. Like she always told Yuri, words may be sweet, but nothing beats hugs and kisses to convey what you really feel.
“Jessica Jung, I know I’ve been a pain. I know I’ve given you pain and I know I’m not the one to tell if I’m still worth your love. But, I am standing before you to apologize for everything – for the 17 months that I’ve hurt you, for the times that I took you for granted and for taking me this long to realize that being with you is the happiest I’ll ever be. And...”
“I am kneeling before you to once again ask you...”
“Will you be my girlfriend?”
Yuri was on one knee. Anyone seeing this might think that she is proposing but in reality she’s not. She wanted to take one step at a time and maybe one day, she will have a better idea of popping the question.
“Get married already you fools!” Taeyeon’s voice can be heard behind the stage.
“Kim Taeyeon! If you ruin their moment again, I will break up with you!”
“Fany-ah! Please don’t.... I’m sooooorrrrryyyyyyyy....”
“Sorry about that. You know Taeyeon.” Yuri said with a sheepish smile.
“Yuri-yah. You don’t really kneel, you know that, right? You’re a Kwon, remember? And Kwons never kneel?”
“I’d kneel just for you Sica-yah.”
“You really have lost weight you know that, right? And because of that, you are going to have to eat a lot, Yuri-yah.”
“You have to eat a lot too Sica-yah. Hehehe.”
“I’d be your girlfriend again, Yuri-yah. Just promise me one thing...”
“Don’t ever call off classes again!”
“Uh. Hehehe. Mianhae.” Yuri said while scratching her head and with a smile on her face.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
There are a lot of things that would happen in a relationship. It may be for selfish reasons or it may be just because. But like people say, it takes 2 to tango. And in a relationship, there’s not YOU or I, but there’s an US, a WE and an OURS. If you think about everything else, you will realize that you were happy alone. But you are happier with that one person you love. And when you’re together, you can go through anything.