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Fair Weather Friends

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The first time it happens, Jiyeon's just turned nineteen.

She's mad, madder than she's ever been, and stares down at Eunjung with nothing short of murder in her eyes.

And then—Eunjung stops. Right in the middle of an argument, Eunjung just goes silent. Face blank and mouth hanging open, Eunjung looks at nothing in particular but Jiyeon can feel her. She can feel the anger from their fight slowly dissipate into... calm.

Rolling waves, lush forests, waterfalls.

The images aren't running through Jiyeon's mind, but she can still see them, can feel them as if she's the one trying to retreat to a happy place.

By the time she realizes she's in Eunjung's head, the tug between them slackens and Eunjung snaps out of her daze, confused and fuming all at once.

By then, Jiyeon's already out the door.

*

The second time it happens, Jiyeon isn't any closer to feeling like nineteen.

It's an accident again, mostly.

Soyeon's going through outfits, standing in front of the mirror in just her underwear and wondering which color looks better on her, while Jiyeon wondered why she never noticed the curve of her back or the dip between her shoulder blades.

The room gets hot suddenly and Jiyeon feels like her clothes are too tight on her, like she's being constrained. It's a while before she notices Soyeon's stopped talking and is just standing there staring back at herself in the mirror.

Jiyeon squirms on the bed, tries to block out the images going through her—Soyeon's—mind.

When Soyeon gasps, Jiyeon stumbles out into the hallway and tries not to think about how she held on to the control until she was out of the room.

*

The third time it happens, Jiyeon is almost twenty and far too acquainted with adulthood.

Jieun invites her over under the guise of celebrating early, when really, all they end up doing is drinking on Jieun's couch and watching bad soap operas.

Jiyeon mostly has control of it now. Kind of.

Jieun laughs at something and squeezes her thigh and—and maybe she doesn't have control of it. Not at all.

Jiyeon squeezes her legs together and tries not to let her mind stray. She tries so very hard not to think about the heat pooling between her thighs and how Jieun's hand on her is anything but comforting.

The room goes still and Jieun breathes shallowly next to her, eyes set on the television and unfocused.

It's like that day back in Soyeon's room, the air gets stiflingly hot and Jiyeon feels like she's suffocating in her own body—uneasy and unrestrained in the worst ways.

All the worst things she's ever thought about Jieun flash before her eyes and she can't be sure that Jieun isn't seeing the same things: Jieun on her knees, Jiyeon on her knees, Jieun making Jiyeon wish there wasn't anywhere else she'd rather be.

From the corner of her eye, Jiyeon makes out Jieun's hand moving swiftly down the front of her own shorts and it takes Jiyeon a beat to realize her own hand was already playing with the elastic of her waistband.

When they finally snap out of it, breathing hard and labored, Jieun's gripping Jiyeon's thigh hard enough to leave marks.