The two Korean women sit on the couch of Grace and Jamie’s apartment. Jamie comes out of the bedroom and closes it behind him. Grace stands behind the island watching Jamie get everyone situated.
Jamie: Bags are in the room, you both are more than welcome to get comfortable…
Mina: Thank you, sorry if we ruined your night out.
Jamie: Aniyo, I apologize for not being more prepared.
Mina smiles at Jamie and then at Grace. Grace anxiously stands behind the counter, watching the encounter.
Lia: May I use the restroom?
Jamie: Yeah, the bathroom is to your left.
Lia gets up from the sofa and walks towards the bathroom. Mina says something in Korean to her brother, in which he also responds in Korean. Grace turns around and starts to boil some hot water, bothered that the siblings are not talking in English anymore.
Suddenly, Lia comes back into the living room area, clearly confused.
Lia: Jaemin-ah, are we aunts?
Jamie: *surprised* Mwo? (What?)
Lia: There’s a baby room next to the bathroom.
Mina: Jaemin-ah, you had a baby and didn’t even tell your family?
Grace finally steps up and speaks.
Grace: No, no; I have a daughter. That’s my daughter’s room.
Mina and Lia both exhale a sigh of relief. Grace is relieved that the tension in the room dies down. Grace comes over to the coffee table and places a kettle of water and teabags on a tray.
Lia: Thank you so much, Grace! You didn’t have to.
Grace: You’re our guests! I wish I had some type of pastry to have with the tea.
Mina: American snacks are known to be too sugary and sweet.
Jamie gives Mina the side-eyes as Grace nervously pours hot water into tea cups.
Lia: So, is it normal to be all dressed up at the airport to pick people up?
Grace: *laughs* No, no… we were at an event this evening.
Lia: The dress is really pretty, Grace.
Grace: *shyly* Thank you.
Mina gets up and walks to the bedroom and closes the door behind her. Grace looks at her while she does so.
Lia: She’s not a night person, don’t mind her.
Grace doesn’t say anything. Jamie walks to the room that Mina walked in. Grace watches.
In the room, Jamie closes the door behind him. Mina opens her suitcase.
Mina: Just because we’re in America, doesn’t mean you don’t respect me.
Mina: Is this what you came to live in America for? To be some American girl’s babysitter?
Jamie: *defensive* She has a name, noona, and quite frankly this is her apartment and her room you’re staying in for the time being.
Mina: Make it make sense, Jaemin-ah. How were you able to give up so much back home and be… here?
Jamie: Mina, you haven’t been here for more than an hour and you think you already have this idea on how my life is like here? Is that the only reason why you came here? To judge me?
Mina: I came to see my brother, since he so abruptly left home to come here.
Jamie: Be nice, noona. Grace is a good person.
Mina: You said the same thing about Seohyun.
Jamie: *angry* That was different, okay? Grace isn’t like that.
Mina: Hmm. Possibly worse? She is American…
Jamie rolls his eyes and stares at Mina. She’s not letting off about this topic.
Outside in the living room area, Lia and Grace silently sit on the sofa. Lia turns her head to start the conversation with Grace.
Lia: So have you lived in New York your whole life?
Grace: Most of it, not all of it.
Lia looks out of the window into the city lights.
Lia: It’s so beautiful. It definitely reminds me of Seoul; busy and full of lights.
Grace smiles. She takes a sip from her tea.
Lia: Are you and Jaemin a couple?
Grace nervously laughs.
Grace: We are. Jamie, uhh, Jaemin lives with me as well.
Lia: And you said you had a daughter, right?
Grace: Yeah! Her name is Willow.
Grace smiles and the two women sit in the living room silent until Lia speaks again.
Lia: I’m sorry about my sister. She’s a hard person to adjust to things.
Grace: I see…
Lia: Do you have any siblings?
Grace: Uhm, no… it’s just me.
Grace laughs at the response.
Lia: Seriously though, Don’t read into Mina’s behavior.
Grace doesn’t say in return; she sits and ponders in thought until the door of the bedroom opens. Jamie looks okay; no signs of distress whatsoever. The two ladies in the living room look back at Jamie.
Jamie: Noona, the room is ready if you’ll like to rest for the night.
Lia gets up from the sofa.
Lia: Thank you for letting us stay here while we get our hotel situation sorted out.
Grace smiles and Lia walks into the room. She looks at Jamie, who is clearly exhausted.
Blankets and pillows are surrounded on the living room floor. Grace and Jamie lay in them together, staring up at the ceiling, clearly wide awake.
Grace: The last time I slept on the floor was at a sleepover when I was, like, 7.
Jamie: It’s pretty common for me to sleep on the floor whenever I visited my mom’s place. I told you that you could sleep on the sofa; I’m okay here on the floor.
Grace rolls her onto her stomach to face Jamie.
Grace: I can’t sleep if you’re not next to me though.
Jamie smiles the thought. He brings her closer to him.
Grace: I think your sister Mina hates me.
Jamie: Why’d you think that?
Grace: She just seemed very distant with me. I mean sure, we just met and all, but it seemed like sehe didn’t even want to be near me.
Jamie: *sigh* Mina is… traditional. She wasn’t on board with me coming here and leaving Korea. She has opinions, but she shouldn’t make you feel bad or anything of that sort.
Grace still looks worried.
Jamie: There’s nothing that you did wrong, Gracie.
Grace: I know, but those are your older sisters. I would want them to like me.
Jamie: Mina will come around.
The living room goes silent until Grace asks a question.
Grace: What were you guys talking about in the room?
Jamie: *dumbfounded* Nothing.
Jamie: We didn’t speak about anything important.
Grace: She hates me, doesn’t she?
Jamie doesn’t say anything, the silence makes Grace’s suspicions true.
Grace: Oh my god, your sister hates me!
Jamie: She doesn’t hate you! She’s just… an older sister.
Grace covers her face.
Grace: Your sister hates me, Jamie.
Jamie: Don’t say that! I’ll talk to her later this week. In the meantime, let’s just make the best of their time here.
Jamie kisses Grace on the forehead and puts his arm around her. Grace tries to sleep away the worry.