She opened her eyes and blinked a few times. The white ceiling decorated with black stars stares back at her. It took her awhile before she turned to her side table; clock showing 7am. It was her usual working morning. She crawled out of the bed groggily and entered the bathroom.
Running through her chest-length hair to the back reveals her wide forehead; she stares back at her own reflection. Her gaze then drifted to the reflection of the digital calendar hanging on the bathroom wall.
It’s the 5th month already.
They are separated 5 months ago.
It was more than 160 days ago, but their times spent together are still vivid in her mind.
She grabbed her favourite skinny jeans from her wardrobe and easily slides into it. Topped with her favourite black leather jacket over a casual white tee, she heads outside of her room.
She poured herself a bowl of corn flakes cereal and added few pieces of chopped strawberries. She never liked adding milk into her cereal because she hates eating soggy cereal and she's lactose intolerance in the morning.
She settled down at the couch in her living room with the bowl in her hand. As she ate mouthful by mouthful once again her mind drifted off. She remembered how they try to spend every breakfast together, as breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
They knew each other through work. They clicked off almost immediately as friends because they found out how they complement each other and sometimes a total opposite. She doesn’t eat cereal in milk and the other one loves it with milk. She's a little casual, bubbly and independent but the other is straightforward, sometimes moody but endearing. She enjoys watching drama while the other enjoys listening to music, Beatles to be exact. Most importantly they are comfortable around each other.
They shares most of their life’s' details together, their heartbreaks, their accomplishments, their inside jokes, problems and all. Long talks were spent over coffees dates until the wee hours. As their friendship grows, feelings started developing too.
She took out a green diary and a pen from her working bag. She flipped to beginning of the unwritten pages.
Entry: #218 Time: 7.39am Date: 16/12/14
It's the 21st again, can't help but you came into my mind today. I've remembered how we always eat breakfast together. Are you eating your breakfast now too? Today I ate your favourite strawberries cornflakes. If you knew this you'll definitely snatched it away and leave non for me >__<
After washing the dishes, she quickly grabbed the keys to her car.
"Hey morning Ji Hyo! You're early today." Kwang Soo chirped as he stood up from his seat.
"Oh hey Kwang Soo, you're early yourself too." She smiled.
Ji Hyo was about to walk past him to her office before he stopped her. "….I was in the breakfast shop earlier...so I grabbed you a coffee as well..." Kwang Soo said as he passed a cup of hot Americano to her. “Not sure what you like so I bought Americano for you.”
Ji Hyo went silent momentarily looking at the cup of coffee in her hand. She then looked back at him.
"….Well thank you for your coffee...but I’ve stopped drinking coffee for a while...” She let out an awkward smile. “…Perhaps you can give it to Yuri? I think she'll love something hot in the morning.”
Ji Hyo returned the coffee politely to Kwang Soo’s hand. “I’ll get back to my office then.”
She walked passed her subordinates office desk and entered her office room. She untangled the scarf around her and hangs it up on the stand.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.
"Yes, come in."
"Unnie, you rejected the coffee did you?" Yuri said with her head peering from the door.
"Kwang Soo-ssi gave you already?" She said in surprised tone.
"Unnie why don't you straight let him know that you're not interested in him?" Yuri said as she settled down on the couch opposite Ji Hyo’s desk. "He should really stop buying random stuff to guess what you actually like." Yuri never realized that she’s actually pouting while saying that.
"I know! But he never really asked me out...what do you want me to do about it?" Ji Hyo's eyes widened.
"He must be so mesmerized by your charisma since the first day he came. Come to think of it, he was only here for two months!" Yuri gaped.
"I know...but..." Ji Hyo hesitated. "Alright alright, I'll let him the next time he buys me anything again." She said in defeated tone.
"Hmm that's better….” Yuri’s face brightens up. “Oh yea there was a new project sent to you yesterday evening after you left. I'll go get it over to you." She said and left the room.
The room became silent again. Ji Hyo slumped into her swivel arm chair and rested her head backwards.
The incident earlier brought her back to their memories. She shook her head and reached out for the diary in her bag, for another entry.
Entry: #219 Time: 8.47 am Date: 16/12/14
"Someone else bought me coffee again today…But I missed your coffee. Only you knew what I like best. Are you still making them?
The busy morning temporary kept her mind occupied. There were so many meetings to attend and documents to go through. She even skipped her lunch and Yuri had bought her sandwich so that she doesn’t go hungry.
It was half past two when Kwang Soo came knock in suddenly.
"I was just wondering if you are free for a dinner tonight?” He paused. “You see there's a new restaurant that sells soondubu jigae (tofu stew). Would you like to try it out?"
"Just me and you?" Ji Hyo asked cautiously.
"Yea…I guess?” He scratch the back of his hair shyly. “Or maybe I should ask others too—"
"Oh no. Just the two of us are fine with me.” She lets out a polite smile. “I have something to tell you."
"You said you have something to tell me...." Kwang Soo offered Ji Hyo a piece of tissue paper after they finished eating.
"Oh yea, sorry…I was too engrossed in eating. Thanks for the meal, I really appreciate it.” Ji Hyo paused awhile before continuing. “And…I also appreciate all the things you have bought for me over your time here. You thoughtful hearts really touched me and I really appreciate all the attention but..."
"But..?" Kwang Soo looks at her.
"We won't be anything more than colleagues and friends."
Kwang Soo went silent for quite a while.
"Emm how should I put this...? Well mmm...I don't want to waste your efforts and heart…knowing that nothing will come out of it."
“How do you know if we never tried?”
"You're saying this is it because you're taken? But I never see you go out with anyone before..." Kwang Soo said, a bit confused.
"Well....career is more important for me now."
“So you’re not ready now…but you never know if in the future if we develop—”
“I don’t want to give you hopes, Kwang Soo-ssi. Instead, give your heart to someone who knows how to appreciate them...like Yuri-ssi.”
"Yea...I think she has quite a lot of interest in you...ever since you joined us."
“So am I being….rejected right now?” Kwang Soo lets out a silly laugh. He brushed the back of his hair and looks down in embarrassment. He actually looks very cute like this. His high stature and generous smile made him a good catch.
"I hope this will not change anything." Ji Hyo sticks out her hand for a handshake while flashing a wide smile. "I love your work attitude and hope you'll continue working with us for long time."
“Well, I should thank you for letting me know early.” He replied maturely. “Of course I would love to work around you and the others…It’s a great company.” He took her hand and shook them.
Yuri came into Ji Hyo’s office and brought few documents for her to go through. Their company is organizing a mega event in two months’ time and there are many preparations to be made.
“So….” Yuri spoke, standing in front of Ji Hyo’s desk. “I heard you went out dinner with him yesterday?”
Ji Hyo’s hand stops flipping through the thick documents. She looks up to the slim figure in front of her. “You knew about the dinner?”
Yuri nods, a little smile playing on her lips. “A staff saw you guys walking out together yesterday evening. So I guess you guys went out for dinner.”
“Yea you’re right. We did go out for dinner.” Her eyesight returns to the wordings on the documents. “You told me to make it clear to him right?”
“So you told him?" Yuri replied almost immediately.
Ji Hyo smiled and nodded gently, eyes still darting through the documents.
"I knew you were a responsible woman!" Yuri clicked her fingers, in a chirpy tone.
"I also told him something extra..."
"You told him you like—"
"Of course no!" Ji Hyo's eyes widened. "I told him you like him." Ji Hyo chuckled lightly.
"What?!" It was only seconds ago she was in a happy mode.
"I know you are interested in him...so I just gently reminded him, which I think he understood."
"Ahh unnie! How am I going to face him next time?" Yuri cupped her face. Ji Hyo noticed her red ears despite her coppered hair colour.
"Just take it I never told you...Act normal around him."
"Everything's going to be fine..." Ji Hyo stood up and hushed Yuri out of the room. "I’ll let you know once I’ve gone through that thick stuff, okay?"
With a hand wave, she closed the door behind her. Ji Hyo lets out a sigh of relief. Rejecting promising guys has always been part and parcel of her life. She always says sorry to those bachelors but she never really explained why.
Ji Hyo likes girl.
She found out when she was only 10. The way she felt for girls emotionally is different for guys. Of course there are guys that she thinks they are cute or handsome, but she was never emotionally attached to them. That's when she realized she likes girl. In another way saying, she happened to fall in love with human who happens to be a girl.
She never told anyone in her family. Only few of her friends knew about it. She was an independent woman so she started living on her own when she was 18, in her own way. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce Marketing and luckily she landed in a prestigious and listed real estate company in South Korea. It took her a few years before she climbed to her current position; Marketing Executive Manager, at the age of 30 years old.
And that's where she met her.