Jungeun immediately stiffened when she felt a pair of arms hugging her from behind. The voice was familiar, way too familiar to the point where it had her flinching. "J-Jiwoo." She awkwardly calls out, feeling her cheeks heat up in embarrassment. Her bestfriend Kim Jiwoo had always been affectionate and clingy with her since they were kids but she still can't seem to get used to Jiwoo's soft skin against hers. It always surprises her no matter how many times they've been hugging, holding hands, cuddling, or just any type of physical touch.
Jiwoo's touch was intoxicating. It always excites Jungeun and makes her want to seek for more touch and warmth but Jungeun knew she would be going over the line if she ever does that. "Did you finish your club activities already?" Jiwoo's voice was mellow and it sent goosebumps to Jungeun. "Yeah- Yeah it has." Jungeun was part of the theatre club and it rarely ends early but for some reason it ended early today. Jiwoo snuggles closer to Jungeun and it made the other's breath hitched from the closeness.
Jiwoo felt so soft and warm that it got Jungeun's heart pumping loudly. "Do you mind if you watch over me during practice? I promise i'll treat you some ice cream after." If theatre club sessions ending early was rare, Jiwoo asking her to watch over her during practice was even rarer. Jiwoo had said multiple times that she gets shy whenever Jungeun visits her during practice saying that "it would be weird if my bestfriend saw me looking too riled up over a game" and had always made excuses for Jungeun to leave the bleachers.
"All of a sudden?" Jiwoo hums quietly, her breath hitting the back of Jungeun's neck, making the blonde gulp. "The others are bringing their girlfriends and boyfriends over to cheer for them because there's going to be a small competition between the whole team and i don't have anyone for me." Jiwoo's arms around Jungeun's waist tightened a little and pulled the blonde closer, making the slightly taller girl's back meet Jiwoo's front. "Well.. What about K-Kahei?" Jungeun couldn't help but suggest another friend of theirs to Jiwoo. She couldn't believe Jiwoo said that to her, was she indirectly asking her to be her girlfriend or is Jungeun really going crazy?
Suddenly, Jiwoo pulls away and Jungeun frowns at the loss of contact and turns around to meet Jiwoo's eyes. "Hey, it's okay if you don't want to come. You might be busy with other things, i'm sorry i forgot to ask whether you had plans." Jungeun's eyes widened, she didn't mean to make Jiwoo think that way. "I can just ask Kahei-" "No!" Jiwoo looks at her confusedly and Jungeun clears her throat, pretending that she didn't just panic over that. "I mean, yeah i'll go to your practice. I don't have plans." Jiwoo beams a smile, a smile that always made Jungeun's breath get stuck on her throat because of how breathtaking jiwoo looked whenever she smiles.
If Jungeun could list her top five things about what she loves about Jiwoo, her friend's smile would be at top one.
Jiwoo's smile was very infectious. Her eyes would immediately turn crescent shaped and her soft lips would curl up, pearly teeth showing along with her gums. Her eyes would always twinkle with glee and Jungeun sees it every time. She radiated so much happiness and was so bright that it melted the walls around Jungeun's icy heart, letting it melt to welcome Jiwoo in.
Jungeun doesn't even realize that she's been staring too long, the only that snapped her out of her daze was Jiwoo giggling. "Huh?" Jiwoo looks at her laughing wholeheartedly. "I said i appreciate it. You told me you bet that i make babies smile." Jungeun's face heats up even more, she didn't even realize that she's already let those words from her thoughts escape from her lips and now Jiwoo probably think she's weird.
"You have impeccable manners Jungeun, maybe try not to daydream in the middle of a conversation. The person you're talking to might get the wrong idea, and you don't want that do you?" Jungeun shakes her head. "Whatever, just go. i'll go get us water and then i'll head to the field." She playfully pushes Jiwoo away from her to which the other laughs a little and stuck her tongue out to tease her. "I bet you were daydreaming about me!" Jiwoo yelled while she walks away from Jungeun while still facing the blonde.
Jungeun in response, stuck her tongue out to tease Jiwoo. "No i was not!"
It was no lie that Kim Jiwoo was attractive. The girl was absolutely ethereal, from her looks and to her personality. Anyone who have good taste would instantly fall in love with her, and Jungeun was one of those people. She likes Kim Jiwoo with all her heart and wants to try and confess but self-doubt and fear holds her back from doing so.
She worries that she might ruin their friendship because of her stupid feelings that she's been developing since three years ago. Jungeun doesn't even know where it all started, all she remembers was her playing around with Jiwoo in the snow wearing those huge coats that made them look smaller, she remembers throwing a snowball straight in Jiwoo's face she was laughing her ass off and didn't even notice that Jiwoo was charging towards her and before she knew it, she was tackled down on the snow with Jiwoo hovering on top of her. They both made eye contact that lasted for five seconds before they burst out into piles of giggles.
Jungeun could still remember the way Jiwoo stared at her with those beautiful big russet expressive eyes. Jungeun broke that day and never saw Jiwoo the same ever again as her friend.
Jungeun snaps out of her thoughts and widened her eyes.
So that's when she fell in love with her.
Jungeun was never a fan of sports, she was more of an indoor type of person who likes to act. She always hated seeing athletes coming inside the school smelling like sweat after their practice from the field but Kim Jiwoo was an exception. Jungeun had always thought that she'd never even spare a glance at Jiwoo whenever she walks in the school building to get to their changing room, but after that one incident where she the theatre club decided to change their meet up place which caused Jungeun to get lost and bump into her bestfriend who was just fresh from the field.
Jiwoo was wearing her usual attire whenever she had practice which was a sleeveless jersey that exposed her muscly arms and a pair of shorts that matched with her shirt. Her hair was tied up and was wiping her body with a small towel while walking to the changing room. Of course, Jungeun was surprised because she knew that Jiwoo was part of the soccer team but she's never really seen the girl in her soccer attire and walking around right after practice.
"Oh hey Jungeun!" Jungeun's turns her head and sees her bestfriend standing there with a soft and innocent smile on her face while waving her hand and unintentionally flexing her muscles which caused Jungeun's eyes to widen like saucers and almost feel like her nose was bleeding. She's never seen Jiwoo as the buff type but seeing the girl's well built body, Jungeun really was not observant.
Jiwoo must've noticed the pale look on Jungeun's face because she was approaching the blonde with a worried look on her face. "Hey? Are you okay? Feeling okay?" She asked with the hint of uneasiness behind her voice while Jungeun slowly looks at Jiwoo to meet eyes, and her heart jumps out of her chest.
DId she forget to mention that Jiwoo's eyes are so expressive? She must have mentioned it because gosh Jungeun could see stars and worry in Jiwoo's eyes. Her eyes were dazzling and Jungeun could see herself in Jiwoo's eyes, her reflection being seen there in those deep brown eyes.
"Sorry do i smell? I haven't bathed yet, we just finished practice." There was self-conscious present in Jiwoo's voice and it was enough to snap Jungeun out of her daze. "No you don't smell you just um.. Smell like sweat, yeah." Jungeun hoped she worded that properly, she doesn't mean to offend Jiwoo or anything. "You smell okay just a little bit of sweat." Jiwoo grins at her, and Jungeun knew what was going to happen. She was going to get an hour of teasing from Jiwoo and possibly even get a hug by those thin yet muscly arms and she'll be drenched in Jiwoo's sweat which is going to be so disgusting-
"Gosh Jungeun, you could've just told me i smelled good, no need to be shy about it." Jiwoo playfully rolls her eyes, letting the cocky remark slip past her lips.
Jungeun rolled her eyes back. "I never said that for your information, get your head out of the gutter Wooming, you smell like sweat." Jiwoo's eyes were filled with mischief and Jungeun regrets saying that because she had to go to her club smelling like sweat.
(she also had to go home early so she could bathe and spamming jiwoo's phone with text messages about her smelling and only to receive a phone call from jiwoo and the sound of laughter coming from the other line, and somehow, jungeun's anger disappeared quickly)
(was she even angry that time? who knows?)
(but she sure did smelled like sweat)
If there's something you need to know about Jungeun, it's that she lacks happiness. She's always played as the "quiet kid" because adults often make comments about her to their children saying "you need to be like her, all calm and collected" so she sticks with that image, she hated seeing kids being all loud and having fun when she was a child but soon came to regret it because now she wants to be a child again. She wanted to be excited over the most little things without being judged so heavily but every time she lets one happy emotion out, people say she was acting like she had age regression.
When Jiwoo came into her life, she didn't really like her when they first met. She hated how loud and cheery Jiwoo was over the most little things and had constantly thought of her as childish and thought that her cheery and respectful attitude was just a phony so that a lot of people would like her but as time goes by, Jiwoo's smile has not faltered nor did her cheekiness disappear, she was still the same loud, cheery, and respectful person that Jungeun had first met, and then it finally clicked in her head.
That was Jiwoo's real personality. Jiwoo was really carefree, easy to get along with and respectful. Her personality wasn't a phony, she was like that since she was young up until now. Jungeun remembers frantically trying to dial Jiwoo's number after they had a fight that Jungeun deliberately started.
The fight was about her calling Jiwoo childish to the point where she ended up telling Jiwoo to stop acting like a kid after the girl had brought the both of them ice cream.
There were tears falling down her eyes that day while her body was shaking uncontrollably as she held her phone right next to her ear in hopes that Jiwoo would accept the call. She needed to apologize, tell Jiwoo that she was deeply sorry and that she had misjudged her, she couldn't handle the thought of losing Jiwoo, jiwoo was the one who always cheered her up, made sure she was okay and feeling fine, and always checked up on her during hard times, Jiwoo gave her happiness.
When Jiwoo accepted the call with a small voice on the other line, "Hello?" Jungeun broke in tears and became a sobbing mess. She could still vividly remember the way Jiwoo ran to her house wearing her pajamas because she panicked after hearing Jungeun crying. And that night was their first time cuddling together, hugging each other while laying on a small bed, warmth spread between the both of them. Jungeun noted that Jiwoo was very clingy when asleep.
Those were memories that were still fresh in Jungeun's mind because right now, she needed to stop going down to memory lane, she needed to focus on cheering for her "girlfriend" (that's why jiwoo invited her to practice right? because jiwoo's indirectly asked her to be her girlfriend?)
Jiwoo was panting while keeping her eyes on one of her teammates, Jungeun becomes lost in staring at her.
She's never seen Jiwoo take an activity so seriously before, the girl always had fun whenever she has to do something and casually says "it's fun, experience is important" but here the said girl was, standing on the side of the field with her hands on her knees and making up a plan in her head so they could win the little competition. Her eyes was fierce and was filled with determination to win, it took Jungeun all the self control to look away and check on the other players. She hasn't seen Jiwoo play seriously so witnessing the frustration on Jiwoo's face, Jungeun knew that the other players were going to have a hard time winning.
But the other players were also very skilled. The players on the other team consisted of Park Chaewon, Ha Sooyoung, Son Dongpyo, and Kim Sunwoo. They were one of the most skilled in the team so going against their Captain must be very thrilling and blood pumping for them. They had huge smiles on their faces, enjoying the view of successfully frustrating Jiwoo who was usually cheery and supportive. But of course that attitude disappears in the field, determination and sensitive insight is the top priority there.
When Haseul blows the whistle, the players starts to run with the ball rolling on their feet. Jungeun watches closely, even if she wasn't really interested in sports she wanted to at least learn about it so that she can understand what Jiwoo is saying whenever the girl talks about soccer, she doesn't want to seem like she didn't care about what Jiwoo was saying, she was just completely clueless and didn't want to hurt her friend's feelings.
They were all running in an insane speed, constantly passing and stealing the ball from each other and racing to see who can shoot a score from the net. When one of Jiwoo's teammates who Jungeun finally knew the name (which was Im Nayeon) passed the ball to Jiwoo, Jiwoo doesn't hesitate to kick the ball straight to the net eyes anticipating whether the goalkeeper managed to block it or not.
And the ball goes through.
It was silent in the whole field along with the bleachers and Jungeun wondered whether it was just a small competition between the whole team or the championships because the other team dropped on the ground with frozen looks on their faces after the Captain had managed to score the last point, sealing the game with victory on Jiwoo's team.
And during those silent time, Jungeun was the first one to bust a lung.
Jiwoo visibly flinched along with the other players and looked up to the bleachers and saw a particular blonde from the theatre club screaming Jiwoo's name with all her chest and waving a towel looking like she was a huge fan of soccer. "JIWOO YOU WON RIGHT? RIGHT? I SWEAR IF YOU DIDN'T THEN THIS IS EMBARRASSING SCREAMING FOR YOU!" The frustration that was in Jiwoo earlier dissipated and she bursts out in laughter at her friend's behavior. Jungeun rarely screamed for her especially if it was sports related, she loves the blonde's energy and will surely invite her to come to an official game soon. She could hire Jungeun to be their cheerleader for the whole team.
Jiwoo nods her head, answering Jungeun's answer and the blonde goes in full screeching as she runs down the bleachers to run to Jiwoo.
"Is that your girlfriend, Cap?" Chaewon asked and Jiwoo's face turns red immediately. "What?! What makes you think that-?!" Chaewon shrugs before dragging her eyes up to look at the flustered brunette. "She was cheering really hard for you and it wasn't even an official match. Plus, those who are in the bleachers are literally our partners." Jiwoo turns to face Chaewon while puffing her cheeks. "She's not my girlfrIend!" She whined with a pout on her face while Chaewon rolls her eyes, the girl was never fond of cuteness while she herself was a cutie.
"Whatever, but she really looks like she wants you to be her girlfriend." Jiwoo's eyes widened in surprise, Chaewon always takes everyone by surprise because she always spout out nonsense (which somehow turns out to be true which gives everyone the heebie-jeebies) "Anyway Yerim's already here and looking like she's holding herself back from jumping off the bleachers to get to me." Jiwoo couldn't help but giggle, Chaewon and her girlfriend Choi Yerim were adorable. With Chaewon having low energy and Yerim being the complete opposite, the two had the best chemistry.
Jiwoo watched how Chaewon waved at Yerim before she was suddenly tackled down, sending her on the ground with Jungeun on top of her. "Wait ew you're sweaty!" Jungeun whines and attempts to stand up to get off of the sweaty player but failed when Jiwoo wrapped her arms around the blonde's tiny frame, restraining her from stepping away. "Jiwoo let go of me!" Jungeun grumbles trying to squirm away from Jiwoo's grasp but miserably failed because Jiwoo was a lot stronger than her. Hugs had always been the key to their friendship and Jungeun (secretly) likes Jiwoo's hugs but she will never willingly let Jiwoo hug her with those sweaty ass arms.
So when Jiwoo proposed an idea of what they should do, Jungeun almost passed out. (mostly because jiwoo yelled it out loud for the other players and those who were watching the game hear)
"Let's bathe together!"
Listen up, Jungeun and Jiwoo are close friends and all, they've shared many moments together all alone and all close but they've never ever tried bathing together, especially in the school's restroom. That was absolutely terrifying.
So in the end Jungeun and Jiwoo had to bathe separately while the other players were grinning and laughing to themselves after Jungeun stepped out of the restroom that was supposedly only for the soccer team. "Stop! We didn't bathe togethe-" "Jungie why'd you leave me there?" Needless to say, the rest of the players were astonished by Jiwoo's flirting (?) skills and ended up teasing the two even more. Jiwoo didn't seem to be bothered by it and even playing along while jungeun had to go home with her face and ears all red. (she also had to get more teasing from jiwoo on their way home because jungeun's red ears kept on peeking out of her hair)
"I love you."
Jungeun froze from her tracks and looked at Jiwoo straight in the eyes, seeing the sparkle in the brunette's beautiful peeper. It was already night when they were walking home and it was cold. "Huh?" Jiwoo doesn't seem to be embarrassed or fazed by Jungeun's response and instead, she repeats it again. "I love you." Jungeun doesn't know whether Jiwoo was saying that as a friend or because Jiwoo saw her more than a friend. So, she looks down, not wanting to get her hopes up and get a possible rejection. "Yeah.. I know you do." They continued to walk in silence while Jungeun's head was clouded with different self-deprecating thoughts.
She doesn't even deserve to fall in love with Jiwoo, the girl was beyond her. Jiwoo was out of her league, and she knew that.
Jiwoo deserves better.
It was a case of Jungeun's wishful thinking that Jiwoo would like her back, that Jiwoo would embrace her lovingly, whisper how much she loves her, comfort her, and reassure her that everything was okay and nothing will destroy or ruin their beautiful moment. But hey, let's face reality, that would never happen, Jiwoo doesn't like her nor see her that way. Jiwoo sees her as a friend, a friend who was always supposed to be there when things get hard, a friend who Jiwoo can open up to and lean on, a friend that Jiwoo treasures a lot, and a friend that knows their boundaries and wouldn't try to make things awkward for the both of them.
Tears filled Jungeun's eyes, her arms were shaking the more she thinks about it.
Jiwoo sees her as a friend, nothing more, and it'll stay that way.
All Jungeun wanted to do was love Jiwoo, she wanted to be closer to Jiwoo in a different kind of closer that friends use, yet she still can't say it to her, not after all what they've been through. Jungeun didn't want to ruin their friendship, Jiwoo was the closest to what Jungeun considered as family, she couldn't afford to lose the girl she would be left miserable if that ever happens. So that's why Jungeun kept it, she kept her feelings to herself and just admired Jiwoo secretly in fear of getting found out, but honestly she had thought at first that it would be such a beautiful moment if Jiwoo had figured her out, she wanted to see the look on the girl's face after finally knowing that Jiwoo finally knows that her bestfriend had been in love with her for three years now.
"Are you still down to getting ice cream? I promised you earlier didn't i?" Jungeun smiles at Jiwoo before nodding as the two girls approached the ice cream shop and entered, only to be greeted by a cold atmosphere. "Greetings young couple, what would you like?" Jungeun pretends she didn't just hear the couple part from the employee's greet and looked up to the menu. There were various flavors there and her eyes landed on her favorite. "Vanilla please." Jiwoo turns to her with a pout, "Now that's just boring." The brunette whines while Jungeun glares at her. "Vanilla is not boring, you keep on trying different kinds of ice cream flavors at least i'm consistent." It was now Jiwoo's turn to roll her eyes. "It's called exploring!" "Whatever."
Jiwoo paid for their ice cream cones and walked out of the shop to continue walking back to their home. "I feel like we should've gotten something warm because now it's freezing cold." Jungeun chuckled at Jiwoo's comment, it really was cold. "Yeah."
The silence around them came back and Jungeun uses the chance to go back to her thoughts.
Jungeun just wanted Jiwoo to feel her, she wanted Jiwoo to know her heart that was mindlessly beating for Jiwoo only whenever she looks her way. She was honestly surprised that she's come this far without Jiwoo figuring out that she liked her. Jiwoo was always observant and perceptive, she easily knew what was up and if someone was feeling sad yet she was that oblivious not to notice Jungeun's feelings for her.
Jungeun had always watched from the side how so many people had gathered up the courage to confess to Jiwoo, she watched how they poured all their heart out to speak those beautiful words that described their love for her, Jungeun watched it all and how Jiwoo rejected them. Jungeun saw the way their heart was torn to pieces even if Jiwoo had rejected them nicely, she could see the devastation on their face, the way they walked away with shoulders slumped, the forced smile, and the good luck goodbyes. Jungeun didn't want to be like them because after being rejected, they've never stepped close nor anywhere near Jiwoo since then. Jungeun was given so many chances for her to confess to Jiwoo because Jiwoo in a relationship with anyone yet.
If Jungeun was just bold enough, she'd ask Jiwoo to hold her heart, tell her how much she's longed to be her girlfriend while staring straight in Jiwoo's eyes, hoping and begging that Jiwoo could see all the love and adoration behind it.
But she's never said a word.
Guess she's gonna miss her chance again.
"Jungeun?" Jungeun raised her head up, and looked at Jiwoo. Her eyes couldn't help but stare at Jiwoo's plump lips, they looked so kissable and soft and perfect, it almost looked like it would fit perfectly on Jungeun's. Gosh Jungeun doesn't even know how long she could go on like this wishing to kiss Jiwoo before she rightly explodes. "I'm not trying to act like Facebook by asking this, but what's on your mind? You look bothered." Jungeun shakes her head with a small giggle slipping out from her mouth, Jiwoo really knew when she should step up to ask questions and she appreciated that Jiwoo wasn't pushing her into answering.
"I love you too Jiwoo."
Despite being bewildered, Jiwoo smiles. "Jungi-" "I always had." Jiwoo looks at Jungeun and was surprised when she saw the blonde with tears come down from her beautiful espresso colored eyes. "I've been trying to hold it in because i'm scared that you didn't like me back, hell i don't even know if you liked girls in the first place Jiwoo!" Jungeun's ice cream cone drops and the other girl stepped back in pure dismay, she looked so distraught. "I'm fucking everything up, i'm sorry." She whispered quietly and Jiwoo could see the way Jungeun kept on trembling. She looked unbalanced and Jiwoo had to reach out for the other girl to make sure Jungeun doesn't fall down.
"I like you Kim Jiwoo. I like you a lot and you must think i'm pathetic right? Because i personally witnessed you rejecting all those people without hesitation and they brought flowers, chocolates, letters, and gifts to make things special and here i am crying in front of you." Jungeun hiccups after, her shoulders jumping up and down showing how hard she was crying right now. Jiwoo could see how much pressure and courage it took for Jungeun to confess to her and she honestly felt so bad for being dense about the girl's feelings.
"God.. I shouldn't have done this, i'm sorry Wooming, i must've failed to be the friend you had in mind-" Jungeun was immediately cut off when she felt a pair of arms hug her, pulling her closer until she was fully pressed against Jiwoo's front. "Hey.. Calm down, okay? Try to breath Jungie." Jiwoo was rubbing her hand against Jungeun's back in an up and down motion to try and provide comfort and reassurance to the blonde who was still trying to get her composure. Jungeun couldn't help but let out a whimper, she was afraid to hear Jiwoo's response, she didn't mean to confess like that out of nowhere but she couldn't help it anymore, Jiwoo looked so perfect under the moonlight that Jungeun finally exploded along with her heart.
"Hey, it's okay Jungeun." Jiwoo whispered. "You don't have to cry, you're not messing anything up, i promise." Jiwoo reassured quietly while hugging Jungeun tightly, wanting to transfer her warmth to the recently cried girl. "You didn't fail to be my friend, you're the most treasured person i love so much apart from my family of course." Jiwoo chuckled, continuing to sooth Jungeun to calm the girl down. "I don't think you're pathetic either, you're perfect Kim Jungeun." Jiwoo heard the small content sigh that came from Jungeun but she pretends like she didn't hear it. Jungeun had her walls down right now, she didn't need any teasing plus that would be quite inappropriate during such a serious time.
"And you're perfect for me."
Jiwoo waited until Jungeun finally looked at her, and when Jungeun did, Jiwoo's heart melted. She couldn't believe that she made Jungeun feel that way because of her obliviousness. "I love you Jungeun, more than friends." She leans in to press a smooch on Jungeun's forehead. She wanted to treasure this moment forever in her heart, just Jungeun in between her arms and hugging her back with love and care. "I waited for three years." Jungeun whispered, her voice cracking a little and brand new tears forming in her eyes. Jiwoo acts fast and decided to press her lips against Jungeun's to prevent the girl from crying again.
Their kiss was sweet and silent, they didn't bother to move and just wanted to savor it. Jungeun's lips tasted like vanilla ice cream and Jiwoo's tasted like mint chocolate, when they pulled away Jiwoo bursts out in laughter. "Kissing after eating two different ice cream flavors feels weird yet heavenly." She giggled, loving the sight of Jungeun's flustered face. "We need to clean up your fallen ice cream, come on." A comfortable silence wraps around them and Jungeun still couldn't believe it.
Did Jiwoo like her back then?
When the two girls started walking together, Jiwoo being the affectionate girl that she was, initiated the hand hold. She held Jungeun's hand and intertwined fingers, basking in the warmth they both had.
"When we get home, can i kiss you?"
"You can kiss me right here right now silly."
"No.. I want to kiss you when we get home so after that we can go to sleep immediately."
"After brushing our teeth, right?"
"Yeah.. I'd like that. A lot."
When the night came, Jungeun and Jiwoo were cuddled up together. "Does this mean were girlfriends?" Jiwoo hums, "Jungeun it's your bedtime, go to sleep." Jungeun opens her mouth. "Yeah but-" Jiwoo pressed another smooch on her forehead. "Yes. Were girlfriends, now go to sleep."