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This is Love

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Kim Hyun Joong’s POV

I’m not entirely certain when it all started, though I know that one day everything changed from friendship to something far more than that. Somewhere along the way, I found that my feelings for Gummy grew into something far more than they ever should have. She’s a roommate… an accidental roommate at that. I can still remember that day clearer than any other in my life.

We both arrived at the complex at the same time, this gorgeous and spunky girl, flouncing along in front of me with her pink suitcase. It was ridiculous. We walked along as if we were going toward the same exact place. When we arrived at the door to the apartment, we both went to put our keys in the lock at the same time. At first, we were both a little amused, though it quickly escalated to pissed off once we figured out we had both expected to rent the same apartment… by ourselves. We hadn’t signed up for roommates. I called and spoke with the landlord, who had apparently made a mistake in the paperwork, sticking us in the same apartment. They didn’t have any others to offer us, so we were stuck. Still, we were both so mad that we just crashed into the building and tried to get all of our things into the building faster than the other, hoping this meant we’d get to keep it and the other would be out on the street.

But we were both too stubborn. Even after a few rounds between myself and the door, I realized I was going to have to settle for having a roommate – a girl at that! We split the house stupidly in half, acting like a couple of children. Now that I look back on it… it was pointless.

The days slipped past and we got to know one another a hell of a lot more. I figured out she really was a sweet girl and I think she warmed up to me as well, even though she pointedly didn’t like me at first. Time does a lot between two people, that much I know for certain.

I close my eyes, the water lapping lightly around my body. In the pool, I find my freedom, my ability to calm down and simply think rather than only react. Too many men simply react rather than sit down and think things through before they do them. And tonight, I’m here for a purpose. I’m here to reflect on the past, dwell on my emotions, and find the reaction that will suit both Gummy and I the best. It’s the adult thing to do, and seeing as how we’re both out of our teens, I think it’s high time we realized how to act like our elders before us; though maybe not with the same mistakes.

My eyelids flutter faintly as a car drives past outside, casting strange shadows over the pool, and once again my mind slips back into the past.

She sits beside me on the swing set, her legs pumping her back and forth, this carefree look upon her face. It’s beautiful… she’s beautiful. I look away, my eyes landing on what she’s spent her past two minutes staring at. There’s a couple with two small children playing in the park. When I look back at her, I can see the desire in her eyes, the desperate plea in her heart for someone to love her enough to one day build a family with her.

I slip out of it, righting myself in the water and then shoving off the wall as I start to swim laps. It’s frustrating to me, to see how many men she’s been through. Each of them utter assholes in turn. I’ve left her alone so many nights to let her have her dates with those men. Sometimes they show up and leave her frustrated that all men seem to want from her is sex. And sometimes… they don’t show up at all. Those nights make me angry. Why would anyone stand up such a wonderful woman?

Tears streak down her face. She’s sitting in a chair beside an untouched meal. It’s the third time in the past month that someone has done this to her. She won’t say if it’s the same person, but I suspect it is. Why she’d go after the same man over and over confuses me and her drive astounds me. The next morning, I fix her breakfast in some vain attempt to make it up to her. I can’t let her think the whole male gender sucks in the same way. The smile that lights her face could breathe life back into a hopeless soul.

I’m breathing hard as I push myself out of the pool, standing there on the side, dripping wet. It’s more than obvious that I’ve held these feelings for her for a long time, longer than I realized. They’ve only recently come to light and I know this is the right time to act on them.

As I’m making my way back home, I find myself afraid. Will she turn me away? Will she be mad at me for my feelings slipping past those of roommate? Maybe so. But that’s not the point and I need to let her know the truth, if nothing else.

When I push open the door to our apartment, she’s standing there, her suitcase in hand, tears tracking down her cheeks. I just allow myself to react this time, one simple moment of going through with actions rather than debating the validity of them beforehand. My arms warp around her, pulling her close. And as she buries her head in my shoulder, I know this was all meant to be, meant to happen this way.

I close my eyes and press a soft kiss to her hair. “I love you.” The way she holds me tight, the way her breathing hitches when I speak those words… all of it tells me that she’s just as surprised as I am that I could say the words out loud. She lets go of her suitcase, her hand slipping into my hair and when our lips meet, I know this is her answer. She’ll stay and she’ll do her very best to return my feelings.

This… this is love.

The End