Cassie's wedding day doubts.
“Text”= Japanese People Speaking
“/Text/”= English People Speaking
“+Text+”= American People Speaking
“#Text#”= Australian People Speaking
Cassie sat in the living room looking at bridal magazines. She won’t stop talking about the wedding. She’s planned everything down to the tee. She wants it during the summer at a church. Cassie wanted to look cute in her white wedding dress with Nick at her side. Speaking of which…
Cassie looked up when she heard the door open. Nick stood in the doorway, holding bags of take-out. She gave him a little smile.
“/Welcome back!/” she cheered. Nick only sneered at her.
“/Uh-huh,/” he grumbled. He walked straight into the kitchen. Cassie frowned.
Guess he’s still not happy about the wedding, she thought. She turned back to the bridal catalogs before her.
She just won’t stop. It’s always about that damn wedding. Their friends chalk it up to excitement.
“She’s happy,” Shuichi said.
“/She loves you,/” Casper explained.
“It’s every girl’s dream,” Hiro told him. The rest told him the same thing. Not that it helped or anything. In fact, it all just made it worse. Nick wanted to scream at them to shut up so badly. He didn’t want this. He never wanted to get married. No, this was all Cassie’s idea. She just wouldn’t quit either. And now, she just kept going on and on. Tonight is no different.
They sat at the table eating dinner. Cassie began again with the wedding.
“/Anyway,/” she said. “/Just saw the cutest white shoes./”
“/Yeah,/” Nick grumbled. Cassie looked at him smiling.
“/I want an evening wedding, you know?/” she said.
“/The sunset would look pretty on my dress./”
Cassie leered at him. “/You’re not listening to me, are you?/” Nick glanced up at her.
“/Yeah, yeah, yeah,/” he grumbled. Cassie narrowed her eyes at him.
“/Then what did I say?/” she asked. Nick sat back, grumbling.
“/You were going on about that stupid wedding again,/” he said. His e blinked at him.
“/I’m sorry?/” she asked. The man lowered his chopsticks.
“/That’s all you ever talk about lately,/” he said. “/I don’t care about your dress! I don’t care about the church! I don’t care about the food! I just don’t give a shite about any of it!/” Cassie looked at him puzzled.
“/You okay, Nick?/” she asked.
“/No,/” he hissed. His fiancee frowned.
“/Why don’t you like this wedding?/” she asked. That did it. Nick threw down his chopsticks.
“/This is bullshit,/” he muttered. Then, he got up and walked away. Cassie sat at the table, still looking lost.
“/Okay…/” she mumbled. The woman turned back to her bowl.
They didn’t speak for the rest of the night. He couldn’t even stand to look at her. Cassie didn’t even go into her fantasy world to lighten up the mood this time. The couple just prepared for and went to bed.
Prison guards Hiro and Shuichi walked up to the cell. Hiro knocked on the bars and looked inside.
“Get up!” he said. “It’s time.” Inside, Nick looked at him, tired and dazed.
“/Huh?/” he asked.
“Move it!” Shuichi called. “We have to go!” Hiro unlocked the cell door. Nick straggled over in a daze. The guards took hold of his shoulders.
They walked down to the execution grounds. The whole crew waited for them there. Shuichi tied Nick to a tall wooden pole. Then, he and Hiro joined the other witnessed.
“Any last words?” Hiro asked. Nick swallowed hard as he panted.
“/I’m innocent!/” he screamed. “/You can’t do this to me! I’m an innocent man!/” Sadly, his words fell on deaf ears. Hiro held up his hand. Cassie walked out in a wedding dress and veil. Shuichi handed her the shot gun. The bride took it with a sweet smile before turning back to Nick
“Ready!” Hiro yelled. Drum roll filled the air. Cassie held up the gun.
“Aim!” the guard called. The bride fixed her weapon on Nick’s chest.
“Fire!” Hiro yelled.
Once again, Nick awoke panting. Cassie reached over and turned on the lamp.
“/Nick?/” she asked. “/Nick, what’s the matter?/” He turned to her with big eyes.
“/What?/” he asked. His fiancee blinked at him.
“/Were you having dreams again?/” she asked. He shook his head as he tried to regain himself.
“/No!/” he lied. Cassie didn’t buy it.
“/You were, weren’t you?/” she asked. She reached up to wipe the sweat from his forehead, but he pushed off her hand.
“/Just leave me alone,/” he muttered. Nick climbed out of bed and walked out of the room. Cassie’s eyes widened in worry.
“/Nick…/” she said. Her hand lowered to the bed.
“/I don’t know what to do,/” she said the next day in the bridal shop. The shop assistants helped her get in the dresses. They had never seen a woman so skinny before in their lives. Casper looked over at her.
“/Wedding nerves?/” she asked. The bride-to-be shrugged.
“/That’s what I thought too,/” she said. Cassie paused for a long moment. “/Then, he started having nightmares…/” The girls all looked up at her.
“Nightmares?” Arisu asked. Cassie nodded.
“/He keeps dreaming about getting executed,/” she said. The girls all stared at her.
“/What?/” Nicole asked.
“/Yes,/” the bride-to-be said. “/I tried to talk to him about, but he just brushes me off./” She paused and looked down at the white lace on her body. “You don’t think…/”
“No!” her friends all said in one quick lie.
“/No,/” Nicole said again. “/It’s not probably like that!/”
“/So, you think he’s not…?/” Cassie began to ask. The women all shook their heads.
“/No,/” Casper said. “/He’s not having second thoughts. He loves you too much for that./” One of the employees snorted
“Ha!” she said. The women all turned to her. The employee fitting Cassie looked up at her.
“Believe me,” she said. “He’s having second thoughts. Trust me on this one!” Cassie’s eyes widened at her. She shook her head.
“/No,/” she denied. “/That can’t be it. No./” The employee shook her head.
“You poor soul,” she said. “Did he even want to get married?”
“/Well… no…/” Cassie replied. The employee let off a low whistle.
“Wow!” she muttered to herself.
“/Excuse me!/” Casper spoke up. “/But aren’t you supposed to be encouraging the bride, not make her depressed?!?/” Employee shrugged.
“Hey, I’m just telling the truth here,” she said.
“/Well, it’s not good for business, is it?/” Nicole asked.
“Setsuko!” a woman yelled. Everyone looked up to see the store owner storming into the fitting room. The employee sighed.
“Mom, I’m only telling the truth!” she said.
“Don’t discourage the brides!” she yelled. Mother and daughter disappeared into the back, arguing. Cassie and her friends stayed quiet for a long moment.
“Uh… Jin and Peaches are getting married too,” Arisu spoke up. Everyone looked at her.
“/Is that right?/” Cassie asked. The Japanese woman nodded.
“/Oh…/” the bride-to-be said. That didn’t really help, did it?
Cassie looked rather down for the rest of the day. She walked home alone in her cloud. Maybe a trip back in her mind would cheer her up. Where could she go this time? Maybe space. All the way into the stars. Looking down at the Earth. So peaceful. So quiet. So… empty.
Cassie opened her eyes and sighed. This wasn’t working like it normally did. The woman looked at herself in the in the store window. What’s happened to me?, she thought. Cassie took a step back, trembling. She reached into her purse and pulled out her phone. One quick dial later, she waited on the other line.
“/Hello?/” a familiar voice grumbled.
“/Nick,/” she complained.
“/What do you want?/” he asked.
“/I don’t know…/” Cassie said.
Nick snorted over the phone. “/Then why did you call me?/”
“/I don’t know…/”
Her fiance grumbled. “/You know you are useless sometimes./”
Cassie sank to the ground and sighed. Why did she call him? It made sense at the time. She bit down on her lower lip.
“/Do you want me to come get you?/” Nick asked.
“/Huh?/” she asked.
“/Do you want me to come and get you?/” he asked again. It took a moment for it to sink in to her. Cassie slowly nodded.
“/Yeah…/” she mumbled.
“/I’ll be right there, don’t move,/” he said. Cassie lowered the phone to her small chest as he hung up. She looked up at the sky.
Nick… she thought. Moments later, the fiance came, got her, and took her home. She ended up kissing up through sex.
For the next few days, the couple didn’t talk. It was just wedding plans as usual. Yet, something had changed. Cassie didn’t seem to be smiling as much. One day for Nick, fine. But a whole week? He shook his head to himself.
Damn, this isn’t good, he thought. The man had to fix this.
“/Hey Ace,/” he said at the kitchen table one morning. “/Ace?/” The bride-to-be looked up at him.
“/Hm?/” she asked.
“/You okay?/” he asked. The question didn’t really register with her at first. She forced herself to smile.
“/Huh?/” she asked. “/Oh. Yeah, yeah./” Nick frowned at her.
“/Liar,/” he said.
“/Really, I’m fine,/” she insisted. He shook his head. Cassie frowned herself. Might as well come out and say it.
“/Are you happy with this, Nick?/” she asked. The man gave her a confused look.
“/What?/” he asked.
“/The wedding,/” Cassie said. “/Are you happy with any of this?/” Nick narrowed his eyes at her.
“/No,/” he said. The man noticed the worry in her eyes. “/What is this about?/” he asked. Cassie shook her head.
“/It’s nothing,/” she said. Her fiance sighed.
“/Cassie, look at me,/” he said. The woman did so. Nick lowered his shoulders at her.
“/I don’t like it, but I will do it just to make you happy,/” he said. Cassie frowned at him.
“/That’s not enough, Nick,/” she said, sadly. His face just dropped.
“/Then,/” he said. “/What do you want?/” Cassie shook her head.
“/Never mind,/” she said. Then, she got up and walked away from the table. Nick looked at her with a blank.
That woman never makes any sense, he thought. He spared himself the headache for the morning. Oh, there would be more time for that later.
That all sprung off with a phone call. Nick picked up the receiver around ten in the morning.
“/Hello?/” he asked. “/Yes, this is he. What? You’re kidding! How the hell… No, no. I’ll come down and deal with it. Okay, bye./” He lowered the phone.
“/Damn it!/” he barked.
And so, Nick ended up on a trip downtown at the chapel to straighten out the schedule. Church. He hadn’t been inside since… Well… Since never. Effy even joked that he would burn just for coming up to the front doors of a church. He sneered at the thought right at that very moment.
Might as well get this over with, he thought. The man pushed open the white doors and went inside. Nick made it over to the main office. To his surprise, he found Jin and Peaches waiting outside as well.
“/Jin, Peaches!/” Nick exclaimed in surprise. The couple turned to him. The man gave him a little wave.
“Hey there, Nick,” he said. “What brings you by?” Nick walked over to them.
“/Our wedding date got screwed up, so I’m down here fixing it up,/” he replied. Peaches gave him a shocked look.
“You and Cassie are getting married?” she asked.
“/Yeah…/” Nick said with a sweat drop on his head. He looked over at the couple. “/You’re getting married too?/” he asked.
“Thanks right!” Peaches bragged. Nick gave her a little golf clap.
“/Oh, yay,/” he mumbled. The minister came to the front desk.
“Good morning everyone,” he said. The man took a long look at the three of them.
“Which one of you is Nicholas Trent?” he asked.
“/Me,/” Nick spoke up. The minister fixed his glasses.
“First off, I would like to apologize for the schedule mix up,” he said.
“/Yeah, yeah,/” the Englishman said. “/Just put us down for a new date./”
“Okay, let’s see,” the minister said. He opened up his appointment book and looked inside. “Ah,” he said. “I can take both of you three days from now.” Both soon-to-be grooms looked on in shock.
“No way!” they both shouted.
“/You must have something else!/” Nick said. The minister shook his head.
“Sorry,” he said. “This is the only date available at this time. Take it or leave it.” Nick sneered at him.
“/Fine!/” he snapped. “/Put me down for it./” Then, he turned and walked out of the office. Jin, Peaches, and the minister all watched him confused.
“What’s with him?” the minister asked. Jin shrugged at him.
“I’ll take the date if you’re okay with it,” he said. Peaches only nodded in agreement. Nick stormed out, gritting his teeth. This just kept getting better on his part. Cassie practically forced him into this engagement. She wouldn’t stop talking about it. Later, she gets bummed out about God knows what. Now they would have to share a wedding date with another couple. Nick froze in his place.
“/Damn it!/” he shouted. He pulled out his phone and dialed home.
“/Hello?/” Cassie asked in her room.
“/You want to get married?/” Nick asked. She sat up in bed.
“/Of course, I do,/” she said.
“/Well, we’re getting married three days from now,/” he said. “/They screwed up our original date./” Cassie’s eyes lit up in surprise.
“/Really? You mean it?!?/” she squealed.
“/Yes,/” he said rather annoyed.
“/I love you!/” Cassie said aloud.
“/Yeah, yeah,/” he said. Nick hung up on the other line. Cassie fell back on her bed, smiling. He still loves me!, she thought with a huge smile on her face.
The friends held dual shag and hen nights for the two couples getting married. The grooms didn’t seem to enjoy this, but the brides didn’t mind. Nick sat alone at the bar. The guys act goofy and flirted around with strippers in the club. Shuichi happened to look up and notice that Nick just stared at his drink for most of the night.
“Nick?” he asked. “What’s the matter? Why aren’t you out there with everyone else?” The groom-to-be looked away.
“/This isn’t my thing,/” he said. Shuichi gave him an odd look.
“What do you mean?” he asked. Nick shook his head. The vocalist frowned as he took a seat next to him.
“Don’t tell me you still don’t want to get married,” he said. The groom-to-be shook his head again.
“/It’s not that,/” he said. “/I’ll marry her just to keep her happy./”
“Then… What is it?” Shuichi asked. Nick shrugged at him.
“/It’s just…/” he said.
“What?” the vocalist asked. Nick sat back and sighed.
“/I don’t know how to say it,/” he said. “/It just won’t go away./” Shuichi still looked on at him.
“Oh…” he mumbled. Nick glanced over at him.
“/And Shuichi,/” he said.
“Yes?” his friend asked. Nick looked up at him, glaring.
“/I still haven’t forgotten about what you have done,/” he said. “/I’m still going to get you for that!/” Shuichi nervously laughed with a sweat drop on his head. Crap, I’m screwed!, he thought.
Cassie tried her best at her bachelorette party to keep smiling. Like the boys and Nick and Jin’s party, the girls looked like they were enjoying their selves. Cassie looked like a princess upon her pink and gold throne. Yet…
“Hey Cassie!” Arisu cheered as she popped up in her face. “Great time, huh?” The bride-to-be paused for a long moment.
“/Oh, yes…/” she said, nodding. Arisu raised an eyebrow at her.
“What’s bothering you?” she asked. Cassie waved her off.
“/I’m fine, really,/” she said. The Japanese woman sat down next to her.
“This probably won’t be good for you both,” she said. Cassie looked up at her.
“/Huh?/” she asked.
“I mean, does he really want this?” Arisu asked. “Or are you just forcing him into this just because you don’t want to be alone?” Cassie looked at her in silence.
“/Uh… well…/” she said. Arisu downed more wine.
“But, maybe not,” she said. “That depends on what happens next.” The bride-to-be blinked at her.
“/What does that mean?/” she asked. Arisu gave her a little smile and patted her on the shoulder.
“You’ll understand soon,” she replied. The woman then returned to the party. Cassie sat there staring as she forced herself to smile once again. Somehow, that just made it feel worse in a way.
The day of the wedding came at noon. Nick went ahead long before his bride-to-be did. Cassie got all dressed up in her white dress and veil. She stood before her mirror. Today was supposed to be one of the happiest days of her life. She pressed her lips together. But yet… But yet…
A knock came on her bedroom door.
“/Cassie!/” Casper yelled on the other side. “/It’s time to go!/” The bride drew in a deep breath.
“/Coming!/” she called. She drew up the skirt of her dress and walked out of the room. Nicole and Casper helped her into the car.
“#You okay, Cas?#” Emma asked. The bride quickly nodded.
“/Uh, yeah, yeah,/” she brushed off. “/I’m fine. Perfectly fine./” Emma gave her an odd look.
“#Okay…#” she said. Cassie tried to make herself smile again. This is the right thing she’s doing, right? She stared out the window on the whole ride to the chapel.
Jin and Peaches were the first to get married. Arisu sat in pew with a look of indifference on her face. I have sister now, she thought. Jin grinned the whole time while Peaches just couldn’t look happier. Cassie watched on as her stomach kept turning. This is the right thing she’s doing, right? Right?
Then, it came time for Nick and Cassie to wed. The ceremony went on as planned at first. Cassie and Nick put on brave faces the whole time. Everyone in the whole church saw how they were as comfortable as a kid-hating man baby-sitting six hyper, bratty children. In fact, their friends hoped that one of them would say something to stop this upcoming train wreck. The minister turned to Cassie.
“Do you Cassandra Marie Nelson take Nicholas Trent to be your lawfully wedded husband?” he asked. She stared at him for a long moment. Everyone waited on her answer. It took a moment before the bride finally shook her head.
“/No,/” she said. The minister raised an eyebrow at her.
“No?” he asked. Cassie squeezed Nick’s hand.
“/No,/” she repeated. “/This isn’t what he wants. I love him, but this is not what he really wants./”
A soldier ran all the way to the execution field. He made it all the way to Hiro. The general looked over at him.
“What is it?” he asked. The soldier handed him a sheet of paper. Hiro took it and read it. He lowered it to his side.
“The prisoner has been pardoned!” he announced to the soldiers with guns. “His sentence has been reduced back to life in prison!” Nick’s face lit up with relief as the soldiers lowered their guns and headed back to their barracks. One of them unchained him and led him back to the prison.
Afterwards, Shuichi and Cassie hung out in the empty chapel. The failed bride reached into her little white purse and pulled out a handful of yen.
“/Oh, here,/” she said. “/Here’s your money back./” Shuichi smiled and shook his head as he pushed her hand back.
“Nah, you keep it,” he said.
“/But… I didn’t get married,/” she said. Shuichi lightly took her by the hand.
“Hey,” he said. “You made it down the aisle. It’s close enough.” Cassie gave him a real little smile.
“/Guess you’re right,/” she said as she put the money back in her purse.
“/Cassie!/” someone called to her. She and Shuichi looked up to see Nick walking over to her. The failed bride rose to her feet.
“/Yes, Nick?/” she asked. He took her by the hands and pressed his forehead against hers.
“/That’s for saving my ass back there,/” he said. The woman couldn’t help but to smile at him.
“/Sure, Nick,/” she said.
“/And just for that,/” the man said. “/I’m going to give you one of the best nights of your life!/” She broke into a huge smile upon hearing that.
“/Of course, Nick,/” she said.