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?


15. a routine is important


I found that we worked together quite well. Although, I was still getting used to sharing the apartment.

"Could you hand me the salad tongs?" I asked and they were in my hand in an instant.

She kissed my cheek as she moved past me in the kitchen to the stove.

Maybe the biggest obstacle for us in the week since she'd moved in was sharing a single bathroom. Brushing teeth often meant one of us was spitting in the kitchen sink. Hair tools did not seem to fit. Anywhere. Nature sometimes making its call to both of us simultaneously was never ideal.

But, I loved her. And I loved having staring contests with her in the mirror to determine who had to spit in the kitchen sink.

The doorbell rang.

A deep fear I never even realized was possible for me to feel welled up in my chest at the thought that Harley's father was on the other side of the door. I steeled myself, remembering her words.

'You had me fall for you in less than a week. He'll fall, too.'

I wasn't as sure.

I opened the door.

"Tommy!" My mom squealed and gave me a tight hug.

"Hi, mom," I choked, struggling to breathe. "Hey, dad."

"Son," he said and gave me a very fatherly hug with a pat on my shoulder.

"Come in, come in," I said and ushered them both into she apartment.

Harley was waiting anxiously in the kitchen. She was fidgeting with her hands, as she was prone to do when she was nervous.

"Mom and Dad, this is Harley," I said. "Harley, these are my parents. Jarred and Carolyn Hawthorne."

"It's very nice to meet you both," Harley said and extended her hand.

My mother ignored the hand and brought her into a less tight but equally warm hug. My father shook her hand. He was a nervous type. Something he and Harley seemed to have in common when thrown into new social situations. I reflected back on how shy and nervous Harley was at the game show. I swallowed down the thought, not wanting to slip up before the planned reveal.

"Why don't you guys sit at the table? There are still some things that need finishing up in the kitchen," I suggested.

"Anything I can help with?" Asked my mother.

"No, thank you mom," I said. "We're almost done."

"Would you like anything to drink?" Harley asked sweetly.

I ran the back of my hand along the back of her arm gently to reassure her that she was doing great.

"Sure," my dad said.

That's when there was another knock at the door.

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