The "Something" Series

Something like an Uncomfortable Memory: A Scene.

The Dance Movement

One year ago…

The lights go on in a dance studio. Laughing is heard coming from the hall, walking into the dance studio. Grace walks in first, holding someone’s arm from outside of the door. Grace giggles and pulls the person into the dance studio. Jamie walks into the studio, looking around the newly-opened dance studio.

Grace: So… how do you like it?

Jamie: It looks great. You really got this place together in time for opening.

Grace wraps her arms around Jamie’s waist. Jamie smiles down to Grace.

Grace: Thank you. I was worried that I wasn’t.

Jamie: *smiles* Nevertheless, you’re ready.

Grace releases Jamie and begins to spin around the dance studio. Jamie watches on.

Grace: Let me teach you a dance!

Jamie: What?

Grace runs to Jamie to grab him by the arms towards the middle of the dance studio.

Grace: C’mon, I can teach you something simple!

Jamie: Jagiya, you know I can’t dance. *laughs* I literally have two left feet.

Grace: Just a few steps, please?

Grace pouts her lips, in which Jamie laughs and caves in.

Jamie: Alright, alright. Teach me a dance.

Grace excitingly bounces and rushes over to the studio stereo.

Grace: Alright, so just follow after me, okay?

Jamie nods and Grace turns on the music. The music is fast and upbeat, and Grace goes some hip-hop dance moves to the music. Jamie watches, shocked at the choice of dance. After Grace stops, she looks over at Jamie, smiling.

Grace: You’re ready?

Jamie: *baffled* Jagiya…

Grace: What?!

Jamie: *chuckles* I can’t dance like that.

Grace: Of course you can! You just gotta…

Grace walks behind Jamie and looses his hips up. He’s taken by surprise.

Grace: … loosen up a bit. Come on!

Grace turns on the music and hypes up Jamie. His face turns red and doesn’t do it. Grace pauses the music and and looks at Jamie.

Grace: *sighs* Jamie.

Jamie: What?!

Grace: Just try it one time and I won’t ever make you dance again. Pretty please?

Grace playfully begs until Jamie caves in. Grace excitedly plays the music, and Jamie awkwardly dances the hip-hop steps. He smiles in embarrassment, but he doesn’t stop dancing. Once the dance is over, Grace turns off the music and runs to hug Jamie. He accepts her with open arms.

Grace: You did so good! And you thought you wouldn’t do good!

Jamie smiles and kisses Grace on the lips in the middle of the studio.

Present day…

Grace comes into the studio with her coat covered in snow. She puts down her things and sees the lights to the studio on. Confused, Grace walks to the studio and opens the door. She releases her breath when she sees Max and Willow in the studio.

Willow turns around and runs to Grace to hug her legs. Grace hugs Willow, and then looks back up to Max.

Grace: Sorry I’m late, the subway has some delays from the snow…

Max: It’s fine, I just have to make it to an important… meeting…

Grace: In the middle of a snowstorm?

Max doesn’t say anything back, he just takes in a deep breath.

Max: I don’t know why I can’t just tell you this…

Grace: Tell me what?

Max takes a moment to gather his thoughts and his words. He looks at race while doing so.

Max: I’ve… met this woman at work.

Grace cocks her eyebrows up; she had no idea he was interested in another woman. She slightly feels a tug at her heart.

Grace: Oh?

Max: Her name is Mariam… we’ve been dating for a couple of months now, and her family is in town.

Grace smiles through the conversation but feels extremely uncomfortable to see her ex-fiancee talk about another woman. She feels perplexed by the information.

Grace: That sounds great. I’m happy for you, Max.

Max: *smiles* Thank you. It really means a lot.

Max checks the time on his cell phone and gathers his things to leave. He walks over to Willow to kiss her goodbye. Grace smiles at the interaction. Max gets up and gives Grace a hug goodbye. Grace stares into space, not taking in much around her.

When Max leaves, Willow begins to skip around the studio as Grace watches on.

Grace: Hey, Willy?

Willow looks over to her mom, curious.

Willow: Yes, Mama?

Grace: Do you wanna learn some new dance moves today?

Willow runs towards her mother and stands in front of her mother, facing the mirror with Grace. Grace smiles big, holding her daughter’s shoulders.

Grace: Okay. Let’s start with this move.

Grace does a simple leap from the ground, and her daughter mimics it. Grace then connects the leap with another move to it, making sure Willow could follow along. The mother-daughter duo spend the rest of the afternoon dancing during the snowy, winter day.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, The "Something" Series

Something’s in Retrograde: Their Monologues.

Nothing had changed about her. Her hair was still a fire red. Curly and messy. It was shorter, but still styled in the Grace Ashmore way. I reached down for her hand. I wasn’t sure if she would take it; I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t. I’m literally her ex that she probably thought she would never see ever again. Yet here we are.

I almost dropped her when she grabbed onto my hand to help her get up. I pulled her up as she got balanced on her feet. She’s wearing heels. She’s wearing heels. I gave her the remaining papers that I picked up from the floor. She looked at me, not saying anything. I waited for her to leave; it’s what she was probably going to do anyway. But she didn’t. She just stood there, speechless.

“Can we get another order of what Grace was having?” I said to the guy behind the counter. He nodded and began to make another drink for her. I took out my wallet and took the money out for the drink. She could’ve left at any given time since I helped her up from the ground. But she stayed.

“Do you want to sit?” I asked her. She still hasn’t said anything, and it’s nearly killing me. I haven’t heard her voice in almost a year and never thought I’d be even in the same room as her, let alone get the opportunity to sit with her at the cafe, where we met almost two years ago.

She still didn’t say anything, she just sat at the table, our table. The guy calls out Grace’s concoction of a drink, in which I walked up to the counter to pick it up.

“You’re Jamie?” the guy whispers to me. I looked at him perplexed.

“I am,” I answered. The guy nods his head and gets some tissues and a lid for the drink.

“Hopefully this is the last I see of Grace like this,” he said in a more serious tone than before. I take the drink and tissues and take it to Grace. Did she talk about me?

I sat at the table across from Grace and handed her the drink. She took it, still not saying a word, and began to sip on it. I looked at her while she drank. Am I really sitting across from her?

“How have you been?” I finally asked. She looked at me, in deep thought. I wanted nothing more to hear her voice. I also couldn’t help but ask, and a part of me wish I didn’t.

“How’s little bean?” I asked, smiling. Grace began to gather her things to walk out of the cafe. “Wait, Grace!” I called out for her, but she didn’t turn around. It felt inappropriate to go after her. She’s not yours anymore.

The guy behind the counter must’ve seen her walk out the door, because it wasn’t long after until he came walking to where I was sitting. Aigoo, am I getting kicked out? God knows what this man knows about me. I looked at him as he sat in the seat Grace was sitting at before.

“She’s been running out of here for as long as I’ve known her,” the guy said.

“Does she run often?” I stupidly asked. Of course she did. She always runs.

“Only when she’s running late to work, never after a hangover,” he stated. I leaned back on the seat, trying to put it all together. Was I just wasting my time?

“She would talk about you a lot when she comes in here drunk,” he randomly said out loud. I looked at him, waiting for him to continue his thought. He looked at me and takes in a deep breath, followed by a sigh. He gets up and takes the drink from the table.

“What would she say?” I asked out of the blue. Here I am, in this goddamn cafe, asking a complete stranger about the woman I couldn’t stop thinking about since going back to Korea last year. He turned around and just stares at me.

“Maybe you should ask her, sonny,” he answered. Before I began to plead for some answers, I vote against it; Grace is not yours anymore.

I get up from the table and walk past the guy and out of the cafe. The air hits my chest harder than usual. I need to talk to her. I had an idea, although it would be slightly invasive, I know I needed to do it. I couldn’t stay in New York without knowing about Grace.

I followed a woman to a door in a long hallway. Not much of this place has changed, just the people who occupy these offices. The woman knocks on a door that is labeled, Arissa Johnson, Esq.

“Ms. Johnson? You have a visitor,” the woman says as she opens the door. Once Ari sees me, her face instantly changes.

“Bitch, it’s too early to go for lunch yet,” Ari says, straightening out the papers on her desk. I remember when I would constantly do the same every morning, in hopes that they stayed together as the day go. Maybe it’s some lawyer shit that they all do. I look at the woman, whose eyes widen at the change in Ari’s voice. I guess Ari noticed and began to clear her throat.

“Thank you, Kim,” Ari said without any tone in her voice. The door closes behind me, and Ari doesn’t wait to start off the conversation.

“You’re never here this early unless Bernie calls and says you’re drunk,” Ari said, clearly surprised at my presence. I took in a deep breath, not knowing how the hell I was going to word this next part.

I sit down at the chair across from her desk. Ari doesn’t notice that I haven’t said much until she stops what she’s doing. She looks at me when she does.

“You good?” Ari finally asks me. I shift in my seat, trying to make myself comfortable before I say what I need to say. Ari grows more concerned the longer I take to answer.

“Grace?” Ari questions.

“I saw Jamie today at the cafe,” I finally blurted out.

The "Something" Series, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2021

Day 10: Something Brings Us Here: A Scene.

New York City - Snowy Night in the East Village | May your C… | Flickr

One Year Ago…

Grace paces back and forth in her apartment. Her phone sits on the kitchen counter; she checks it every now and then, waiting for it to light up. She wipes her tired eyes and shakes her arms. She immediately looks at her phone, which is now lit up and vibrating. She walks to the counter and picks up the phone; the screen reads “Jamie”.

Grace: Hello?

Jamie: *sarcastically* Is this actually my jagiya talking to me on the phone?

Grace doesn’t react; she stands there with tears forming at her eyes. Jamie notices the tension.

Jamie: … Is everything okay, Grace?

Grace squeezes her eyes shut, she still hasn’t said anything.

Jamie: *worried* Grace? Grace??

Grace: *spits out* What?

Jamie: Are you okay? Is now not a good time? I just–

Grace: *annoyed* When is it ever a good time? You live all the way across the fucking world, so when is ever going to be the right fucking time for us?

Jamie: *confused* What?

Grace: I’m tired, Jamie. It’s about to be midnight here and I need to get up early to get to the studio. So, what is it?

Jamie is taken back, he is heard trying to form a sentence to respond back with.

Jamie: This is the first time I’m able to reach you in weeks. I have the time, I make time for you. I can’t say the same for you though, Grace.

Grace: Are you fucking serious right now? I have a life, Jamie.

Jamie: And what is mine? Worthless? Grace, I’ve been trying to talk to you for weeks! How is our only form of communication is just text messages? You’re my girlfriend, I would love to hear your voice! See you on video call every once and awhile! I’m starting to feel like you’re hiding something from me.

Grace clenches her stomach and silently tears up. She opens her eyes, in rage.

Grace: If you really think I’d hide something from you, then why are you still trying to be with me? Clearly I’m not; I can’t imagine how a relationship could even work out like this! You can’t be here to comfort me, to hold me, or even be there for me when I need you to be! So, what’s really keeping us together? Nothing.

Nothing is said on the line, just complete silence.

Jamie: … If this isn’t what you want anymore, then who am I to force you to do anything.

Grace: *furious* That’s it? You’re just gonna let me go like that? You’re just like every other fucking person I met in my life! Just so fucking easy to let me go and act like nothing has ever happened! You said you were gonna stay here with me, and lied about that – and now you’re just gonna let me break up with you?!

Jamie: What the fuck am I suppose to say, Grace?! This doesn’t even feel like a relationship anymore! I’m sorry that I couldn’t keep my promise and stay with you; this is something I have no control over, but answering your calls and making time for us is something we have control over, and you’ve been choosing to keep me in the dark!

Grace doesn’t anything, she just cries to herself.

Jamie: Maybe we should break up.

Grace: Maybe? We should. Goodbye.

Grace hangs up the phone and begins to cry. She tosses her phone on the counter and grabs the medical papers; they are from Planned Parenthood. She rips them up and tosses them in her kitchen.

Grace wakes up in a cold sweat. She looks around her apartment; she fell asleep on her couch. Her head is pounding. She gets up and walks to her kitchen. She looks for the coffee tin, which to her surprise is empty. Grace sighs and tosses the empty tin out. She grabs her wallet and keys and puts her heels back on and walks out the front door.

It’s about 2am in the city. There are still people out, but the streets aren’t as busy during the winter nights. She walks until she reaches her destination; the cafe.

She swings open the door and walks towards the counter. Bernie, the overnight barista, greets Grace.

Bernie: It’s been a hot minute since we saw you in here at this hour, sweetie.

Grace: Out of coffee at my house. Had to come out for the next best thing.

Bernie: You mean the best thing, I don’t know what kind of shit coffee you drink in your home.

Grace nods in agreement. Bernie prepares Grace’s drink.

Bernie: Am I making this for the sober or hungover Grace?

Grace: Hungover.

Bernie: Sweetie… we have to stop meeting uder these circumstances.

Grace: Work at normal hours.

Bernie laughs and makes Grace her coffee for the night. He hands the drink to Grace while she takes out her card from her wallet.

Bernie: *shakes head* This one is on the house.

Grace: You sure?

Grace takes a sip front her coffee and instantly coughs.

Bernie: Positve!

Grace gives Bernie a stern look and walks away from the counter to sit in her usual spot. She takes out her folders of work: notes for choreo, costume designs, and miscellaneous documents. She sips on her overly strong coffee and gets to work.

Grace hears Bernie talking to another customer; an early bird on her way to work. She remembers when she would make the trip here to get her morning coffee on her way to the law firm. She sometimes misses it, but remembers the hurt being at the firm brought her. Another customer walks in, and Grace curiously looks at who may be the cause of another late-night visitor. Her eyes widen when she sees the tall man at the counter, ordering the coffee order she knows by heart.

She tries to quickly gather her papers and sneak her way out of the cafe. She doesn’t want anyone seeing her here, at this hour, this unprepared. She takes a deep breath, maybe she’s just imagining things. Still, she tries to sneak out of the cafe; better safe than sorry.

She makes it close to the door until she feels her ankle buckle from the heels she is wearing. She stumbles on the ground, making a huge scene in the cafe. Bernie looks at Grace, and the man standing in front of the counter turns around now. Grace looks up at the man.

Jamie looks down at Grace. Nothing is said between them.

Bernie: The amount of times you’ve tripped and fell in this damn cafe, Grace! My goodness, are you alright?

Grace doesn’t say anything, she just begins to pick up her paperwork. Jamie, who now has brown hair in comparison to the blonde hair he once had, kneels down on the floor and begins to help her.

The "Something" Series, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2021

Day 3: Something for the Heartbreak: A Scene.

Restaurant Front 90 Night - Picture of Khushi's Restaurant, Dunfermline -  Tripadvisor

The three men continue to walk up to Ari, who just put her cigarette out and placed her lighter in her purse. Jamie, being the man in the middle, gets his composure together and stops in front of Ari.

Ari: You must really like New York if you keep coming back here the way you do.

Jamie smiles the insult away.

Jamie: Just here for work. *towards the other men* These are my friends, Shawn and Kevin.

The two guys awkwardly bow in front of Ari.

Ari: Nice to meet you guys.

Jamie: Are you here tonight with your boyfriend?

Ari: *corrects* Fiancee.

Jamie: Congrats on the engagement.

Ari: Thanks.

Nothing else is said between the two until Jamie shifts and clears his throat.

Jamie: Well, we better get going. It was nice seeing you, Ari.

Ari doesn’t say anything. She just stands there as the en walk past her, continuing down the block. Ari quickly goes into the restaurant.

Ari walks in and goes back to sit at the bar with Grace. She looks at the counter where there is 3 empty glasses already next to Grace.

Ari: Goddamn, bitch! I’ve only been away for like 10 minutes!

Grace laughs harder than she should’ve at the comment. Ari knows Grace is drunk already.

Grace: What took you so long anyway, like I ‘ready hadda like, 3 drinks without ‘chu?

Ari loudly sighs and sits at the counter. The bartender comes to the ladies.

Grace: My man! Gimme a–

Ari covers Grace’s mouth.

Ari: Get her water, please.

She looks at Grace, who has a pouty face on. Ari rolls her eyes.

The three men walk into a restaurant; it’s mediocre for the city. Shawn and Kevin look around the place, not impressed with Jamie’s choice in venue.

Shawn: Hyung, we’ve been to better places in Korea than… this.

Jamie takes in a deep breath and walks towards a booth. Shawn and Kevin sit on one side of the booth, and Jamie sits on the other side on his own.

Kevin: I thought we were going to that place that we passed by?

Jamie doesn’t say anything, he just looks at the menu in front of him. Kevin waits for him to answer him.

Kevin: *annoyed* Hyung?

Jamie: *snappy* Mwo?

Kevin: Why are we here?

The waiter comes by with a notepad and pen in her hand. She looks at the three men, annoyed that the two sitting together don’t answer back quickly. Jamie chimes in and orders for the group. The waiter just walks away, without saying anything.

Shawn: It’s true what they say about Americans…

Jamie: *stern* Ya.

The guys stay quiet, until Kevin speaks up.

Kevin: Who was that lady?

Shawn: Yeah, she definitely didn’t look like–

Kevin: *nudges Shawn* Hyung!

Jamie looks at the two guys and takes a deep breath.

Jamie: Ari is Grace’s friend.

The guys nod their heads in understanding.

Shawn: But why couldn’t we just eat at that other place she was at?

Kevin: I mean, she was with her fiancee, no?

Jamie: She wasn’t in there with her partner. She was with Grace.

The guys don’t say anything. The drinks arrive to the table.

Jamie: She didn’t want to say, and it’s better if she didn’t.

Kevin: Did you and Grace really end things on a bad note like that?

Jamie doesn’t answer, he just chugs his drink down, telling the waiter to give him another one.

The lights go on in an apartment. Grace walks in, and kicks off her shoes. She tosses her purse on the floor and sways her way to the kitchen. Ari and Emerson walk into the apartment after her.

Ari: Thanks for driving her home, Em.

Emerson: Wouldn’t be the first time I did this.

They both look at Grace, who reaches in her cabinet for the biggest bag of chips she owns.

Emerson: At least she’s learning to keep her alcohol in.

Ari: Jeez, thanks for pointing out her alcoholic tendencies. *gathers her stuff* I have to make it home to Dean, let me know if she’s gonna be okay?

Emerson: Yeah.

Ari leaves the apartment. Emerson turns around and sees Grace slumped on her couch, hand deep into the chips bag. Emerson walks over to Grace and sits on the sofa chair next to her.

Grace: Sorry that Ari got you in the middle of this mess.

Emerson: We’re family; you know I’m always here to help out.

Grace doesn’t say anything.

Emerson: So… what got you wasted like this tonight?

Grace: *annoyed* Don’t do that. Not every time I get drunk is because my life is turmoil or some shit. *even louder* Can’t I just go out and get drinks with Ari without it meaning anything?!

Emerson: Ari was not merely as drunk as you are, Grace.

Grace rolls her eyes and tosses the bag of chips to the side.

Grace: Well, thank you for fucking up my night by making me think.

Emerson gets up from his seat.

Emerson: That’s why I’m here! Whatever got you all fucked up like this, I hope it gets better. You’ve been so–

Grace: *snappy* So what?

Emerson: … on edge lately. I’m just trying to help you get over whatever has you in this mood.

Grace: I hate the winter.

Emerson is confused about the random statement Grace said, so he chooses to ignore it.

Emerson: I have to get going. Cami would rip my dick off if I’m not home with this night’s pregnancy cravings.

Grace shuts her eyes.

Grace: See you later.

Emerson grabs his coat and walks out of the front door. Grace slumps down on the sofa, forcing herself to sleep.

The "Something" Series

Get Yourself Out of Something: A Scene.

How Remote Work Will Save the Night Owl | by Clive Thompson | Index

The only lights on in the building are the ones in Grace’s office. She sits at her desk typing on her keyword occasionally and scanning papers onto a printer. Her hair is tied back in a bushy ponytail and her sweater is rolled up at the sleeves. The sound of the scanner continuously echos through the small office.

A door is heard opening towards the front of the studio. Grace stops to hear who could it be at this hour of the night. She quickly goes back to work when she heard the person calling out for her.

Ari: Grace! I know you’re in here; Emerson told me!

Grace: *to herself* Fucking Emerson…

Ari: Grace!

Ari walks into Grace’s office and sees Grace still working. She sighs, and places her purse on Grace’s desk.

Ari: You’re not about to overwork yourself doing shit like this.

Grace: It’s necessary work.

Ari: Not when it’s after your work hours.

Grace doesn’t listen, so Ari places her hand on Grace’s pile of paperwork.

Ari: Girl.

Grace: *annoyed* Why are you doing this?

Ari: Because love you and care about your well-being. Come on, let’s go do something, like a bar or some shit fun!

Grace: Why would we do that?

Ari rolls her eyes at Grace. She grabs her purse and then walks over to where Grace’s purse is. She grabs it off the hook behind the door.

Ari: You’re either going to leave this work for Monday morning, or you’re gonna have to stay all weekend here without your wallet and keys. Your choice.

Grace rolls her eyes and steps away from her desk. She grabs her coat from behind her chair and walks towards Ari. Ari smiles and hands Grace her bag.

Ari: Good. Now let’s go out for dinner and drinks.

Both women walk out of the office door.

The scene is particularly busy on on this Friday night. Ari and Grace get seated at the bar, and are handed menus to order.

Grace: You had to pick the busiest place in the city tonight?

Ari: Bitch, the food here is to die for. Dean and I came here a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been craving to come back here since.

Grace: And you couldn’t drag him along?

Ari: *deadpans* I’m just trying to hang out with my damn best friend, and it would be nice if my stubborn best friend would appreciate it.

Grace: *sighs* I’m sorry, Ari. I’ve just been… not so into things anymore. I’m not the same girl I was when I was younger.

Ari: A bitch turns 30 later this year and now you’re “a different person”. You need to get yourself out there or something.

Grace: Maybe I don’t want to though?

Grace’s phone vibrates and she checks the message in her hand. Ari loudly sighs in annoyance.

Ari: Max isn’t the direction I was hoping you’re going in.

Grace looks up at Ari; she’s clearly confused.

Grace: What do you mean?

Ari: Max is a great guy, but I just think that chapter in your life is over. *raises an eyebrow* You’re not thinking about getting back together with him, right?

Grace doesn’t say anything until she sees Ari about to say something.

Grace: *defensive* I’m not saying that it’s out of the picture, but like… we have Willow together. Maybe things happened this way for a reason…

Ari: Grace, I know Max is not the guy you want to be with. I mean, you literally lied to his face telling him that you had to come back into the city because he made you feel bad about Willow and the whole thing with her tantrum.

Grace shifts in her seat; she’s clearly uncomfortable with the conversation.

Ari: I’m just being honest, Grace. Don’t settle for Max because of your daughter. You were doing fine without him when–

Grace looks up at Ari. Ari stops mid-sentence. She drops it. The waiter comes and takes the women’s orders.

Grace: Can I have a jack and coke?

The waiter writes it down and leaves the two ladies. Ari raises an eyebrow and looks at Grace.

Ari: Okay btich, I see you.

Grace: Might as well get shitfaced and go home to watch reruns of American Cat.

Ari just looks away and reaches in her bag.

Ari: Well, I’m going outside to smoke a cigarette.

Grace: You should really quit that habit, girl.

Ari: I quit mine when you quit yours, workaholic.

Grace rolls her eyes as Ari laughs and gets up from her seat. She walks through the crowd of restaurant goers and out the front door.

Once she’s outside, she teaches a cigarette and lighter out and lights it up. She smokes and looks around in her environment. Something immediately catches her eye. Her eyes widen at the sight. She sees three men walking towards the restaurant. She immediately puts out her cigarette.

Ari: Jamie?

Jamie stops in his tracks, and his friends also stop with him. He nervously looks at Ari, and for once; Ari is nervous looking at Jamie.

The "Something" Series

Something I Haven’t Figured Out: A Scene.

Crescent Moon Over Manhattan Neighborhood Stock Footage Video (100%  Royalty-free) 1020206581 | Shutterstock

The sky is clear on this particular winter night in NYC. Light music is playing in the background, and the lights are low in the apartment. A man walks out of a room in formal attire; he walks to the mirror in the living room and slicks his hair in place. He takes a deep breath as he finalizes his look for the night. He heads on over and puts on an apron to check the dinner cooking in the oven; everything is going as planned. His phone rings on the kitchen counter; Jamie automatically answers.

Jamie: Hello?

Shawn: *teasing* Hyung, you answered the phone way too desperately.

Jame takes the phone away from his ear and rolls his eyes. After he stops hearing laughter on the other hand, he places the phone back to his ear.

Jamie: Can I help you with something?

Shawn: Just checking in! I’m guessing Sandra didn’t make it yet.

Jamie: No, she hasn’t.

Jamie checks the food once more while Shawn talks on the phone.

Shawn: Well, she’s not the type of woman that wouldn’t show up. She’ll be there.

Jamie: *while closing the oven door* Remind me again why I even agreed to go on this date?

Shawn: Because she was staring at you in the meeting and asked me about you. Plus, you just… need someone else…

The doorbell rings and Jamie immediately gets anxious.

Jamie: She’s here–

Shawn: Wait, I wanna hear–

Jamie: *annoyed* Are you kidding me? I–

The doorbell rings once more. Jamie hangs up on Shawn and places the phone back on the counter. He takes off his apron and walks to the front door. He opens the door and there stands a woman with long black hair wearing a pea-coat and a short dress with heels. Jamie observes the woman, but smiles when she looks at him.

Jamie: I’m glad you can make it.

Sandra: The pleasure is all mine.

Jamie gestures Sandra to walk into the apartment. She walks in and looks around.

Sandra: Nice place you have, Jamie. Like really nice. *turns around* How did you get it in such short notice?

Jamie tilts his head in confusion.

Jamie: The firm I work for provides their workers these places…

Sandra: *amazed* Wow, you must make some really good money then!

Jamie awkwardly laughs and walks towards Sandra. He takes out a hand for her as she takes off her coat. He looks down at Sandra, surprised she’s not cold in what she’s wearing. She walks over to the couch and sits down. She looks at Jamie and smiles. He puts Sandra’s coat on a hanger and into the closet next to the front door.

He walks over to the couch and sits in respectful distance from Sandra. Sandra looks and him and gets closer to him. Jamie’s face flashes red when she does.

Sandra: So, tell me more about yourself; what brings you to America?

Jamie: I’m here for work; I’m a lawyer.

Sandra: Are there not enough cases in your country? Why would they have you here?

Jamie: *slightly annoyed* I choose to be on cases within other countries.

Sandra: Is this your first time in New York?

Jamie: No. I’ve had a case here before.

Sandra: *flirty* I love a foreign man that appreciates American culture!

Jamie awkwardly smiles and gets up to check the food. When he does, Sandra turns around and watches him.

Sandra: Are we having some of your country’s food tonight?

Jamie: *awkwardly laughs* No… lasagna.

Sandra doesn’t say anything; she looks disappointed. Jamie doesn’t say anything, he just serves the food to Sandra and himself. He sits back down and observes Sandra slowly eating the dinner.

Jamie: So, what do you do for work?

Sandra: I work as an accountant on Wall Street.

Jamie: *raises eyebrows* Wow, that’s great.

Sandra: I guess.

Jamie drops the topic and begins to eat the food. Sandra still eats the food slowly. Jamie notices, and gets nervous.

Sandra: Is this your recipe?

Jamie: *nervously* A friend of mine lent me their recipe…

Sandra: It’s definitely… different.

Jamie’s face flashes red. He tries to desperately change the subject.

Jamie: So, how do you know Shawn?

Sandra: We briefly went on a couple of dates.

Jamie swallows his drink too hard and coughs loudly. He places his drink down on the table and wipes his mouth with his napkin.

Jamie: Oh, I didn’t know that.

Sandra: It was nothing to remember, we would just go to some restaurants here and there.

Jamie doesn’t say anything, he just places his napkin on the table. Before he says anything, Sandra speaks.

Sandra: You seem like a nice guy, Jamie, but I really don’t think we are compatible.

Jamie doesn’t respond, he just listens to what she has to say.

Sandra: It was nice meeting you, though.

Jamie gets up from his seat as Sandra gets up from the table. She gathers her stuff and heads out the front door without saying goodbye to Jamie. Once the front door closes, Jamie takes in a deep breath and pushes his hair back. He looks into his apartment and slowly walks back to the table to begin cleaning up.

Before picking up anything, he goes for his phone. As he opens up his phone to message Shawn, he stumbles upon his messages with Grace. He opens the messages and reads the last message sent from her.

Grace: Call me when you can. Thanks.

Jamie closes the messages on his phone and places his phone on the counter. He takes a deep breath and starts to clean the kitchen. Nothing but the sound of the busy city is heard in his apartment.

The "Something" Series

Something I Never Want: A Scene.

Calm Winter driving .. December 11 storm in suburban west end toronto  southern Ontario winter driving (Mississauga) stock photo  1942ee5d-6946-4d2d-b5ec-caafac5b6fe2

Grace sits in the passenger’s seat of a car. She looks at the rear-view mirror and sees her daughter, Willow, sleeping in her car seat. She smiles at the sight. She looks over to the driver, Max, who is focused on the road. Grace takes in a deep breath and looks forward.

Grace: I could’ve took a cab to your place, Max. You didn’t have to make the trip.

Max: It’s nothing. Plus, Willow wanted to take a ride.

Grace smiles. She’s happy she’s still here, in Willow’s life, as she gets older. She may only be 3 years old, but she still feels accomplished that throughout everything that’s happened within the last couple of years, she’s still here, with Willow, and still being in her life.

Max: Are we going to your mother’s house for her birthday in January?

Grace: Yeah, she insisted the family be there; my dad bought her a camera and now she wants to take all of the pictures for the house.

Max: *laughs* That’s adorable.

Grace: *scoffs* Definitely annoying in my opinion.

Willow: Mommy!

Grace turns around and looks at her daughter.

Grace: Yes, little bean?

Willow: Santa got me a horsey for Christmas!

Grace: *confused* Oh… really?

Grace looks at Max to confirm what Willow is saying. Max mouths out that it was a rocking horse. Grace laughs silently.

Grace: That’s great, sweetie! You have to show me your horsey when we get home!

Grace looks down at her phone when she receives a message from her best friend, Ari.

Ari: Are you in upstate yet with your "boyfriend"?

Grace rolls her eyes at the message. Grace looks outside her car window and sees the once-grass-now-covered-in-snow fields pass by. Everything around them is white, wintery, cold. She thinks about how she got to this place. How did her and Max get on good terms after feeling like they could never be. She cares about him, and he’s the father of her daughter, but she never saw herself being in his car, driving up to his house outside of the city, to spend the day with him and their daughter.

They enter the house as Max places Willow down and she runs off.

Max: Willow, make sure to take your outside boots off!

Willow climbs up the stairs, clearly not listening to her father. Grace carries her overnight bag into the house and places it to the side next to the front door.

Max: Coffee?

Grace nods and looks around the house. She slowly walks to the kitchen as she observes the house.

She walks into the kitchen and sees Max at the kitchen counter making a pot of coffee. For a second, she thinks about how different life would be if she stayed. She would be married, living in a house outside of the city; no noise, no busy lifestyle. She would probably be a full-time mom that signed their kid to do all the extra activities in daycare and become a part of the PCA when Willow is old enough to go to public school. She wonders how much she would either love or hate having that life.

She snaps out of it when Max turns away from the counter and brings a coffee mug to the kitchen table. Grace walks towards the kitchen table to take a seat.

Grace: Thank you.

Max: Of course. Are you hungry?

Grace: No, no; I’m fine.

Max sits across from Grace at the kitchen table.

Grace: So you’re gonna leave your Christmas tree up all year round this year?

Max: *laughs* Willow insisted we keep it up for another week. She likes the lights, I might get her some lights for her room or something.

Grace: *smiles* She’d love that for sure.

Willow: *from a distance* Daddy!

Max gets up from his seat, and Grace follows. They walk to the stairs to see Willow trying to bring down her rocking horse.

Max: Baby, don’t bring Simon down the stairs, me and mama will see him upstairs.

Willow: But I want him down there!

Max: *stern* Willow.

Max walks up the stairs to help Willow put back the rocking horse to her room. Willow causes a fuss and begins to cry. Grace looks at the top of the stairs, growing anxious as she watches her daughter throw a tantrum.

Max: Willow, Simon can’t go downstairs; he likes to be upstairs.

Grace begins to walk up the stairs to talk to Max.

Grace: Maybe we should just bring him downstairs for the time being.

Max: No. We’re not gonna teach her that the way to get her way is to throw a tantrum.

Grace: But it’s–

Max: No, Grace.

Max picks up Willow and she takes her in her room to talk to her. Grace’s face flushes red. She turns around to walk back down the stairs. When no one is looking, she looks up at the ceiling and tries to fight back tears. She walks back into the kitchen and sits back down at the table. Her coffee is now lukewarm. She shoves the coffee away and takes her phone out. She scrolls through her photos and comes across the pictures she had of when Willow was a baby. Sometimes, Grace wonders just how did she get to this point; even though she was in Willow’s life as a baby, the older she gets, the more she feels like she doesn’t know her own daughter.

Within her scrolling, she comes across a photo with Jamie. She stops at the photo, staring at it longer than she intended to. She jumps when Max walks into the kitchen.

Max: Sorry, she had to be put down for a nap. She gets fussy when she’s tired.

Grace: I bet.

Nothing more is said, they just both sit in the kitchen. Max scrolls on his phone as Grace sits there watching him.

She doesn’t want this lifestyle.

The "Something" Series

Something From My Past: A Monologue.

The Absolute Best NYC Spots To Visit When It Snows

For once, I feel like a foreigner in this city.

I’m able to give directions like I’ve lived here my entire life. I’m able to go to the good spots in the city to grab lunch or something. I used to have a favorite spot in the city. To be quite honest, I haven’t been back since I got back to America.

I thought the city is forever changing. I thought things disappear and reappear as something new every other month. But, to my surprise, some of the things that were here before are still here, surviving like it doesn’t hold some of the most painful memories this city has on me.

Hyung!” I turned around to see Shawn and Kevin walking out of the building our law firm is using for this new case. I was tired of the travels, to be honest. To know that I can sit in my apartment in Incheon one night, and then fly across the world to live in a NYC apartment for a couple of months was starting to wear me out. I was turning 30 in April, and this back and forth for the job isn’t something I enjoy doing anymore. Besides this case, there’s really no reason for me to be here.

Mwo?” I responded.

“Lunch is on Kevin; wanna join?” Shawn said. Kevin hits Shawn’s arm, clearly not aware he was paying today. I laughed; if there’s anything I’m happy about is that the firm put Shawn and Kevin on this case with me. Some sort of distraction while I’m here.

“Sure, you have a place in mind?” I questioned. They both looked clueless. I couldn’t help but laugh; in the year that I did live in America, Shawn and Kevin came to visit for the holidays. I was surprised they were able to get back to their hotel in one piece after the nights we would go out for dinner and drinks. Those were the good times.

“How about the cafe? They used to serve a lot of good food there,” Kevin insisted. I looked at Kevin intently; it felt like he was up to something.

“You guys should want to try other food that isn’t the cafe,” I protested.

“Listen, their bagel sandwiches are some of the best things I’ve ever had. I don’t know what’s in their bread, but it’s too good to pass,” Kevin explained. He then smirked. Kevin…

“Plus, I’m paying, so it’s my choice of where we’re going,” Kevin declared. Clearly, I wasn’t happy. I didn’t want to go to the cafe. I didn’t want to walk in there and be reminded of my past. The smells, the atmosphere; it’s just something I didn’t feel like reliving.

“Let’s go then, I’m freezing,” Shawn said as he zipped up his coat up to his neck. There wasn’t that much snow on the ground, but it was cold enough for that snow to stay longer than it should. Was it always this cold in NYC?

“Oh, hyung,” Kevin started. “They wanted me to had you over the case folder.” I looked at the literal novel in Kevin’s hands. Aigoo.

“Is that all?” I said, sarcastically. Kevin deadpanned as I smiled to my own joke.

“So, Shawn wants a hot chocolate, and I want that bagel sandwich,” Kevin listed.

“Are you not going to order?” I asked.

“Well…” Kevin dragged. Kevin, a man in his late 20’s, would still feel incredibly shy making orders for himself. He didn’t do it in Korea, so what made me think he would do it in a country where he doesn’t fully speak the preferred language?

“I’ll order for us,” I finally gave in. Kevin smiled and handed over his wallet to me. He walked out of the line and left me there. The line was longer than usual today.

There were about 2 people in the entire cafe this morning. We walked into it, assuming they had just opened for the day or something. She sat at our usual table as I ordered our usual; a cappuccino with a shot of expresso for me; an iced Americano for her.

I walked back to our table and placed the drinks down first before placing the brown bag on the table. She looked up at me as I sat down across from her.

“Cookies,” I said. “I know you were going to ask for them. She smiled. I liked knowing that our routine was like this on most days; simple.

“Thanks,” she said. She’s been under the weather lately, and I hate to see her so miserable. I was hoping that some cookies would help cheer her up. I made a goofy smile which made her laugh. She was so simple to make feel better, which I was happy about. My phone vibrated in my pocket, so I decided to check it when Grace was eating her cookies. It was an voicemail from the South Korea Embassy. I put my phone in my pocket and put my attention back onto her. Jagiya. Grace.

“So, I was thinking,” I started off. Grace looked up from her cookie to listen to me speak. “Maybe we can go for a mini vacation sometime soon. You, me, Little Bean,” I was a little nervous to throw something so random like this out there. Grace raised her eyebrows, visibly shocked.

“You want to go away with both me and Willow?” Grace asked.

“Yeah,” I didn’t hesitate to answer. I wanted to show Grace that I was here, with her, and if everything goes as planned, I’ll–

“That’s very sweet of you, Jamie, but–” Grace started to say. “I just don’t feel right taking Willow away from Max with…” She couldn’t finish the sentence. She didn’t have to.

I nodded my head and let it go. I didn’t want to stress Grace out more than she has been lately. She already looked like she wanted to apologize, so instead I just smiled. I didn’t want to her to worry she had said or done the wrong thing.

I didn’t realize my papers had fallen on the floor until I felt the impact of a person rushing by me. I quickly bent down to the ground to gather them up. Whoever this was was in a hurry.

“Omg, I’m so sorry!” the person said. I stopped picking up the papers and looked back. The front door to the cafe was swung open. Shawn and Kevin came by to help pick up the rest of the file from the cafe floor.

I just froze. It was like my body didn’t know how to react, or to react at all. Maybe I’m just imagining things. Maybe I’m just so in my own head that I didn’t realize I was just imagining things. It wasn’t long until Shawn and Kevin looked up at me and snapped their fingers in front of my face. I blinked, now focused on them.

“Are you alright, hyung?” Kevin immediately asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I looked back down to the ground and picked up the remaining papers from the file. We all got back up from the floor and Shawn followed Kevin back to the table where they were. I immediately turned around when I heard the barista call for the next person. Maybe it was just in my head, Maybe it was just something from my past that I need to forget.

The "Something" Series

Like Deja Vu Or Something: A Monologue.

Some advice for setting up a coffee shop - ECO-Fridge Ltd

“Grace, Order #416!”

I went up to the counter to pick up my order of coffee. The barista smiled at me and wished me a Happy New Year. I smiled and left the counter.

I plopped myself on one of the sofas in the cafe and placed my coffee on the table. Taking out my phone out of my pocket, I see I have a missing call from Ari. Fuck, lemme call this bitch back.

“About time you call me back, bitch,” Ari playfully teased as she picked up the phone. I rolled my eyes. Ain’t nothing change with her.

“Sorry, you know I need my coffee fix in the morning,” I answered.

“Yeah, yeah; ain’t nothing new,” Ari responded. Ari and I’s friendship has definitely been tested within the last year. Ari has been promoted to an attorney, so she’s been more so in the courtroom rather than being at the firm. In some sort of way, I felt like Ari had the best of both worlds; she was able to keep her work and personal life separate from each other. She was able to clock out, leave work, and go home to Dean.

“You’re off work today?” Ari asked.

“Yep. I had some of the choreographers teaching the dancers today; I needed a day to just breathe.” I answered. The dance studio has been the one consistent thing in my life. I would go in, teach my dancers routines for competitions and recitals, stay there way longer than I need to be, and then do it all again the following day. I guess it was just a good way to pass the time; to keep myself busy during the days.

“Okay! So whatcha gonna do on your day off?” Ari excitedly asked. It’s crazy to think that conversations like this one were the reason why we had a rocky year of friendship.

“Max is coming down with Willow, so I was going to meet them and spend the day with them,” I answered. Ari didn’t say anything, but I knew exactly what she thought. “No, Ari; Max and I are not seeing each other for the hundredth time.”

“Whatever, you guys spend time like you are,” Ari scoffed. I rolled my eyes and sipped my coffee as I placed it back on the table. “Besides, what kind of love story would it be if mom and dad didn’t get back together?”

“Bye, Ari; go and spend some time with your man,” I playfully said and hung up the phone.

It’s raining heavy this particular Spring day. I ran to the front door of the apartment building after getting out of the cab. Drenched hair, clothes, everything. I didn’t really care at that point; maybe the rain would cover up my puffy eyes and I can just blame it on the seasonal allergies or something. I rang a doorbell in which then the person buzzed me in. Walking up the stairs to the apartment, I already see the front door opened. I can’t help but think this is it. This is the day I lose my best friend.

I entered Ari’s apartment and close her door. I politely place my drenched coat and purse near her door, avoiding getting anything wet. She looks at me with crossed arms. Why does this feel worse than being scolded by my own mother?

“You had an umbrella; what happened?” Ari asked.

“The rain is… coming down really hard.” I softly said. Ari doesn’t say anything back, she just walks to one of the closet doors and pulls out some clothes.

“You’re not sitting on my furniture with your wet ass clothes,” Ari stated as she handed me the clothes. I took them and went to the bathroom to change. I didn’t want to say anything to upset Ari.

“So, you’re gonna tell me what happened?” Ari nonchalantly asked.

“About what?”

“Stop playing stupid with me, Grace.” Ari spat. She didn’t like to be questioned about the obvious things.

“I honestly don’t have to tell you anything,” I answered, annoyed at Ari’s entitlement. I love Ari, but she sometimes thinks she’s my mother, not my best friend.

“Oh, so you’re just not gonna tell me what’s going on? I’m supposed to be your best friend; we tell each other everything. Now that doesn’t apply to one of the most important things happening in your life?” Ari agrued.

“I don’t want to fucking talk about it, Ari,” I answered back, now angry. Ari didn’t understand that this wasn’t just something that I would get over after a talk. I was tired of having to explain myself again and again to Ari. “You know what? I’m sick and tired of you treating me like I’m your daughter or something,” I began. Ari look appalled.

“Maybe if you stop acting like you’re 19, maybe then I don’t need to worry about you like you were a child,” Ari responded back.

“Be my fucking friend, Ari! Why do I always have to report on the minor things that happen in my life?! Why can’t a simple ‘I don’t wanna talk about’ be enough for you?”

“Because aborting a child isn’t a fucking minor thing, Grace!” Ari yelled out. I cried. My eyes couldn’t stop; no matter how many times I wiped my eyes, the tears would just keep coming down.

“It was my fucking choice! So stop making me feel like it wasn’t!” I yelled back. My throat hurt when I yelled. It must’ve been loud by the way Dean came out of the other room to check on us. Ari got up from the sofa and went into her room, passing Dean.

“I-I hate to say this, Grace,” Dean started. I got up and grabbed my umbrella and purse. I didn’t even care if my clothes were still in Ari’s dryer. I just wanted to leave her place and never come back.

The alarm on my phone went off and realized that I was going to be late meeting Max and Willow. I grabbed my coffee and tossed it into the trash and went towards the exit. I bumped into a gentleman with a ton of papers in his hand. Fuck, I should help him pick it up. Before I went to bend down and help the guy get his papers, my cellphone rings. I quickly apologized to the man and walked right out of the door, answering Max’s call.

The "Something" Series

“Answer Me or Something!” : A Monologue.

File:Apple-iphone-technology-blur (23698642934).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Something’s up.

I sit on the train to Gyeonggi, looking down at my phone. I haven’t heard from Grace for the past week; she’s either busy, too tired, or with little bean. I respect her space, but, she is my girlfriend, and I would love to actually talk with her.

I don’t like this feeling that something is just not being spoken about. I trust Grace, but perhaps I trust her too much. Would she actually hide something from me? That’s not like Grace. She’s never came across as being one of those women.

The last time I loved a woman, I was young and naive. I was so in love with her, and she knew that I did. So when she stopped talking to me out of the blue when I was in law school, I knew she made her mind up. She didn’t bother to break up with me, she just declared it when she stopped responding to me.

My phone vibrates in my hand; it’s Mina.

“yeoboseyo?” I answered.

“Jaemin-ah,” Mina said. “Are you close by? I’m close to the train station.”

“I should be there in 45 minutes, Nonna,” I responded. I looked out to the city turning into rural. The sun was surprisingly bright on this February day.

“Okay, see you soon!” Mina said and the phone went dead. I rested my head on the seat and shut my eyes. Jagiya, what’s going on with you?

I get off the train and walked towards the exit. I see Mina parked in front. I hopped into her car.

“Hey, noona,” I greeted. Mina smiled and waited until I was ready to go.

“Eomma is excited to see you,” Mina started off the conversation. Mina has always been the closest to our mom. Perhaps it’s just the duty of being the eldest sibling in a family. If I need to ever find out how mom was, I could always rely on Mina.

“Yeah, it’s good to be home for a bit,” I responded.

“You mean for good,” Mina corrected. I looked over to her as she looked forward to drive. I knew where that comment came from.

“I mean in Gyeonggi,” I said. Mina chuckled and brushed it off. She knows what I meant.

“So, you’ve been adjusting back to life alright? Have you’ve become butter?” Mina teased. I rolled my eyes at the comment. She asked if I was now “too American” for Korean life.

“Very funny,” I deadpanned. “I’m adjusting just fine.” I looked out the window. Home, huh?

“You know,” Mina began. I looked at her as she spoke. “I know you liked it in America, but, I don’t know, it’s just not what I thought it was going to be.”

“We’re different people, noona,” I responded. “I enjoyed my time there.”

“Well,” Mina sighed. “I don’t know. I just felt like you do so much better in Korea. You live your own life, not under the roof of some random American girl–“

“Grace.” I corrected. “Her name is Grace.”

“Yeah, her.” Mina replied.

“You know she’s my girlfriend, right?” I said. Mina quickly looked at me and then back on the road. I could tell she was trying to keep her composure.

“Why don’t we know about this?” Mina asked. She’s right. Why doesn’t my own family know that Grace and I are a couple? Why doesn’t it feel like Grace and I are a couple? Before I could answer, I heard Mina sigh.

“Jaemin-ah,” Mina started. “I only want what’s best for you. We all do. I know you care about this girl a lot, but maybe it’s time to face the fact that it wasn’t meant to last. She may have been great company for you in America, but there’s just no way to make a long-distance relationship like this work.”

I didn’t say anything back. I didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

Eomma was happy to see me. She gave me the tightest hug when I entered the house. I think this was the one thing I missed about Korea; seeing the smile on my mother’s face when she saw all her kids under the same roof.

“Jaemin,” my mom greeted me.

“Hi, eomma,” I smiled back and greeted her. “How have you’ve been? You’re okay?”

“Nonsense! I’m okay, don’t worry about me,” my mom protested. Lia came into the room to greet me as well as Mina’s children. I picked up the youngest little girl, my niece, who just recently turned two years old.

“Aejeongie,” I cooed. She smiled and giggled, in which Mina widen her eyes in shock.

“I’m shocked she didn’t cry out,” Mina explained.

“I’m her uncle, noona, of course she’s going to know me,” I responded.

“Yeah, but you’ve been America for a year!” Mina coughed out. I looked at Mina, annoyed. I look at Lia, who looks just as shocked at Mina’s response.

I placed Aejeong back on the floor, where she walked towards her older sister.

“Jaemin-ah, can you help me set up for dinner?” Lia asked. I nodded my head and walked with Lia into the kitchen.

“Dinner was delicious,” Mina said to our mom. Eomma smiled and held her heart.

“I’m glad all of my children are here with me,” Mom responded.

Lia and I got up to gather the plates and dishes and brought them into the kitchen.

“Jaemin-ah, are you okay?” Lia asked. I looked over at her as she was washing the dishes.

“Yeah, I’m okay. Why?” I wondered. Lia didn’t say anything; she just sighed.

“I know Mina is being tough on you about the whole America thing,” Lia confessed. “She just wants what’s best for you. You know how noona is.”

“I just don’t like how she’s been talking about it,” I said. “Making everything as this joke. My time there was not a joke,” I began to get angry. Lia quickly noticed.

“Ya,” Lia stated. “You know she doesn’t mean it.”

“Minji-noona,” I pleaded. “I don’t like how she talks about Grace.” I could see Lia looking at me while cleaning the dishes. “Has she spoke about Grace to you?”

“Jaemin-ah,” Lia sighed. “I don’t want to spread gossip round.”

“Grace is my girlfriend.” I finally said out loud. Lia stopped what she was doing to look at me. She apparently didn’t have any idea either.

Mwo? But she’s across the world,” Lia stated. I looked at her and rubbed the back of my neck. I felt my ears getting hot and red.

“I… I love her, noona,” I confessed to my sister. Lia, although closer to Mina for obvious reasons, was always easy to tell personal things to. She wasn’t as judgmental as Mina, but I know this information will go back to Mina when I’m not around.

“She’s a sweet person,” Lia started. She looked perplexed. I don’t blame her for being so. “But,” Lia tried to piece together her train of thought. “What are the odds you guys can actually be together? She can’t drop her life in America to come here with you, and you can’t keep spending millions of won to America.” She finally turned the faucet off and dried her hands with the hand towel. She finally turned to look at me.

“Have you spoken to her since you’ve been back?” Lia asked. I wanted to lie. I wanted to play it off like we’re both just carrying our lives as smooth and positive as possible. But Lia knows when I’m lying, so why bother?

“I haven’t spoken to her recently.” I faintly said.

“Jaemin-ah!” Lia shouted. “Why haven’t you called her?”

“That’s the thing,” I responded. “I’ve been trying to get in contact with her for the last week and a half. She’s not answering me or something.” Lia looked more panicked than me. Maybe I was just used to the silence on the other end of the phone whenever I tried to call Grace.

“Minji-noona?” I asked. Lia looked at me. “Do you think she’s hiding something?” Lia didn’t answer right away. She didn’t need to.

“A long-distance relationship isn’t the easiest thing to obtain,” Lia finally said. “I mean, you and Seohyun-ah lived in different areas and it was still–“

“Grace is not Seohyun,” I interrupted. “Grace is different.”

“Then what are you going to do about her not answering your calls? Go back to America?” Lia said, now annoyed at the conversation. I left the kitchen and grabbed my phone from the counter, walking passed Mina and my mom in the dining area, towards the front door. It’s about 7:30 in America; she still has to be up.

I called her phone and it rings. Nothing. I hung up, dialed again, and the phone rings. Nothing.

Aigoo, answer me or something!” I shouted on the phone while it continued to ring. I hung up the phone and placed the phone in my pocket. Why would Grace ignore me? What the hell are we even? I look up towards the sunset and took a deep breath.

Maybe it was time we break up.