Weddings & Politics

Dallas Public Library

The library is a rather large building that extends two levels. Security gates at the entrance lead past a long rectangular circulation desk where patrons may check out or return books. Across from the circulation desk is large, archaic looking card catalog beside which is a computer that is set up to locate books. Following the typical Dewey Decimal Classification System, the rows of shelves are laid out systematically, with large signs overhead so that patrons can find precisely what they are looking for. Study carols and tables line the walls, and one corner of the library is set aside for two separate lecture rooms that can booked for meetings.

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It's the end of July, on a somewhat mild day for Dallas. Still, the library is air-conditioned, and while the majority of the people inside are families with small children looking to kill some time during story hour, there are a few that aren't in that 'new family' age group.

Most notably is a young woman with a pink tank top, a white pair of shorts, and a headband. Her arms are filled with bridal magazines, books on city politics, and a few books on budgeting. This means her arms are fairly laden as she makes her way out of the middle aisle toward the nearest table. The books and magazines wobble and shift like they're about to slip right out of her arms, but she does her best not to drop them onto a child's head.


There is another young woman in the library on this end of July day, also not of the "new family" age group. She seems intent upon perusing a newspaper, in particular, a San Francisco newspaper selected from the numerous city papers to which the library subscribes. She also happens to be sitting at the "nearest" table, and glances up as she seems to sense someone approaching. Eying the shifting stack of books and magazines in the other young woman's arms, Mia quickly rises.

"Let me help you," she says, her voice soft as she plucks a few of the shifting magazines from the stack. In seconds, the other woman's load is reduced by half, making it much more manageable. "Where are you sitting?" is asked in that same soft voice.


Hope manages to catch her foot on the rug and nearly face-plants into the table. The magazines get taken but the books sprawl out atop the table.

"Oof!" Thankfully she didn't catch her face on the table. That would be devastating at this point in the game. "Thanks," she offers with a friendly smile. "I actually haven't chosen a table yet. I guess the books chose for me." Sliding them back together as neatly as she can without squishing the newspaper, she wrinkles her nose.

"If you don't mind a bit of klutzy company while I sort out which of these I want to borrow."


"Some things are destined," Mia says, voice still whisper soft. (They're in a library, after all.) "Others are less destined as fortuitous." A gesture of her hand would seem to indicate the other woman is welcome to sit. "That wasn't your fault, you know," Mia says, nodding toward the rug. "The library should fix that before someone gets hurt. Be sure to mention it to the librarian on duty."

Dark, almond-shaped eyes study the books and magazines, then glance up to her table companion. "Are you planning a political marriage?" is asked in a near dead-pan tone, but there's humor in Mia's expression. "Forgive me. It just seems an odd combination of reading material." The San Francisco newspaper is folded in preparation of returning it to that section of the library.


"That would be Chl— oh, no. Wait. She doesn't work here anymore." Hope hasn't seen Mr. Alexandrov here either, so chances are she has no clue who the librarian on duty is at the moment. "I'll mention it at the circulation desk when I check these out." She tries to smooth the rug out with her toes before taking a seat, just in case some kid wanders over and crashes into it.

"You know, I'm sure the tabloids would get a kick out of this set of material." Political marriage indeed. They'd have a field day with that. "I'm getting married in a month, and I'm working on one of the mayoral candidates campaigns. So I'm just trying to learn everything I can. The budgeting is just getting a head start on September's classes." The two budgeting books are put aside, since she will need those for her economics class.

"Are you from that area, or just interested in news around the country?"


"That would be Chl— oh, no. Wait. She doesn't work here anymore." Hope hasn't seen Mr. Alexandrov here either, so chances are she has no clue who the librarian on duty is at the moment. "I'll mention it at the circulation desk when I check these out." She tries to smooth the rug out with her toes before taking a seat, just in case some kid wanders over and crashes into it.

"You know, I'm sure the tabloids would get a kick out of this set of material." Political marriage indeed. They'd have a field day with that. "I'm getting married in a month, and I'm working on one of the mayoral candidates campaigns. So I'm just trying to learn everything I can. The budgeting is just getting a head start on September's classes." The two budgeting books are put aside, since she will need those for her economics class.

"Are you from that area, or just interested in news around the country?"


"Ah … congratulations, then," Mia says regarding the upcoming nuptials. "May you and your husband-to-be have good fortune." It's the Japanese way, after all, to offer such polite wishes even to a stranger. Mia glances at the newspaper, nodding. "I was born in San Francisco, yes, and most of my family still lives there. My oldest brother and I are the only ones who've strayed far from the nest." She pauses, hand resting on the paper for a moment. "Sadly, it would appear things haven't changed much since I left."

But Mia seems far more interested in what her companion has to say. "So the books on politics are to explain the complexities and nuances of running for office," she comments, nodding. "I'm not much of a political entity myself, though I took a couple of Political Science classes in college. Present day politics aren't exactly my forte. I prefer studying the politicians of the past."

There's a moment more of silence, then, "Mia Nakamura." Introductions are called for, right? After all, it would seem they're going to be talking. "For which candidate are you campaigning, then?"


Smiling prettily, she nods. "Thanks. I hope we do too." If anything, Hope and Bobby deserve a little bit of a break. Vampires, and werewolves, and all that stuff… if they can manage to get through the big day without any drama she'll be the happiest bride in the world.

"I've never been to San Francisco. I've never actually really traveled though." Partially because she couldn't in the last few years. "Is it a nice place though, despite the seeming bad news?"

The books are glanced at, and she nods. "Something like. I've taken a few Poli-Sci courses, but they don't really prepare you for all that's involved with working on a real campaign." Pause. "The politicians of the past? National or local?" Big difference there. Dallas politicians are kind of boring for the most part, at least on a mayoral level.

"Nice to meet you, Miss Nakamura." She waits a second. "Hope Tyler… and I'm working on Mr. Wright's campaign."


"It's a beautiful city," Mia replies regarding her hometown, "though plagued by many of the same things of large cities: crowded streets, crime, corruption, drugs." There's a soft sigh. "But the beauty more than makes up for the bad stuff. Golden Gate Park is a must-see, if you ever visit there. And the museums, art galleries, symphony, Chinatown — there's a little something for everyone." She smiles. "Perhaps you can go there on your honeymoon? — or have you already picked out another destination?"

As far as politics…? "A book can hold great knowledge, but nothing can ever compare to actual participation." When learning the candidate's name, Mia nods. "I've not read a great deal about Mr. Wright, save he lost his family. Politics and politicians are a great part of American History," she adds. "Particularly the post-WWII years. My area of expertise is the JFK era."

"Pleased to meet you, Ms. Tyler. Or, may I call you Hope?"


"I… don't know," Hope says with a bit of a laugh. "The deal was that I'd take care of all the wedding fuss if he chose the honeymoon location. For all I know we're headed to Pigeon Creek, Tennessee." She truly hopes not, but when one's being surprised they take what they can get.

"It was actually pretty tragic. His wife and unborn child where senselessly killed by a vampire." Her voice seems to choke up a bit at that, but she stares at the books for a silent minute, and she's fine. "He's a really great man and very community oriented. Even if he doesn't win, I consider it an honor to be asked to work on his campaign." Not to mention the experience it gives her, even if she's not interested in going too far into politics. "National then," she says with a nod. "The Camelot era? I don't know much more about it than what I've learned in class, but I've always really liked the Kennedy's." Particularly Jackie O, if her general form of dress is any indication.

"Oh, please feel free to call me Hope. Miss Tyler seems so, I don't know, not me."


"Yes, the Camelot years. As my professor once described it, the last true days of innocence for America. Before November of 1963, the people were blind to the truly horrific. Assassinations were things of the past, something you read about in history books." Mia speaks in an almost far-away tone, as if she could envision those days.

"Twenty years of relative peace — if you don't count Korea, of course — and we were lulled into a false sense of safety." She shakes her head. "Then, to have it shattered on national television. America learned we were no different than those other countries, and it shook us badly."

Mia looks almost embarrassed, her cheeks turning a burnished gold. "Forgive me. My friends are quite correct. Given any excuse and I will turn a conversation into a lecture." Mia chuckles. "It sort of comes with the territory, considering I work at the Sixth Floor Museum."

Then, as if she feels she's talked enough on the subject, Mia's face sobers. "How very tragic," she says, suitably sad. "Still, they say such losses can build strength of character and determination to better serve the people. I will look closer at Mr. Wright's platform. I have, sadly, been very remiss in following present day politics when they could so easily affect my own life. Thank you for reminding me of my civic duty to vote."

"And you must call me Mia."


There is a good deal of consideration on Hope's features. Mia's faraway look is almost mimicked, but Hope herself is less thinking of assassinations and politics, and more of the cute outfits and pearls of the First Lady. "I can see that. It's sort of how the world shattered two years ago with the appearance of vampires and such. People change when things that they don't expect take them by surprise." She glances to the books again before looking to the woman, earnestly asking, "Do you think there's any hope we could return to that time? I mean, not really return to that particular time. Just get the country back into that sort of shape."

It's likely a silly question but Hope carries a bit of optimism with her despite everything that she knows. She has to.

"Oh, I don't mind it in the least. It's refreshing to hear someone so passionate about something other than men or vampires." Her two best friends speak like that. Her twin, and Hana. "You know, I've been in Dallas for two years and I've not yet gone to the museum. I really should, because it's such an interesting piece of our history."

Reaching into her purse, she pulls out one of the posters she made. It's a bit folded up, but she holds it out to Mia regardless. "I can get you a lot of information on his platform and his campaign if you're interested at all."


Mia looks thoughtful at Hope's question, giving it due consideration. "I'm not certain," she finally says, elbows on the table, cradling her chin in her hands. "If you want to use a corollary, consider the Bible. The Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve. God gave them dominion over all, save the one tree from which they could not eat." Drawing in a breath, she exhales slowly. "The Tree of Knowledge. When they tasted the fruit thereof, thus was their innocence gone. Their eyes were opened, and could not be closed again."

There's a pause, then Mia continues with, "In a sense, our eyes were opened in 1963, and I don't know if they can be closed again. So much has happened since then, I'm not certain we can turn away from it. As you point out, the 'Great Reveal' once again shattered the world. For some, the shock is knowing their nightmares live next door."

Finally, Mia shrugs. "I would hope we can regain some of our trust, but …" A shake of her head. "… it will not be possible for many. Fear is powerful, as is self-preservation. Humanity and vampires both will be tested to their limits." Then, as if Mia suddenly decides to drop this subject, she smiles. "Only by learning of the past can we build the future. Come to the museum. I will be pleased to show you around personally."

The poster is looked at, and Mia nods. "I would be interested, yes. One should always keep up with current events so they may make an informed decision. I admit I've been lax in this."


"History often repeats itself?" Hope can't help but chuckle at that. "It's true, though. Each new abomination in the world just builds on the last. I think between the 9/11 attacks, and the vampire revelation the world will have a long way to go to try to find harmony again." Not just this nation, but the entire world.

"I think the difference for a lot of people, Mia, is that the assassination of President Kennedy, and the attacks aren't something that happened elsewhere in the world, they're something that happened right next door. It's hard to just accept that as life and move past it." Hope knows this personally, and though she bears that look she doesn't say much more. Allowing the conversation to drop for happier subjects.

"I'd have to go to the headquarters and get one of the pamphlets. I gave my last one out earlier this morning, but when I come to the museum I can bring one to you. I wouldn't expect you just to go off of my bias anyhow." Winking at the woman, she pulls one of the magazines over to top the pile of books she's been playing with.


Mia nods. "You are quite correct," she says firmly. "Knowledge can be a very frightening thing, but only with knowledge are we protected." She watches Hope pull the magazine out, and smiles. "Ah, we speak of such serious matters when you have wedding plans to make. So much happier a subject than the political woes of the modern world. Tell me of your plans. You've chosen a dress?"

Mia seems perfectly content to hear Hope talk of the wedding. "I've never been married myself, but I've been an attendant at three of my four brother's weddings. Well, two, actually. I just witnessed the third one's. A civil ceremony because they were in a hurry." She rolls her eyes. "My only single brother runs screaming when marriage is even mentioned." She giggles, a hand going over her mouth. "I tease him about being an old maid like me." Eyes are dancing with mirth, now.

"Please don't feel rushed. You can always drop the info into the mail, if it looks like you can't make it to the museum." Mia digs in her own purse, pulling out a business card case and a pen. She scribbles on the back. "Here's my card. My home phone and address are on the back."


Hope isn't really sure if the other woman wants to hear all the sordid details of wedding planning. But she reaches into her bag and pulls out a large pink and black binder. Flipping it open, she points to the dress. What bride doesn't like showing this stuff off? Hope is definitely no exception to this rule, she just doesn't like to force it at everyone.

"Everything is chosen, done, and ready to go. I just need to make sure we make it to the altar without incident." Like wolf attacks or vampire bites…

"I wouldn't have ever thought about getting married, not until my sister was fully well. Sometimes though, you just have to go with what life gives you. Life has given me this great gift in the middle of a bunch of awful stuff, so I snapped it up right quick." She wouldn't want to lose Bobby again.

Taking the card, she slips it into her binder and then smiles. "Believe me, I love being busy. If I'm not busy I feel idle, and like I'm going to get myself in trouble. Maybe I can convince my sister to come as well. It would be good for her to get away from her house for a bit."


Apparently, Mia has no problem listening to Hope talk of her upcoming wedding. "Oh, that's beautiful," she says, and means it. The dress is lovely, and will look beautiful on the woman. "You'll make a lovely bride, Hope. Your fiance is a lucky man. I'm happy for you both." There is sincerity in her voice, and in the way she looks from dress to woman. "Only a month to go, then. The wait must be hard."

Then she gets a slight frown. "Your sister is ill? I'm sorry to hear that. She will be most welcome, and I'll try to make the tour interesting. There's a cell-phone tour of Dealey Plaza outside. If it's not too hot, perhaps the fresh air will do her some good?" Well, as fresh as air in the middle of a city can be. "I hope she gets better soon. That must worry you somewhat."

"It's been my experience that when life hands you lemons, find someone with ice and make cold lemonade." Mia laughs softly. "Sorry, my poor attempt at humor. But, you've the right attitude. With all the bad in the world, snatching happiness is all the more necessary."


"It was a real bargain too. The dress and the tiara together…" Hope seems to be genuinely happy as she discusses wedding stuff. Not something she can really talk to her Maid of Honor about anymore due to her sister's failed wedding plans. "It's not bad, though I'm anxiously waiting for it. I can't wait to walk down the aisle and have all my friends and family there." A true fairytale wedding for her.

"She's getting better actually. I guess you've likely seen her on the news if you pay attention. She… well it's not been a good year for her, and the two preceding years she was nearly catatonic for all of them." She bites her lip and exhales a sigh. "She had a bit of a mental break when she watched a vampire rip out our best friend's throat… so I don't blame her for taking a while to get over it." That doesn't mean she's not still worried, just that things are getting slightly better.

"It really is. The snatching happiness thing. I nearly let it get away, but not anymore. I figure with all the bad things that have happened in the past, if there's only one shining light to focus on then so be it."


"We should all try to keep a positive outlook on life, no matter how bad or sad things get." Mia's smile is gentle and encouraging. "I admire your determination to find happiness, Hope. You are truly well named." Again, there is sincerity in the Asian girl's voice and on her face. "Keep faith. Good does triumph in the end."

And then it seems to hit Mia. "Ah … yes, I understand," she says regarding Hope's sister. "I admit I rarely watch the news, but I have heard —" She nods. "Witnessing such an horrific event would probably send many of us into …" How to delicately put it? "… shock." She looks concerned, and says, "I'm glad she's better, but such things take a long time to heal. I'm sorry for the loss of your best friend. There are always bad apples to spoil the bushel, I'm afraid. Hopefully, the transgressor was suitably punished for his crime?"

Mia glances at her watch, then sighs. "As much as I'm enjoying our conversation, I'm due back at work. We're putting up a new display, and I should be there to unlock the loading bay." She gathers her purse, and smiles regretfully. "It's been a pleasure, Hope. I'll look forward to seeing you and your sister soon. Call me when you want to visit." Mia rises, picking up the newspaper. "Enjoy the rest of your day."


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