Chapter VI: Turning Point

There were only less than five days left before the tryouts. Of course, that means more training, more effort, and probably more pain for Takuya.

"Tell me…" Grunt, "Again..." grunt, "Why…" grunt, "This has…" grunt "Anything…" grunt, "To do…" grunt, "With soccer?"

Takuya asked as he did pull ups on a pipe that was cemented to the wall of the empty lot they found. Zoe was in front of him, watching him as he did the exercise.

"Soccer is a whole body sport," Zoe replied, "You'll need to keep your whole body in shape!"

Takuya stopped to look at her and let himself hanging on the pipe, "Yes, but in soccer, we mainly use our lower body." Takuya pointed out, "Wouldn't it be better to give me some leg workouts or something?"

Zoe frowned and pouted at Takuya, "Hey, who's the trainer here?"

"I'm starting to wonder about that too."

"Just do it."

Takuya groaned, "Fine."


Takuya watched as Zoe sprayed red paint on the wall, making a circle. When she finished, she threw the spray paint to the side before facing him.

"Now that you've mastered handling the ball," she took out the soccer ball from absolutely no where and tossed it to him, "We'll work on your aim!"

Takuya looked at the ball… then at the red circle… and then back at Zoe, "You got this from ****lin Soccer, didn't you?" (Sorry! The movie might be copyrighted!)

Zoe blushed lightly in embarrassment, "D-Did not!"

"Sure…"

"Just shut up and hit that circle!"

"…49, 50. Wooh! I'm done! Piece of cake!" Takuya cheered as he sat on the floor after he finished some push-ups.

Zoe looked at him, contemplating. "I guess it was too easy… Do another 50!" Takuya sighed and positioned himself for doing push-ups again. "Wait! Just to make it a bit harder for you…"

Takuya listened but didn't look at Zoe, waiting for her to do something. Suddenly, he felt weight on his back.

"What the…" he grunted as he pushed hard to keep his body from touching the ground, "Zoe! What in the world are you doing?" he asked through gritted teeth.

"You said it was a piece of cake so I thought to make things harder for you."

"I know I said that but this?" he complained, his arms starting to shake from the weight. "Is sitting on top of me really necessary?"

And as he stated, Zoe comfortably sat on Takuya's back as he tried in vain to keep himself from slamming on the floor.

"Just do it, Takuya."

"Easy for you to say…

"What?"

"Nothing…"


Wow, Takuya's speed really improved, Zoe thought as she rode her bike, Takuya running close behind her besides the fact that she was near full-speed. He might just be ready for the try-outs, Zoe continued her train of thought, losing her attention on Takuya.

"Got it!" Takuya exclaimed after he snatched his goggles that Zoe was wearing on her head. Using the goggles as a motivation to keep going wasn't really necessary now but they'd been doing it for a while and it felt more natural to them doing it.

Zoe was a bit surprised and almost lost control of the bike. When she regained control, she noticed that Takuya was already a few feet ahead of her.

"Hey, Takuya! That wasn't nice! Get back here!"


Zoe watched as Takuya continuously kick the ball towards the red circle she had painted on the wall. It took him at least fifty times before hitting the center once but now, he was hitting it consecutively. Ever since he got the hang of it, he had missed no more than five shots.

Zoe looked at her watch before standing up and calling Takuya, "Takuya, it's getting late. Let's go home!"

"Just a few more minutes!" Takuya replied as he kicked the ball.

"C'mon, we can continue this tomorrow."

"Alright, alright," Takuya said as he ran towards that ball that was bouncing back towards him, "Last one!" he said as he gave the ball a powerful kick.

Zoe turned around and began to walk away. The ball Takuya just kicked bounced back and landed exactly on…

…Zoe's head.

She stopped. Takuya stared at her for a few seconds, gulping before gathering up the courage to speak.

"Uh… Zoe?"

"Ta…ku…ya!" Zoe turned around and gave him the worst glare she had ever showed.

"Gah! I'm sorry! I didn't mean it!" he apologized as he ran away.

Zoe began chasing after him.

"Takuya! GET BACK HERE!"


"Are you ready?"

"…You talk like I'm in line for execution…"

BAM! "Stop ruining the atmosphere!" Zoe shouted as Takuya clutched his head that now has a huge bump.

"Alright! Sorry! Geez, I'm going to get a concussion one of these days," Takuya replied as her rubbed his sore head.

"But seriously," Zoe continued, "Are you ready for the try-outs?"

"Well," Takuya heaved a sigh, "As ready as I'll ever be…I guess…"

Takuya's last of week of training had finally ended, and the day for the try-out had finally come. The gang was currently at the bleachers beside the soccer field, giving Takuya last pieces of advice and encouragement before it started.

"Break a leg!" Koichi, who was sitting on the bleachers with behind Zoe, said, "We're rooting for you!"

"Yeah, we are!" Mica who was sitting beside Koichi agreed, "I'm sure you'll pass!"

"I'd be surprised if you didn't, after all of the ridiculous things Zoe made you do," Koji remarked who was sitting beside Mica and was closest to Zoe and Takuya.

BAM! "What's wrong with my training skills?" Zoe exclaimed while Koji was lying down with a huge bump on his head.

"Don't you mean lack of it?" Takuya asked.

BAM! "Just shut up you two!"

And Takuya was sprawled on the floor just beside Koji with the same bump that the other had.

"Wow… those two are really close, aren't they?" Mica commented as she watched the scene.

"You mean, Koji and Takuya?" Koichi asked and Mica nodded, "Yeah, though neither would ever admit it, Koji considers Takuya his closest friend and Takuya considers Koji as his best guy friend."

Mica giggled, "They get along incredibly well, huh?"

"If you count this as getting along, I suppose…"


"You have got to be kidding me…"

Takuya muttered as he stared at the people who were to lead the try out. Besides the coach, the captain and vice-captain was also there along with some members of the team. He knew it would be like this but he just didn't expect one little detail…

Keith, the guy who threw mashed potato at him on his first day, was there.

He didn't know how he could forget the fact that Keith was in the soccer team. He was a jock, for goodness sake! How could that slip his mind?

'Well, at least he hasn't noticed me—' Keith's eyes suddenly fell on him, 'Too late…'

Keith's eyes narrowed and it seemed like he recognized Takuya. Walking towards him, Keith never broke eye contact as Takuya tried to not look scared.

Keith stopped right in front of him. He had half-expected Keith to hit him or something, so he was surprised when Keith talked instead.

"That was you on the first day, right?" Keith asked and Takuya just nodded. "Look, I don't really have anything against you, but I won't say sorry for what I did before. Anyway, since you're here to try for the soccer team, I'm wishing you luck. You'll need it."

Takuya's face was full of surprise when Keith walked away. He didn't expect Keith to be so nice. It almost didn't suit him. Shaking his head so that he can refocus, he tried to remind himself how he got into this mess.


Takuya took a drink of water as he sat on the bench, listening to the coach explain.

The first part of the try-out, which included running and basically dribbling the ball through a course, was done. The aspirants had to then try and score at least one out of three penalty kicks to assure a place in the team. The penalty kicks started just five minutes after they finished the first course, and Takuya was currently waiting for his turn.

The aspirant who was currently doing the penalty kicks jumped when he scored a goal after two trials. The rest of the aspirants and the team also cheered and congratulated him as he made his way back to the benches.

"Nice job, Motomiya," the coach said as he ushered everyone to calm down, "Next is… Kanbara, you're up!"

Takuya's heart jumped as he stood up and jogged towards the penalty line.


"He's up," Koji stated when he saw Takuya stand up.

"I hope he gets a goal," Mica said.

"Don't worry, I'm sure he will," Koichi reassured.

"Good luck, Takuya," Zoe whispered as she, like the others, watched him.


Takuya let out a deep breath, "I can do this… just remember the train—wah!" he stumbled when he accidentally stepped on a soccer ball that the goal keeper threw back. He was too focused on not getting nervous that he didn't notice it roll in front of him.

Of course, he falling down caused the rest of the people in the field to laugh.


His friends face-palmed at the scene.


"Sorry!" he apologized as he stood up.

The coach sighed, "Just go to the penalty line."

"Uh, okay," he followed the coach's instruction and went to the line, carrying the ball with him. He knew the drill after that, setting the ball down and waiting for the coach to blow his whistle.

Takuya drew a couple of calming breaths as he waited for the signal.

Then, the moment he heard the high-pitched sound, he ran as a boost to kick the ball in front of him. Kicking it like he did in his training, he watched the ball fly towards the goal, and at the same time, the goal keeper tried to block his shot.

Clang!

The goal's metal pole made a sound when the ball Takuya had kicked hit it instead.

Takuya gave out a disappointed sigh when he saw his failure.


"Dang, that was close," Koji muttered after witnessing Takuya's first attempt.

"It wasn't bad either," Koichi commented, "Unlike the other aspirants who aimed for the center, Takuya actually has enough precision to aim for the corner."

"Go, Takuya!" Mica silently cheered in her excitement.

Zoe on the other hand, noticed his frown and did so herself, shouting at him, "You still have two tries! Nail them, Takuya!"


Takuya smiled at his friends' encouragement, "Geez, put more pressure on me, will ya?" he muttered to himself, thought the grin he had didn't fade. He went back in place to prepare for his second kick.

Putting the ball down on the line and retreating a few steps, he chanted to himself, "I can do this, I can do this,"

Running towards the ball on the penalty line, he swung his leg backward and kicked.


Author's Notes:

Okay! I've been MIA for almost three years and i still can't believe i updated this!

Anyways, I sincerely apologize for the delay. You know how life can be so instead of telling you all the lame I-was-too-busy-with-school-crap, i'm just gonna shut up coz that's my actually my reason ^-^

Furthermore, i'd like to tell you that this would be TEMPORARILY ON HAITUS (did i use it right? the word i mean). I'm now in college and for those who are taking Engineering courses should know what i'm going through. I'm in danger of failing one major subject so i can't have the luxury to just sit in front of my laptop all day typing this story up.

Takuya: LIAR!

-the hell? why are you here?

Takuya: Buddy, it's been years since you updated and you don't tell us about it?

...uh, no...

Takuya: We hadn't made an appearance for years!

...so?

Takuya: ...you hate us, don't you?

Ignoring Takuya, yep that's how it is. Not sure when i'm gonna update again but surely not in the next three months...

By the way, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Takuya: WAIT! Don't we get any screen time?

Screen time's over, BYE!