It seems like Grace is always ruining something.
I don’t know what got into her tonight. One minute we’re out in the rain, dancing and kissing each other; the next she’s slamming the bedroom door and locking it behind her. I should’ve called out for her. I should’ve tried to get into the room to talk to her. I simply didn’t want to. I was actually annoyed with Grace after she stormed off.
Grace and I have been on pretty good terms since I came back. We both know there’s some unspoken conversations that need to be had, but for the most part, we’re doing good. Really good, actually.
But I couldn’t help but notice Grace’s behavior sometimes. She gets even more anxious whenever I want to talk to her in a more serious matter. Mornings when I go into the office, she gets really sad. And I know she constantly is worried about me having to back to Korea one day. Sometimes, I feel as if she’s counting down the days and gets more stressed about it as they pass.
I had to step away from the house for a bit to clear my head and gather my thoughts. I went to the cafe; it was the only place I knew to go at this hour of the day. I sat in the same place I met Grace almost a year ago. It’s crazy; how this time last year I didn’t even know Grace existed; I didn’t know that the love of my life was in New York City, at this cafe, buried in her paperwork. It makes me smile; it’s crazy how much life will pull you towards in the direction it wants you to go in.
The fact of the matter is, I was finally ready tonight. I finally built up the courage to ask her to be my girlfriend. I showed her my favorite spot in the city; my secret spot that I go when life gets a little too stressful for me. I came back for her, left my life in Korea to create a life here with her. She still doesn’t see that.
Am I doing something wrong? Am I not showing her enough? What more do I need to do in order to show her I love her? I closed my eyes and saw the four seasons pass by; I found her in the summer, fell in love with her in the fall, left her in the winter, died for her in the Spring, and came back for her in the summer again.
I opened my eyes, still angered by the thought that Grace still thinks I would leave her. That I didn’t love her enough to stay. That I’m just here for a while, go back, and forget about Grace.
But I can’t. I can’t just go back and live my life like it was before. I can’t go to sleep at night without smelling Grace’s apple shampoo in her hair. I can’t not wake up in the morning with her red hair all over my hoodie she sleeps in. I can’t come home from work and not have her there excited to spend the night with me. I can’t go about my life without the things that Grace added to it. It’s those things that are now my favorite things.
I grabbed the coffee I was drinking and tossed it in the garbage before leaving the cafe.
It started to rain again, and I tried to get back to the apartment as quickly as possible before the storm got worse. I made it to the apartment building soaked from the rain, but I didn’t care. I walked past the front desk and into the elevator to go back up to Grace.
I unlocked the door, and called out for Grace. There wasn’t an answer. I walked over to the bedroom door and twisted the doorknob, and to my surprise the door opened. I slowly opened the bedroom door and saw Grace sleeping in bed. She looked peaceful, but I noticed her eyes were puffy and her face was stained with tears. She had been crying, and I feel horrible knowing she was crying because of me. I didn’t want to disturb her, so I changed out of my wet clothes into something more dry and comfortable. I climbed into the bed beside her and instantly fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning with Grace’s side of the bed being empty. I quickly got up, in hopes that Grace was still here. I looked at the balcony area when I saw something move. It was Grace. I slowly walked to the balcony and slid the door open. Grace looked at me, and then looked out into the city. The sun was barely coming up.
“Hey, Gracie.” I greeted. She didn’t say anything back. I took a deep breath and let it out; the crisp fall morning air being visible.
“Grace, I’m sorry that I upset you last night. I didn’t–” I began until she interrupted me.
“You didn’t do anything wrong. I freaked out over nothing.” She admitted. I listened to her as she spoke; I didn’t want to speak over her if she needed to say something important. Grace only speaks if it’s something important, so when she does, I try my hardest to let her figure her thoughts out and speak out everything.
She finally looked up at me.
“I just get nervous. I know how it feels when someone is about to leave your life. I’ve had it done one too many times to me,” She stated. She sighed before continuing. “And I guess… I guess I’m just afraid that one day you will leave me too.” She spoke it into the air instead of at me.
I had to do this. I had to show her that she’s worth more than what she thinks she is.
“Gracie,” I started as I reached out for her hand. “I won’t leave you. I promise I won’t leave you as long as I can stay here. I plan to stay here for awhile too.” I said. “And,” I continued. She looked at me, confused.
This is it.
“I’ve been wanting to talk to you about something important.” I mentioned. She didn’t know what I was talking about. She seemed nervous.
“Don’t worry,” I smiled and reassured her. I took in a deep breath and paced myself when finally saying this. I really hope she says yes.
“Joahae… ani; saranghamnida.” I nervously said. Grace looked at me, trying to figure out what I was saying. I looked up at her. Tell her.
“I love you, Grace,” I admitted. She looked at me in shock. I started to regret even saying anything. She hasn’t said it back, and half of me wishes I waited. She faintly smiled at me and before she was even able to say anything, I spoke.
“I–” I began to get flustered. I can feel my face getting red and hot. I then saw Grace smile in amusement; I couldn’t tell if she was smiling at me or to me.
She got up from her seat and crossed her arms on her chest.
“Jamie Kim, are you asking me to be your girlfriend?” she playfully asked. Aigoo, Grace. She came up to me and tussled with my hair. I felt like I was in high-school again in that moment.
But she put her arms around me and looked up at me. She was… happy. I couldn’t help but smile back at her.
“I would love o be your girlfriend, Jamie.” She softly said. I couldn’t imagine ever being Grace Ashmore’s boyfriend. The fiery redhead that was tough-as-nails and headstrong. The beautiful and talented woman that she is, is now my girlfriend. I couldn’t help but just grab her and kiss her hard on the lips. She didn’t protest, and once we broke up our kiss, she looks up at me and pulled me into the apartment.
Back in her bedroom, she pulled me on the bed and went to lay down on her side of the bed. I got into bed with her and held her in my arms, and fell asleep.
Grace Ashmore, girlfriend of Jamie Kim.