“What is it like to be in love?”

“Free. It feels free, like there’s nothing that can stop me, nothing can hold me down.
It feels as if I can do anything because of love and I’m free of the fear of failure because,
even if I can’t do everything, at least at the end of the day,
there’s still me and him. When all else fails, love won’t.”

Reign on Me series

Monday, April 1, 2013

Shooting Star

words: 1738
rate: G

Inspired by this song

We had been best friends for far longer than I can even remember. I had grown up with no siblings and she had been the girl who lived conveniently next door. Our mothers had been friends and, so, whenever they visited with one another, we were often pushed together to play. 

I still remember when I first met her. She had been sitting on my living room couch dressed in a confection of pink frills with ribbons in her hair. She was so tiny and I recall thinking that I didn’t know they made people that small. I remember her expression seemed to mirror my own thoughts on the dress she wore, a small scowl twisting her little mouth.

“Ah, Siwon, there you are!” My mother had caught sight of me trying to furtively observe the battlefield before I walked in. She came over and tugged me into the room introducing me to her friend, our neighbour and, finally, to the little girl, “And, this is Taeyeon-sshi. Say hello.”

I looked over at her and I truly believed that the last thing she wanted was for me to say hello. And, so, I said the first thing that came to mind,

“That’s an ugly dress.”

My mother scolded me immediately, her mother gaped but, Taeyeon was different. 

She laughed.

That day seemed so long ago when she was five and I was a superior seven. Now, twenty years later, she is once again wearing a dress with frills, but they are white and larger and fall in soft waves around her like a milky river. There are ribbons in her hair again, but the ribbons are silver, braided like shining stars in the night sky of her raven locks which have been curled and pinned perfectly into place. But, I don’t even notice the dress because she’s smiling again and she looks so damn beautiful.

I hadn’t seen her all morning, but the moment the doors opened into the chapel and she stood there holding her father’s arm, I felt my breath immediately stolen from my lungs. She was radiant and, as the sun shone from behind her, her skin was kissed with its soft glow. As she slowly made her way down the aisle, I realized it was more than her entrance that had captivated me so. No, it was the smile on her face that drew my eye and held my attention so wholly. Her smile was like the sun, so bright and dazzling. Her eyes shone and my heart seemed to skip a beat every time I looked at the love there.

She was so exquisite that I never even heard her say the necessary vows. Instead, I heard the beautiful melody of her voice as it wrapped around me and embrace me as it always did all our years together.

The first kiss after the ceremony concluded reminded me of our first kiss. We had been in middle school, she was twelve and I was fourteen and graduating. I had already had my first brush with girls and crushes and the flimsy example of middle-school dating. She, however, was still innocent of all that, inexperienced of love and the opposite sex. Despite this, on my last day of middle school, after the graduation ceremony, I took her aside. She stood before me with a small bouquet in her arms meant for me as she looked up at me, a puzzled expression on her face.

“Siwon? What’s wrong?”

“I like you, Taeyeon,” I somehow managed, my hands fisted at my sides as I felt my cheeks heat up with embarrassment.

“I like you, too, Siwon,” she replied almost flippantly and I knew she misunderstood.

“No, Taeyeon,” I reached out and grabbed her shoulders. I leaned down and pressed my lips against her in a short and sweet kissed. It had been over as fast as it began, but it was enough to convey all my feelings to her. As I pulled away and stared down at her, I repeated, “I like you.”

She blushed then and handed me the flowers.

And, now, she holds a different bouquet in her hands, but those she will throw for the single females to catch. To me, she is still the most beautiful flower.

The reception is crowded and noisy, the ballroom decorated in shades of white and deepest blue with highlights of silver. The music is playing on the sound system as a DJ stands in the corner with his equipment, giving a mix of fast and slow songs for the guests to listen to. I hear the strands of a familiar song and immediately seek her out. I find her surrounded by her bridesmaids as they return from the washroom. Her bridesmaids part like the Red Sea and give me a clear path to her. 

She looks up at me with stars in her eyes as I approach her and hold out my hand,

“May I have this dance?” I ask formally even as my smile is affectionate.

She places her hand in mind and squeezes it lightly, “You never have to ask,” she smiles as she lets me lead her to the dance floor where couples are already gathering.

I pull her before me, holding onto her right hand as my right hand is braced securely against the small of her back. Her left hand lays warm against my shoulder and I can feel it branding me with its heat even through the jacket of my suit. I begin to lead her into a simple circle, our bodies moving and swaying to the gentle bars of the music, the piano instrumental filling the ballroom.

“You look beautiful, Taeyeon,” I say simply, “You take my breath away.”

She looks up at me with that smile still on her face as she replies warmly, “You clean up pretty good yourself, Siwon.” Her smile takes on an impish nature as she adds, “I had forgotten how handsome you look in a suit.”

“The first time was on our first date, do you remember?” I ask lightly,

She’s grinning now, “How could I forget? We were both so nervous and it was my first date. You came to pick me up and I was dressed in jeans and you had come in a full suit and tie.” She laughed softly, “We were so green back then, Siwon. I think our mothers despaired of us ever maturing into the adults we are now.”

“I think your mother despaired far more than mine,” I replied with mock-hauteur, “At least mine never complained I might never get married.”

“Mom did become quite vocal about that during high school, didn’t she?” Taeyeon mused. She sighs softly as she leans her head against my shaoulder, “It’s been so long since I last heard this song. I’ve forgotten how much I loved it.”

“We used to dance to it all the time,” I reminded quietly, relishing in the closeness of our bodies, in the warmth she radiated and I soaked up greedily. 

“Why did we stop dancing to it?” She asked, genuine curiosity in her voice,

“Because we stopped dating,” I said softly, feeling my heart contract painfully with those words.

Slowly, she lifted her head from my shoulder and looked up at me, “But even if we broke up, we still remained best friends. We could have still danced as we do right now.”

I smile then and know from the flash of apology in her eyes that my smile must be rueful; “Because everything was still raw after we ended things. It would have been too painful to hold you and not have you.”

Like it is now.

She is quiet as she thinks on my words. Finally, she says, “Then, I’m glad we can dance again, Siwon.”

I smile back, “I’m glad, too.”

We fall into a comfortable silence then, our song playing all around us and, to me, everyone fades into the background. The girl who had been my best friend who became the woman I love was dancing in my arms and, despite it being her wedding day, it was still a perfect moment for me.

“I’m sorry I broke your heart all those years ago,” I suddenly apologize, the words spilling from my lips before I can stop them. 

She jolts to a sudden stop before continuing on in our dance as if nothing is wrong. She briefly looks away but I see the light of old pain flash through her eyes, “I know.”

“If I hadn’t ended things then, do you think we would have gotten married? Would this have been our song and our dance?” I ask even as I’m screaming in my mind to stop talking, to stop asking questions with answers that will surely break me upon hearing them.

“Yes,” she answers almost automatically, her gaze still avoiding mine, “Had we never broken up, I truly believe that we would have been together forever as a couple. We love each other too much to ever say goodbye.”

“And, yet, we did say goodbye to our relationship,” I counter gently,

“But we didn’t say goodbye to our friendship. Our love has changed again, but that does not diminish it,” she looks at me once again and I feel my heart stutter, “Married or not, you are my best friend, Siwon and I will always love you.”

I smile as best I can as the music tapers and we slowly come to a stop. She loves me with all the love of a friend and, even though we have kissed in the past, I know she sees me as nothing more as an older brother now. I hold her hand for just a fraction longer as I lean towards her and press a kiss to her forehead, pretending my affection is familial only. Then, I steel my heart and lead her off the dance floor and to her new husband’s side. 

He greets me like a brother-in-law, completely confident in my platonic relationship with his new wife. Another slow song begins to play and he leads Taeyeon back to the dance floor as I remain where I stand and watch them. They begin a dance and, to me, it’s as if they are wiping away the memory of the dance I had just shared and replacing it with another memory, a better one.

I will always love you, too. I whisper in my mind as I finally turn away. I melt into the crowd as my heart remains on the dance floor in the arms of another man like a shooting star I failed to wish upon.



Anonymous said...

Should've expected this from Cheonsa. ;)

Bittersweet but... I can still see them dancing.

Anonymous said...

So, so, saaad.

myeongwol07 said...

aawww..!! I thought..aww c`mon..awww is all I can say..! ^-^