Okinawa - Chapter 11
Chapter 11: Afterward
It has now been 7 years since the end of the last chapter. Itsuko and I now live in a lovely house on the outskirts of Kin Village, with the bedroom and living room overlooking the ocean.
I had retired from the Corps just a few years ago, and we both decided to move back here. We are still happily married, and the twins are doing great. They are 5 years old, and Junior looks just like his mom, and Niko looks just like me. They look more Japanese than American, but I would not want it any other way. They are both learning English and Japanese, and we will probably move back to the US before they start school.
Martha got married 3 years ago, and her and Tenko now share ownership of Cheers. When she reached 18, we had ownership transferred to her, knowing that she would appreciate the business and take good care of the place. Itsu and I still share ownership of the Hotel, not wanting to loose all ties with where we started.
Decades is still a huge hit, with people having to be turned away almost every night. In addition to that, we now own Decades clubs in North Hollywood California, Tijuana Mexico, and in Portland, Oregon. We are considering opening one in Raleigh North Carolina. We started the second one after my transfer to Camp Pendleton. I was a very good instructor, and the secret was pretty well kept that by the time I retired, I was worth around $3,000,000. But the pension is nice, since no matter what happens to the clubs, I will have money, medical care, and almost free transportation anywhere in the world.
Lieutenant (now Captain) Okino married Gina, the girl he was with the night of the reception. They have 1 kid, who looks just like any other Japanese girl you would see on the street. I guess that the garter brought him the luck that it is supposed to. They live in San Diego now, where he is in charge of a Recruit Training Company.
Brad and Amy are also married, and stationed in Germany, where she is a liaison with the local Air Force. They have no kids as of yet, but he insists that they keep practicing, so that it will be easy when they do decide to have some. Their wedding was great, held in the wine country of Napa Valley California. I was his best man, and Itsu was a bridesmaid. He still gets teased about being a "dependant husband" of an officer, and when he reports in for his monthly reserve drills, gets heckled about what orders she must give him in bed.
Jenny did join the girls at Cheers, and is still there. Oddly enough, she is Tenko's lover. She still dances in the bar and entertains the men in the hotel, but her heart is only for Tenko. She is now a permanent resident, and will probably live the rest of her life there. But she seems happy with it, so who am I to complain.
Most of the original girls are gone. We have many Mexican girls also now. The arrangement with Jose has been working very well, and he is my partner in the Decades down there. The Japanese and Filipino girls are a hit down there, as are the Mexican girls at Cheers. And several of the girls rotated to his club after boyfriends moved back to the US. Many of them are married also. Some are even asking to work as waitresses at the Decades we open in North Carolina, so they could do the same thing with Marines and Airmen that move to Camp Lejeune and Pope Airforce Base.
Sadly, Gus died of a heart attack the year after I moved back to the US. I was able to get 2 weeks leave, so Itsu and I could fly back for the funeral. His wife had him cremated, and laid to rest in her family tomb. Knowing how much Gus loved Japan and his wife, I knew he would have wanted it that way. She is now Max's assistant, and helps him run Decades.
Another sad loss was Tammy and her husband. They were killed in a traffic accident 2 years after I moved, and I did not find this out until I tried to visit them during a vacation to Okinawa 6 months later, and found the club closed. It seems that nobody had the money to take it over, so it was just closed. I changed that quickly, placing the other bartender in charge, and re-opening it once again as a small, Japanese club. Although this club looses money, I do not care. It is done for the love of Tammy, of the community of Henoko, and simply wanting the local citizens a place to go without having to worry about rude Marines. A place of their own in an area almost taken over in many ways by Americans.
I drive down to Henoko at least 2 times a month, as a guest during the city council meetings with the Camp Commander of Camp Schwab. The meetings that I used to drive my CO to 15 years earlier as a Corporal I now attended as a guest. The Mayor is a nice old man, who remembers my being the only Corporal he remembers that did not look away in disgust when offered sushi. I even have a certificate on the wall that I display proudly, naming me an honorary citizen of Henoko, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
Life has been very good to us. Itsu and I still make love frequently, and have been completely faithful to each other. Our lives have been anything but ordinary, but we have no complaints. Who could have ever suspected the turn my life would take when I walked into that dusty, decrepit bar that night. And the changes since I made Itsuko my wife can never be told in words. Her and the children are my life, and I would give anything for them. But that is how it is, when you love as much as we do.
Most of the places talked about during the course of this story are real. If you go to Kin Village, you will find a loud rock club called Sgt. Pepper's. If you walk the streets of Okinawa City, you will find clubs like I described existing, but not a place like Cheers and Decades. Those are figments of my imagination.
If you walk the quiet streets of Henoko, you will find a nice, quiet little place called Club Tokyo. I shared many nice evenings there with 2 of my buddies, sharing drinks and talking with the Japanese Nationals there. As far as I know, we were the only Americans ever to frequent it. The scene about the octopus is real, as I did do that back in the summer of 1990 in that very same Club Tokyo.
The people are all made up from my imagination. Some are based on real people, and others are complete imagination. And as far as the sex, that is entirely part of my imagination. I was happily married during my years spent in Okinawa, and was faithful the entire time. But I still have a deep love for the Japanese culture, and want to keep that for the rest of my life.
So for thanks for reading this far, I can only say Domo Arhigato.