Ever since their tryst in the meadow at TEKville Park, Yutaka has been heavily campaigning to make Maile his wife. His persistence eventually pays off when she finally agrees to marry him, but unfortunately her acquiescence brings him no closer to the actual event. Her insistence on her brother giving her away results in postponement after postponement, as her brother’s disapproval of the match compels him to find continual excuses and reasons to delay coming to the mainland.
Finally Yutaka takes the bull by the horns and contacts Maile’s brother directly.
“Look, Akemi, I get it. I know why you keep finding reasons not to come. I know you hold my father’s actions against the entire family, but please trust me when I tell you that it had nothing to do with my brothers and me!”
“You expect me to be happy about my sister marrying the son of the man who tried to rape her?”
“He was a bad man; I know that. But he probably would have succeeded if not for me. I have loved Maile for years and have watched over her to prevent her from harm. I would never let anything happen to your sister.”
“I still don’t have to be happy about it, Kawase. And I don’t want any part of it.”
“Not even for Maile’s sake? She loves you, Akemi. And she loves me. The constant postponement of our wedding is making her very unhappy. Is that what you want?”
Akemi sighs. “No, I don’t want Maile to be unhappy. I just want her to be happy with someone else!”
“She doesn’t want ‘someone else’, praise Pele. She wants me, and she wants you to walk her down the aisle when she marries me. Can’t you bury the hatchet long enough to give her what she wants most in life?”
Akemi sighs again. “Oh, very well. I will come. Set a date and I will be there. I won’t like it, but I’ll be there.”
Akemi snaps his phone shut.
Yutaka breathes a sigh of relief as the call ends. Thank the gods! Maile will be so happy that her brother has finally agreed to give her away.
Yutaka rushes to Etsuko’s apartment to share the news and is met at the door by the woman he has pursued for years.
He takes Maile into his arms and kisses her passionately.
When they come up for air, she blinks and shakes her head to clear the fog.
“Yutaka! What brought that on?!”
“I have news, Maile! I talked to Akemi and he has agreed to come for the wedding. He says to set a date and he’ll be here!”
Maile throws her arms around Yutaka. “OH! I am so glad! How did you manage to convince him?”
Yutaka smiles. “By making it about your happiness, of course – the one thing no loving brother could deny! Now, what about setting that date?”
Maile returns his smile. “Etsuko and I have been talking. Would you mind terribly if we made it a double wedding? Ranger is getting as impatient as you are, and it seems silly to have two weddings so close together.”
Yutaka thinks to himself, I don’t care if it’s a group wedding of a thousand couples as long as we are one of them!
Out loud, he replies, “Of course not. I know that you and Etsuko have been as close as sisters since you were children, and I feel for poor Ranger.” He grins. “I would be honored to share our special day with them.”
It is lunch hour, and the tiny sushi bar is crowded.
Maile and Yutaka have a drink while they wait for seats to open up at the bar. Maile fairly quivers with excitement, eager to share her news with Etsuko.
Finally some of the diners pay their bill and vacate two chairs.
Maile rushes to her friend, eyes sparkling.
“Etsuko! Guess what! Akemi has agreed to come to the mainland to give me away!”
“Oh, Maile! I am so happy for you! Have you set a date?”
“Not yet. There’s more . . . Yutaka has agreed to a double wedding! Oh, Suko – we’re going to get married together!”
Etsuko leans over the bar and throws her arms around her friend. “Oh, Maile! Wait until I tell Ranger! He will be so happy!”
Piper listens with interest, smiling to herself at the excitement emanating from the two women. I hope they’re more fortunate in love than my poor cousin Morgan, she thinks. I’m certainly glad that *I* have been able to avoid romantic entanglements. They make life so . . . messy.
She finds it hard to avoid listening when the server and her friend are so enthusiastic, and besides, their conversation provides some insight into the town and its inhabitants. As Yutaka and Maile take seats at the bar, Piper finishes her sushi quietly, one ear tuned to their chatter while she surreptitiously admires the hunky fiancé of the woman called “Mylie”.
Etsuko delivers menus to her friends, although it seems pointless when Maile, at least, knows the menu by heart.
After she takes their orders and serves her friends, Etsuko has an idea that she’s been wanting to run past Maile.
“Maile, you know Jerri, that yellow-haired salesgirl at The Closet? She told me the last time I was there shopping that some friends of hers recently moved to TEKville and that one of them is an Event Planner. Do you think a wedding qualifies as an ‘event’?”
“Absolutely! Did you get her number?”
“No, but let’s go down to The Closet tomorrow on my day off and talk to her!”
The next morning Maile and Etsuko shower and get dressed early, eager to see Jerri at The Closet and get the number of her friend. In addition, they want to consult with Jerri about what The Closet has to offer in the way of potential wedding apparel.
Once they reach the boutique, they occupy themselves by looking at purses while the sales clerk assists other customers.
Once the other shoppers have made their selections and paid for them, Jerri turns her attention to Maile and Etsuko.
“Can I help you find something? Etsuko, isn’t it?”
“Hai.” Etsuko can’t resist the lifelong habit and executes a slight bow.
“I mean, yes. And this is my friend Maile.”
“I’m happy to meet you, Maile. Are you looking for something specific?”
Maile smiles. “Well, yes. First, Etsuko tells me that you have a friend who is an Event Planner. Can we get her number from you?”
“Of course!” Jerri reaches under the counter and fishes through her purse.
“Here’s her card. What kind of an event are you planning?”
The girls’ eyes sparkle as they exchange happy glances.
As one, they turn to Jerri and exclaim, “Our wedding!”
Jerri’s eyes go from one to the other, puzzled. Well, stranger things have happened in this town than a same sex marriage, I guess.
“Congratulations! And is there something else I can help you with?”
This time it’s Etsuko who speaks. “Hai. Do you have any dresses that would be suitable for a wedding?”
Jerri hesitates only briefly. “I think so, yes! And . . . would you both be interested in dresses?”
The girls exchange puzzled looks.
Then the more worldly Maile bursts into laughter. Etsuko is still confused; Jerri wonders if she’s committed a serious breach of etiquette by asking.
Once Maile finally regains her composure, she says with a chuckle, “We’re not marrying each other – we’re having a double wedding!”
Jerri thwacks herself on the forehead. “I’m so sorry! I feel really stupid. I am SO embarrassed!”
Etsuko smiles, finally understanding. “As Americans say, ‘No problem’! Can you show us some dresses, Jerri?”
“Of course! Long or short? Formal, or more casual?”
The girls look at one another in surprise before turning back to Jerri.
Maile replies. “Well . . . ummm . . . I guess we hadn’t really thought that far ahead! We’ve both been engaged for some time, but have only just yesterday decided to set a date, and to have a double wedding. I guess maybe we need to make some more decisions before we get carried away looking at dresses!”
Jerri smiles. “Well, there’s no harm in seeing what’s available. Have a seat! I'll grab another chair and we'll look at some options.”
"Here is a lovely option --a strapless formal gown with an embellished bodice."
"This is a vintage gown with a high neckline and long sleeves. It's a perfect choice if you're looking for something that isn't white white."
"Oh, I love the vintage look! If I had my choice, I would wear my mother's gown, but my parents do not approve of my fiance so that is not an option for me."
"Here is one that is a little less formal -- tea length, strapless, and tulle covered with lace."
"I could see myself in something like that, although I'd prefer something not stark white. It washes me out. I think I'd also like to see some black trim. Maybe some feathers. Something non-traditional."
"And just to cover all of our bases, here is a very informal dress."
"We have another in eggshell, in case you'd both like to wear the same dress."
The girls spend the rest of the morning shopping, then decide to have lunch at the diner before contacting Jerri’s friend Dani.
At the diner, Etsuko’s friend Spencer greets them enthusiastically. She has seen much less of Etsuko since her engagement to Ranger and has missed her company.
Once she has delivered their order and has ascertained that her boss isn’t looking, she pulls up a chair to chat, keeping an eye on her other customers.
“So what’s new, Suko?”
“Spencer, I’m getting married! Finally!”
“Oh, Suko, I’m so happy for you! When??”
“We have not set a date yet, but we hope it will be soon. Maile and I are having a double wedding!”
“Wonderful! It will be the event of the season! Tell me all about it.”
Maile breaks in. “Well, we don’t have a lot of the details worked out yet. In fact, none of them! But after lunch we’re going to call a friend of Jerri’s who is an Event Planner, and hopefully she can help us.”
“Oh, I’ve heard of her, I think. Dani something, right? I hope she works out for you!”
"Spencer, I have something to ask of you. Will you be my Maid of Honor?"
Spencer leaps up from her chair and embraces her friend. "Oh, Suko! Of course I will! I would be honored!"
Looking around, Spencer sees that one of the other tables is ready for their check and excuses herself, allowing Etsuko and Maile to finish their lunch.
Once they have eaten their fill and pushed away their plates, Maile fishes out Dani’s business card and dials her number.
Dani is home alone in Jerri's basement studio apartment, as usual, watching an old black & white movie.
Not recognizing the calling number, she sits up in anticipation.
“This is Dani. Can I help you?”
“Hi, Dani. My name is Maile Katsuyama. I got your number from Jerri at The Closet. My friend Etsuko and I are getting married in a double wedding, and we were hoping we could get some ideas and maybe some help from you.”
Dani is elated, as this is her first big opportunity since moving to TEKville to get her budding business off the ground. “Of course! I’d be happy to work with you and your friend. When would you like to meet?”
“Is this afternoon too soon?”
Dani stretches the truth just a little bit. “I do happen to have an opening this afternoon, as another client has just canceled. What time is good for you?”
They make plans to meet back at Etsuko’s apartment at 2:00 and conclude their call.
“Oh, Maile! This is so exciting! I can’t believe I am finally going to be Mrs. Ranger Manoso!”