“Will you ever find me, Jamie?” Grace said as she ran playfully through the busy streets of New York City. I tried to navigate towards the people slowly walking through the sidewalk, frantically trying to keep up with Grace.
“Grace?” I call out for her. I don’t hear her voice anymore, only the busy chatter and car horns that surround the city life. I stand in the middle of the street, circling around and trying to find Grace. I yell out her name at the top of my lungs, and I still feel like it’s too loud for me to be heard.
I wake up in a puddle of my own sweat. My neck is drenched, and my throat is dry. I look at the clock on my nightstand, which reads 7AM. I take in a deep sigh and get out of bed, walking towards the kitchen.
When I walk into the kitchen, Shawn and Kevin are surprisingly up, eating a quick breakfast and drinking coffee. Shawn turns around from the stove to see Jamie.
“Look who finally decided to wake up!” Shawn teases. I go and sit next to Kevin on the island.
“Ya,” I said, half awake. “You’re never awake this early. What’s the sudden change?”
“We have plans today,” Kevin responded back. “So I forced him up to make breakfast and get himself together.”
Shawn places a mug filled with coffee in front of Jamie, who then proceeds to prepare it how he likes it.
“Oh? Where are you guys going?” I asked.
“What do you mean? You’re coming with us, Hyung,” Kevin answered. I looked over at Kevin, clearly confused.
“What?” I take a sip of the coffee. I place it down quickly. Shawn always makes the coffee a bit too bitter, but knowing that he’s up this early; I understand why.
“Yeah, you don’t think you’re exempt from doing all the cool things while we’re here, right?” Kevin honestly asked, which made Shawn laugh. Kevin doesn’t even react, he just keeps typing on his phone, possibly to his girlfriend.
“So, where would you thinking of going?” I said, sipping the bitter coffee. I placed it down after having a couple of sips; it was waking me up in ways I didn’t know I could be woken up.
“To the pier! It’s not going to be that hot today so we were going to the pier and the beach!” Shawn said, excited. Kevin finally places his phone down, looking at us for the first time since being in here. I look at him.
“How’s Joo-Ah?” I asked. Kevin’s face flashed red. That man is in love. It must be nice to have that going for him. Kevin nods his head before speaking.
“She’s doing well. Joo-Ah and my family went out to dinner tonight,” Kevin said, smiling for the first time today. I smiled back at him.
“That’s good that she can be with your family while you’re here,” I reassured him. Shawn turns around to face us opposite of the island.
“Kevin’s gonna marry her,” Shawn teased in English.
“Hyung!” Kevin called out. Shawn starts to laugh and Kevin’s face flashes red once again. I shake my head and get off the barstool to walk out of the kitchen.
“Well, if we’re all going out together, then you both better be ready by the time I am,” I said as I walked towards back towards my room.
I entered my room and go through the dresser draws to pick out today’s outfit. The Jamie that first came to the states would not understand why I now own a pair of blue, distressed jeans and floral button-down camper shirts.
“You don’t own a pair of blue jeans?” Grace asked as she went through my closet one night. I leaned against the doorframe of my bedroom with my arms crossed across my chest.
“I have no reason to own a pair,” I responded back. Grace scrolls through the hangers of all my bottoms, which were more so slacks and trousers. She turns around and looks at me, completely at awe.
“Jamie,” she simply said.
“What?!” I couldn’t help but laugh at Grace and how serious she looked.
“You’re too fine to just be giving us business casual all the time,” Grace admitted. Her honesty made my face flash red. She walked towards me and runs her fingers through my blonde hair. “Even the most successful people have to let their hair down and let loose.” I couldn’t help but smile down at her.
“Are you telling me that our night date has to be just casual wear?” I teased back.
“Casual wear for the evening, and nothing after hours,” Grace playfully responded. I laughed out loud, always amazed at what words come out of this spunky woman’s mouth.
I put on the distressed blue jeans and floral camper shirt. Reaching in my top drawer for my sunglasses, I come across the bracelet that Grace got for me for Christmas… the first time I was in New York City. I don’t wear it as much as I used to, but I also can’t find myself leaving behind in Korea, or anywhere for that matter. I felt like I had to bring with me no matter where I went.
I have it out of the satin pouch and hold it up. It was a simple silver chain with a clasp at the ends. I place it around my wrist, deciding that today I would take it around; take her around the pier. I know she would’ve loved it.