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falling in love wordlessly

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It was weird and very much annoying how the world worked. Especially when you knew that you could potentially have a soulmate yourself. Weird because when you think about it scientifically, it’s not possible for it to happen; annoying because you could never tell who the cause of your headache was and it would keep happening until you find them.

Ohm didn’t want or wish to have one. Frankly, he was content with being single and listening to LOONA and fromis_9 without having anyone to disrupt that peace time of his. But again, when you live in such a world, you can never tell what’s going to happen or why it must happen to you.

It happened when he turned 18 and Ohm was trying to slowly get away from all the ruckus going on in his living room—he was trying to get away from his own birthday party, and he thankfully got away without anyone being suspicious of him (or that no one really cared about him fleeing).

He made it into his bedroom, no more obnoxious aunts pestering him about his love life or school, no more having to force a smile on his face as he greets his relatives, though he did regret not taking at least a slice of pizza to his room.

Plugging in his earphones to drown out the noise that was the party, Ohm opened his Spotify to listen to his usual and latest playlist. Another thing about Ohm was the amount of playlists he had. He had no idea why but he’s obsessed with making playlists whether he wanted to or not. “There’s this sudden urge when I think a song really fits someone or something and it’ll itch nonstop, like it will bug me until I put it in a playlist alongside 12 songs in it.” as he always said.

Before Glass Shoes even started, Ohm could hear another song playing simultaneously. He could hear that it was one of Taylor Swift’s songs. It’s pretty common to everyone that Ohm was an avid K-pop listener, but he still knew songs that weren’t K-pop, courtesy to his brother’s playlist when he’s in charge of the Bluetooth audio in Ohm’s car, hence he could detect that it was Enchanted by Taylor Swift that was playing alongside Glass Shoes.

“Dude, are you listening to Enchanted?” Ohm asked his brother via text. He would walk over to his room and ask, but honestly, his bed felt so good for him to get up from it only to ask his brother a mindless question.

It didn’t take the other a long time to answer as he was also in his room. “No? No one’s playing anything,” he said.

What the fuck? Why am I hearing Enchanted then?

He was one hundred percent sure that someone was playing said song somewhere.

Ohm had an inkling at the back of his head that’s waiting for him to acknowledge it, but he knew what it meant and he didn’t want to think of that as one of the options even if it’s true. There’s not a way that it’s his soulmate who’s listening to Enchanted. Soulmates like that weren’t even possible. Well, his parents might have met because of the exact thing but no one said that he was going to have to go through it too. Frankly, he was hoping that he would be in a part of the one percent population where they didn’t have to experience the frustration of having to look for your soulmate whilst listening to the music they listen to until you find them. But maybe he’d hoped for too much.

That was the time he first heard of his soulmate’s music taste, also the first of many headaches Ohm would have to endure from the amount of times his soulmate’s listened to Enchanted.

When Love, his best friend, first heard of the situation he’s in, she started laughing after she made sure that he wasn’t lying. It was bad enough having her laugh at his agony but to also have everyone looking towards him made it worse.

“Ohm, please tell me you’re joking,” Love said as she’s wiping the tear that was building up on her waterline.

Having grown up with Ohm and being almost the same age as him, Love knew almost everything about him. Their story’s not as far as them having met as babies. In fact, they met when they were almost done with elementary school. They were placed next to each other by their home room teacher and immediately clicked. Love was like the big sister Ohm could ask for as well as Ohm to her. They did mistook their platonic love for each other for romantic love, more so Ohm. Thankfully it didn’t disrupt the dynamic they had—it even made them closer than before, with Love confessing that she liked girls and how relieved she was when Ohm told her that he also misunderstood his love towards her.

“I would be really committed to the joke if that was it.” Ohm sighed. “God, Love, I have never wanted to bash my head this bad because of a song. A fucking Taylor Swift song even.” Ohm placed his head between his hands. “Love her. Amazing singer, but good lord I’m this close to begging for her to take that song off any platform just for one day.”

Love continued eating her fries she had bought once she’d finished laughing. “But why do you look so … rough? If I didn’t know better I would’ve thought you were doing something sketchy these days with how dark and deep your eyebags are.”

“I wish that was the case. I would rather do that than have Enchanted play constantly,” Ohm said, slowly recovering from his grievance. “The thing is Love, whoever my soulmate is is going through something because not only have they listened to it at least four times a day nonstop, but there’s been times where they listened to it at 3 a.m..”

“Damn, that sucks.” Love continued to chew on one of her fries. “Do you have any idea who your soulmate might be?”

Honestly, Ohm hadn’t thought of it yet. Well, he did but he decided to drop the idea of finding his soulmate because he had no other lead other than that they listen to Taylor Swift most of the time and with how he knew of no one who’s an avid fan of the singer or even listened to her as often as his soulmate did. And that was what he said to Love.

Love stopped midchew. “Do you want me to help?” she asked.

Ohm shook his head, “Nah. I’ll just handle it by myself. We don’t even know if they go to our campus or not. What if they’re somewhere across the country?”

Love nodded to Ohm’s response. They both realized that the idea was too farfetched and if what this soulmate thing is true then they both knew that Ohm’s bound to meet his other half someday, the exact date unbeknownst to them.

 


 

It had been a year ever since Ohm first knew that he wasn’t excluded from the soulmate jazz the universe had for everyone, and he’s got to admit, it hadn’t been that bad of a journey. Despite not having any other lead than his soulmate being a Swiftie because of the circumstances, they stopped after about two weeks of listening to the same song nonstop. He could’ve stopped before that but Ohm will take what he can get.

He did think of getting revenge by listening to something on repeat as well, but if he were to think of it in the long run, it would just also ruin the song for Ohm and he really didn’t want to ruin some song out of pettiness. Another thing that happened though was that his soulmate once listened to songs on shuffle and Ohm can bet his whole life on the line, he was so sure they were listening to his playlist. So another lead that came up was that his soulmate probably knows him because

  1. His playlists weren’t that famous on Spotify, and
  2. There's a big chance that they knew his profile because Ohm put his profile link on Instagram which could mean they knew his Instagram profile (yes, he did know this was a reach but there’s nothing wrong in theorizing, right?)

Nonetheless, Ohm didn’t want to get his hopes too high because other than that there’s nothing significant about them that could help Ohm pinpoint who they are.

 

The semester was almost done and it was almost finals week. Ohm had been reviewing his lecture notes diligently while also taking good care of his health, so he was pretty confident with his preparations.

After his last class, Ohm went to his faculty canteen before going back to his dorm—he might as well save money by eating there than buying delivery. Since Love had other things to do regarding their upcoming faculty event, Ohm was forced to eat by himself. He had quite a lot of friends, from class to those he met in his faculty organization, and he could ring them if he wanted to, but he planned on reading his last lecture notes before reviewing them when he’s back at his dorm, thus he chose eating alone.

Too deep into his notes, Ohm didn’t realize that someone had slipped and was falling towards him. It was cliche how he was able to hold them before they both fell onto the floors but maybe months of working out did pay off, though it wasn’t how he envisioned it to be.

The man who fell on him immediately realized what had happened and was scrambling off of Ohm. “Shit, I’m so sorry. Oh my god. I swear I didn’t mean to fall on you. It’s just—I don’t know, I was distracted because I was listening to Spotify—” he said while taking both his AirPods off “—and then my soulmate started listening to this song on loop. It was called Summer, I think. It was starting to become unbearable and I didn't see the puddle back there and everything was a blur after that—fuck, I’m rambling, aren’t I? I’m really sorry.”

Ohm took out one of his earbuds after the man finally got into his footing again. He’s used to putting his music on even while he's talking if he thinks it’s going to be brief. “It’s fine, don’t worry too much about it …”

“Korapat Kirdpan, but just call me Nanon,” Nanon said. He held out his hand to properly introduce himself even though their first meeting wasn’t the ideal way to make friends if he were to say so himself.

Ohm took the latter’s hand and shook it briefly. “Don’t worry too much about it, Nanon. I’m Ohm, by the way, Pawat Chittsawangdee. It’s nice meeting you.”

Nanon saw how Ohm was sitting alone with a notebook and a styrofoam box that was presumably for his lunch laid out on the table. “By the way, mind if I join? Swear I won’t bother you too much if you’re worried about that.”

Ohm shook his head and turned back to reading his notes. To be honest, he was just done with reading them when Nanon fell on him, yet somehow he couldn’t bear leaving the other eating alone. There was a pull when he first saw Nanon, something about him actually intrigued Ohm. It wasn’t the same like when he met new people—hell, it was something more like when he thought he liked Love. Something about Nanon made him want to know the other more. He didn’t care what their relationship might end up being, he just wanted to know him so much more.

But unlike what he wanted, Ohm didn’t have the nerve to strike up a conversation with Nanon. The other man was true to his words and didn't bother him at all. They both sat in silence as Ohm stared at his notes and flipped through his notebook here and there to seem as if he was reading when, really, all he was doing was thinking about what he should say or do while Nanon continued to eat the lunch he’d bought. Some students did say hi to Nanon but none stopped by nor did he start up a conversation, which Ohm was grateful of.

It was ironic because Ohm was usually the loud guy wherever he is, Love even said that something would be awry if he wasn’t as talkative. But for some reason he couldn’t bring himself to talk to Nanon. He kind of wished Nanon didn’t stick to what he said and talked to him, but he knew that Nanon didn’t know he was finished with his reading, even if he wasn’t he didn’t think he would be able to focus with Nanon’s presence next to him.

Ohm could see Nanon’s finally finished with his lunch from his peripheral vision. He sighed. “Think I’ll head back first,” Ohm said as he closed his book and put it inside his backpack. “It was nice meeting you, Nanon.” He smiled at the latter while he stood up from his seat.

Nanon stood up, seemingly getting ready to leave as well. “Sure, I think I’m going to head back too. Soccer practice tonight and I think I’d rather sleep first. It was nice meeting you too, Ohm.” He smiled back. “Catch you soon?”

“Yeah, I’ll see you soon,” Ohm replied as Nanon backed away, his smile becoming brighter when he heard Ohm’s response. How does one’s smile become even brighter to the point he could compete with the sun? Ohm would never know, but he knew that when he saw that smile, he felt warm and wanted to see more of it.

What the fuck was that all about?

Ohm’s dorm wasn’t that far from his campus to the point where he needed to commute with a train or a bus—it was the perfect distance as he had said when he first stepped inside—hence why he always chose to walk to and fro. Not only did he save money, though that’s a bit of an exaggeration as bus or train fares weren’t as expensive, still, any amount of money saved mattered, also he could count it as a light exercise because there’s still a distance despite it being in the perfect spot for him. But ever since he’s gotten used to it and enjoyed every second of the walk.

As he was walking back to his dorm, Ohm fished his phone from his pocket and opened his message with Love. He knew if she were to find out what had happened from someone else she would be pretty upset, though he could apologize and buy her food as a repayment if it ever happened. He’s not saying that Love’s being too invasive or manipulative, they both knew their boundaries and each respected it.

Ohm: Do you believe in love at first sight?

Even if Love was in the middle of something important, she would always respond to any messages nonetheless, which was why Ohm didn’t question whether Love was done with her meeting or if she was sneaking her answer amidst the meeting.

Love: idk

Love: never experienced it. why?

Love: who is it?

Ohm: What do you mean who is it?

Love: u know what i mean ohm

Ohm: I don’t actually

Love: don’t even try to dodge the question or else im gonna force it out of u

Ohm:  His name’s Nanon

Ohm: God I’m so embarrassed

Ohm: Are you done with the event stuff?

Love: i mean event’s still upcoming but yea im done w today’s meeting

Ohm: I’ll call you later

Ohm: Really don’t want to read any of what I’m gonna say

Love: lmao okay

Ohm pocketed his phone and contemplated whether he was going to regret telling Love the story of what happened to him or not, but deep down he was pretty certain of what was going to happen (re: the former). He might as well enjoy the cloudy yet a bit sunny day before he came to meet his demise in the form of embarrassment. Ohm took out his kind of tangled earphones from his other pocket, plugging it to his phone to listen to his newest playlist he’d made two nights ago to accompany his walk.

 


 

Once Ohm was back in his room. He thought about stalling because he knew if he were to tell his best friend that he’d arrived safely, she would immediately call and bombard him with questions before he had the chance to even explain. And he did.

Ohm took his time showering before he took out his notebooks from his bag and placed it on top of his desk. He needed to rewrite his notes and review them soon before finals came rolling around, thus he made a mental note to do them later at night when he’s had dinner. For now, he had another important thing to do: call his best friend.

Ohm picked up his phone that he’d abandoned ever since he arrived in his room. He didn’t think twice about dialing Love, whether he regretted it or not he would deal with it later. It was his choice to tell her in the first place anyway.

“What the hell happened when I was away?” Love asked after picking up on the first ring.

Ohm chuckled, “Calm down … I’ll tell you the whole story, okay?”

“Fine. You can start.”

“So, I went and ate alone at our usual spot. While I was rereading my notes from Mr. Vihokratana’s class, this dude slipped next to me and fell on top of me. His name’s Nanon and after he asked if he could sit next to me and told me he wouldn’t bother—he didn't, which was kind of surprising because he seemed to be famous around campus at how many people that greeted him while he was eating. And that’s it,” told Ohm.

Ohm could hear Love snicker on the other line. “That’s not just it. I know there’s more to it than that.”

“He was cute. That’s it—” Ohm rolled his eyes, even though Love wasn’t able to see him “—nothing more.”

“Okay … he’s cute, huh?”

“Yes.”

“But do you really not know who Nanon is?” asked Love suddenly.

“No? Why?”

You could say Ohm was kind of well known on campus, he knew people and they knew him too. That was all that mattered to him really. He never sought out popularity even though he could if he wanted to; he had the looks, charm, and he dared say he’s friendly, plus he could join their college band and play on gigs which could have his name well known, yet he never sought popularity that actively. He never knew why he should be bothered whether people knew him or not—as long as he knew people and they knew him, that’s enough for Ohm.

“Nanon’s the soccer dude. The goalkeeper, “stealer of hearts” as they say. I’m surprised you don’t know him,” Love informed.

Now another thing about Ohm was he was never the sports guy so automatically he had never been interested in watching games. He was more of a gym and indoor workout person than kicking or fighting for balls on the field, hence why he didn’t know much about their college sports teams.

“I mean, yeah, I guess that’s him?”

“Invite him to lunch again tomorrow I wanna meet him,” Love told—more like ordered—him to do.

Ohm furrowed his eyebrows. Why would he invite him to eat with them tomorrow? He guessed he would like to see the other guy again, but he was sane enough to have them in close proximity once. Another thing about that was, “I don’t have his number.”

Silence laid upon both friends. He knew Love heard him.

“Why didn’t you ask for his number?!” Love screeched.

Perhaps years of friendship could never do him justice if he’s friends with Love as he was still unable to guess how his best friend’s mind works.

“What do you mean why? Why would I ask for his number? He doesn’t know me. What if he thinks I’m weird?”

“You said he’s cute.” Love claimed as if she’d made a point. He could even see the shrug she was probably doing when she said it.

His brows furrowed even closer, he couldn’t believe at the conclusion she had. Sure, he did say that Nanon’s cute, she's not wrong, but that didn’t mean he wanted to hit on him or anything. Again, sure, he was enthralled by the other, but the point still stood.

“Yeah, but that doesn’t mean I want to hit on him?”

If this was an animated movie, there would be question marks floating on top of his head, so big they could flood the whole screen.

“Sure, whatever you say, Ohm.” Love could really pull the strings in Ohm. Perks of being his best friend, he thought. “Anyways, I have a date to go to. You should try it sometimes, Ohm. It’s fun.”

“I hope you fall in the middle of whatever place you’re going,” Ohm said curtly before ending their long phone call, cutting Love who—he could hear—was laughing as if she’s having the best time ever.

He hadn’t realized the call he made with Love was pretty lengthy to where he saw that the sky was already darkening. He’d taken his shower already and he had no idea what to do now. Everything was silent for a while. It was him and his thoughts, yet even his thoughts had nothing to say. Something was off and he was unable to think what it was.

Ohm thought about what Love had said before: going on dates. It had been quite a while ever since he was in a relationship—a while since he’s gone on dates even. He kind of missed the feeling of being nervous and thinking about what to wear so he could impress his date while also hoping they were up to his expectations; choosing clothes, planning on where to go and what they would do, weighing the choices whether he should do something impressionable or keep it to himself until they’ve gone on multiple dates, he missed those.

He stopped seeking relationships ever since the soulmate thing happened. As much as he disliked the idea of it, he’d grown to live with the fact that there was someone who’s made for him, his other half, and it didn’t feel right to him if he was pursuing a relationship with someone who wasn’t them. It sounded selfish to him if he were to do that. Just because he hadn’t seen the person he was bound to be with didn’t mean he could do things and defy what was “planned” for him, unless his soulmate told him that they shouldn’t be together and to live his life, maybe then Ohm would download dating apps and hope for the best.

Ohm’s alarm suddenly blared loudly amid him pondering over what would he do if he weren’t tied to this soulmate thing and his future, startling him out of his train of thoughts. He should probably study to ease his mind off of everything. It was starting to hurt his brain, honestly. Did he like his current situation? What if he was one of those who could choose who their soulmate was? Questions he hadn’t found the answers to yet and at this point he was convinced they were going to stay that way.

He got up from his bed and walked to his study desk, taking a seat on the chair in front of it. Might as well cut himself some slack from thinking about the past and possibilities by rewriting his notes, perhaps try journaling. His suggestions had slowly been filled by journaling videos and they looked calming and fun to do. Maybe from that he could build up and polish his designing skill so he could confidently try decorating sleeves for photocards.

 


 

“How was your date yesterday?” Ohm asked Love whose mind seemed to be someplace else, although she was physically sitting in front of him with her usual fries and thai tea on the table. “I assume it went well?”

“It was amazing. P’Milk was so …” Love sighed. The lovestruck look still etched on her face. “Women, you know?”

“I’ll take that as a ‘yes’ then. You’re lucky your soulmate’s that close, even though it took you forever to talk to her.”

Love sneered at her friend’s comment. She didn’t bother rebutting what Ohm said, instead gesturing ‘blah, blah, blah’ with her hand.

They both got back to sitting in silence, letting the chatter of students at the canteen become a white noise as they let their perspective thoughts run wild.

Ohm had been thinking. Like yesterday, there had been something wrong, he couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong, but he knew there was something wrong in the span of 24 hours. It was as if something was missing and he didn’t know what.

“How about your soulmate? How’re they doing?” Love asked, finally looking like she was done daydreaming presumably about her crush? Girlfriend? He needed to ask her more about it.

Fuck, his soulmate. He hadn’t heard any word—any song for that matter—the whole day. There could be a chance they were busy the whole day but to Ohm, who’d been hearing them loop the same song for almost two weeks before listening to other songs that weren’t solely by Taylor Swift everyday, was weird because they had never been like this. Weirdly enough, it seemed to be a routine for them to listen to a song at least once a day since that had occurred more than five times if he were to remember correctly.

“I … honestly haven’t heard of them which is weird,” Ohm stated.

He was wondering what could’ve happened to them that they hadn't been heard of for quite a while. Call him dramatic, but when you were accustomed to listening to one song per day as a minimum, you’d be surprised how easy it was to pick up someone’s habit and assume how they were feeling, thus getting radio silence from the other side was off putting to Ohm.

“What do you mean?” Love asked, now curious and intrigued with her best friend’s situation.

Ohm continued playing with his food which was a good indication to Love that he wasn’t lying and he was quite affected by what's been bothering him, his soulmate, because once you knew him well enough, you could tell his habits and read him like an open book. For example, when there was something bothering him quite a bit, it was reflected on his daily activities: he wouldn’t eat as much, he would talk minimally, and many other things that looked normal to others but weren’t to Love.

“They’ve gone radio silence since, I don’t know, yesterday? Last night?” Ohm tried recalling when it started to happen and he was sure it was yesterday after he had gone home from campus.

Love thought she knew where this was going and she also had a theory as to why Ohm’s other half had gone dead silent, but she wanted to see if she was right before jumping into conclusions. “Did you talk to anyone yesterday other than me?”

“Since I think it started after I’d gone home from campus and that I didn’t talk to anyone on the way home, plus I was still hearing them listen to whatever they were listening to while eating lunch, that would eliminate everyone, except … Nanon.”

The sky was starting to rumble and all of the sudden rain started to pour. Hard. They weren’t surprised as it was monsoon season and the downpour was slowly becoming a normal occurrence for them, though there were days where it wouldn’t rain the whole day, it was an on and off thing.

Thankfully, Ohm and Love hadn’t planned on going home just yet as they still hadn’t finished their lunch or else they would’ve probably been drenched already, more so Ohm in the middle of his walk back, though someone wasn’t lucky enough and were pretty wet from head to toe and he was running towards Ohm and Love’s table.

Nanon.

Ohm could see Love smiling from ear to ear. He really needed a break from everything seeing as things were slowly going downhill in the span of two or three days and that was too fast for him to process major things that were playing a big role in his life. He was now convinced the universe was fucking with him.

“Hi, Nanon! It’s really nice to meet you. I’m Love, Ohm’s best friend.” Love smiled brightly. She did mean it though there wasn’t anything malicious behind it.

“Hey! Um … is it okay if I talk to your friend here for a bit?” Nanon reciprocated Love’s smile then turned to Ohm. “I think we both know we have something to talk about.”

Oh, Ohm knew and he knew very well there’s something they needed to address. He nodded denoting the other man to go on and that it was okay to tell him in front of Love. Ohm scooted a little bit to give Nanon some space to sit because he wasn’t that bad of a person and he felt bad seeing how the other was wet and still standing.

Nanon took a deep breath before starting. “I know you’re not that dense so I think you do know what I’ll be saying here. Apparently you’re my soulmate? I know this is sudden but I swear I’m not lying, like after I got home yesterday, I thought I was gonna hear the usual playlist or K-pop songs you always play, but there was nothing and I was so confused because you usually listened to your playlist once every day.

“I was kind of skeptical at first when I realized it because man … imagine meeting your soulmate like that but after putting two and two together, I’m confident it’s you,” Nanon said.

Ohm’s sure anyone who got a confession like that would be speechless, waiting for the weight of the words to fully sink into them, and he wasn’t an exception because how was he supposed to react? He just recognized the core of his problem and why it happened. There weren’t any alerts given for him to prepare for what Nanon said, he didn’t think he was going to have to face it immediately.

Love, who saw his friend’s confusion and surprise, could tell he needed a minute or so to compose himself before giving the other man his response and told Nanon that. She stirred the conversation to give Ohm some space and asked Nanon about his day so that he didn’t come off too demanding to her friend staring at him like that.

“Why the fuck did you listen to Enchanted at three a.m.? Nonstop?” Ohm broke his silence.

Love snickered hearing the first question that came out of Ohm and Nanon looked flustered having heard what he had done months ago and how he forgot he was basically linked to Ohm.

“I’m sorry, okay! Desperate times, you know?” Nanon smiled sheepishly while scratching his nape even though it didn’t itch. He was really embarrassed. “Can we just please reintroduce ourselves and forget that?”

Now it’s Ohm’s turn to snicker at him. He nodded because their first meeting was pretty stupid, though kind of memorable, but for the sake of Nanon, he guessed.

“Hi. I’m Nanon, Korapat Kirdpan, your soulmate. It’s nice to finally meet you,” Nanon said, holding his hand out for Ohm to shake.

There it was: Nanon’s radiant smile. Ohm’s happy to know he would be seeing it more in the future.

He returned the smile as big and shook the other’s hand. “Hello, Nanon. I’m Ohm, Pawat Chittsawangdee, your soulmate. It’s nice to finally meet you too.”