The Fruitopolis festival was one of the biggest events in the entire Fruit Realm, and happened every year on the 24th of June. Thousands would gather in the giant Fruitopolis City Park to take part in games, listen to the hottest live music, win prizes, and make the most of the midnight sun and relatively warm weather. This year was the 50th anniversary, and the festival was especially huge. There were tents and market stalls covering almost the entire park, and a humongous stage at the end of the park where the biggest stars in the fruit realm performed their latest hits.
The Ananas family came to the festival every year, always the life of the party, and this year was no different. This was six-year-old Immi’s first time at the festival, and he’d broken off from the rest of the family to have a look at the various activities on offer. Little Immi was the average height for a pineapple his age but was slightly skinnier than the other young pineapples. His bright yellow hair was fairly long. He was accompanied by Árni, the oldest of his six older brothers at sixteen. Árni was tall and had short yellow hair and blue eyes. He was muscular, like many pineapples, and was particularly mature for his age. Árni was everything Immi wanted to be.
They passed many stalls with toys and games, some offering jewellery and others offering various homemade goods. There was so much to take in, but Immi soon became focused on one particular booth. There was a white arch, decorated with pink and purple flowers. Next to it was a sign with the words “Marriage Booth, get married for 153 krona” with “(not legally binding)” written hastily underneath. Immi checked his pocket for change and, sure enough, he had more than enough for the wedding booth. Although he had no idea what “not legally binding” meant, he immediately decided he had to get married. Now he just had to find someone to marry.
“Árni, Árni, look!” Immi exclaimed, jumping up and down and pointing at the marriage booth.
“Ha?” Árni replied, confused and trying to figure out what his brother was wildly shouting about.
“Look, look! It’s a marriage booth! I wanna get marriaged!”
“No, Immi, that’s just a waste of time and money.”
Árni began to lead Immi away from the booth and towards the family, but Immi frantically resisted.
“Let me get marriaged!” Immi cried loudly, practically screaming as Árni tried to drag him away.
“Stop screaming Immi, you’re making a scene!” Árni pleaded, quite frankly exhausted and just wanting to go home.
“BUT YOU WON’T LET ME GO ON THE REALLY BIG SLIDE SO YOU HAVE TO LET ME GET MARRIAGED!”’
“You’re too small to go on the slide by yourself and I wouldn’t be caught dead on it, now let’s go before you embarrass the whole family!”
“NEIIII!” Immi shouted as he broke free, “I’m a grown up now, and grown ups get marriaged!”
Árni didn’t have time to respond as Immi dashed off in search of a potential spouse and was lost amongst the crowds.
My parents are gonna kill me, Árni thought, how the hell did I lose my brother?
Immi suddenly realised that his brother had not followed him, and that he was now alone, surrounded by strangers with no idea where he actually was. He began to cry, softly at first but, in true Ananas fashion, loudly and dramatically. He knew pineapples shouldn’t cry in public, but if his brother couldn’t see him, maybe he’d be able to hear him. He could faintly hear Árni calling out for him, but his replies went unanswered. Realizing that he was going to be lost for a while, Immi sat down on the ground and went right back to crying.
“What’s wrong?” a little voice asked.
Immi looked up and saw a girl holding out her hand and smiling sympathetically. She was an orange and looked about his age. She wore a sparkly orange dress, orange tights, and orange ballet pumps.
“I- I wanted to get marriaged at the wedding booth, but now I’m lost.” Immi replied through his tears. He was terrified that she was going to make fun of him for crying in public, because pineapples were especially not supposed to cry in front of smaller fruits.
“Awww!” The girl exclaimed, “I’ll help you, but you gotta do something for me!”
“You gotta marry me!”
Immi stared at the girl for a moment. She was very pretty, but his parents had told him that pineapples were only supposed to marry pineapples. However, Immi hadn’t seen any pineapple girls, and this girl was offering to help him.
“Okay I’ll marry you!” Immi said after a moment, a big smile on his face, “but what’s your name?”
“My name is Eva.”
“That’s a very pretty name. My name is Immanúel Aðalsteinn, but call me Immi though.” Immi replied, stumbling slightly over the pronunciation of his full name. Eva giggled and blushed at the compliment, even though she was used to receiving them from her various admirers at ballet.
“Immanwoowell… Imma… Emma… I think I’ll just call you Immi.” Eva declared. Immi preferred to go by his nickname, as he hated being referred to as Immanúel or, even worse, Alli.
Suddenly, Immi had an idea.
“Before we get marriaged, do you wanna go on the big slide?” Immi asked.
With that, Immi took Eva’s hand and she helped him up. They held hands and skipped away from the crowd and towards the big slide. After they had been on the slide a few times, making sure Árni didn’t see them, they happily talked about their favourite cartoons and toys. Soon, they made their way towards the wedding booth.
“Immanúel Aðalsteinn Ananas and Eva Appelsína, I now pronounce you married, not legally binding. You may now hug.” The apple at the booth announced, handing them both a cheap plastic ring, “I hope you both enjoy the rest of the festival… the restival, should I say? No? Tough crowd, I guess. Have a nice day, kids!”
Immi and Eva cheered loudly and hugged.
“Let’s go on the slide again for our funnymoon!” Immi excitedly suggested.
“You mean honeymoon?”
The happy couple were about to make a beeline for the slide, when suddenly Árni came up to them and pulled Immi away from Eva.
“We have to go.” Árni declared.
“Neiiiii! I wanna hang out with my wife!” Immi protested, reaching out towards Eva as Árni picked him up, slung him over his shoulder, and carried him away.
Eva didn’t yet understand the many social rules that pineapples had to follow. She knew that the bigger fruits considered themselves to be of a higher social status than other fruits, but she didn’t know just how restrictive their lives really were. They had to look a certain way, act a certain way, and any deviation was punished by mockery and being ostracised from pineapple society. Now Eva was left alone, without her new friend, and she didn’t understand why. She began to cry softly to herself.
For the entire journey back to Pineapple Plaza, Immi thought about the girl he’d met at the festival, and how she’d helped him, and how kind she’d been. Eva Appelsína. His festival bride.
Maybe one day he’d see her again.