Title: Eternity (2/?)
Genre(s): romance, fluff, drama, angst, humor
Summary: Set in the summer of 1913 when Eunsook is 18 and Gwiboon is 16. Eunsook and her mother work year round at the Kim’s summer home. Eunsook and Gwiboon have been friends since they were little girls- each summer bringing them closer. Eunsook finds herself falling deeper and deeper in love with Gwiboon, though she knows that she’s meant to fall for a man.Chapter 1
“Are you sure that you didn’t just imagine it?” Gwiboon huffed, trudging through trees while holding her dress up to keep from getting the bottom muddy. The sun shone through the leafy covering above them, the heat just enough to cause a thin layer of sweat to form across Gwiboon’s forehead under her bangs.
“Yes, I’m sure!” Eunsook retorted, leading the way further and further into the woods- choosing to ignore Gwiboon’s snort of disbelief.
“Well, are we at least going the right way?” Gwiboon complained, stopping to shield her eyes from the sun and look around, “I mean, I don’t want to walk all this way just to have you realize that it was actually
south, not east, and then we have to walk all the way ba-”
“I’m sure,” Eunsook smiled, turning back to grab Gwiboon’s hand before starting off again. East.
But it was enough to make the younger girl stop complaining. Instead, she happily followed Eunsook’s lead past endless tree trunks- the wind picking up and blowing the hair off her sweaty neck.
It had been about a week since the Kim’s arrival and everyone had fallen into their old habits like worn blanket. Gwiboon’s parents spent their days walking the paths in the garden together in the mornings only to split off in the afternoon so Mr. Kim could practice his croquet with the male servants and Mrs. Kim could read in one of the wooden, white lawn chairs- shaded from the sun by a big umbrella.
Jonghyun bounced around, trying to find something to adequately entertain him. He’d often join his father or he could be found in the kitchen, trying to learn a new dish from the chef so he could brag about his culinary skills to girls when he got home. Most often, however, he’d follow Gwiboon and Eunsook around as they talked and giggled and explored, much to Gwiboon’s annoyance.
Now though, they’d managed to slip away without Jonghyun on their heels. Eunsook didn’t mind Jonghyun’s presence- she wasn’t annoyed like Gwiboon. But she truthfully preferred to have Gwiboon to herself so those eyes looked only at her
. So that smile was always aimed in her direction, making her heart swell almost to bursting.
Now that they’d fallen back into old routines, Eunsook found that her feelings were easier to hide and her nerves were easier to control. Sometimes she could almost forget for a moment that she harbored a secret and forbidden love for the younger girl. She could almost pretend that they were just best friends, feet dangling into the cool water of the glassy lake. Almost
“There! See?” Eunsook stopped walking, pointing ahead. Gwiboon looked up, eyes going wider.
“When did this happen?” she asked, letting go of Eunsook’s hand to walk toward the massive tree.
“Just under a month ago,” Eunsook told her, feet carrying her forward as well, “There was a huge storm and when the worst of it was right overhead, we heard a loud snap. The next day I walked through here and saw what had happened,” Eunsook reached out and trailed her fingers over the exposed wood, bark having been stripped away by lightning.
“I can’t believe it did so much damage,” Gwiboon commented, looking up at where the truck had broken, the top half of the tree falling to the forest floor while the remaining trunk had splintered- sections of wood jutting out in various directions.
Eunsook nodded, sitting down against the base of the tree to rest for a moment before walking all the way back in the summer heat. Gwiboon circled the tree and then sat down beside the older girl, sighing and letting her head drop to the other’s shoulder.
“It’s kind of sad,” she observed, eyes closing- suddenly aware of the fatigue in her limbs. Eunsook hummed in agreement and rested her cheek on Gwiboon’s soft hair. Soon she noticed that the younger girl’s breathing had evened out, her body going slack against her own. So she let her sleep, fingers running through her ringlets as she listened to birds chirp up above.
The two didn’t make it back until dinnertime.
“…and she was just whispering in the corner for the entire party. Just because he asked me to dance instead,” Gwiboon huffed, rolling her eyes as she recounted the most recent party she had been to in the city, “It’s hardly my fault if it looked like her blind aunt did her hair. Not to mentio-”
“What are you ladies up to?” Jonghyun grinned, looking down at the two girls relaxing on a blanket in the grass. Gwiboon sighed.
“You sound so greasy,” Gwiboon complained, glaring at her brother for interrupting her story.
“I do not,” he argued, brows creasing as he plopped down next to Eunsook, leaning back on his hands.
,” Gwiboon emphasized, getting back to her story, “You should have seen her dress. She has absolutely no taste. I wouldn’t be surprised if-”
“God this is boring,” Jonghyun complained, tilting his head back and closing his eyes as the sun beat down on his face.
“Then leave,” Gwiboon told him, arms crossing over her chest as she stared at him in annoyance. Eunsook looked from one to the other and felt caught slightly in between. Not having any siblings herself, she wasn’t used to all of the bickering. She knew that the two of them actually got along a lot of the time, but they argued just as much.
“There’s nothing else to do,” Jonghyun complained, flopping down on his back.
“We could go swimming,” Eunsook suggested. She and Gwiboon hadn’t gone at all yet and Jonghyun at least hadn’t gone that day.
“That’s a great idea!” Gwiboon grinned, getting up eagerly and extending a hand for Eunsook. Jonghyun shrugged and stood as well.
“Sure, why not?”
“Meet on the docks!” Gwiboon called, already dashing toward her room.
Fifteen minutes later, Jonghyun and Eunsook stood on the dock, watching the water move beneath them as they waited for Gwiboon.
“What is taking so long?” Jonghyun groused, kicking a pebble into the water and listening to the ‘plop’ that followed when it hit the surface and sunk under.
“Stop complaining, I’m here,” Gwiboon announced, walking down the stone steps that lead to the water. Eunsook looked up and felt her breath catch in her throat. Gwiboon looked gorgeous. Well, she always looked gorgeous, but it had been a year since the older girl had seen her in a bathing suit and she looked better than ever.
She was very slender, with barely-there hips and a tiny waist. Her arms and legs were thin as well, but not so skinny they looked like they would break or anything. Her pale neck was long and lean, leading down to delicate shoulders and collarbones. Even her breasts were small, though they were proportionate to the rest of her body- just a slight swell under the material of her bathing suit. Eunsook blushed when she realized that she was staring.
She, herself, looked nothing like the thin and elegant creature that Gwiboon was. She was curvy- and hourglass shape according to her mother. Everywhere that Gwiboon’s body came into a sharp point, Eunsook’s was a gentle curve. While Gwiboon looked like an angel with her pale skin, Eunsook’s tanned flesh made her a mere mortal. But just to be in the other girl’s presence was truly enough for her. It might even have been too much with the way her heart was pounding.
“Did you just make your bathing suit from scratch?” Jonghyun complained, fanning himself under the hot sun for effect.
“You didn’t have to wait for me to get in,” Gwiboon replied, walking to the edge of the wooden dock and dipping her toe in, “It’s kind of cold…”
“Too bad,” and with that, Jonghyun reached out and shoved his sister into the lake. Gwiboon let out a squeal before she hit the water, Jonghyun watching the scene with a smirk of amusement.
“You jerk!” she yelled when she came up, pushing her brown hair out of her eyes, a scowl on her face.
“You get used to the temperature faster if you jump in,” Jonghyun told her, shrugging innocently.
Eunsook didn’t know what came over her but suddenly she was behind Jonghyun, an eager smile on her face. From where Gwiboon was treading water, she saw Eunsook’s position and grinned. Before Jonghyun could ask what was going on, he was pushed off the dock, landing in the water with a loud splash.
“Eunsook!” he exclaimed when he emerged from underwater, voice full of shock and amusement, “Get in here!”
The next second, the oldest girl leapt into the lake, splashing the other two in the process. Soon enough, it had turned into a water war with lots of dunking, splashing, and throwing in Jonghyun’s case.
And when Gwiboon latched onto Eunsook’s back to push her under, she was glad that she was being dunked in cold water, otherwise she was sure he face would have turned bright red.
Eunsook slid her nightgown over her head, pulling back her covers to climb into bed. It had been a long and tiring day, but it had been a good one. After swimming in the lake, they’d dried off and sat on the dock to watch the sunset before Gwiboon and Jonghyun were called to dinner in the dining room and Eunsook was called to eat in the kitchen. After dinner, they’d all sat up in the library, sharing stories. Well, Gwiboon and Jonghyun had done most of the talking, but Eunsook was happy to sit back and listen.
“Eunsook?” her mother called, walking into her room as she climbed into bed.
“I need to talk to you,” her mother said, sitting down on the edge of her bed, “You’ve been spending a lot of time with Gwiboon and Jonghyun,” she observed.
“I’ve always spent a lot of time with them,” Eunsook pointed out, confused as to where her mother was going with this.
“Yes, but now that you’re all getting older, it’s different.”
Eunsook froze. How could her mother possibly know about her feelings for the younger girl?
“How so?” she asked innocently.
“Well, I know that Jonghyun is a very nice boy and he’s growing into quite a handsome young man, but you have to keep in mind that they’re from a different world than us.”
Eunsook stared, trying to comprehend what her mother had just said. She thought that she was interested in…Jonghyun?
“Umma,” she chuckled, relief spreading through her chest, “I don’t have feelings for Jonghyun.”
“Really?” her mother seemed genuinely surprised at the statement and the sincerity with which it was spoken.
“Of course,” Eunsook assured her, “He’s practically like a brother.”
“That’s good,” her mother seemed to slump with relief as well, “I was just worried, that’s all. I don’t want you to get hurt. Because, you know nothing could ever happen between you two. They live in the city and they’ll want to marry their children off to rich families. But I’m glad that I was worried for nothing.”
Eunsook’s mother smiled and kissed her cheek, getting up from the bed and leaving the room with a ‘goodnight.’
Eunsook sat stock still, feeling her heart sink in her chest until she was sure it was no longer in her body anymore. She knew that her feelings for Gwiboon were…impossible to ever act on, but hearing her mother’s words- spoken like the fact that they were- made her heart ache. And she knew that loving Gwiboon was even worse than it would have been if she loved Jonghyun.
And for a moment, she wished that what her mother had feared was true; that she loved Jonghyun- that it was really as simple as that.
a/n: i meant to post these last time- here are pics of what Gwiboon's room looks like:12
and here are some bathing suits from the time period for better visualization. lol.12