Title: Eternity (5/?)
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
/ Chapter 2
/ Chapter 3
/ Chapter 4
Eunsook felt like it had been a dream as she laid in her bed the next morning- lingering wisps of sensations from the previous night floating around her like scents on a breeze. Part of her truly felt like it had been; her brain unable to comprehend the situation. But deep down, she knew that it was true. Because it was better than she’d ever imagined it to be- better than in her dreams. So it had
to be real.
And she honestly didn’t know what to do with that information.
She had no prior experiences that had prepared her for this. She had to go and wake Gwiboon shortly, but what was she supposed to do when she saw her? What was she supposed to say? Should she behave like normal? But normally, to wake the younger girl, she’d go into her room and run her fingers lightly over her cheek until Gwiboon opened her eyes, gazing sleepily at her. She couldn’t do that now! Now…now it would mean
something. And that was dangerous.
But behaving differently would be suspicious as well.
Sighing, Eunsook climbed out of bed and went to the bathroom to wash her face. She supposed that she’d have to just wait and see. Maybe once she got there, she’d know what to do.
She could only hope.
Eunsook softly opened the door to Gwiboon’s bedroom, only to stop in surprise when she saw the other girl sitting primly on her bed, dressed and ready. This was definitely a first.
Gwiboon jumped at the sound of the door, whipping her head around to stare at Eunsook, making her nervous.
“You’re up early,” Eunsook observed, biting her lip and wishing that she had something more profound to say. Though she was pretty certain that most people didn’t say anything profound until ten o’clock at least.
“I…just woke up…so I decided I should get ready so we would be on time for breakfast for once.” Her smile was more timid than usual- her trademark confidence faded.
“Oh! Well…good! I’m hungry,” Eunsook replied, realizing after she had spoken that she wasn’t hungry at all. In fact, the thought of eating made her stomach twist.
“Or maybe I’m not,” Eunsook added, feeling even stupider. This was one of those situations where correcting yourself just makes you look like more of a fool. Gwiboon stared at her for a second before bursting into laughter- her real and uninhibited laughter. Eunsook sighed in relief as the tension drained out of the room.
“I don’t even know what to do with you,” Gwiboon chuckled, getting up and linking arms with the older girl, leading them out of her room and down toward the dining room. Eunsook followed her lead, feeling her cheeks burn from the feeling of Gwiboon’s slender arm wrapped around hers.
The day continued on normally- breakfast followed by wandering around the island, and then lunch. Currently, the two girls were playing poker with Jonghyun who was clearly getting bored without his friends or any grand parties.
“Lay ‘em down,” the boy ordered, proudly displaying his double aces. Eunsook showed her hand: nothing. She’d been bluffing. Jonghyun smirked at her, seeming proud of himself.
“Full house, you jerk,” Gwiboon announced, laying out her cards on the blanket they were sitting on.
“Yah!” Jonghyun squawked indignantly, immediately leaning over to inspect his sister’s hand. Sure enough, she had a full house.
“Read ‘em and weep Jjongie,” Gwiboon chirped, sweeping the pile of chips over to her spot on the blanket. Jonghyun pouted, grabbing the cards and shuffling the deck.
“I don’t understand how you always win at this,” he mumbled, dealing the cards once more.
Gwiboon looked up, catching Eunsook’s eye and smiling conspiratorially making the older girl cover her chuckle with her palm- cheeks pink. Gwiboon just loved to frustrate Jonghyun like this, so she always tried her hardest to beat him at anything he challenged her to. However, Eunsook felt like that look was a little more complicated than her usual ones.
All day she’d been carefully catching Eunsook’s gaze, a smile playing on her lips as her eyes crinkled and seemed as though they were looking right into Eunsook’s soul. The older girl would return the smile with pink-stained cheeks, her heart speeding up each time. It was as though Gwiboon was sharing a secret with her. And she knew just what secret that was: their kiss.
It seemed as though the younger girl was reminding her that they knew something that no one else was privy to- that they shared something that no one could touch. And it made Eunsook feel like her fluttering heart was in her throat, stomach also aflutter with the wings of tiny Gwiboon fairies.
It had been happening since breakfast; Gwiboon looking up from her food at Eunsook across the room, her eyes shining. She’d smiled like a mysterious feline during their walk and she’s let her gaze linger on Eunsook all through lunch. Truthfully, the older girl couldn’t help, but love the attention. However, said attention was causing her to forget what she was going to say. It caused her to drop things and trip over the carpet. It made her stumble when she spoke and caused her shoulder a great deal of discomfort when she’d hit it on the same doorframe twice.
But it was all worth it if Gwiboon kept looking at her like they were partners in crime with everyone else on the island oblivious.
“I think this should be the last hand,” Jonghyun announced, flipping over three cards in the middle of the blanket they had spread over the grass.
“You’re just saying that because you’re losing,” Gwiboon teased, sticking out her tongue at her brother who huffed and intently studied his cards.
“Dinner’s soon,” he mumbled, tossing a chip into the center defiantly as Gwiboon giggled and matched his bet without a second thought.
The sun had set an hour prior, leaving the sky dark and inky, bright stars glinting as though peeking through pinpricks in thick fabric. Crickets chirped from their positions in the grass and trees, hidden in the shadows.
It was cool that night- the sun having gone down and taken the heat with it. Breeze from the lake rolled over the island, ruffling the grass and leaves. But Eunsook was far from chilly. Her right side actually felt like it was on fire as she lay on her back with her arms folded behind her head- eyes staring upwards into the velvety night sky. Gwiboon was just inches away, lying in the same position and making the older girl’s heart pound despite her stillness.
Eunsook wanted to roll onto her side and drape an arm over the other girl’s waist and make sure she wasn’t cold. If she was, she could wrap her arms around her torso and pull her into her body, hopefully able to take the edge off the chill.
But instead she just lay quietly, eyes searching the deep abyss above her as though she would find clarity somewhere in the alignment of the stars. She felt as though she was hovering- floating midair between the way things had always been and…what she didn’t even allow herself to hope for.
She tried to push thoughts of their kiss the night before and Gwiboon’s pointed glances out of her mind, lest she smile like a complete fool and do something even stupider. She knew that the kiss wasn’t really anything. She knew that it wasn’t meant to change anything between them and that thinking otherwise would set herself up for a disappointment that she wasn’t prepared for.
But…there was a feeling of hope niggling at the corners of her brain that she just couldn’t shake no matter how much she rationalized everything that had happened that summer to herself. It persisted and crept further and further into her thoughts throughout the day, making her heart soar dangerously high.
“I don’t want this summer to end,” Gwiboon suddenly spoke, her quiet voice cutting through the night like a tinkling melody permeated a heavy silence.
“It’s only July,” Eunsook responded, wishing the very same thing, “There is plenty of summer left.”
“No,” Gwiboon responded right away, petulant, “It’s too short. It will end too quickly.”
She was right, Eunsook knew. But to agree would do nothing to brighten the other’s mood. And she hated to see the younger girl anything but blissful.
“I want to stay here with you,” Gwiboon said quietly, a hint of resentment in her voice. Eunsook felt her heart flip in her chest at the statement; wanting nothing more than to gather the other girl into her arms and keep her there forever.
“We have an eternity of summers,” she said instead.
“No,” Gwiboon said again, rolling over and staring at Eunsook’s profile, making the other girl turn over to meet her gaze. “I don’t want an eternity of summers. I just want an eternity.”
“You…what…” Eunsook felt like her head had been filled with helium and her mouth filled with cotton, “W-what do you-”
Before she could finish her shaky question, Gwiboon had leaned forward and pressed her lips against Eunsook’s, causing the older girl to gasp in surprise at the sudden action. But she could do nothing but reciprocate the kiss, feeling her heart pumping abnormally fast- slamming into her ribs so hard that she thought it would break through her chest.
Gwiboon pulled back, looking at Eunsook’s face with concentration- eyes full of questions and stubborn determination. Eunsook felt herself blushing under the gaze, suddenly all too aware of the strange way she was laying- shifting awkwardly without breaking eye contact.
“It’s not just me,” Gwiboon spoke quietly as though she was afraid that she would shatter the quiet that surrounded them, “I-it’s not just me.”
Eunsook shook her head, validating the statement, though it hadn’t been a question- her blood pumping erratically through her veins, making her head spin. Suddenly she forgot just where they were. She wasn’t aware of the time or the day. The slight chill from the grass under her hip was no longer seeping through the fabric of her dress.
She just stared into Gwiboon’s eyes, suddenly seeing everything that she felt- that she’d been feeling- reflected back at her. And with a start of comprehension, she realized that it had been there all along. It had been there forever. But she’d never noticed- she’d never really allowed herself to look.
But there it was. And now it was in the open, twisting in the air between them- shivering in the path of their mingling breaths. It was different now. So different. Everything that she’d thought she understood before was no longer how she had perceived. But it was the same. Because this was what was between them- what had always been between them. And to deny it or try to rationalize it away seemed like the most idiotic and pointless thing to do.
So when Gwiboon leaned in again, she didn’t hesitate to close the remaining space between them- their lips pressed together making warmth rush through her body and spread to the tips of her toes in her linen boots.
Reaching out, Eunsook cupped Gwiboon’s face in her clammy palms, trembling thumbs stroking the soft skin of the other’s cheeks. She pressed forward more at the soft sigh that escaped Gwiboon’s lips. Her fingers curled into the other girl’s soft ringlets as she scooted closer, heat enveloping her body.
Gwiboon parted her lips, tongue hesitantly darting out press at the seam of Eunsook’s lips making the older girl shiver and immediately comply with the unspoken request. Gwiboon gasped when she felt Eunsook’s tongue timidly meet her own and push into her mouth.
Eunsook could feel her body trembling at the gravity of the situation even though it still felt unreal, like a fantasy she’d have when she was half asleep and unable to filter her thoughts. But it was real- it was definitely real as she felt Gwiboon grasp at her forearms, fingers curling into her flesh.
She knew that they should talk about this- about this amazing thing that they’d discovered, but she found her hand curling around Gwiboon’s long, pale neck, pulling the other’s head even closer as her fingertips slip against the nape of her neck- feeling the rapid pulse. The next thing she knew, Gwiboon was crouched over her- their lips still connected in a kiss that was beginning to remind Eunsook of something they’d read in a romance novel.
Their tongues tangled together and it was kind of messy and new, but it was making sparks shoot through Eunsook’s body and she never wanted to stop. It was everything she’d wanted. She was kissing Gwiboon. She was with
Gwiboon. The younger girl was in her hands and she was eager and they were in love.
They were so in love. And even though they hadn’t said anything, she knew. She’d seen it in Gwiboon’s eyes; she could feel it in their kiss and in the desperate way the younger girl was grasping at her shoulders.
But as quickly as it had all begun, it ended abruptly at the yell of Jonghyun from the back door of the lodge telling Gwiboon that it was cold out and their mother wanted them both to go to bed.
Gwiboon sat up, next to Eunsook on the grass. She was panting and licking her swollen lips and she never looked away from the older girl’s face.
“I’ll be there in a second,” she yelled- the outburst breaking the trance that had settled over them.
“Gwiboon,” Eunsook found herself whispering, sitting up as well.
“I love you,” the younger girl burst out. But before Eunsook could reply, Gwiboon was standing up and running back toward the lodge.
Eunsook watched her go, wishing that they hadn’t been interrupted so that they could have maybe figured out what this all meant, but as she sat there with her heart swelling so much that it threatened to pop, she saw Gwiboon stop at the door and turn around and look back.
And though she could only see her silhouette, she could feel the smile that adorned the other girl’s face. So she smiled back, knowing that Gwiboon could feel it too.