Seulgi takes in a deep breath and walks to the counter while her friends chant some cheering words from their seats, softly of course since none of them want to make a scene in the middle of the coffee shop. She actually wants to turn over her shoulder and tell them to shut up, but she can’t seem to keep her eyes off the female barista who’s fixing her apron behind the cashier.
The female barista, sensing that someone is approaching her, perks up and flashes Seulgi a bright smile, almost making the poor girl faint on the spot.
“Good afternoon.” The barista says, her beautiful voice echoes in Seulgi’s head over and over again.
“G-G-Good afternoon…” Seulgi clears her throat and stands behind the counter, darting her eyes to the name tag that’s hanging on the barista’s shirt. Bae Joohyun.
“May I take your order?” The beautiful barista—scratch that—the beautiful Joohyun asks, still smiling sweetly at her customer.
“I want, um, macchiato—wait, not macchiato… Um, something not too sweet but sweet…? Maybe Americano—wait, that’s not sweet…” Seulgi blabbers mindlessly as her eyes scan over the menu board above. She already had her order ready in her head before she walked here, but as soon as she sees Joohyun, it’s all blown away.
“How about green tea latte? It’s not too sweet and many people like it.” Joohyun offers kindly.
“Huh?” Seulgi whips her head and blinks dumbly before nodding her head frantically, making her ponytail bounces along. “Yeah! Green tea latte it is! That’s what I wanted to order but I…forgot… Haha…ha…” She laughs awkwardly and scratches her neck, cringing inwardly at her lameness.
“Okay, one green tea latte to go. May I have a name for your order?”
“M-My name…” Seulgi pauses and turns over her shoulder to see her friends sitting on a table of four, all staring at her expectantly, even Seungwan is giving her a thumb up. Nodding her head in determination, Seulgi turns back to Joohyun with her newfound confidence and blurts out the words that she has been planning today. “My name is your future wife.”
The whole shop seems to fall into a moment of silence before Joohyun speaks again.
“Okay, Miss Your Future Wife, please wait as we get your drink ready.” She says nonchalantly as if it’s the most common name in the world.
Seulgi can only nod dumbly, still shocked over the other’s flat reaction, before stepping aside as she waits for her drink. Her jaw is still slightly unhinged as a male barista places her green tea latte in front of her.
“One green tea latter for Miss—uh, Your Future Wife…?” The male gives her the most judging look ever before turning around to continue his job.
Seulgi takes her drink with a blank face and gives a last glance to Joohyun who’s serving other customer before walking back to her table dejectedly.
“She really wrote Your Future Wife on the cup!!” Yerim chokes out between her giggles as she looks at the neat handwriting on the transparent cup.
“That’s a smooth way of rejecting a pick up line.” Sooyoung chuckles in amusement.
“How do you feel, Seulgi?” Seungwan hums simphatetically, but her eyes are glinting in amusement and Seulgi feels like stabbing her best friend with her straw. But on a second thought, she needs it to sip her drink.
“Shut up. This is all your ideas!” Seulgi hisses angrily before slurping on her green tea latte.
“We told you to find a cool pick up line, not something gross like that! What the hell is your future wife? God, Seulgi, you really have no idea how to flirt.” Seungwan sighs dramatically and shakes her head.
“Well, I’m sorry for being pretty and have everybody flirted with me instead of me doing it to them.” Seulgi flips her ponytail away from her shoulder and huffs.
“You’re pretty, but you’re awkward, that’s why you’re still single until now.” Yerim says innocently as she hugs Sooyoung’s hand against her chest and giggles lightly.
“Shut up, lovebirds.” Seulgi narrows her eyes at the youngest.
“Unfortunately, Miss Your Future Wife, I have to agree with what Yerim said. You’re pretty, but you’re bad at facing people.” Seungwan nods in agreement.
“I don’t have problem facing the three of you.” Seulgi frowns and gestures a hand at her three friends.
“We’ve been with each other since babies and I think you don’t see us as human beings anymore.” Sooyoung chirps in.
Seulgi stares at her for a while before shrugging her shoulders.
“Maybe that’s true.”
Seulgi is beautiful, she knows it herself everytime she looks at the mirror, even in the morning when she enters the bathroom after waking up. But she also knows that she’s naturally shy and doesn’t have a good socializing skills. Growing up, she’s always stuck with her three childhood friends, Seungwan, Yerim, and Sooyoung – whom despite of putting her in trouble for countless times, she still loves them.
She can’t speak with strangers and would feel awkward in crowds and parties, much less interacting with her crush. It’s already hard not to stutter in front of Joohyun and the thought of making a bold flirting move makes her want to jump off the rooftop of their campus building.
She still remembers the first time she saw the beautiful barista and how there seemed to be a cupid nearby who shot his arrow right through her heart.
She had never been a type of person who believes in love at first sight, but the moment her eyes set on Joohyun, all her assumptions about love at first sight were blown away. Her cheeks were warm, her breath was knocked out of her lungs and millions of butterflies were fluttering in her stomach. That was the moment when she finally understood what did people mean by love at first sight.
Call her cheesy, but the first time she saw Joohyun, she really thought that an angel had disguised herself as a barista in a small coffee shop. She remembers how she froze on her spot for few seconds until Seungwan pinched her waist to snap her out of it.
Bae Joohyun. Seulgi can write a no-ending list of how wonderful the woman is starting from her pair of beautiful eyes, her pink lips that Seulgi spend some nights wondering how would they feel against her own lips, the way she smiles and greets the customer warmly everyday, the way she speaks patiently to a stubborn or old customer, the way she offers candies to little kids who came with their parents, and a million of things that Seulgi can’t list down.
At first, Seulgi thought that her feelings for Joohyun was a simple crush and it would go away soon. She thought that it would be enough for her just to look at the barista from a distance, just admiring her beauty from her favorite seat next to the window.
But it’s not enough. Her feelings grew everyday and soon, it feels torturing. Everytime she sees Joohyun, she wants to wrap her arms around her slim body and buries her face on her beautiful long hair. Everytime she sees Joohyun laughing with her coworkers, she wishes that Joohyun would laugh at her that way too. Everytime she sees a coworker getting too close to comfort with Joohyun, she wants to stride over and break them apart.
But they’re only her mere wish because in the end, she’s still sitting on her seat watching everything from a distance.
Bae Joohyun is perfect and Seulgi is going crazy because she likes her so much, yet she’s not even sure if Joohyun knows her name even though she has been stalking the barista by visiting the coffee shop multiple times a week. It seems that Joohyun doesn’t even remember her since she could simply write down Your Future Wife instead of her actual name even though Seulgi always uses her actual name when ordering – well, except that one time.
Her friends are not being a big help themselves. From giving idea about writing love letter with her hot selfie slipped into the envelope to lame pick-up lines, none of the ideas sounds good enough. Sometimes, she even wonders whether they want to help or ruin her love life all at once. But that’s what best friends do, isn’t it? They ruin everything for you yet you can’t help but to love them.
“Just confess your feelings already.”
That’s what the campus’ queen, Moon Byulyi, tells her when he finally decides to get a proper advice from a professional. It would be surprising to find Byulyi, the queen of the campus, hanging out with Seulgi, the shy beauty. Even Seulgi is surprised herself, but Byulyi is actually a nice person despite her habit of flirting with anybody including plants and inanimate objects.
Oh little flower, just look at you, still a bud and so tiny yet you can shake my world like nothing before.
Anyway, despite her weirdness, Seulgi knows that Byulyi can help her in getting closer to Joohyun. But of course she didn’t expect that the answer would be bold like this.
“C-C-Confess?” Seulgi drops her mouth open. “S-She doesn’t even know my existence!”
“I’m sure that she remembers you after that Miss Your Future Wife incident.” Byulyi says casually.
“Don’t remind me!” Seulgi says, all flustered. “But—I don’t think it works… Like should I just come to her and tell her that I like her?”
“You have to grow some balls and be brave, Seulgi.” Byulyi sighs dramatically and shakes her head.
“I’m a girl, I don’t have balls.”
“Oh, right. But you know what I mean, right?” Byulyi points her finger at the unresponsive Seulgi before speaking again. “This is modern era, Seulgi. Women like us have to move fast and work hard to achieve what we want before the stupid men take it over. Do you want this Bae to be snatched away by someone other than you? Let’s say, a rich old man with beer belly who’s planning to make this Bae as his second wife?”
Joohyun being snatched away by someone else who’s not her? Hell no, Joohyun is hers.
“No.” Seulgi says curtly. “She’s mine.”
“That’s the sprit, Seulgi!” Byulyi squeals and claps her hands gleefully. “Ah, you look so hot like this. Let me give you a little kiss.” She says before leaning over to the younger girl.
“Byulyi, Byulyi stop.” Seulgi leans back and places her hand on Byulyi’s puckering lips.
Byulyi doesn’t stop getting closer and Seulgi leans backward to avoid her kiss. In the end, Seulgi falls off from her chair, causing a small ruckus and successfully earns a glare from the librarian.
And so, the plan begins.
It would go with Seulgi ordering her drink like usual and hands Joohyun a piece of folded paper with her handwritten love letter inside because Seulgi is a useless woman who can’t confess with words.
Dear Bae Joohyun,
Your eyes shine like a million of suns. You shine brighter than anyone and I wouldn’t mind getting blinded by you.
I fell deep in love the first time I saw you. It feels wonderful to see your smiling face. It makes me want to take you away to a place where no one would disturb us. It would be you, me and the never ending bliss.
Will you let me take you away? Circle one.
When she shows her handwritten letter to Byulyi after hours of browsing through the internet for romantic words, the older girl actually rips it into pieces right in front of her eyes, calling it fucking gross. After some scolding and insult from Byulyi, Seulgi settles into a less gross and much honest one.
Hey, I’m shy and a bit awkward, but I’d really like to know you better.
Can we get a drink or meal sometime? Circle one.
Now both of them are sitting on Seulgi’s favorite seat near the window with Seulgi trying to muster up her courage and Byulyi sitting next to her, patting her back encouragingly.
“Come on, just order some drink and hand her the paper.” Byulyi says.
“This is harder than I thought it would be.” Seulgi whines and shakes her head.
“Oh come on, sweetheart. I’ll give you a kiss if you managed to do it.” Byulyi closes her eyes and leans closer with puckered lips, earning a small shriek from Seulgi.
“You make me not want to do it!”
“Okay, I’ll give you a kiss if you don’t go right now.” Byulyi smiles innocently before leaning closer again with her red puckered lips that would surely leave lipstick stain on any surface that they touch.
“I’ll go. I’ll go.” Seulgi says quickly and stands up from her seat. She takes couple of deep breaths before striding over to the counter where Joohyun seems to be busy with the cashier machine.
The barista perks her head up and unlike the usual, she doesn’t smile.
“Good afternoon, may I take your order?” She asks flatly.
Uh-oh, it seems that Joohyun is in a bad mood. What a timing.
Seulgi shifts nervously on her stance and bites her lower lip, wondering how can she start with her plan now that the situation doesn’t go as she predicted. She holds the folded paper tightly in her hand, suddenly feeling unsure about everything.
Seulgi flinches in surprise and looks up to see Joohyun frowning at her, probably feeling annoyed that she’s being ignored. Out of all times she has seen Joohyun’s expression, she has never seen the woman looks this pissed off and the thought that she’s the cause of it makes her want to shrink into a speck of dust.
“Um… I—I want to order…” Seulgi’s voice comes out much softer than she plans. Her eyes scanning over the menu board without reading anything before they settle on Joohyun’s impatient face again. Seeing such a look from Joohyun makes her suffocate, so she sucks in a deep breath before speaking again.
One caramel macchiato.
“I like you.”
It takes few seconds for Seulgi to process the words that come out of her own mouth. When she looks at Joohyun’s dumbfounded expression, it finally hits her.
She just confessed her feelings instead of saying her order.
Seulgi feels like running out of the coffee shop and get into a bus that would take her far far away from this place. But she’s still too shocked over her own words that she can’t even seem to move a muscle.
Joohyun seems to recover from her shock though. She blinks a few times and her expression falters a little before speaking.
“Miss customer, I’d really appreciate it if you don’t joke around since there are other customer behind you. May I take your order, please?”
Seulgi blinks couple of times before turning over her shoulder to see that indeed, there are couple of people lining behind her, though they don’t seem to know what’s going on between her and the barista. She slowly turns her head back to Joohyun and slowly places the folded paper on the counter, smiling bitterly to herself.
“I’d like one Americano please, the name’s Byulyi.”
She doesn’t even look at Joohyun’s face as she takes out the money before stepping aside to wait for her order, leaving the handwritten letter on the counter for Joohyun to throw it away or something. Her mind feels blank and she doesn’t know what to think anymore.
“One Americano for Miss Byulyi.” The male barista calls out and Seulgi accepts the order before walking back to Byulyi who’s staring at her in anticipation.
“How did it go?” Byulyi beams, but after seeing a dejected look on Seulgi’s face, she knows it didn’t go well. “What happened?”
“Nothing happened.” Seulgi huffs out a dry laugh and shrugs a shoulder. “Just nothing.”
“Oh, baby.” Byulyi coos and wraps an arm over Seulgi’s shoulders, pulling her close. “It’s okay. You’ve tried your best.”
“Yeah, thank you.” Seulgi smiles a little and slides the Americano over to the other girl. “Here, for you.”
“Oh, thanks! You don’t have to do this though.” Byulyi smiles and takes the Americano in her hand.
“It’s okay. Thank you for your help even though things didn’t go well.” Seulgi sighs before grabbing her bag. “Can we leave? I kinda don’t want to stay here. It’s awkward.”
“Alright, sure, anything for you, my love.” Byulyi quickly grabs her own bag and takes her drink before dragging Seulgi out of the coffee shop by her hand.
Seulgi keeps her eyes on the ground all the time, not wanting to look at anybody’s face especially Joohyun’s.
Well, there goes her love story. It’s not like there would be any hope to begin with.
But at least she tried, didn’t she? She tried her best and even though it didn’t go as she planned, at least she confessed. At least she achieved something.
Neither does she know that Joohyun is watching her all along from behind the counter as she exits the coffee shop with Byulyi.
Seulgi doesn’t want to step her foot into the coffee shop anymore and after telling the whole story to her best friends, they understand after giving Seulgi a look of sympathy.
It’s okay, Seulgi is not really sad or heartbroken like those girls in movie who’d bawl their eyes out while eating the whole pint of ice cream. She just continues her life as usual, going to class, doing assignments, hanging out with her friends once in a while. Nothing has really changed ever since the rejection.
But sometimes when she’s alone, late at night before going to bed or a certain rainy day where she’s stuck in her room with a cup of hot chocolate, she’d remember about Joohyun. She’d remember her smiling face, her soothing voice and the way she makes her feel.
Somewhere between the day, she’d still remember about Joohyun.
When the deadline for all assignments is coming up with her dead internet in the dorm, she has to find a place with wi-fi hotspot for the sake of her class and future. Sooyoung and Yerim have found their own source of internet in the library, unfortunately, all the seats are full and they didn’t get the chance to safe a seat for Seungwan and Seulgi.
Seungwan manages to get internet in her sister’s office building. She tells Seulgi to join her in her sister’s office, but Seulgi feels hesitant since she’s not that close with Seungwan’s older sister, so in the end, she rejects the offer.
After wandering around to search for a comfy and nice place to do her assignment, she finds herself standing in front of a coffee shop that she hasn’t visited in a month, the place where Joohyun works.
She peeks from the window and sees that Joohyun is nowhere to be found, probably not on her shift. Sighing in relief, she takes a step inside and orders a caramel macchiato before settling herself in the corner of the room because her favorite seat is already taken by an elderly couple. She puts her bag aside before turning her laptop on and starts working on the assignment.
After a while of typing her assignment down, someone walks over to her table and casually flops down on the seat across her. Seulgi quickly perks up from her laptop to see Joohyun sitting in front of her with a cup of coffee in her hand, not in her working uniform, but in a cream loose shirt and white shorts.
Seulgi thinks that she’s dreaming. She pinches her thigh lightly and feels a pain, so she concludes that it’s not a dream.
Joohyun doesn’t say anything, just sitting in front of her while staring at her with an unreadable expression on her face, as if waiting for Seulgi to say something, anything.
“Um, why are you here…?” Seulgi asks intelligently, still trying to recover from the shock.
“What? You reserved this seat for that blonde girl – what’s her name again – Byunyi?” Joohyun raises a brow questioningly.
“You mean Byulyi?”
“Whatever her name is.” Joohyun scoffs. “You’re waiting for her?”
“What? No, I’m alone here. I’m doing assignment.” Seulgi says, still a bit dumbfounded.
“How old are you?”
“Business and management.”
“That one near this shop, beside the train station.”
Joohyun nods, still looking rather unimpressed. “Will you be able to finish your assignment today?”
“Huh? W-Well, I still have pretty much to do… I’ll probably finish it by the end of this week.” Seulgi says unsurely.
“Okay.” Joohyun nods before pulling a piece of paper from her pocket and hands it to Seulgi.
Seulgi, albeit still confused, takes the paper and reads it.
Hey, I’m shy and a bit awkward, but I’d really like to know you better.
Can we get a drink or meal sometime? Circle one.
There’s a red circle around the “Yes” word and another handwriting on the empty space below her letter.
How dare you said you like me after flirting around with that blonde woman with too much lipstick. You’re lucky that you’re cute.
Seulgi drops her mouth open at the words before looking up to Joohyun who’s giving her a triumphant smile.
“Come to me after you’ve submitted your assignments, kiddo.” Joohyun says as she takes a sip of her coffee.
“O-Okay… Sure—I’ll come!” Seulgi nods her head frantically, eyes still wide in disbelief while a pink color starts to spread across her cheeks. Her heart is beating so fast that she wonders if she’s going to faint, but even if she faints, Joohyun is right in front of her and she’d probably save her…right?
“You have to get A for all your assignments.” Joohyun chuckles softly and looks down at Seulgi’s half-empty caramel macchiato. “You always like caramel macchiato, huh? I remember you ordered green tea latte with Your Future Wife as the name. Where did you learn that?”
Seulgi flushes in deep red and drops her eyes down to her lap. “F-From internet…”
“Don’t do something like that again.” Joohyun huffs, sipping her coffee before placing the cup down again.
Seulgi perks up to see a black-colored drink placed on the white cup, it looks so bitter and she wonders if Joohyun enjoys drinking something like that. Seeing how she works as a barista everyday gives Seulgi an image that Joohyun would love to drink something sweet like Red Velvet Latte or Bubblegum Frappuccino.
“What? You want to try my coffee? I think it’s too bitter for you though.” Joohyun says, snapping Seulgi out of her little trance.
“No, um, I mean—what are you drinking?” Seulgi stutters.
“A simple black coffee, no sugar.” Joohyun says.
“No sugar? It must be so bitter…”
“It’s okay, I don’t need sugar anyway.” Joohyun smiles and stares into Seulgi’s eyes before speaking again. “You are already sweet enough.”
Seulgi thinks that she’s going to get a heart attack for real.