Maimi studied her face in front of a mirror in the bride’s room. It was the big day. Everyone was busy preparing the bride and the groom while the others were serving the invited in the wedding hall. The priest was sitting near the piano. The hall was filled with good atmosphere. People were having discussions about the couple. They were curious. All of a sudden, they were getting married.
“What am I going to do?”she moaned. The make-up artist turned back, “Excuse me?”
Maimi shook her head. “Nothing. I’m just nervous.” She was make-upped with smoky eyes style and her thin lips brightened with peach colour and flavoured lipstick. Her hair was tied into a bun and the hairstylist made bangs and perm the hair at the end of the hair. A tiara was placed on her head. She was ready.
She was hardly swallowed her own saliva for the past an hour and she could feel her stomach full with butterflies. She sighed and watched again her reflection. “Oh, my...”
“Honey?” Mrs. Kazui came into the room along with Peppei. Both of them were dressed in their old well-keep Japanese traditional clothes, kimono. They could not afford to buy any formal dresses.
“Oka-san!” Maimi got up and hugged her mother. “Oka-san! Thank you for being here.”
“Of course I will, honey. It’s my daughter’s wedding,” her mother said. Peppei cleared her throat, “Your tiara looks pretty and you look great.”
“Thanks, pal,” Maimi replied and she cried softly. Mrs. Kazui smiled and her hand gently touched her daughter’s face. “You look so beautiful.”
Maimi sniggered. She was sad to wear the expensive dress while her mother and her bestfriend wore the old clothes. Peppei kept quiet.
Tezuka wore his white, silky gloves for the last touch. He was well dressed in black suits and red bowtie. His hair was back-combed and he wore contact lenses, leaving his glasses at home just for the day. He smelled great. Mr. Fujimoto and Grandpa To smiled to each other. Tezuka was good-looking.
“Great,” Mr. Fujimoto said, adjusting his son’s bowtie. Grandpa To laughed. “Looks like we’re gonna have many grandchildren.”
Mr. Fujimoto laughed along and slapped Tezuka’s back. He just smiled weakly. “Not so fast.”
“Why not? I want a girl,” Grandpa To joked. He laughed again followed by his son. Tezuka sighed silently. He was not sure about the wedding. He did not love the old miss. He still needed time to know her well.
A relative came in and hurried him to join the ceremony. “Come! We’re running out of time!
Tezuka was brought out of the room. He walked pass Ayaka, who was going to find him. She was wearing a peach floral dress with white, furry clutch. Her hair flowed down. She looked down, disappointed. She was wondering why did the girl was his choice?
Everyone clapped as Tezuka arrived at the altar. He faced in front and it shocked the other women there. His good-looking face melted their hearts especially when he was not wearing glasses and his hair was back-combed. He was the prince of the day, and he defeated any celebrities’ weddings. Camera flashed from every angle.
The maindoor was opened. Every eye darted at the door. Tezuka was kind of nervous but his egoism stopped him from being to. Whispers filled the hall as Maimi marched hand-in-hand with Mr. Fujimoto along the red carpeted hallway. The old miss held a bouquet of pink roses and she looked extremely beautiful.
Ayaka was a little shocked. She could not believe her eyes from what she thought. The first time she saw her was when the old miss barged into Tezuka’s office in torn out clothes. Peppei and Mrs. Kazui smiled, eyes on Maimi. Mrs. Suzuki nodded. Grandma Megu sniggered happily.
Maimi tried to take a secret look at Tezuka while she was walking towards him. Her heart beat faster when the good-looking guy exchanged look with her. She let off a relief sigh when she arrived at the altar. Mr. Fujimoto handed her left hand in front of Tezuka for him to hold it. Tezuka was taken aback. He did not want to hold her hand. She was an old miss! He was marrying an old miss.
He looked at his father. Mr. Fujimoto stared at him. He sighed and took Maimi’s hand and grabbed it while facing the priest. Maimi smiled as bigger as she could. Tezuka rolled his eyes. The audiences sat down and relaxed. The camera kept capturing the couple.
“Do you, Tezuka Fujimoto will love and take care of your wife from good to death you do?” the priest began. Tezuka swallowed. He breathed in and said, “I do.”
I did not just say that....
“Do you, Maimi Kazui will love and take care of your husband from good to death you do?” the priest asked Maimi. She nodded, “I do.”
Everyone was happy. Later, it was the ring part. Tezuka took out an imported ring from Paris and it fit the old miss’s finger. She smiled at him, knowing the kissing part was coming near. As the priest allowed the groom to kiss the bride, Tezuka froze. He would never want to kiss that 27 year-old miss. He was way too young to kiss her. Maimi frowned a bit.
Seconds went by but Tezuka was still there, frozen. Everyone was wondering. Ayaka smirked a little. Peppei grunted and stood up, “Kiss her!”
Maimi and Tezuka faced them.
“Kiss her! Kiss her! Kiss her! Kiss her! Kiss her!” were the words cheered by the audiences after Peppei did. Tezuka closed his eyes and there was nothing he could do. The way to escape was to kiss her and everything was over. Yes, just kiss her.
Tezuka made a move. Maimi closed her eyes. He reluctantly decreased the inches between their lips. Slowly, and slowly, and slowly.....there! He pecked her lips and looked away. Maimi opened her eyes. “Huh? That’s it?”
Again, whispers flooded the hall. A peck was not requested. The audiences needed more. The priest giggled, “It’s okay. You’re a husband and wife.” He clapped to make the people stopped and followed him.
Maimi curved a flirtatious smile. “I understand. You’ll give more during our first night, right?” she whispered. Tezuka glared at her.
Ayaka folded her hands on her chest. She stood up and left the place.
Everyone was served with delicious delicacies. They enjoyed it. Grandma Megu met Maimi’s mother for the first time. “Hello, there.”
Mrs. Kazui nodded. Grandma Megu smiled, “This is our first time met, right? I heard that you run a saloon. What’s its name and where does it located?”
Mrs. Kazui adjusted her clothes pretending to look natural. She knew Maimi made up the story. “Actually- “
“Oka-san!” Maimi called her. Tezuka followed her from behind. Peppei came along with Tezuka’s other relatives. “Hi, Grandma Megu.”
Everybody laughed. Tezuka bowed to Mrs. Kazui. She replied the bow. “I’m glad my daughter is married to a great guy.”
Tezuka did not smile. Maimi hugged his hand. “I’m happy!”
Grandma Megu laughed. Mrs. Kazui sniggered. They began to have the conversation, leaving everyone’s behind. Peppei walked away with her food. Tezuka left the group and went to a corner to breathe in. Maimi was walked with her friend, fetching expensive food.
Tezuka took out his cellphone and dialled his company’s number. A warning sound rang. He looked at the screen. ‘Out of battery’ was written. He sighed and closed back his flip cellphone.
“Worrying about the company?” Ayaka came. Tezuka glanced at her and back to his cellphone. “There’re still many paperwork to be done.”
Ayaka nodded. “Yes, there are. But don’t worry. Go on with your marriage life first and job comes second.” Actually, she was jealous when she said that. She thought she was the one that should replace Maimi.
“I know. Things gonna be bad when I get back to work,” Tezuka told her. Ayaka tossed her hair. She neared her boss and looked from head to toe, “You look so handsome today. How I was your wife.”
Tezuka tilted his head at her words. He was a bit uneasy about that. That was the first time something like that came out of his assistant’s mouth.
“Hi, guys!” a high-pitch voice was heard. Maimi joined in. Tezuka rolled his eyes. Ayaka pretended to look at her clutch. “Hi.”
Ayaka looked up and formed a weak smile. “Hi. I’m Ayaka. Your husband’s assistant.”
“Ooohhh. Nice to meet you,” Maimi said. “You look so pretty in that dress! Oh, I love your shoes!”
Ayaka pulled some strand of her red hair behind her ears. “Those are high heels, not shoes. Anyway, you’re the bride, you’re the princess today.”
Maimi laughed and smacked her shoulder. Ayaka’s mouth opened in shock. Tezuka wrinkled his eyebrows. Maimi swallowed, “Sorry! Haha! Actually, everyone looks pretty today.”
Ayaka nodded nonchalantly.
“Thank you for coming all the way here,” Grandma Megu told Mrs. Kazui. She nodded with a pleasant smile. “Thank you for inviting me.”
The two families were gathering in the hotel lobby. The invited were busy waiting for their cars to get home. Maimi was a bit shy standing beside Tezuka that she kept blushing whenever she looked at her husband. Tezuka just ignored her.
Mrs. Fujimoto bowed to Mrs. Kazui. “It’s an honour to have you into our family. Maimi is a good girl.” Maimi giggled. Ayase rolled her eyes. Tezuka silenced.
“Both of you are gonna stay together in Tezuka’s house. He insists that he wants to use his own house instead of a bungalow. It’s located near the city in Shibuya and it’ll take only 40 minutes to visit us,” Grandma Megu explained. Everyone nodded. Maimi’s eyes were smiling and she covered her mouth with excitement. But suddenly, she stopped. “What?”
Everyone glanced at her. Maimi looked down and said, “That means, I can’t see my mother?”
Mrs. Kazui sighed. Grandma Megu laughed. “Of course you can. But you need to stay with your husband.”
Tezuka adjusted his bowtie and took a side-glance at his wife. Maimi’s eyes were flooded with tears. He frowned.
“Can my mom and my friend stay with me? I want them to stay with me,” she told. The tears began running down her cheeks. Everyone felt weird. Peppei sighed, “Maimi-chan....”
“Oka-san~,” Maimi cried and hugged her mother. Tezuka was surprised. Ayaka looked away. Grandma Megu shook her head.
“I don’t wanna leave you,” Maimi said. “-and you, Pei-chan,” she added. Mrs. Fujimoto held her daughter’s hands, “No, honey. You need to stay with your husband. He will protect you. He’s your husband.” Peppei nodded, “That’s right, Mai-chan. I can look after your mom.”
Maimi sobbed. Grandma Megu cleared her throat. “I’m sorry, dear. Seems like we need to rush before you flood this hotel. Come.” She dragged Maimi’s hand and pasted it on Tezuka’s grisp and asked for some bodyguards to guide them to their BMW.
Maimi turned back but one of the bodyguards pulled her. Peppei reached for Mrs. Fujimoto’s hand. They watched her left.
“Stop crying will ya’?” Tezuka said as he drove into the parking lot at his apartment after a 40 minutes journey. Maimi’s make-up was ruined. She kept wiping her eyes whenever tears came out.
“I want my mommy!”
Tezuka sighed. “You’re 27 years-old and you’re older than me, how come you miss your mom?!”
Maimi looked at him. She was shocked. That was the first time she heard him answer with madness and stern tone. She swallowed slowly. “Sorry.”
Tezuka got out of the car and walked towards the building entrance. It was an antique-like apartment for rich people. He had the house for almost three years and he never invited anyone into his house including his family. He preferred to live by himself. Just then, he stopped walking and turned back to his car. He opened the driver’s door and saw Maimi was still sitting on the passenger’s seat, sobbing.
“Are you gonna stay there....until it’s over?” Tezuka asked in angry tone. Maimi faced him and responded, “I thought you would come and fetch me. Like a princess.”
Tezuka could not believe what he had heard. He slammed the door and punched the lock button of the BMW’s remote control. The car was locked automatically. Maimi gasped and looked around. She slammed the window hard and yelled. Then, she kept slamming the window.
“Not at my car!” Tezuka grunted. He unlocked the car. Maimi quickly escaped and closed the door then hurried towards him. “Why did you do that?”
“Old miss,” Tezuka babbled and left. Maimi followed him, “Wait!”
The lobby was like the hotel. It was so beautiful and expensive looking things. Maimi followed her husband into the lift to go to the fifth floor. Maimi checked around the space. Tezuka sighed, “Is this the first time you enter a lift?”
Maimi smiled and nodded. Tezuka shook his head. When the lift reached the fifth floor, they came out and walked straight to the end of the corridor. Tezuka’s house was the last one. He opened the door and turned on the main button and the whole house was lightened with lamps. Maimi gasped, “Wow!”
Tezuka released his bowtie and tuxedo before he put them on the coffee table in front of the plasma television. There were light chocolate leather couches. Plus, there were four rooms and an open kitchen was located beside the front door. It was huge and spacious. Maimi jumped with joy. She had just stepped into a heaven.
Tezuka opened a single door right next to the kitchen. “This is the master bedroom.” He walked to another door and opened it. “This is guest bedroom. Next to it is the bathroom and the last one is a study.”
Maimi nodded. She threw away her handbag and ran into the master bedroom. She found double bed and jumped on it. She hopped up and down, laughing. Tezuka came in and shouted, “Hey! Get back here! That’s my bed! The guest is yours!”
Maimi stopped and got down. “But....don’t we sleep together?”
“Dream it. I don’t wanna make out with an old miss,” Tezuka answered shortly. He pulled the old miss and pushed her outside of the room before he slammed the door. Maimi pouted and went to the guest bedroom. She entered and saw a single, pinkish bed with an end table beside it. There was a make-up table and a closet. But she was a bit upset. She did not want all that. She wanted to share the same bed with Tezuka. She would never care if he was younger than her and if it was a bit awkward for them to make out and had their first night. She cared for love as a newly-wed.
She breathed in and opened the master bedroom. “I want to sleep with you!!!!!”
Tezuka was shocked. He was wearing a jeans and he was half-naked. Maimi’s mouth widened.
“Now what?!” he said, quickly wearing his jeans. Maimi was frozen. Her eyes locked at his six packs. Sic packs.....chocolate abs......
Maimi’s ideal guy was the one with perfect six packs body. She had married to one. She gulped as Tezuka back-combed his hair and he wore his glasses back. I was married to a tough and sexy guy. She told herself. Maimi neared him. Tezuka sighed and pushed her away, “Don’t you dare.”
“Can I touch your chocolate abs?” she asked hesitantly. Her eyes were dancing. Tezuka glared at her and shook his head reluctantly while wearing a belt for his jeans. Maimi pulled out a finger and begged, “Please? One time only.”
Tezuka shot an angry expression at her and grabbed a t-shirt on his bed and shrugged it in. “No.”
Maimi stamped on the wooden floor and pouted like she always did. “I want to! I want it! I want it!” Tezuka ignored her and walked pass her towards the kitchen. The old miss followed him and sat by the dining table, avoiding the touch part and focused on what was her husband up to when she saw him searching for food in the freezer.
He took out frozen salmon and put it into the sink. Later he fetched for ingredients from the cabinets. Maimi was curious and neared him. “What are you doing?”
“Don’t ask,” he said while doing the salmon. He was a bit frustrated.
“Can I help?” Maimi asked. Tezuka shook his head angrily without a word. Maimi pouted more and more. She decided to change into her casual dress and she went to the living room. She turned on the tv and was surprised by the HD screen. She never had that at her house. There were so many channels to tune in to but she was confused which one to press using the remote control.
She looked at Tezuka for help but seeing him busy cooking, she turned off the tv and went to the balcony. It was a beautiful and scenery from the balcony. It was also strategic. She could see many grocery stores and convenient stores. There were many people walked by the apartment. Maimi noticed a cactus in a small pot beside her hand. “Kawaii!”
After a few minutes there, she went back inside and she could smell something good from the kitchen. “Nezumi-chan!” she called.
Tezuka rolled his eyes. He served the salmon that turned into sashimi. And there was a bean sprout soup. Two bowl of rice were ready at their places. Maimi sat down by the dining table and clapped her hands. She took her chopsticks and ate the sashimi. “Umm!!!! Yummy!”
Tezuka cleared his throat and joined her. He took off his glasses and wiped it with his t-shirt. Later, he wore it back and began to eat the lunch. It was a short and quick lunch thanked to him. He was a good cook.
“Wow! You’re a good cook! I never know that you’re a good cook!” Maimi praised in mouthful of rice.
“Don’t you have any manner? Do not talk in mouthful,” Tezuka told her, giving her a corny look. Maimi smiled and watched her young husband eating. Tezuka stopped and glared at her, “What? Never see someone eat? What am I? A sheep?”
Maimi laughed. “No! You’re a cute rat!”
Tezuka choked. He reached for a drink and gulped it. He gasped, grunting. He never thought getting married to an old, clumsy miss would destroy his life. He blamed his grandmother for that.
Maimi looked into the mirror she was holding in her bed. She was wiping away her make-up. “Oh, why does it hard to remove this fake thing?” A bunch of used tissues were scattered on the floor. She left her door room opened. It was already night. She had just changed into her lingerie gifted by Peppei.
Tezuka stopped in front of her room. “Hey.”
“Yes?” Maimi answered, wondering if he was going to ask her to sleep with him. She adjusted her hair and smiled. “Nezumi-chan?”
“Collect all your clothes and you can go wash them now. Pack the wedding dress for drycleaning tomorrow,” he said. That evening, they washed separated clothes because Tezuka did not want to share the same washing time and he preferred to do his own laundry like he always did.
Maimi was disappointed. “Okay.”
Tezuka left. Maimi got out of the room and lied down in his bed secretly. As Tezuka came in to sleep, his eyes were in fire as he saw the old miss in his bed. He pulled her arm. “Get out of my room!”
“No! I wanna sleep with you!”
“Dream it, old miss!!!!”
“No! No! Let me sleep here!”
Suddenly, Maimi fell down with her hands pulling Tezuka’s t-shirt. He fell against the old miss with a thud. Maimi’s head was knocked down onto the wooden floor. “Ouch!”
Tezuka realized he was leaning against her breasts and he quickly got up. His eyes widened. Maimi’s lingerie’s strand slipped off her shoulder and Tezuka could see her black bras. He gulped and pushed her away. He stood up and breathed out.
Maimi got up and rubbed at the back of her head. “It hurts.”
Tezuka pointed his hand at the opened door. “Please get out. I mean it.”
Maimi quickly exited the room and he slammed the door. She sighed and began to cry.
Ayaka slammed the glass on the counter bar at pub. She was so frustrated about her boss’s marriage just now. She was so in love with that guy. She could not believe she was defeated by a lady who was four years older than her boss and 6 years older than herself.
“Sir, one more liquor,” she ordered. Her hand weakly brushed her head to the back and tears began straining in her eyes. “Why?” she whispered to herself.
Finally, she decided to call her boss to wish goodnight but she could not do that for sure. Maybe her boss was having fun for his first night with the old miss. She shook her head.
“Here,” the bartender gave her a glass of liquor. She grabbed it and gulped the alcohol. Then, she swallowed it hard and breathed in.
No, he was too young for that. Yes, he should do it with me. I was supposed to be Maimi at the first place.
She looked at her Rolex watch. It was nearly midnight. The perfect time for newly-wed to have fun in bed. She could not stop thinking about that. She wanted her boss. Really, really craving for her boss’s love.