A/N: I was supposed to submit this for SSF’s Fanfic contest, but it did not reach the standards, because of the word count. Enjoy this little SNSD story.
What’s an end without a beginning?
On the balmy coast of Bali, light laughter mingled with the waves lapping at the shore. The setting sun drenched the beach in a dim glow of orange as it gave way to the indigo-streaked sky and cool dusk breeze.
The laughter ceased as all attention turned towards the golden-glazed sphere sank behind the horizon.
“What if the sun ended there?”
“Ended where, Jessica?”
“I mean if it never came back up. Would that call for an end?”
Sooyoung smiled and turned to Jessica and seven others, who were with her in watching the sunset.
“A far cry from reality, wouldn’t you think?” she responded.
“Don’t take into account what reality entails and detains. I know that if the sun set here, it’d be shining elsewhere. But just think about it. Drenched in darkness, how would we function?”
“Drenched in darkness, parties would ensue everywhere,” suggested Hyoyeon. The golden-haired girl let go of the hands she was holding, as she stepped backwards to stretch.
Another round of laughter erupted, after which the small group of girls walked back to the beach hut, without verbal notice.
The beach hut was a luxury – fully furnished with plush, velvet lounge chairs and sofas, goose-down mattresses and pillows lined with Egyptian cotton blankets. The fridge was fully stocked, long enough for a two week stay. The whole hut was air-conditioned, and the Oak parquet remained comfortably warm against barefoot.
And yet the luxury of materials could not compare to the familiar silence as the nine girls settled around the lounge.
Yoona came in from the kitchen, carrying a wooden tray of freshly cut fruit. Her graceful strides were long, excited to get to the lounge, not wanting to miss anything. As she sat down beside Seohyun on the stark-white leather sofa, she smiled. I would never want to replace any of these girls before me. I would rather be living in this fantasy of an ideal life than struggle in reality. I don’t think it to be a selfish thought. There’s always room for a little selfish thought, and this is as selfish as I can be.
“So, I was thinking Versailles after this trip?” Tiffany piped up, as she took a grape from the tray.
“Europe? That’s bound to be romantic. What are we going to do there? Find each other’s prince Charmings?” Yuri answered. “Pass the tray, please.”
Tiffany passed the tray, and shook her head. “My prince won’t be in Versailles. He’ll be in Peru.”
“Peru?” the eight girls chorused, confused at Tiffany’s random statement.
“I don’t know why, but I just have a hunch.”
“All this world travelling, what are we doing with our lives?” Sunny said. She had meant it sarcastically, but came out differently. A pause followed her statement, and she looked at the eight girls. “What?”
Their faces looked contemplative as Sunny watched them. But truly, what are we doing? Have we begun a good work in all our travels? Have we found ourselves in all of this globe-trotting we’re doing?
Seohyun looked the most pensive, but hinted hopeful. “Well, I think every place we go to is a start. It’s not leaving anything unfinished whenever we leave, but it’s leaving behind something. I can say we’re doing something good with our travelling. Don’t you guys think?”
“You’re always the optimist, aren’t you? What would we do without you, our little girl?” Taeyeon pinched Seohyun’s cheeks playfully.
“I couldn’t agree more.” Tiffany said, gesturing a thumbs up.
Yoona, who was quiet even while they were at the beach, gave a suggestion. “What if we wanted to go to different places?”
“Well, isn’t that what we’re doing now? Going to where we want to?” Sooyoung asked.
“Yes, but I meant on our own. Would the need ever arise for us to travel alone?”
Yet another second of silence filled the room.
“Why are we thinking of such a thought?” Jessica said.
“Prospective? There’s nothing wrong with it, right?” Yoona asked.
All eight shook their heads.
“But definitely not right now.” Yuri said.
“No, of course not.”
Taeyeon slumped in her seat. “This is such a downer, guys.”
“Not as bad as when we…” Sunny trailed off. She pursed her lips and slapped herself mentally.
“It’s okay, you can say it.”
The silence sank into an uncomfortable one, as each one realized what Sunny was about to say, rather, what she almost said.
“It’s not like it’s taboo.” Tiffany uneasily said, averting the gazes of the others.
“When we retired as artists, as a group.” Sooyoung choked out, tears glazing her eyes.
Seohyun, Yuri, Hyoyeon and Yoona all broke out a smile on their faces. It was a bittersweet moment.
“What’s an end without a beginning, right?” Sunny said, hoping to revive the atmosphere.
“We ended not because we were tired, but because we had to. I hope nobody forgets that. We would never end for a negative reason. We all ran the mile, and we finished well, haven’t we?” Taeyeon kicked up the optimism.
“If it weren’t for that, we wouldn’t be able to travel.” Sooyoung suggested.
“It feels normal, but still a lot of getting used to.” Yuri said.
“I am never going to stop calling myself and ourselves So Nyeo Shi Dae. I don’t think it’s just a suit we wear whenever we go onstage. I do believe it’s something ingrained already. I wonder if we already had a label of So Nyeo Shi Dae even when we were born.” Tiffany said.
“Pass me the fruits, and I’ll tell you.” Sooyoung stretched out her palms towards Tiffany. “Thank you. And the answer is yes. I don’t think anyone could have easily become So Nyeo Shi Dae. Our chemistry is perfect. Wouldn’t you agree?”
“Versailles, here we come.” Tiffany said.
“I haven’t finished yet!” Sooyoung tackled Tiffany playfully.
Jessica looked at the girls cheering, playing, and smiling. Sitting with them was comforting to her, despite them being in a foreign land, unsure of what tomorrow may bring. If I had to do that all over again, to debut as So Nyeo Shi Dae after grueling years of training, I would gladly do so. Nothing has been more rewarding than going through defeats, victories, hardships, milestones and challenges together.
Nothing is ever an end, for everything is a beginning. Where doors close, windows open and opportunities arise. When that day comes, a fear-inducing, unsettling day, of when So Nyeo Shi Dae will draw the curtains as they perform their last, be excited. For a beginning awaits each one; the nine who look forward to their destinies beyond performing, and SONE, who look forward to the day they will see So Nyeo Shi Dae once again, in a different land, in a different settting, in a different perspective.