The goodbyes with my family at the train station had been tense. They never truly recovered from seeing their bright, shining son fall so low. Matt's predictions came true: I finished highschool without any prospects. College was impossible. I tried applying to coach soccer at Junior leagues, but no team would consider my application. Heck, even minimum wage jobs in Odaiba were beyond my reach. So I did the only thing I could. I moved.

New year. New town. New chances at redemption. Atleast that's what I hoped for.

Unfortunately, a highschool diploma doesn't open too many doors in Japan. I was thankful when I got hired to work construction. Masaka is a sleepy little town. Not too many people recognized my face, and I tried to keep it that way. I lived like a recluse in a dingy little studio above a little corner store, ten minutes outside of town by bicycle. I called my parents once a month. I avoided new friendships, a relationship was completely out of the question. I didn't even join the neighborhood soccer team, always fearful of the inevitable questions about my background.

Once in a while, I would bring home a prostitute. Mostly women, but I tried a man once. I picked a tall, athletic blond foreigner-type, someone who vaguely resembled him. He was expensive; cost almost a month's salary for just an hour. But I wanted to see what it would be like on the other side, to fantasize how it would've been if I was the one with the power. I thought it'd bring me some closure: seeing him naked, on all fours on that grimy motel bed, his pale legs parted to show me his hole. This wasn't exactly how it was with Matt - he usually preferred to take me face to face, but seeing this prostitute's face would've destroyed the illusion of whose body I was invading. In the end though, I couldn't go through with it. The whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth and I walked away without even undressing.

But change is inevitable, and sometimes it can be for the better. By the time my second year in Masaka rolled around, I'd gotten to know the guys I worked with. One of them had a sister who would occasionally drop off a home-cooked lunch for the guys. She was a pretty little highschool junior whose pale face turned bright pink whenever I looked at her; pretty soon, she was coming around more and more with those lunches. We went out on a couple of dates, got to know each other. One day, she surprised me with an introduction to her high-school gym teacher. The man wanted an assistant coach for his kindergarten soccer team. It'd be for free but I didn't care – I was just so happy to be a part of a team in some way once again.

By the third year, my life was finally back to some semblance of normal. No, I'd never be a world famous soccer star. No, I'd never forget what happened to me for those two years. But I was in love with a beautiful girl, I had an honest job, and I got to teach little kids the game I loved on the side. Even my relationship with my family was improving; they visited a couple of times over the years and each time, they smiled more, stayed a little longer.

A/N: The next part is going to be predictable – anyone want to take guesses? I'll give a dime to each right answer.