Finally arriving at the studio, Namie eagerly made her way to the dance room, where she was with several other aspiring waack dancers. “Good morning, everyone. Glad to see that everyone made it to today’s class.” Melissa walked into the room, eyeing everyone. “Alright, so let’s get the warm-ups aside right now, and then we can get into the forms.” She suggested. As they began doing their stretches, all Namie could think about was what form they would be learning today. Waacking was already an art that was considered “lost” in that it had only survived through few performers. It was an exhilarating feelings being able to learn something this unique from somebody as talented as Melissa. Last weekend, they learned how to do steps while folding their arms behind their heads and backs. The week before that, they were learning how to fold their arms in. “Today, we are going to learn how to incorporate leg movements in with the arms and the hip movements we learned in the first month of class!” Melissa announced. Namie nodded eagerly, racking her brains to recall what they were doing back then. She remembered doing the technique that involved thrusting with her arms and hips, as well as when they were practicing moving their arms along their entire bodies. “Okay, just follow me.” With a click of a remote, the radio turned on, as Melissa began demonstrating. “1, 2, 3, and 4!” She counted, moving her arms while taking steps at the same time. “Let’s do that first. And we’ll keep doing it until we get faster.’ She decided on the spot. Everyone began to shortly copy.
“Good job, everyone!” Melissa clapped her hands as the waack class ended. “And also, before you all go, just a reminder. We will be having our dance showcase in a few months. Only the best dancers will be chosen to perform, so try your best and keep up the good work in the following classes! And if you’re wondering why you should want to be involved in it, just keep in mind that some of the biggest mainstream artists and producers actually recruit dancers from my studio. They will be attending the showcase, that much, I can guarantee you. That being said, good job, and I will see you all next week.” The instructor adjourned the class. Everyone got up and started to leave the studio. “Namie, you did wonderful, per usual. I can’t wait to see how much more you improve in the following months.” Melissa grinned suggestively. “Thanks. I’ll keep trying my best!” Upon hearing her compliment, Namie was hoping that she could be in Melissa’s showcase. To think that she might have an opportunity to dance full-time, and to leave behind her career in accounting, it felt surreal. But being able to do something she was good at and loved would be a definite improvement over just doing something that she simply was doing to give herself a sense of monetary worth beyond her almost million dollar, self-made fortune in stocks, or that she was going to be more than just somebody’s wife.
“Wait, you mean she’s not still in Utah?!” Mr. Merrimen was fuming red. Just one week ago, his eldest daughter, Namie, graduated BYU, and this whole time, he was under the impression that she was still there, packing up her things. But that was not the case. She apparently moved to Maryland just a day after her graduation and had been living there, with Yuko’s brother, this whole time. “Yes, dear. She just moved into her apartment in D.C. earlier this morning.” Yuko reminded her husband. She told him how she let Namie decide her own life choices and be her own person. However, all Mr. Merrimen could think about was how betrayed he felt by both his oldest daughter and his wife. “I promise you, she’ll come around to. Just give her time.” She tried to calm him down. “Don’t you even dare talk to me about this. You’re the one responsible for ruining our daughter’s future. She’s never going to get a husband now.” “Dear, why does it matter if she has a husband?” “She’s not going to stay young and attractive forever. I refuse to let her purity wither with old age. What sensible Mormon young man is going to want to marry an old bag?” He glared daggers at her when he said that. “She’s never going to heaven if she never has a husband who will let her!” Yuko rolled her eyes at him as she left the living room angrily. He was not listening to her, but what could she do about it? He was the man she married for the green card, and that was the religion she married into.
A much younger Namie was unpacking her few belongings into the apartment when she received a phone call. “Oh shit, it’s dad.” She sighed, as she put down a small cardboard box. Albeit nervously, she picked up her phone. “Hello?” “Why are you not in Utah or back in Idaho?” His almost hushed tone was filled with a deep-seated furiousness that just made Namie uncomfortable. “I’m going to live my own life. If you want to stop me, you can try. But even mom doesn’t know which building I live in, nor am I going to tell her what kind of job I’m working in. So you better just give it up, dad.” She replied, trying her best to fight the urge to just submit to his desires and return to Idaho with her tail between her legs, head bowed in shame. “Why you little-! Don’t you dare talk to a man in that tone!” He barked, his voice ringing in Namie’s ear as she pulled the phone away from her head. “You’re going to fail and when you do, you’ll realize how much better your life would be back in Idaho! I’ll be waiting for you to come back home!” He growled. “Wait all you want. I’ll never come back.” And with that, she hung up her phone. It did not matter to her, what he said. She had committed to moving to D.C. at this point. She signed her lease. And on top of that, she was now more determined than ever to make a career for herself out here in the greater D.C. area.
“Dear, I know you’re mad, but she will come around eventually. She’s young. Let her make her own decisions. I did, and that’s how I met you, right?” Yuko pointed out to her husband. “That’s true. But I needed to give you a little push so that we could get married after our first date. I need to make sure that she has a husband. Even if he’s all the way out there.” Walking out of their bedroom and into the living room, he pulled out his phone. “What kinds of dating apps can I use here?” He pondered aloud as he started looking through them. He was determined to find her a husband, preferably a Mormon husband, or at least somebody willing to convert, and force her to move back to Idaho or Utah with him. However, that was years ago. Mr. Merrimen did not go through with his plans, and he did accept that Namie was going to come around eventually. However, he did not stop pressuring her to find a husband. He wanted to make sure that his little girl would not go to hell because she dyed unwed or a sodomist. He was going to be damned if even one of his daughters ended up in hell because of youthful impulse. Many times had Yuko needed to talk him out of flying over to D.C. and tracking her down himself. It was hard to see his daughter doing something that could jeopardize her entry into heaven and not do anything about it. But he knew that being physically forceful would only drive her away completely. So for the time being, he stuck to weekly phone calls, reminding her to get a husband.