Taeyeon groaned inwardly as the pastor launched his weekly sermon. Juhyun sensed the sudden shift as Taeyeon slouched restlessly. She nudged the latter gently with her feet and glared. The brunette raked her hair in frustration and took a bible, flipping through it with mock interest and a piece of paper slip out through the worn pages.
“Hi, if you’re reading this, Merry Christmas in advance! My name is Tiffany and I hope to see you around church! ^^”
Taeyeon cocked her eyes at the scribbly handwriting in neon pink ink. She took her own pen out and added on to the empty space below.
“Hello Tiffany, this is Taeyeon who found your paper. Merry Christmas to you and hope to see you around!”
She decided to add a smiley just to be friendly and randomly slid the paper back into the bible. Humming in content, Taeyeon leisurely browsed the chapter for something interesting to read.
“You’re not much of a devoted Christian, aren’t you. Anyway, there will be a dinner gathering at approximately 6.30pm today. I’ll be there. Let’s see if you can catch me ;)”
Taeyeon chuckled. They have been communicating for three weekends via paper messages hidden between the bible. Curious, Taeyeon pictured how this Tiffany looks like.
For someone to attend an early mass, could she be a middle-aged lady? But with the neon pink pen, is she a teenage? However, the flow in their conversation, maybe they are the same age?
“I’ll be joining the church’s dinner gathering at 6.30pm. You can head back without me.”
“Is this about Tiffany?”
“How do you know?!”
“Placing notes in the bible is not exactly a good secret spot you know.”
Taeyeon grumbled under her breath.
“Well, at least it gets you motivated enough to come to church.”
Juhyun smiled at her proudly. Taeyeon rolled her eyes and folded her arms, leaning back as she watch the pastor passionately reads a verse from the bible.
The dining hall rung with loud cheers, noisy clunk of wine glasses and laughter. Taeyeon almost regretted her decision, forcing smiles as strangers surrounded her and wished her a blessed Christmas.
Taeyeon whipped her head in the direction of the entrance and gasped. A charming lady with jet black hair framing her pale complexion; wide genuine smile, eyes curved into mesmerizing crescents, strutting with confidence, donning a white dress, black heels and-
“Hello everyone! Welcome and thank you for gracing this gathering. Enjoy, dig in and I hope you enjoy the food. Merry Christmas!”
The hall erupted into loud cheers of blessing and Taeyeon lifted her own glass meekly.
“Hi Taeyeon, it’s nice to finally meet you.”
“What- me? How-?”
“I’ve been around long enough to recognize everyone here, except you. So you must be my secret church penpal.”
Tiffany laughed and Taeyeon realized that angels could only found in the house of the Lord. Taeyeon followed suit as Tiffany took a seat beside her.
It turns out that Tiffany was the same age as her; a devoted Christian since the religion guided her through a tough phrase after the loss of her mother. A major in music, Tiffany attends the earlier mass as part of the worship team and sings hymns with the congregation.
“Do you sing too?”
Taeyeon scratched her head and nodded humbly. She too, was a music major whom graduated from a different university.
“Really? Oh hey-!”
Taeyeon tried to stop her but it was too late.
“Hey everyone, I’ve a new friend with us today and… it looks like we have another singer. Shall we welcome her?”
Taeyeon blushed as the hall was swallowed with warm response and hollers of her name as she awkwardly ambled on to the stage. A small team smiled politely at her as they took their places in a small booth behind her.
“What are you singing for us today, Taeyeon?”
Taeyeon briefly remembered that Tiffany mentioned her favorite carol in their conversation earlier. She took a deep breath, whispered to the guitarist in the booth and gripped the microphone.
It was quiet, too quiet as she sang and refused to open her eyes until it was over.
“Is it…. is it okay?”
Taeyeon wondered if she had just embarrassed herself under the unwavering stares until someone clapped his hands exaggeratedly.
“Tiffany, you need to add her as part of team. Your voice won’t do anymore.”
Tiffany laughed heartily and ushered the flustered Taeyeon back to her seat. Taeyeon mumbled a quick thank you and bowed. Tiffany offered her a cup of cranberry juice, beaming with a glint of pride in her eyes.
“O Holy Night is now officially my favorite carol for Christmas. Welcome to the family, Taeyeon.”