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University life had been a really good and interesting experience for Jae, he spent a lot of time here, mostly in the library, studying and just surrounding himself with information. Jae felt like since he came to Evermore a lot had changed for him, learning to live alone had been an adjustment at first because he had to do his own laundry and dishes, food didn't make itself so he had to learn to make sure he always had something to eat and while he was practically living at Han's now, he definitely felt like that independence had a good effect on him.
But the study was also important to him, he got the freedom to explore his writing and how to expand it, to completely immerse himself in stories and their meanings and generally feel like he was connected with something he had always had a natural talent for. There was a lot of pressure to do well of course, that was the nature of the way he was raised but he finally felt like he had some independence from his parents and the ability to make decisions for himself. So he did his best not to waste the opportunity and use as much of his education as he could, so if there were extra classes he could take or further study he could do, he tended to try and indulge in it. Not to the level where he didn't have a life outside of university but he could definitely be found in the library till late.
It was about 3 pm in the afternoon and he didn't have any late classes today so he was wandering the aisles of the library looking for some stories to analyse for one of his papers, except he wasn't able to decide which one he wanted to use and so he had about 7 books stacked up in his arms ready to carry back to his table in the hopes of being able to pick one out after reading a few pages of each. He had just managed to balance all of them steadily enough to make his way back to the table and took a deep breath as he started the walk.
But of course, his clumsiness was something that no matter how hard he tried he couldn't shake and he didn't see the petite girl coming in the other direction before it was too late. With how tiny she was Jae didn't even realize there was anyone there until his stack of books went flying and he tripped over one of them until he found himself on the floor, rubbing his head because he whacked it against the shelf on the way door and then noticing the young female who had totally just ran into "Oh my god, I am so sorry, I probably should have realized that a bunch of books and this generally unbalanced guy wouldn't work but" he pulled an apologetic expression as he looked back at her.
Taealha was anything if not practical. Despite how spontaneous the girl can make of her day, she has a schedule planned out every time of the day, written down on the back page of her journal that she carries around with her every single moment of the day, so she wouldn't forget to do what she needed to do. Knowing the human, she was quite the reckless klutz that sometimes forgot to eat her own lunch because she was too focused on the task she was given on hand. Earlier this year, she had started her graduate studies in Biochemistry at the Evermore University. It didn't take her long to further her tertiary education to obtain her next milestone in her life; to go home with an M.Sc in Biochemistry. Every morning, she would wake up at 6 and spend at least 35 to 40 minutes with her plants growing exponentially in the balcony of her apartment before hopping off to do her morning exercises by jogging for a few rounds in the neighborhood.
Suffice to say, the human spent every second of her day perfectly, there was so wastage for she refuses to acknowledge that may even happen. Her classes usually starts at 10, which gives her enough time to get ready and walk to the subway so she could head over to her university located there. That's exactly what she did today, after spending 3 hours in her first class, she was already making her way to the library a few floors below because she still had a few more hours to spare before she was supposed to clock in at the laboratory. Despite being a student still, Taealha was offered the chance to work around her skills, four years ago. Having been recruited by the Organization that was responsible for making sure the supernatural world does not intercede with the human affairs here in Evermore, the raven-haired female was given the chance to delve better into her practical work by them. It was clear that as soon as she saw how advanced their technology, she wasn't about to leave.
With one hand holding the strap of her bag, the other was holding her phone securely as she continued to scroll over the screen to check her notifications, completely not realizing that there was someone else in the direction of the corner that she turned to. It was partially her mistake for walking without looking because she was so engrossed on her phone, so when the male apologized for bumping into her, Taealha wanted to assure him it wasn't his fault but realized he probably couldn't understand sign language as her hand drew a few signs to communicate. Still lying on the floor, Taealha spared him an apologetic look and shook her head gently as if to assure him it wasn't his fault. Her hands stopped halfway mid air when she realized not everyone understood sign language so her hand searched for her journal that flew out of her hand when she fell, managing to pinpoint its location under the empty table next to them.
The human crawled her way under the table and stretched her hand out to retrieve it, only to forget there's a whole table above her and hit her head after successfully obtaining the journal when she tried to stand up. A whimper escaped her as she rubbed the spot softly and took out her pen to write a message on the book, "It's okay. It was my fault too" and showered it to him with a sheepish grin. She had to admit though, his babbling was cute.
Jae had always been clumsy, it was basically a personality trait at this point because no matter how much he practiced balance or worked on his hand-eye coordination he still found himself on his ass more often than not. From the floor, he was just laughing under his breath because he seemed to keep meeting people like this and it felt like a running joke in his life at his point. But firstly he scanned his eyes over the female to try and determine if she was okay. And she did seem to be until she crawled along the floor to reach for the journal she left on the floor and then he heard the crack of the wood against her head. He winced from the sound alone and moved towards her to see if she was okay “God that must have hurt I’m so sorry” he spoke apologetically before he watched her as she scribbled something down in her notebook.
He squinted his eyes as he tried to read her handwriting, he wasn’t wearing his contacts or glasses so it was easier said than done so he scooted a little closer so he could read the letters and then he laughed a little and shrugged. He pressed his lips together as he realized she was using this way of communicating. At first, he thought she might be deaf but that couldn’t be the case because she wasn’t even looking at him when he was speaking and she still responded. He took a long breath for a moment as he looked back at her, it had been a long time since he had gotten to actually use the sign language he knew in actual conversation but he still attended his online sessions for it so he was sem-confident.
He slowly moved as he mouthed the words he was trying to say hoping if he made any mistakes then she might be able to lipread “Are you hurt?” he asked as he rubbed against his head to show her what he meant. When she didn’t look completely confused by what he was doing and trying to say “I fall a lot” he signed and laughed softly, he was so used to falling now and always had bruises here there and everywhere like battle scars from his war was inanimate objects.
She had no one else to blame for the fall really. Not when she was busy with her eyes glued to her phone screen instead of the path in front of her. And technically, the male was carrying a lot of books so it shouldn't be his fault for this part either. Besides, Taealha couldn't bring herself to even go anywhere near to frowning in disapproving, much less scowl at the other male for doing something that was pretty much an honest mistake that anyone could do any day. Because she couldn't exactly talk verbally, she was searching for her journal, a book where she writes her responses because it was a natural approach instead of using the notepad app on her phone because shoving one's phone into another's face can be seen as rude and obnoxious. The bump that she gained from bumping her head against the table was definitely a big reminder that she shouldn't be reckless as much. Oh well, it's all done now anyway, there was nothing she could do now, only to rub the sore spot and offer the other male a sheepish grin.
And god, was this guy attractive. He was taller than her, obviously, a lot of people are taller than her in general, even if she was sporting a whole 10cm heels. "Yeah, it does hurt" she wrote and gave him one of the most blank stares ever, only to shrug it off and write a quick I'm kidding underneath the lines. From the lines written on his face, Taealha concluded that he was still trying to figure out why she's using this method to communicate but then figured it soon enough. Over the years, during her training and therapy, it wasn't just urging herself to speak, it's to study the people around you and know their body language well because she lacked in one part which means she needs to be two steps forward so people would not need to fall back just to walk on the same line as her. A part of her did that because of another reason too; she didn't want people to put her disability above her label. She is more than that and being two steps ahead in everything is her way of proving that she's just as normal as them, if not a bit advanced, sometimes.
Thankfully, lipreading is also something else she's mastered alongside sign language and texting at a fast pace. She shook her head in response to his question when he asked her if she was hurt, and proceeded to check if he was too by proceeding to write her words in signing, "Are you? That's a lot of books… and no doubt heavy in weight too. Are you okay?" When he said he fell a lot, she chuckled and crouched to help him pick up the books, "Don't worry, I'm not the most graceful human to exist in this world either. I couldn't count how many times I've pricked my fingers while tending to my roses because an idiot girl decided her roses loves her so there was no need for gloves. Definitely called that on my own, of course." After she finished picking up the books, she placed them on the nearest table, the one she had hit her head on, earlier. A hand was then extended to him, "I'm Taealha."
Jae had always been a bit of a klutz so he was used to being on the floor but he took one look at the shoes she was wearing and opened his mouth in shock, he wasn’t sure how she managed to walk down the street in those without falling from side to side. He widened his eyes as he read her message about it hurting and furrowed a concerned brow before she followed it up with a second message where she said she was kidding, he laughed softly, he liked her sense of humor and the fact she could convey it without having to say a word.
Jae still had the question of why she couldn’t talk on the tip of his tongue but he didn’t find it appropriate to ask, it seemed like she found ways to work with it and that made him happy, to see someone able to have something holding her back and yet not let it define her either. He respected her will greatly and he hoped he wouldn’t totally screw up his communication with her because he wanted to get to know someone like that. They both stayed there on the floor for a moment and then he pushed himself to his feet and offered his hand out to pull her up.
“I’m okay” he responded in sign language as he looked back at her and grinned slightly sheepishly “I like to learn a lot so I need a lot of books” he knew his signing was pretty simplistic sentences but it seemed to be enough to convey what was trying to say. He stacked the books she passed him onto the table beside them deciding against trying to carry them across the room considering how badly that had gone the first time around. He watched her as she signed about roses and hurting herself with them and then needing to wear gloves “Ouch” he signed and then laughed softly “I want to learn to ice skate but I think I will get very bruised” he expressed and then looked at the stack of books wondering how many of them he would actually take home with him. When she signed her name he watched her movements intently and then spoke the name out loud to make sure he got it right “Taealha” he spoke softly and then shook her hand before putting back and speaking while signing out his name too “I’m Jae” he added with a proud grin, glad he was able to communicate like this.
When he held his hands out to her, presumably to help her up from her fall earlier, Taealha grinned softly in acknowledgement as she accepted his hand to stand up on her own two feet. Yes, surprisingly, she was able to walk properly without any problem in a whole 10 cm heels. The human was used to heels in general, she always loved to wear them so it was almost like a second nature to her. And her root of recklessness didn't stem from her choice of apparel either. Glad to see that she wasn't alone in that department too, though. She had rubbed the back of her head, the exact spot where she had hit the table at, earlier, it really stung but she'll have to forget about it. Hopefully, it wouldn't bruise because having a bump on her head was the last thing the raven-haired female wanted, people would ask questions. Especially people at her workplace.
She wasn't going to lie, finding out that this guy in front of her, knows sign language, was amusing her. Taealha was impressed. At least, she could communicate better that way. Writing can be so tiring sometimes. "That's a lot of books" she grinned, even for someone who enjoys reading fictitious novels, Taealha could never find the time to do so seeing as she is almost always occupied with her research. When he said he wanted to learn how to ice skate but fear he'd bruise himself, Taealha chuckled softly, that's also something she was sure she would fail at too. "Well, the important thing is to try, right? If we don't try, then we'll never know how it works out. And to never give up. You'll be surprised to see how much a person's will can determine a lot of things for them." He doesn't look like someone who was quick to give up.
Oh, this was one of those rare moments when someone got her name right on the first try. Though, she wasn't at all surprised. Her name was designed to be spelled in a romanized Korean way and he looks like a Korean. Her eyes lit up in delight as she nodded enthusiastically at his correct pronunciation. "Nice to meet you, Jae. I do wish we could've met under a better situation than earlier but hey, it's the thought that counts, right?" Her eyes were pretty much half way closed to form an eye smile that correlates well with her smile formed on her heart-shaped lips. Seeing the amount of books that he still needed to carry, no doubt, made the human bit her lip, "I can help you carry the books. I'm in no rush." Without even giving him a chance to even say no, Taealha went over to put a few books on top of each other, leveling up to 6 books on the table. "How did you come to learn the sign language, if you don't mind me asking?"
Jae was pretty sure from looking at her a little while longer that she must be Korean, she had the distinctive features which he recognized from home. When she said he had a lot of books with him he laughed “And I plan to read them all” he responded and nodded a few times, Jae definitely had no problem finishing books, on a good week he could get through three entire novels and he never really tired of them. When she responded by saying he should try to ice skate even if he thought he would be bad at it he nodded a few times “A few bruises is better than regrets” he sighed out and pressed his lips together, what a profound bit of advice to get from a stranger he just met “Do you study here?” he asked with raised brows.
Thankfully the sign language meant they could talk as much as they wanted in the library without getting themselves in trouble which was nice because last he had checked it was pouring pretty hard outside which is exactly why he had decided to hide in here “If we hadn’t bumped into each other we probably would have never met” he signed hoping he was still remembering this right and he made sense to her. When she offered to carry the books he was about to assure her it was fine but she had already taken the initiative to pick some up and take them over to the table so he signed “Thank you” instead as he sat himself down at the table opposite her.
Her question made him smile a little, it was a little nostalgic to remember his friends from school and how they had all learned sign language together so they could communicate with the new student who joined. “I had a friend when I was younger who was deaf” he answered and nodded his head a few times “I miss her” he admitted but smiled, he was sure she was off doing important things with her life now, she had always been top of the class and he was pretty sure she got into one of the top universities “How do you like Evermore University?” he asked with a smile, he hadn’t gotten the chance to talk to many other students who weren’t his classmates so it was interesting to see if he could discover a different perspective.