Title: Kiss the Sun [One-Shot]
Rating/Genre: PG-13 + language; Destined Girl-Meets-Girl
Disclaimer: I don't own Soshi. I don't own anyone, in fact. All Fiction.
Summary: The simplest beauties lead Jessica to her missing half.
Author's Notes: OMG. I UPDATED. Right before the new year, too! This oneshot is a bit over 5K words, so RUN AWAY IF WORDS TERRIFY YOU. Please be gentle because I feel crazy rusty in this fic game, but I miss everyone. I have a few supernatural feels left over from Greener Grass, I guess. Please enjoy and show some love. <33333
AND WATCH JESSICA'S WONDERLAND DANCE PRACTICE.
Optimists, some argued, view the world through rose-tinted glasses. “All will be well”, “everything will be fine”. Situations weren’t as doomed as the forecasts and cynics predicted. Because life, for them, shined a bit brighter, gleamed a pinkish hue.
Did variations of this saying exist? Green-colored lenses? Periwinkle? Perhaps, even a burnt-sienna? What hues metaphorically dyed everyone’s outlook?
Most importantly, which would describe Jessica’s?
Science provided the vocabulary for color blindness: protanomaly, deuteranomaly, tritanomaly, etc. Studies acknowledged its relevance in a world of typical seers.
Jessica Jung couldn’t claim this category, either. Her perception of colors fell into the norm, which only told the 28-year-old that her condition was purely psychological, or worse, unreal. To no-one could she really communicate her vision without sounding vague or delirious.
Her best description would be a dullness. As if her retinas were shuttered by the planet’s most uninteresting Instagram filter. A plainness affected whatever she encountered. Flowers, balloons, paintings, a kaleidoscope, photography—whether color or black-and-white. Everything dulled beneath this filter. Jessica regularly ignored magazines, social media, and commercials, where the non-Jessica population went apeshit over seeing basic stuff.
Monday morning, Jessica commenced her necessary primping. Showering, teeth brushing, makeup, curling the ends of her long, fair hair. She wondered aloud as she tucked a powder blue blouse into her skirt,
“I suppose this is my favorite color.”
The blouse adhered to her small frame adequately. It matched easily and its buttons were square, which was mildly interesting. She liked the blouse, so maybe powder blue suited her fancy.
She sighed. Whatever.
Jessica gathered her purse, keys, cell phone, and embarked upon a world as dull as the inside of her home.
Actually, she recalled a time before the dullness abducted her. Pre-puberty. Then, somewhere between high school and her first job, adulting sucked the spice from triumphs large and small.
Not saying she hadn’t tried to make the most of it. Fabled adults pushed past the mediocre; they hustled for a niche on this planet. Seeking education, enlightenment, companionship. As evidenced by the phone vibrating in Jessica’s purse, interrupting a typical ride in the Metro. A text from her ex.
‘Take me back’, it read.
Jessica and her ex-girlfriend, Miyoung, spent a generic two years as a couple. She closed her unsleepy eyes, picturing Miyoung’s Crest-commercial-grade smile, her manicured fingernails drifting through Jessica’s hair. Dinner dates, overseas vacations, sleepovers, sex. They had a good time. Which predictably confused Miyoung and both their families when Jessica nuked the relationship.
‘It’s not you, it’s me’ genuinely fit her attitude. She didn’t feel for Miyoung. Wasn’t that important? To feel?
Or, did the love songs lie? Courtship hadn’t swept this girl off her feet.
Possibly, Jessica could get over herself and settle. A partnership with Miyoung meant better insurance, taking the accountant’s stellar benefits package into consideration. They would die together, debt-less at a ripe old age, plausibly on a $2.5M yacht.
She yawned into her palm. God, visions of their future even jaded Jessica.
Nope, she’d fly solo.
As a daily shortcut, Jessica trotted through the spacious park adjacent to her job. She managed a midsize editorial team and one of her “perks” was a clear view of this green patch of trees and sidewalk. Coworkers endlessly remarked on their envy and every so often, Jessica strained not to scream, “It’s not that fucking nice!”.
She’d put in an effort. Really, she did. Staring at the foliage from her 12th-floor rise, chasing inspiration or relaxation. Instead, it frustrated her. What kind of human obtained zero solace from nature? How come she could see, but not truly feel like everyone else?
Was Jessica defective?
Had she peaked as her chipper 12-year-old self, a solid sixteen years ago?
Jessica squeezed the thin strap of her handbag and proceeded as normal, pretending to be content with the cards dealt onto life’s dull, dull table.
A week later, she arrived early. By the convenience of muscle-reflexed hair and makeup, spry legs in boots, and train ingenuity, Jessica found herself in that soulless park on a breezy Wednesday morning ahead of schedule. Stringy, beard-like clouds crawled listlessly. A sun reluctant to break its beauty rest hid behind lumps of grey-on-grey-on-grey sky.
On mornings like this, the weather served the rest of Korea a taste of what Jessica perceived every day. Shuddering, she let the wind take her. She couldn’t think of anything more interesting to do. Her office supplied several varieties of coffee and low-fat yogurt, leaving her free of a breakfast run. Hence, the breeze steered Jessica around sidewalks and park benches dedicated to men who probably owned half the city.
In her warm coat pocket, Jessica clutched her phone. Miyoung still carried on with her begging. She and Jessica, Miyoung claimed, could light the deepest trenches of ocean with their spark.
“That’s romantic”, Jessica admitted.
Bonelessly, she landed on a dedicated bench. She wanted it to experience that spark, that draw. A longing that would leave her breathless and reckless and warm and aroused and fucking crazy. Her cleanly wound lashes fluttered to a soft close. And Jessica tried again, to visualize a woman who’d set a flame under her passion’s ass. Intimate company that’d heat her blood like a kettle. So hot, it’d finally shine red. Real, ardent red—the color flowing through ladies who genuinely lived.
And moments later, it appeared before her.
Not red, but green.
Jessica’s eyes weren’t shut anymore. She blinked in instant bewilderment. Across from her, an arc of trimmed hedges rustled, practically dripping with green. Several shades, each more vivid than any box of crayons. Patterned in shadows and tints, beaded by tiny dots of dew.
And, just as Jessica’s rationale caught up, questioning why, the color faded.
“Oh god,” she gasped, startling an old couple as she clawed feebly into the prickly shrubs. They scraped and poked and Jessica didn’t care. The dullness reigned again. These hedges meant nothing once more.
She stayed put. For thirty minutes, approximately.
Crushed, Jessica dragged her feet to the office. She’d be late.
Why and how had her shutters lifted? Without precedent or any topic to Google, Jessica considered herself shot out of luck. A glimmer of brightness was just that—a glimmer. Transient. Ephemeral.
She cried in the bathroom twice on Tuesday. Coworkers gave her ample breathing room, apparently cautious of their usually put-together manager jackhammering her stable façade. And again, Jessica couldn’t spare two damns about her public reception. Emails, meetings, edits meant fuck-all.
Jessica Jung had feelings, after all. Currently misery, to be specific.
Misery and clarity, she concluded as she booted down her computer that evening. Clarity over her future with Miyoung. An empty future. Because Jessica couldn’t break this cycle, ride off into the sunset with her ex-girlfriend who waxed poetic on the oceans and sparks. If a flash of green gave her more excitement than an entire human being, a revival of what they’d shared wouldn’t benefit either party.
After work, Jessica sat on that very same bench. And waited.
Her dark eyes scanned vigilance to anything or anyone that moved, that possessed the power to change this uninteresting period called Jessica Jung’s Existence. To her ignorance, she’d hoped for all the answers to spell themselves out that night. Preferably in crystal dew or leaves greener than color itself.
But, eventually, such hope dwindled. She called quits on her hunt well past 10pm and headed, dejectedly, to the rumbling, boring Metro. Every minute or so, she glanced either way for that brilliance.
Sadly, her world appeared dimmer than before.
Jessica skipped dinner and cried herself to sleep.
This acute disappointment didn’t stop Jessica from catching an early train to the park and lingering until a socially acceptable time to file into the office. And while playing email ping pong with frustrating staff, she couldn’t focus. Her level of productiveness plunged slightly, then plateaued only for the sake of keeping her job. Though, as she considered the grey walls and the close confines of numbed company robots, she wondered what the hell she liked about this place.
So, when Jessica wasn’t doing the bare workload minimum, she web searched photos of trees. Or gazed out her window. Daydreaming, worrying that yesterday had been a fluke. Did she conjure up the brilliance? Had it been under her control all along? And if so, how to access it again?
These questions were key, not her boss’ small talk or a client’s penchant for meme responses. Because she’d seen the light. And she feared its absence would affect her for the worst.
Days of the same passed until on Friday, a mere twelve minutes before her team’s weekly roundup meeting, it returned. It passed within the steady stream of people power walking, chattering, checking their watches, sipping to-go coffees, wholly unaware of something beautiful.
A sharp, noticeable shock of splendor.
Jessica flung from her bench to trail its source. A metaphorical basset hound’s snout and ears sprung onto her face like a tacky Snapchat effect. Gaze forward, intent to sus out this light-bringer.
“Excuse me,” she semi-murmured, cursing her short stature as she shimmied through the pack of suit jackets and pinned corporate hairstyles. “I have to see—”
Jessica hesitated, suddenly skeptical.
See what?, she thought as she crossed one street after another. Pursuing unidentified prey was one thing, but finding it? What if this lured her to failed expectations? What if this lured her to obsession? Or death?
This moment was major. Life-alteringly so.
Which motivated Jessica to press on. To army-step her boots to...
Up close, right behind the source, the brilliance amazed, consumed, pushed, frightened Jessica. She stumbled in a backward step, overwhelmed in a way that told her life would be forever changed.
“Is it the sequins?”
Realizing she’d shielded her eyes, Jessica’s arm fell to the side. Then, her speaking skills hit a record low as her source—the source stood before her, grinning.
“My sequins,” the source went on to explain, holding open a jacket tailored for her lithe, postured torso. “Went out shopping with some friends and they insisted I buy this shiny ass blouse. Do I belong on the top of a Christmas tree or what?”
Okay, the strip of sequins down the center was a tad overstated. More notably, however, was the improved atmosphere. Everything, down to the tiniest details somehow glistened. The shine on Jessica’s boots, the blades of grass sprouting between cracks in asphalt. Hues and reflections transformed the city’s glass architecture into sky-scraping mosaics. Speaking of the sky—Jessica’s eyes teared—it had never appeared so blue. The bluest blue.
Jessica focused again on the source. She hadn’t spoken yet.
Fuck it, why wouldn’t she speak?!
The source smiled nervously and rested a hand on Jessica’s shoulder. “Are you all right?”
Even her touch felt like sunshine. Its sultry warmth bled through Jessica’s sweater and ignited the entirety of her arm, her whole body. The light-bringer turned out to be the human embodiment of a dream. With eyes like stars and legs for days. Hair the color of a grizzly and just as fierce, loosely coiled down her back, swathing what Jessica would imagine being shallow shoulder blades.
Jessica struggled to nod. A weak, awkward semblance of a nod, passable for the source to accept it as a means to escape.
“Great,” she intoned, hastily sidestepping back into the foot traffic. “Nice, um, nice conversation. Take care.”
Her source left? No, she couldn’t just leave.
Or else, the brilliance would leave, too.
Purposefully padding her distance with four or five strangers, Jessica followed this brilliant woman. Work be damned. Sanity be damned.
This lightened universe nourished her eyes, her being. Meaning it’d be ever the more scarring once she lost track of the source. And then, she’d be even lower than before.
Regardless, Jessica now praised her short stature. It allowed her to successfully stalk, to cover her flushed cheeks with her hands and ask “what am I doing, what am I doing?” without being noticed.
What was Jessica doing?
Following this woman into a restaurant, that’s what. In a finesse unknown to herself, she swerved and crouched stealthily behind the patrons milling about, discussing and lifting containers of breakfast foods. Jessica’s light-bringer (as seen behind some bald man rooting through a basket of bananas) claimed a small tub of pre-made cinnamon oatmeal from the hot section before treading into a line. Jessica encouraged two more customers to join the line, ripped a (not ripe) banana from the bunch, and hopped in after them.
Waiting, she breathed in the air of morning activity. The reds of the restaurant’s window decals, the swoops and swirls of chalky calligraphy on the specials board, the rich burgundy polished onto her fingernails, the ceiling lamps gleaming, almost glaringly. Jessica could get used to this world and all its beauty. She could love the every day.
The source of light pointed her cashier to an apple tart in a glass case. Jessica smiled at this, at the most radiant woman appeasing a giant sweet tooth. And when the register rang of her paid items, Jessica tossed her green banana into an unsuspecting person’s bag and continued her stalking outside.
She crept, ducked, parried until her target veered to scan a card into a large marble building. Fifty feet away, a vital source of Jessica’s joy would abandon her. The cycle of dullness and banality would roll back into formation.
Maybe Jessica exclaimed that a bit too loudly because her source’s head turned with a neck-snapping ferocity. Jessica hid. Then, she held her place behind a bike rack until the stalked woman shook her head and closed the door at her back.
For the rest of the day, Jessica operated with her head in the clouds. She had so much more to contemplate. Like, how the brilliance lasted a whole ten minutes after following her muse. Or how the warmth of that soft touch gave her goosebumps. Or the gentle slope of her face and the brightness of her humor. Her aura in general, in fact. The woman Jessica met personified a ray of sunlight.
Hell, if she hadn’t written off her future as a girlfriend, she’d consider herself beguiled.
By a complete stranger.
Jessica’s dreams that night flared with vivaciousness, a motley hodgepodge of pigments, paints, precious stones, and pastels. Her dream fingers dipped into each and every texture. Something as simple as a wee bubble settling atop a pool of gold stole her breath. These amorphous splashes of beauty wreathed around Jessica. Cascaded, dripped, dusted. And though her muse’s face made no appearance, Jessica sighed awake in acceptance.
She’d look for her again. Weekend shmeekend. It wasn’t like she had any previous engagements.
Jessica spent ten hours of her Saturday roaming the same five blocks from the park to the light source’s office building. Anyone as captivating as that would absolutely be out, owning the city and its festivities. Not at work. Not making eyes with the doleful stalker pacing around a bike-less rack.
“Maybe she’s shopping with her friends again,” Jessica mumbled through a sad smile.
Tears did fall that night. On a dull phone with dull thumbs, she sent Miyoung a dull rejection. Then, a dull apology for the rejection.
Dimly, Jessica apologized to herself as well. For being this way.
No lessons were learned, however, as Jessica sipped a peppermint latte on her (now dubbed) favorite bench in the park at six o’clock Sunday evening. The temperature had dropped after a short rain an hour prior. She shivered beneath her crimson holiday sweater, wishing she’d brought something heavier to drape over her shoulders. Daydreaming of her muse’s smile, she wiggled the bottoms of her slip-on sneakers into a shallow sidewalk puddle.
Jessica speculated aloud, “Do I look pitiful?”
For others passing by, what would they assume of her? A pathetic young woman who’d gotten stood up? A friendless weirdo? A common observer of nature and its changing landscape? A well-dressed bum?
Swaying with the breeze, she conceived a satisfying narrative. “Oh, don’t mind me. My lover has a weekend shift and I’m meeting her soon. We’re going out for a warm, light dinner to commemorate the season.”
Jessica grinned onto the mouthpiece of her cup. “Dinner, then, we’ll share an apple tart.”
Following through with her fantasy, she casually rose from the bench and skipped down the path that she’d stalked over sixty times as this point. One more lap and she’d turn in for the night.
Unsurprisingly, her pretend scenario didn’t pan out. Her source’s marble building didn’t spit out a lover.
That warm, light dinner sounded like a good idea, though. She could manage that by herself, at the very least. Jessica finished her latte in a soft gulp, tossed it in the closest recycling bin, and chose to hail a taxi. Catching the Metro at that hour would depress her further. She’d have to break the monotony somehow.
Happenstance, as it usually would, broke it for her when the cab slowed in a wet skid, splashing Jessica from head to toe. The driver looked guilty. And Jessica almost willed out an it’ll-be-okay wave. Instead, she shut her eyes, calling herself a fool for even thinking she could be content.
Over the sound of her growing pessimism, Jessica heard footfalls approaching. She braced herself for a polite dismissal since she’d already had enough embarrassment.
“My god, it’s you.”
The sunshine hit Jessica before her lids peeled open. To her. Wearing a non-sequined top, but radiant otherwise in a wool coat and her hair pinned into a long ponytail. Even in her sodden state, Jessica’s heart clenched for all of this to be real.
“Remember me?” her muse asked, bursts of color bleeding through their surroundings like ink runs on parchment.
Again, Jessica gaped.
“Um,” she continued, eyeing the cab, “will you be needing that?”
As gracefully as a drunk elephant, Jessica forced out an, “I don’t know?”
An odd expression shaped the other woman’s face. Not unpleasant. Just odd. “I work right over there.” She pointed and Jessica pantomimed the intrigue of a person who hadn’t stalked her every day. “I have an extra hoodie at my desk in case you need...” Her lips quivered into an unsure smile. “...it. In case you need it.”
An invitation? Was the light-bringer a Good Samaritan, too?
Jessica nodded humbly, shivering as a gust hit the soaked front of her sweater. That was pretty much all she could do when her muse kindly waved off the taxi and offered a dry arm to escort her. The warmth of the close contact robbed Jessica of basic manners. So, she let it. She’d sacrifice etiquette for this moment.
Fifteen minutes later, Jessica hovered at a bathroom hand dryer, running her pants under its angry fan. The dirt from the puddle cleaned out pretty easily. Drying only took the most time. Jessica’s mind wandered elsewhere, anyway. To a name.
Her muse, light-bringer, source of brilliance had a name.
“Yoona,” Jessica whispered, thumbs drawing 윤아 on damp denim.
“Yo, Jessica,” Yoona appeared halfway through the door. Dorkily, one hand trapped over her eyes since Jessica was left only in her underwear until the dryer finished its job. “Here’s my hoodie.”
Jessica squinted. The haloed contrast of everything close to Yoona made her eyes water. So bright, so miraculous.
Receiving the white mass of cotton, she answered, “Thank you very much.”
“You’re welcome very much.”
They laughed. Yoona’s smile reached both her ears and inward-turning knees accented her bowed, stiltish legs. Either trait squeezed Jessica’s heart like a vice, so she giggled harder to overcompensate. “I’ll be done in a few.”
“No rush. Besides, I gotta,” Yoona slowly withdrew to the other side of the door. “get some files from my computer. I’d be a responsible employee and warn you not to steal anything, but this is a bathroom. If you need toilet paper and gallons of soap, be my guest.”
“You’re too cute.”
“I may hear that often,” she drawled, a soft blush under the hand on her face, captivating Jessica until the door closed. What a pretty blush, like the dusting of rose on glass.
She exhaled silently. It took her weeks to endear Miyoung with a straightforward compliment. It required effort, second-guessing.
In her profession, women surrounded her. Four-feet distance and in-your-face types alike. And without a doubt, she easily picked up Yoona’s gay vibes. Be it the subtle swagger underscoring her feminine mannerisms, the glossy stares whenever Jessica spoke, or Yoona’s obvious need to impress Jessica with humor and the speedy tour of her desk. It was a relief, actually.
In more ways than one, she saw with fresh eyes. Whether in the intricate, lively details that embellished even that plain bathroom and Jessica’s own reflection a marvel or in the abstract of her blooming crush.
“I might steal something after all,” Jessica mused, now fully dressed and leaning onto the back of Yoona’s chair. “Your hoodie.”
“But, my grannie bought me that,” Yoona replied in playful stride.
“Tell her you lost it so she’ll buy you a new one. Then, I’ll have two.”
Sun lived in Yoona’s laugh. “You’re sassy. I think I like you, Jessica.”
“I think I like you, too.”
Im Yoona, Jessica recognized, fell under the ‘jokester’ umbrella. Ever the sarcastic tongue, perpetually brightening each room with her diamond smile. Not to mention her biggest laugh. It ricocheted off every wall, every ceiling, every ear, but Jessica never shrunk into Cringeville while they were in public. She’d place her hand on Yoona’s arm, energized by her spirit, and join her.
They balanced. Jessica’s penchant for finely-crafted apparel harmonized with a very low-key Yoona’s streetwear and love of oddball accessories. Their levels of talk/listen complemented one another. As did their similar jobs, which provided a host of office gossip and complaints. Most notably, their slipped into affectionate accord when either woman initiated skinship. Just the casual, not-interlaced, three-minute-tops kind since they were friends. Strictly friends who grabbed a coffee (and sweets!) every morning and split dinner bills after work.
And the colors. Oh, the colors.
On a good day, the brilliance would last a full two hours after Jessica departed for home. In this time, she’d shower, check any straggling emails, and internet search the most fascinating pictures in addictive haste before bed. Because once that dullness returned, so did Jessica’s sadness. She’d ache for the sunny-tinted lenses, anticipating her next morning when Yoona would bring everything back into focus, into her own personal wonderland.
Alone with her thoughts, Jessica fretted. What would become of her if, say, Yoona and her parted ways? The possibility for an argument or breach in their month-long friendship or even a vacation out of town pumped her pulse to its maximum. Honestly, what if Jessica came on too strong, too needy of an acquaintance?
Then, Jessica’s phone would ring, relieving her of that final worry, at least.
“Eleven on the dot. Your consistency lives on,” Jessica purred, sinking deeper into her covers. Deeper in love.
A soft version of Yoona’s chuckle responded. “Don’t pressure me. When my combo breaks, I’ll be pissed.”
“Don’t break your combo.”
“I won’t if you’ll always answer.”
Along with Yoona’s natural comedy came her quirks. She found money dirty, paying with a card wherever possible. No matter what meal, she’d consume them one type at a time—all kimchi, all bulgogi, all rice. However, the most stand-out quirk involved her favorite songs. As in, she didn’t have any. Due to the fact that Yoona found no pleasure in music.
A week after she and Yoona met, they shared a plate of dumplings at a restaurant not too far from Jessica’s park. Yoona’s voice had lowered as if her confession would be tremendous.
“I don’t love music. I don’t even like it,” she revealed between chews. “Like, this song?” Yoona paused for effect for Jessica to pick up on the 60’s American tune humming from the ceiling. “I couldn’t name it. My iTunes is empty.”
Of course, this baffled Jessica. But, Yoona’s acceptance meant more than that. She wanted to be a safe space. Smiling, Jessica dipped a vegetable dumpling in sauce and admitted, “Nature doesn’t impress me.”
“Not even mountains? Or like, elephants?”
She giggled into her hand, enjoying these being Yoona’s top choices. “Neither. They do nothing for me.”
Yoona’s brows creased, but she nodded. “There are communities online for people like me. Sadly, I can’t relate to them.”
“Because I can’t express why. I can pick up on intricacies and clever lyrics, yet every song sounds so...so-”
Jessica swallowed hard. “Dull?”
“Yes! Dull. As if the ‘wah wah’ talking adults from Charlie Brown permeate every chord.”
That fateful dinner, three weeks ago, taught Jessica to revel in Yoona for Yoona, not her inexplicably colorful aura. She glanced again at her sauce. In a gorgeous pearlescent dish, it swirled rich dark brown, dotted in shimmery oils that could only be beautiful by way of her new friend. She understood, empathized. “I relate to you, Yoona.”
“Can I confess more, while I’m ahead?”
“This song isn’t so bad with you here. It kinda,” Yoona shook her head sheepishly. “bounces out the speakers, transcends sound. Is that weird?”
“Not at all.”
“We’re newly acquainted. You don’t have to lie.”
“What’s the name of this song?”
Suspended in the flustered fog of their connection, Jessica replied, “‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?’“
“I think I finally have a favorite song. Thank you.”
Recovering from the memory, Jessica pressed her hand onto her chest, knowing it caged a heart on rampage. This love, obsession, whatever rightfully terrified as well as aroused. Would Yoona suffer if their friendship ended? Without a doubt, it’d leave Jessica in colorless shambles.
“I can’t sleep without your voice,” Yoona mumbled into the receiver.
“You say that every night,” Jessica responded, smiling with her eyes closed. If they opened, she’d be reminded of the dullness haunting her apartment. Behind her eyelids, the colors lived on in her imagination. “Maybe I should produce ASMR videos.”
“And share with the rest of the world? Please, no.”
“How stingy of you.”
“Every breath you take, my entire body tingles.” Yoona sighed, echoing a shudder to Jessica. “You sound silky and delicate and when you enunciate, your voice trembles just so.”
Yoona had lavished her with tender words before, but never like this. Feeling brave herself, Jessica articulated every syllable of, “I wish you were here.”
An audible gulp sounded over the phone. “What if I were there? Right beside you?”
“I’d turn the lights on.”
Yoona snorted, but Jessica wouldn’t let this moment be ruined. She couldn’t.
She went on, “I’d want to see you. Your long lashes, the light skin on your lips, especially the mischievous glint in your eyes. Stare at you. I’d stare and stare at you.”
“Well, after you’ve done all that, I’d kiss you.”
For a moment, Jessica swore the brilliance returned. “I’d kiss you back.”
“Would you, really?”
“I’ll see you tomorrow, okay? Don’t write a kiss check you can’t cash.”
“You sound excited.”
“No shit! Will it be for breakfast or dinner?”
“It’s a surprise. G’night, Yoona.”
Off the phone and left in the darkness, Jessica felt anything but dull. Her future, immediate future was bright. And her muse’s lips would imprint on hers and she’d die for all she knew. God, she could freaking die.
Breakfast. They’d kiss for breakfast.
This morning, Jessica was sick.
Not the coughing, sneezing kind. That would be too easy, too solvable.
Jessica Jung puddled out of bed—tripping not once, but three times over her own feet—in sheer torment. If she could compare this to any previous affliction, it’d be a hangover. A million times worst, though. Where her temples pumped blades into her skull and her vision had dulled to an almost grainy composition. She collapsed just shy of her toilet before retching.
She could’ve blamed last night’s seafood lunch. Or a surprise flu bug.
No, this was withdrawal, she realized.
Jessica and Yoona hung out yesterday, but her night after the phone call shot to euphoric highs. Rocketing, soaring at projectile heights until she catapulted into an upright scream. She’d wiped the sweat from her neck, her chin. And she calmed herself with a hot cup of tea and reasoning: ‘You’re fine; it’s only a kiss’.
Afterward, as sleep returned, those highs plummeted. She swore her body had been paralyzed while she lay in the blackness, scourged with an intense, frightful longing for Yoona and her light.
One could ingest too much of a good thing, right? Would this love, this desire for brilliance become a true addiction? Would she be doomed to live for Yoona, function for Yoona, follow Yoona like some Siren call to her own prison of tantalizing visuals?
Was Yoona bad for her health?
Jessica hugged cold porcelain, fighting it. Fighting the fear.
Miyoung hadn’t stuck her neck out for nothing. She believed they’d stay together and even if it proved false, what would be the point of not trying?
Jessica wanted to light the deepest trenches of the ocean, too.
Half alive, she brushed her teeth twice, showered, and dressed for work. Her powder blue dress blended with her cadaver-esque paleness—awfully unflattering. Greyish, flat, dull.
“Breakfast,” she reminded herself.
God. Stomach solids, she would not.
Judging whether coffee would be too heavy a lift, a knock sounded at Jessica’s door. It could be nobody but one person, not that Jessica could readily think about someone other than Yoona. And the reassuring gleam of the door’s painted wood and a handle shiny enough to be silver confirmed her assumptions.
On her doorstep, a wobbly, equally half alive Im Yoona appeared to use any modicum of power to stay upright. Intensified in her brilliance, a vein as blue as her dress scarred her brow. A brow notched in self-deprecating amusement. “How did I know you’d be a wreck, too?”
Jessica smiled, a feat that would’ve been impossible seconds before. “What we have...can’t be ignored.”
“My ears,” she waved long fingers, grimacing, “rang from the moment I crawled out of bed.”
“Don’t be. I knew it’d stop when I saw you. And it did.”
Surely enough, the optical grain dissipated. Jessica could stand straighter, appreciate the simplicity of Yoona’s mango-hued pullover and the mismatched wool socks tucked over her booties. “You’re a sight for sore eyes, I’ll admit.”
“I barely slept.”
Automatically, Jessica sought Yoona’s hand. The warmth sapped her head of its last painful beat. “Want to be careless with me?”
“As in skip work regardless of the unorganized folder from hell I left on my desk?”
“I could use some out-of-the-ordinary.”
“So could I.”
Neither Jessica nor Yoona found the vocabulary to back up what linked them. A society swamped with information, religion, language, art, and peer-reviewed studies mattered little as the embodiment of sunshine curled into her arms, creasing bedsheets. Jessica’s eyes watered, sensitive to this chromatic barrage of emotion.
The world, despite all its infinite crap, provided its pockets of attractive qualities. Those made life worth it. The not-dull filling in an otherwise dull, meaningless existence. Love didn’t make Jessica unique; it united her in a way folks dreamt of and succeeded in acquiring. It normalized this filtered life she’d kept to herself.
Jessica traced the shell of Yoona’s ear, inspired. They had so much to discuss. Their struggles, awkward situations, funny anecdotes on being different. Sameness within difference.
Falling in love at first sight and vomit-inducing withdrawal were...unconventional. But, wasn’t romantic love to resemble addiction? For monogamous couples, two humans pretty much swore to be in each other’s faces until they die of old fucking age. How was that concept not some sort of dependency, an obsession with one flavor of human? Yoona and Jessica gave each other what the world could not—appreciation for its beauty.
That afternoon, after Yoona groaned out her long nap, they shared a small tea. Not a tart this time, but they would have plenty of chances. And as they sat across from each other, fully hearing and seeing themselves into a nervous stupor, their lips touched.
Had anyone ever kissed the sun? Jessica did.
With the softest presses of flesh, the gentlest whimpers as their breath grazed. A woman who once turned her nose at gardens would’ve fetched a bouquet of any flower if asked. Or dedicate a bench.
Colors, sensations of the brightest sort flavored their skin, teeth, tongues in a sweetness bordering on dizzying. Reflected in Yoona’s eyes, Jessica felt the answering shockwave of purely cut bliss. A brand of ecstasy one couldn’t bag. Maybe this love thing was a drug.
For this drug, she’d climb a mountain. Damnit, she’d climb an elephant for it.
Eventually, Jessica’s curiosity on the “right” way to fall in love vanished. She would build an impressive tolerance for the glow of an Im Yoonafied life. She’d concentrate on professional duties again, simultaneously discovering why the 7 Wonders of the World and 4K resolution were so valued while updating her lover on twenty-eight missed years of music knowledge.
She’d discard the dullness filter for good.
And her shortcuts through the park would become appreciative, leisurely detours.
Hope that wasn’t too painful read, people. It’s kind of my exercise to put SOMETHING out there in the fic-verse. It’s a special thing for me, sharing my little stories. I’ll endlessly thank all of you for sticking around (or leaving and coming back!). SNSD+Jessica are such inspirations, aren’t they?
Here’s a big, GAY hug (*squeeeeeeeeezzzeee*) and hopes of an AWESOME 2017.
Btw, for that poll, the write-ins for YoonSic were WOW. //applauds the thirst//
Now, watch YoonSic being cutely uncool, but happy:
(Gifs courtesy of 4eversone on Tumblr!)