it’s the little things.
some days it’s the look of the city from her bedroom window. other times it’s the smell of coffee as she walks past a dunkin’ donuts or a starbucks.
most days it’s pink; the soft pink of the fitted sheets as she pulls them, warm, out of the dryer. the brilliant pink-orange of the sky at sunset that has her laughing about how the colour tiffany dislikes the most, blends so exceedingly well with the colour she loves best.
(those days, she snaps a picture of the sky and drops it into the private chat with a small cackle. without fail, tiffany will reply with “ew, its orange.” and taeyeon will send her a picture of the fruit with a face just to annoy her further.)
and people say things will get better, that time heals all wounds, and she’s not so melodramatic (or callous enough) to liken the person-shaped hole in her life to a wound, but. she has her moments.
sometimes she wonders if this is ‘death by a thousand paper cuts’, and then zero will step on her stomach with a petulant whine and she has to stop.
(no one can be sad when a baby animal is around. it’s just physically impossible.)
it’s not like they don’t talk. they do. at every given opportunity, they grasp, greedily and with both hands. (and there are plenty – from the blearily received ‘good night’s at 9am in the morning, to the late OMG TAE PLS. at three in the afternoon. not to mention the shenanigans in the group chat.)
it’s just. there’s a certain familiarity lost with the distance of a great big ocean between them; lost with the immediacy of not being ‘here’, but ‘there’.
like laughing too hard at something, and reaching out for an elbow, an arm, that should be there. realising only a split second too late that ah, that’s right, she’s not.
and sometimes she thinks she might die of waiting, of wanting, because she dreamed of soft hands and subtle sweet perfumes and woke up alone and too warm in a too-big bed with unstolen covers.
those days, she is extra generous with her stickers, less so with her words. because she knows their power, knows that if she says “please,” and “i need you,” that tiffany would come running. that she would buy out someone else’s seat at the last minute like a total asshole if she had to.
and tiffany knows she would too.
so they both dance around the words together. carefully, carefully avoiding them because it’s been more than ten years, and they both deserve the chance to grow independently.
because life is too short to be constantly thinking of the what ifs and the missed opportunities.
because before they were each other’s, they were their own.
(and learning to live alone again might be awful and difficult, but if no one says it first, then they’ll just grin and blunder through it together.)
still, it doesn’t mean no to two hour long skype sessions before tiffany’s classes or in the car when taeyeon’s riding to another meeting.
and it definitely doesn’t mean they don’t yell crass shit at each other over the line in private like “you better bring me presents when you come visit after your semester!! i want the sluttiest sounding candle scent they’ve got.”
and “you reserved seats for me at your concert right?? because i’m not ticketing on a korean site with uni wifi that’s just unfair.”
and “eXCUSE ME CHIMAEK WHEN???”
(sunny laughs at her as she makes the slutty candle request, and the next voice message tiffany gets, is a 5 second scuffle and sunny screaming “GET ME A SLUTTY CANDLE SCENT TOO,” into the the phone.
and when tiffany replies with nothing but expletives and howling laughter, she thinks yeah, they’re gonna be just fine.)