Some Assembly Required

Tom and Harley were just two random tourists in Tokyo. Back home, they led very different lives, but none of that really matters when a Japanese game show host forces you into matrimony for the sake of entertainment. Is this cooincidental marriage really all that ties them together? Or,mis there another way they're connected back home that could makes things really messy?


16. a father's opinion is important


My dad was sitting awkwardly at one end of the table. Thomas was at the other. His parents were on one side, I was on the other. We were quite literally facing each other's families.

It was surreal and terrifying, and kind of funny.

When I got nervous like this, I tended to either tense up for lose my filter. I was trying so hard to avoid the latter that the former was happening and I couldn't keep my hands still.

Thomas tapped my foot with his.

"So, how long have you too been seeing each other?" My father asked with his arms crossed.

He was the only person who hadn't touched their food.

"About a month and a half," I rounded up by a week, which was not a total lie.

"I'm guessing you're the person my daughter was with when she got back from Japan," he gathered. "And she was in Japan the month before she arrived home. That leaves you at a week rather than a month and a half."

"We met in Japan," Thomas said.

"Oh! How romantic!" Carolyn exclaimed, trying to break the tension. "And how convenient that you're so close back home! How did you both meet?"

I looked up at Thomas, who smiled at me in an effort to keep me calm. The moment we had discussed had arrived to soon. My brain kept shouting ABORT ABORT ABANDON SHIP.

He took my left hand in his right underneath the table and stroked my finger right around my ring. I had been thankful up until this point that my father hadn't noticed it. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course he had. He just hadn't said anything.

Thomas cleared his throat, "It's quite unique, actually. We both had been chosen from the audience to participate in this game show. Mom, you know Jamie. He forced me on stage."

"And I had kind of just wandered into the studio on a whim that day," I chimed in, my voice quavering.

"Isn't that charming?" Carolyn smiled and looked at Jarred, who nodded. He seemed rather stoic, but polite.

My dad just kept his arms cross.

"It was a bit of a whirlwind," I added. "And everyone was speaking Japanese, so it was difficult to understand."

"It turns out they had married us on live Japanese television, and we ended up really hitting it off. I spent the rest of my stay in Tokyo with Harley and falling in love with her."

The room was silent. My father stood from the table and headed for the door.

"Dad, wait!" I stood the chase after him, but he turned back towards us.

He wouldn't raise his eyes to meet mine when he said, "I'm more disappointed at this moment than I have ever been in my life. We spoke several times while you were away, and since you've been back. How could you not tell me about this?"

I was dumbfounded.

"I needed to figure out how I felt before I told you," I said. "I didn't want to take it lightly."

"Well, I think you've failed at that," he said and left, closing the door behind him.

"Excuse me," I said and left the table.

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