Foreign Friday: Sunny

Sunny is a South Korean film about a middle-aged woman who tries to fulfill her friend’s dying wish of reuniting their group of high school friends. The film alternates between two timelines: the present day where the women are middle-aged, and the 1980s when they were in high school.

This is an absolutely adorable film that very elegantly transitions between the present and flashbacks of the past. It beautifully captures the universality of the human experience. The closeness of a group of high school girl friends, the pain of first love, the way it feels like nothing’s changed when you’re back with that certain group of friends–even years later.

For anyone who wants to watch it, it’s available on Netflix Instant Watch.

Foreign Friday is an introduction to Indian and Korean culture in honor of my YA contemporary novel (tentatively titled) Shadows Fall Behind.

Snippet Saturday #4 Jessica

The next time I saw him, I was in eighth grade and on the brink of graduation from middle school. When my eyes fell on him, my heart either forgot it had been so long since I’d last seen him, or it remembered all too well.

For a second I thought I would faint–I’d never sen him so handsome as he did in the tux he wore that day. His hands were in pockets, and he looked kind of sheepish as he said hi to me. I was sure he could both feel and hear my pounding heart from across the room. I tried to tell myself I had no right being nervous since I was the one who turned him down, but I couldn’t help it.

We sat together and talked only to each other. For the entire night, we didn’t spend a moment with anyone else. I kept thinking that I could live like that forever–that I never wanted the party to end. It didn’t feel awkward between us, despite what had happened the last time I met him.

The more we talked, the more I felt sucked in. I noticed his knee brush against mine, and I saw him glance down when I stretched out my legs. I think that’s what gave me the courage to do what I did next. I kissed him. It was a short kiss, basically just our lips brushing together, but even the light touch felt like a static shock. I had to fight to keep my fingertips from pressing against my mouth when we split apart.

He looked surprised, so I felt like I had to explain: “I’m sorry. I know it’s selfish, but I just wanted to make sure you were my first kiss.”

I didn’t want him to know how strongly I still felt for him. The kiss–it really was my first kiss–was wonderful, but it built an ache inside me. My heart or soul or whatever it was ached and reached out for him even more than before.

Max | Jessica

Snippet Saturday is my chance to share bits and pieces of my writing.

Snippet Saturday #3 Max

The next time I saw Jess (other than little glances and hellos since we were neighbors, of course) was at a family party a year later. It was a little awkward at first, but both of us tested the waters and moved forward a bit more carefully. We were rediscovering our friendship.

I tried not to stare at her, but I couldn’t help. The last time I’d seen her, she was Jessica Park, the girl who was my best friend. When I saw her at the party, she was Jessica Park, the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. Her hair hung just above her shoulders the way it had when I’d first seen her years ago, but now she had long earrings and makeup. She wore a dress, too, that stopped above her knees (and got even shorter when she sat down).

I couldn’t tell you what the color of her dress was or what it even looked like. I was just so aware of her. She stretched her legs out in front of her, and I saw how perfect and smooth the skin was. I made sure to look away as I talked to her.

Since I wasn’t looking at Jess, I didn’t see her hand as it came up to my face and pulled it toward her. She smelled sweet, like some kind of flower, and her lips were soft and warm.

She leaned back with a little smile and whispered, “I’m sorry. I know it’s selfish, but I just wanted to make sure you were my first kiss.”

I didn’t tell her then that she was my first kiss too. After everything that happened between us, I couldn’t decide if I was happy or furious. But even then, I knew that was a lie. You don’t decide what you feel–you just feel it.

I don’t know if it’s true that love is like a flame (if it is, why’s it so hard to extinguish?), but it really did feel like one at the time–in fact, it felt like it went from a flame to a blazing fire.

MaxJessica

Snippet Saturday is my chance to share bits and pieces of my writing.

Foreign Friday: Korean Words – unnie/noona

Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 1.35.17 AMThis is a companion post to [last week’s Foreign Friday]. “Unnie” and “noona” are used very similarly to “oppa” and “hyung.” A girl will call her older sister “unnie,” while a guy will call his older sister “noona.” However, a girl can also call an older friend or an older girl she knows “unnie” without being blood-related to her. A guy can use “noona” the same way, but he can also call an older girlfriend or lover “noona.”

Basically, “unnie” and “noona” are the genderswapped version of “oppa” and “hyung!”

Foreign Friday is an introduction to Indian and Korean culture in honor of my YA contemporary novel (tentatively titled) Shadows Fall Behind.