“Ugh, let’s see here. So it’s Coffee Meets Bagel. And I just need to log into my account from FaceBook, and… here we go!” Namie narrated her first experience ever using a dating application. “Alright, so in chats, we’ve got these four guys.” She pulled up four small pictures with names. “Peter, Steven, Layton, and Eddie. Got it.” She listed, looking at their individual profiles. Much to her surprise, none of them listed their religions as Christian or Mormon! “Wait, what?” She raised an eyebrow. Why would her father not pair her with people who were not already Mormon? Was his whole point not to stick her with somebody from the church to guarantee that she would conform? Thinking about it, the accountant was frustrated. She regretted ever giving her father her social media passwords. However, being the spineless, obedient adolescent she was, she did not know better. Even moving to D.C., she never really used social media, so the brunette never really felt the need to change any of her login information. Regardless, it still did not warrant her father essentially cat-fishing four young men the way he did. This was a demented ploy of his, and she shuddered at the thought of what he could have said to them. However, she shook off any doubts she had as she read through the messages her father sent the boys. To her surprise, her father only said things to the effect of “hello” and “when can we go on a date?” The responses she had received were all just available dates. Deciding to take a chance, she started messaging each person back, and started to schedule meet-ups with each of them. According to her schedule, she would be meeting with Peter, then Steven, then Eddie, and finally, Layton. Sighing to herself, she wondered if she did the right thing as she went to bed.
“I can’t believe you actually went through with it! Four dudes?! Jesus hell, you’re the reserve Mormon!” Claire laughed. “I know, right? She doesn’t have sister wives, she’s got brother boyfriends! Dating around with all four of them?” Wei teased her cousin. “Oh, shut up.” Namie rolled her eyes, downing another glass of red wine as the three were supposed to be watching The Bachelor, but instead, their interest quickly turned to Namie’s potentially budding romantic life. “So, who are you thinking? Any of them catch your fancy?” The Japanese-Taiwanese performer laughed. “Well, they’re all equally qualified. All of them went to decent schools, they have solid careers, and for the most part, none of them are particularly unattractive-” She started, only for a tipsy Claire to snag her cellphone and look through their profiles. “Oh, hells yeah, they’re cute. But oh my God! 35?! That one, too old. I don’t care if he’s Asian therefore looks like he’s 22, he’s old.” The front desk supervisor was referring to Layton. “Oh, shut up, Claire.” Namie shook her head, yanking back her phone, causing the auburn haired girl to fall off of the sofa. “OUCH!” She groaned, landing on the floor. “It’s okay, I’m good. The alcohol broke my fall!” She shouted, getting back up. “You good?” Namie rolled her eyes. Despite how irritable drunk or tipsy Claire was, Namie still cared for her as a friend, because at the end of the day, the sober Claire was the one she loved like a sister. “Shut up. Let’s go back to watching The Bachelor. Clearly Namie doesn’t want to share her men with us. Selfish Namie, keeping four dudes to yourself.” She jeered, but the half Japanese accountant just ignored her comments. “Oh my god, he she really trying to seduce him? Dumb whore.” Wei laughed, throwing popcorn at the television screen. “Oh, before I forget! I’m going to be at some Asian celebrity event tomorrow, and you’re both coming with me. I don’t give a shit what you guys say, you’re coming.” “Huh?”
“Wait, you never told us you were FAMOUS in Japan!” Claire frowned at Wei. “Yeah, I knew you did idol work, but you were on multiple magazine covers in Tokyo?!” Namie was in disbelief. “Oh, yeah, I was! My single, Better than you, it topped the Oricon charts back in 2014.” Wei laughed. “You’re not even like bragging about this. Like what the actual hell?!” “I mean, haven’t you ever wondered why I have like six million followers on Instagram?” Wei chuckled. “I just assumed that it was because you’re a pretty Asian girl! Look at me! I’m a decent looking white beauty guru, and that’s why I have three million! But you managed to get a whopping six million?!” Claire was stunned. “Nah, they’re my fans. I have quite a few from Japan, China, Taiwan, and a couple in Los Angeles and New York, but mostly within Asia” She explained. Namie never even realized that Wei had that many, because she was prohibited from having an Instagram by her mother, who felt like the application was too indecent for her to download. The aspect of uploading photos of oneself for complete strangers to see, Mrs. Merrimen felt like it was too promiscuous in nature. Therefore, this was still news to her. “Wow, I didn’t even know. Why didn’t you feel the need to tell us?” She wondered aloud. “Well, bragging isn’t exactly my forte. I really don’t care about how many fans I have. At the end of the day, it’s how I perform that matters to me.” She smiled. “But what are you doing career wise?” Claire pried, curious. “Oh, thanks for reminding me, actually! I have to go to the Japan during the spring, because I’m going on tour again.” Even though Wei had mentioned going on tour in the past, Namie assumed it was just small gigs in Japan. “I’m performing in the New National Stadium. Also, I’ve got to do a lot of 3D modeling for Square Enix. They want to capture my face for one of their upcoming video games.” “Holy shit.” Claire gasped. Both girls were stunned that they were in the company of essentially Japanese pop culture royalty. “How did your parents take you becoming an idol?” “They’re happy that I’m doing something that I genuinely love, but it took some convincing.”
“Are you sure you want to be an idol in Japan?” Xiaohua looked at the then 18 year old idol. “Yeah, I’m sure.” She assured her parents. They were sitting in the living room of their house in Maryland, discussing Wei’s futures. Juntaro had reservations about letting his daughter work in Asia, because of their disdain for Asian politics and society. “Well, how about this? Let’s see how this record deal works. If I can transition to live performances in Japan and Asia instead of just doing covers on the Internet, I’m sure my career as a performer can take off. Besides, financially, I should be fine. I’ve got quite the following on YouTube, and I’m pulling in easily $100k a year.” She reasoned out. When she was in high school, Wei went to to the Baltimore School For the Arts so that she could one day become a singer. At this point, she had amassed a following of close to one million subscribers on YouTube for her singing covers of JPop and Asian music, before branching out into writing her own music. However, she had been scouted by an agent who wanted her to come to Japan for her first live concert. It was an opportunity of a lifetime. “You know what, dear? We should let her do this.” Xiaohua looked at Juntaro, confident in her resolve. “Wei, you go chase your dreams. Don’t lock yourself into a cage, like my sister did.” He smiled. “Alright. I promise, even if I’m working in Japan, I’ll get a house nearby. Maybe in like D.C., so that way, I can visit you guys often.”