|Dragon and the Eagle
Author: TigerLily98 PM
An American woman falls in love with a Japanese Kabuki-za.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 2,488 - Published: 08-31-05 - id: 1997752
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Dragon & the Eagle
Note: A romantic tale about an American woman named Gwendolyn Marzipan who takes a trip to Japan with her interpreter, Naru. She is taken to the theatre to enjoy traditional Japanese Kabuki. There, she becomes smitten with an extremely handsome, intelligent kabuki-za named Sanosuke Taro. Speaking limited Japanese, she is able to ask him out to dinner. Taro admits later that he doesn't speak English well. Who better to teach him than Gwen ?
"They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."—Andy Warhol
Chapter 1—Land of the Rising Sun
Gwendolyn Marzipan was always interested in Asian History, specifically Japanese. One of her lifetime dreams was to travel to Japan, but she knew she would need a translator to go along with her. Her Japanese was moderate, but it was a little rusty in places and it could use help from her best friend Naru Black, who was half-American and half-Japanese. Gwen had been preparing for this trip since childhood, and just now she was converting this dream into reality.
Gwen made all the arrangements she needed to before she left home and said goodbye to her beloved chocolate Labrador Retriever Sadie. Her next door neighbor Dawn was obliged to take care of Sadie, and reminded Gwen to bring home some souvenirs, pictures and lots of video footage of her exotic and beautiful Japan.
Before Gwen left, she promised she would fulfill that request, and much more. With any luck she would be able to acquire some recipes from respected chefs. But, little did she know that she was about to learn more than just scintillating recipes.
It had been a sensational night for Gwen. She had slept like a proverbial log and she was eager to board Pacific Air and be on her way to the Land of the Rising Sun. Naru was not too far behind. She had been to her homeland many times before, so she would be playing a double role as translator and tour guide. Gwen felt very privileged to have Naru with her. She was truly a Godsend.
When Pacific Air began to taxi, Gwen's eyes were as round as saucers looking in awe at the ground below. Even after flying on multiple business trips, she had never gotten tired of seeing the Earth from a bird's eye view. From San Francisco, the initial trip would not take many hours, but the flight would be taxing on Gwen the most because she was so anxious to see what Japan was really like. Just as Naru expected, when the jet landed, Gwen was exhausted. However, she had already begun shooting video of her vacation. Naru placed her arm around her shoulder and said, gently, "You might want to save that for later. Right now you need to keep up your strength. Let us locate our rental car. The GPS in the vehicle will take us to our destination." Gwen knew that global positioning system computers were becoming the latest trend in America, while as usual, Japan was always one step ahead with technology. As interesting as this fact was, she was too enervated to take the full benefit of it. Her learning would have to resume the next day when she was rejuvenated and recharged.
Chapter 2—Immersed In Activity
The next day found Gwen in the bountiful hustle and bustle of the city of Tokyo. Gwen could not believe her eyes at the plethora of people, shops, sights, sounds and smells she was taking in all at once. It was almost too much, but after a while, she was starting to become used to everything around her. Before long, Gwen was becoming hungry and there was a grand seafood restaurant that Naru knew. Gwen could tell that Naru was bubbling with enthusiasm and pride over sharing her customs and improving another's language with her best friend.
It was a unique gift like no other, and it proved to be an everlasting gift that grew and grew as time went by.
The last tour bus of the day was taking people to Tokyo Tower, and Gwen was nearly begging to see it up close and personal. "Ah, very well. But, you must allow me to take you to the ancient shrines tomorrow. By the way, your Japanese is much better and continues to be Gwen-chan.", Naru said, happily, her dark eyes lighting up with the brilliant colors of the night. "Thank you, Naru ! I am humbled by your praise. It's agreed then. Tomorrow, we will explore the ancient temples.", Gwen concurred, with a gratuitous smile. In a flash, the two had been packed into the bus and were whisked away to the center of Tokyo where the Tower stood. The intricacy of the design and the beauty of the architecture baffled Gwen. She was even more thrilled when she had the honor of riding the elevator to the top floor for a minimalist spectrum of the magnanimous city. Not too many minutes later, weariness had hit Gwen like a ton of bricks and she was ready to sleep again for the night.
Chapter 3—Fairy Tale Romances Do Exist !
It was another splendid day for frivolity. Naru explained the significance of each ancient shrine as well as the importance of religion in every day life. Gwen came from a Catholic background, but Buddhism wasn't a foreign religion to her.
The lectures about spiritualism were all review to Gwen, but she was impressed to see faith put into action. She honored the culture and rang one of the bells in the shrine with an added prayer. She had given her blessings to the powers that be that were responsible for bringing her there.
Near the end of the day, Naru had a special surprise for her friend Gwen.
"I know how much you've always wanted to see a traditional Japanese play and tonight, I have VIP seats to a premier gala with the renowned Sanouske Taro.", Naru said, holding out her colorful tickets. Overjoyed, Gwen embraced her friend. It would be interesting to attend a traditional Japanese Kabuki. But, the two would have to dress appropriately for the occasion. Without any trouble the two women were able to hail a cab back to their four-star motel (which was more like a palace).
Albeit that the hour was late, both of the ladies were looking forward to a wonderful night of theatre. Gwen and Naru were both dressed in Asian finery, looking much like princesses of feudal times. Gwen and Naru found their seats close to the front row and orchestra and sat down with baited breath while the lights were dimmed and the star of the show made his unforgettable entrance. Gwen immediately felt her heart beating erratically, her cheeks mantle, and her breath becoming short. Naru noticed the glow in Gwen's striking sky blue eyes and whispered into her ear, "If I didn't know any better, I would believe that you were in love. Ah, there is only one cure for the love bug, and that would be to ask Mr. Taro for a date." Gwen's cheeks became even more crimson and looked down bashfully, twiddling her fingers anxiously. "I could give it a try. Besides, if I do not seize this opportunity now I might regret it.", Gwen responded quietly.
When the performance came to a close, the crowd was in an uproar. Everyone in the theatre had adored the show and was showering Sanouske with yen and roses. The crowd receded and Gwen and Naru approached the stage. Gwen began to compliment Taro profusely on what an incredible performance he had given. She then asked him if he could speak English. His English was a little broken, but Gwen was more than happy to help him with his pronunciation. She finally gathered the nerve to ask him to dinner when Naru nudged her in the ribcage.
She had been lost in the electricity of the moment and seeing Sanouske up close and personal. "Is tomorrow at 5:00 PM favorable ? After all, the hour is so late and I do not wish to keep you up, Gwendolyn.", Sanosuke said, considerately. "That would be splendid, Sanosuke. I shall be looking forward to it.", Gwen responded, bowing deeply showing respect. Taro's eyes were sparkling merrily in the light even though his brow was fevered with sweat. His cheeks were rosy and there was a trace of a smile on his statuesque face as he watched Gwendolyn's luscious ash blonde hair sway as she exited the stage and left the amphitheater.
To make herself really stand out before the dinner tomorrow night, Gwen spent a lot of time shopping in the latest fashion malls once she was ready for the day. It astonished her how fast the day went by but Gwen was able to find the right outfit for her dinner date. As a young woman, she had always believed in love at first sight. She was in bliss knowing that something this rare was actually happening to her. That night, she was lost in rapture sharing the best seafood she had ever eaten in her lifetime with Sanosuke. Once she got to know him better, she learned that they had many things in common. He was beginning to learn from him, and he was educating her in turn. At the end of the date, he gave her a scarlet rose; his address, email and phone number so she could contact him later if she wished. She gave him an unexpected peck on the cheek and thanked him for a spectacular evening.
Chapter 4—Holding On to Hope
The sorrowful time came when Gwen had to leave Japan. She had languished in the attention she was receiving from her newfound love, but she realized that she had to return to her job. She said her tearful farewells to her love. Tenderly, but affectionately at the terminal, Sanosuke kissed her. Naru was the emotional type and this really tugged at her heartstrings. Gwen embraced Sano, caressing his raven hair, relishing the moment for as long as possible. "I know you would like to stay, Gwen. But our plane is about to leave, and we have to go.", Naru stated, very solemnly. "You have my contact information, my little Eagle. Don't forget that I adore you and I am certain we will meet again !", Taro yelled as he waved goodbye to Gwen as she ascended the staircase into Pacific Air.
Gwen knew that one day she would see her Dragon again, even if it took many years, but there was no other man in the world she loved as strongly as Sanosuke. Her heart was totally devoted to him and would for as long as she existed. Even as she slept, she thought of Taro in her dreams. Whenever she felt lonely, she could feel her Dragon holding her close in his arms.Epilogue
Another year passed and Gwen was at last able to marry her sweetheart.
It had been a match made in heaven from the very start. Naru had been tickled pink to be a part of this love connection. She had her family nearby in the front of the congregation, just as Gwen's family was. Sanosuke had been fortunate enough take out a loan in order for his family to attend the wedding. It was a traditional American wedding, but Sanosuke and his family had no problem with that.
All the elements of the wedding were picturesque, right down to the cutting of the Victorian red velvet cake. The songs chosen were touching and glorious, just as everything else was during the events of the night. Gwen even dedicated a j-pop song to her beloved and sang it, full of sincerity and devotion.
Gwen, Sano and their two gorgeous children, Nicole and Tenchi Taro were sitting down to enjoy some old videos their mother had recently burned into VCD's.
The entire family adored looking at this footage, especially seeing Gwen's friends Dawn and Naru. Sadie, the old family lab had curled up at the foot of the couch and was resting close to the fraternal twins. It was a cozy family setting, exactly the way Gwen envisioned it in a fairy tale. Gwen knew life would have its ups and downs, but she realized how blessed she was to have such a spectacular life. Because of this eureka, with the help of her husband, she was able to reach out to children who weren't as privileged as many other children were in America. With the help of Nicole and Tenchi, impoverished children were able to enjoy theatre, warm clothing in the winter, toys and books, education and character counseling. Nicole and Tenchi especially enjoyed helping children and had made many friends through the Helping Hands program the family had created. As the years went by, these children were integrated into the Taro family and became successful in the fields they chose for work in California, wherever they went. The program was so successful that the family was presented with a Nobel Peace Prize and part of the money was given back to the community and the program itself.
Sano and Gwen noticed that their children were becoming taller, more intelligent each day. Deep within their hearts, their children would always be special even though they knew one day they would have to let them go. But, for as long as they could, they would provide Nicole and Tenchi with the compassionate environment they required and healthy curiosity in the world around them.
They knew that they would have a brilliant future ahead of them and they could always depend on them and vice versa.
By: Elizabeth Berndt
October 13, 2003