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i couldn't utter my love when it counted (but i'm singing like a bird 'bout it now)

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Ji Ho knows how she can be.

She’s got enough self-awareness to know that she can get a little… excited sometimes.

Though not everyone gets to see that side of her, the ones that do , know it very well. Because though she loathed to admit, her brother was right.

When she gave her heart to something, she loved it forever.

The thing is, her heart, more often than not, had a mind of its own and had a terrible habit of running away from her. Most times, it’s just given her trouble. The rare instances where it had been voluntary was currently buried beneath her journals, sitting at the bottom of one of the last boxes she was sorting through.

Carefully, she unwraps newspaper from an old, weathered DVD.

After all these years, the love she held for The Graduate only grew as she did.

Holding the copy in her hands, she couldn’t help but feel nostalgic, remembering the moment she finally bought a copy with her own money. The ceremonial-like feeling of placing it into the DVD player for the first time, hitting play. The thrill of sitting on her living room floor, all by herself after everyone had gone to bed, watching the opening credits roll out. Feeling ridiculously proud and satisfied after bullying her brother into putting her poster up in her room. And the not-so-good days where watching the film offered an escape, yet ironically, distinctly, felt like a home away from home.

She remembers her dream, that all she's ever wanted was to do the same. To ignite the heart of a young soul, to make them feel things, to leave them thinking, to leave them dreaming, as long as she did with a creation of her own.

They’d already seen it together once before. Except, somehow having her copy, here and now, was different. She’d watch it on her own one day, in her own time,  she tells herself.

Before she can put it back in the box, Se Hee walks in, hands her a beer. He asks her the question that must be written on her face.

“Do you want to watch it tonight?”

Holding it close to her chest, she finds herself wanting to say yes. Instead, she tells him the obvious, smiling sheepishly. “We’ve seen it already.”

“ I don’t mind,” he shrugs as he takes a sip, though there is absolutely nothing nonchalant about the way he looks at her that has her cheeks burning. Because it’s silly. Really, it was nothing . It was just Se Hee, being himself.

And, yet, it is everything .

It might be worth mentioning the obvious fact that her heart sings whenever Se Hee looked at her, but this was decidedly different.

There’s no trace of frustration, no teasing - both goodnatured and less so - or remarks of her having seen it so many times to be heard or found. Only fondness and something she can’t quite name.

In the beginning, there was nothing voluntary at all about him. About this. About them.

But now, she knows. That her heart will never again have to wander. That in the coming years, her choice is made and will remain the same. 

She knows it in the warmth in his eyes. The subtle upturn of his lips. The slight endearing tilt of his head. In the I dont mind’s. In the way he holds her hand on their couch. In his gentle affection that never asks for attention.

It is in all of these things she will always know her heart will always have a home, in this life and the next.