Chapter 13:

The Secret of the Meyers

Corruptions Are Best Exposed In The Autumn!

Taking my last step up the stairs to the balcony hall of my apartment, my eyes caught the side of an envelope poking out between my door and the adjacent wall. It was as big as my face, and a golden seal taped it closed. On the front was only my first and last name, written in thick black ink. There was a designated mailbox for all tenants, so I scratched my head in confusion on why anyone would shove mail in a door like this.

“What could this be…” I muttered to myself while pulling it out. It was neatly closed, and the edges were sharp. Just as I was about to rip it open, an odd scent drifted into my nostrils - it was coming from inside my room. Opening the door, I partially closed my eyes and pinched my nose. Flapping my hand in the air, I slammed my back against the door after it closed behind me.

“Ew, what that fuckin’ stench?!” I shouted.

Eleanor and Leo were standing in my kitchen, frying something in the only pot I owned.

“That’s rude,” Leo scoffed at me, his eyes piercing at mine. “Sis is trying to make us dinner, you know.”

Eleanor, without looking back, continued playing around with whatever was in the pan using my spatula.

“U-Um, sorry,” I replied, taking my shoes off and walking over to see what she was cooking. “I'm sure whatever you’re cooking is deli-ciiooooooooouuuuuyaaaaaaak!”

I dropped to the ground. Frying in my pan on high heat and sprinkled lightly in salt and pepper was a batch of pink worms.

Eleanor glanced down at me, confused at my reaction. “Why are you causing such a ruckus-”

“Why are you cooking live worms in my fucking pan?!” I squirmed.

“Leo was right, you’re ruder than you look,” Eleanor pouted. “I’m cooking my special thick pink spaghetti.”

Spaghetti?! I bounced back up and poked my head over the pan again. Sure enough, what looked like worms at first were only thick noodles.

“Then, what’s that stench?”

“Oh, Mrs. Tren brought us some stinky tofu for us to share,” Eleanor explained, pointing at my table. On it was a large glass container, full of yellow squared tofu that was covered in a brown sauce and garnished with green onions. Its lid had fallen to the ground, letting its smell spread like hot air around the room.

I blushed in embarrassment and caressed my neck out of habit. “Ah, sorry for overreacting.”

Eleanor pouted once more, avoiding my gaze. Leo tugged my shirt from behind in the same way as Rin earlier this evening.

“Kai, why is your wardrobe empty?” he asked innocently. “You’re kinda poor, aren’t you?”

A vein popped in my forehead. “H-How casual of you to say such a-ooooof!”

Leo kicked my private parts in the same way he flicked off his shoes. I dropped to the ground, rolling, and squirming around in pain while holding my crotch. “What was that for?!”

“Sis told me that you peed on her, you pervert,” replied Leo, who then hugged Eleanor from behind. “Stay away from my beautiful sister, you creep.”

“You told him?!” I asked Eleanor, who smiled menacingly.

“He kept bothering me about it today, my apologies.”

“Sis, don’t marry this poor guy, he can barely afford clothing!” Leo shouted, digging his face into Eleanor’s back.

Is he some sort of sis-con?

I struggled to my knees without letting go of my crotch and glanced at the empty wardrobe inside the closet which Leo was alluding to. Sometimes, just by a mere peek inside, a pierce of regret stung me; it was regarding that decision a few months back when the Police Department had first arrested and handed me the thirty million don debt. It was right after I left Nancy’s office - the officers took me to another room, where I sat down and spoke with another police chief. I remember him asking whether I wanted to keep some of the clothing and valuables from my old man’s mansion.

“Look,” Officer Dillon began while standing up from his chair. “We understand that you’re in a rut with your thirty million debt. Tell you what… we’ll let you keep some of your valuables from the house before we take it away.”

“Which valuables?” I asked. My face was already full of despair and barely had energy to look back up at the him, who stared down at me in pity. It’s almost as if he felt bad about what he was about to say next.

“Everything… your clothing, shoes, belongings, and phone.”

I lifted my eyebrows in surprise.

“Is there…a catch?” I asked. No way they would just do this - I had thousands of dollars’ worth of belongings.

“I’m afraid so…” he answered. “You’ll be on strict probation. We’ll have to monitor your whereabouts with a GPS, and we’ll gain access to your phone in case any other shady business takes place while your father is arrested.”

“No…” I replied without hesitation. “Feel free to get rid of all of it.”

All I could do was tilt my head to the side, avoiding everyone’s eye contact. The officer backed up with his hands now out of his pocket, shocked at my immediate answer.

“A-Are you sure? You’ll be left with nothing.”

“Well, there’s a red scarf I wanted to keep.”

“Red scarf? Fine, anything else?”

“I think there’s also a certain jersey.”

I sighed as I finished the recollection and smiled at my empty drawers.

“Whatever…” I murmured. Perhaps it was a no-brainer to keep my belongings, but I’d rather die than have them track my life like a walking surveillance camera. “Besides, I still have this stupid debt on me…”

“You keep complaining about that debt, don’t you,” Leo jabbed the side of my stomach.

“Ouch!” I wailed and stepped away. “Why are you always so aggressive, stupid kid!”

“Besides,” Eleanor crossed her legs under my table, and her smile turned upside down. “Our family knows all about your past, Kai.”

My eyes widened, and I could feel my legs growing numb. “Y-You mean…”

“Yes,” she sighed. “I’m hinting at the incident with Mila’s family.

I almost dropped to my knees but managed to lessen my leg shaking. Eleanor and Leo both stayed silent, staring and waiting for me to answer.

Wait, I thought. Mr. Meyer ran a business… but just what kind of business was it?!

And thanks to my recollection earlier with Officer Dillon, a light bulb turned on inside of me.

That’s it!

“Sorry,” I stood up and threw on my coat. “You two head to bed first. There’s something I need to do outside.”

“Is it to file our marriage form?” Eleanor smiled. I could tell from her deadpan face that she was kidding, but her nonstop persistence on this was irking me.

“S-Stop it with those jokes already,” I replied. “Like I said, I’m not marrying into your family and saying all those shenanigans about my father.”

I slid on my boots, grabbed my keys, and opened the door, ignoring whatever else Eleanor said before I was finally out. There were a few things I just had to do.

I grabbed my phone from my pocket while dashing down the empty streets which glittered under the various streetlights. There was one number which needed dialing, and my fingers slammed the number pad at lightning speed while I ran down the block.

“Hello, who is this?” a familiar male voice answered the line, giving me a sigh of relief while I continued my sprint. My heart thumped faster than my footsteps, but it wasn’t because I was running.

“G-Gio! Please, I need to see you, right now!”

“K-Kai?!” Gio replied, audibly shocked. He screamed so loud that my eardrums vibrated just from his sound through my phone.

“Yes, it’s me! Please, I’m begging you! It won’t last more than five minutes!”

A brief silence followed in our call while I continued my run. I tapped the speaker button on my phone to ensure I wasn’t missing anything in case he was speaking too quietly. After what felt like minutes, Gio’s voice returned to the line:

“Sorry, the clinic is closed, please call back tomorrow morning.”

“I know that! I’m trying to speak with you, not the clinic! Stop trying to act!” I screamed so loud that a few late-night walkers around the street directed their gazes at me. Thankfully, Gio’s clinic was only a few more blocks away.

“Kai, look, I really can’t speak with-”

“It’s not for me! It’s for somebody else!”

Gio sighed. “Fine, but only because we used to be friends in high school. So, what is it?”

“I’m outside your clinic!”

“What?!” His voice almost destroyed the phone itself. “You live that close to me?!”

I grasped my knees, huffing and puffing visible balls of air. “Look, please, just come out, I only want to talk for a few minutes.”

Gio’s clinic was quite different from the other brick buildings in Febai City. Instead of the usual red and brown pattern, his building was only the size of a house and was painted white, making it look like it was always covered in snow. Once I reached his porch, I leaned against his stairwell.

A brief silence followed, but since I was still catching my breath, I barely noticed how quiet he had become. When I was about to raise my voice again through the phone, the door swung open in front of me, and out appeared Gio, the clinic’s owner.

“Come in.”

“Gio!” my eyes sparkled in the moonlight, probably creeping him out. “You came through!”

“Shut up. Are you coming in or not?”

“Y-Yes! Please excuse me.”

I followed Gio into his clinic, which was too dark inside for me to see anything. We walked down a narrow hall, until we reached the end where his office was. The room was small and had a hospital bed against the wall. The various drawers and shelves around the other sides were clean and tidy.

“I don’t think anyone in Mila’s family wants to see your face again, quite frankly,” answered Gio, while sitting down at his desk. Ignoring his remark, I went straight to the point:

“Gio… can you provide a small loan to a friend I know of?”

“Huh?!” He screamed. “What makes you think our clinic can give out a loan?! Are you mad?!”

“Please… I’ll help work at one of your other clinics for free if you can do this for me.”

He slammed his fist down onto his desk, almost spilling out the cold coffee from his mug. “Why would I let you of all people work at my-”

“Then can you let my co-worker Lily volunteer at your place? She aspires to be a doctor, and you’re understaffed, aren’t you?” I proposed. “Look, I won’t bother Mila’s family. All I want to do is repent my wrongdoings and pay her back in some way or form in secret, just like what I’m trying to do for Lily’s family as well.” I stood straight with my hands together in front, showing as much politeness as I could. “I don’t care about redeeming my name. I’ve already decided for myself that I’d start over in life and deal with my debt without breaking any laws.”

Gio froze, staring at me in surprise.

“Y-You’ve… changed, haven’t you.”

“I’ll take that as a yes?”

“Well,” Gio spun around in his chair, and then sat back with his hands together in his lap. “I guess we could use help, but not as much as we did before. I kind of miss that old soccer academy which used to operate on this side of town. Lots of patients would want massages, and…”

Wait, that’s it! I thought, and stepped out of his room.

“Hey!” Gio stood up from his chair. “Where are you going?!”

“To somebody’s house,” I answered, zipping up my coat with a face of determination. “There’s just one more thing I have to do. Just so you know… I might have to borrow your phone directory soon.”


Gio’s shout echoed down the hall, but I ignored it and opened the door to exit. Instead, I reached for my phone and dialed Lily’s number.

Fuck, no response…

I tried again, until finally, after the third attempt -

“Ugh, hello?” Lily answered her cellphone.

“Lily!” I shouted like I was trying to give her a piece of my mind.

“Y-Yikes! What are you calling so late for, Kai?!” She screamed back. “We’ve got work early tomorrow, you know?!”

“Yes, I know!” I replied and began darting down the streets as fast I could. The last bus of the night was about to arrive at the stop I was running to at any second. “I need to talk to your dad, right this instant!”

“Why?! Can you tell me whats-”


Just as I managed to hop on the last bus to her home, I closed the call on her and smiled. My feet couldn’t stop tapping the floor as I waited for her stop to arrive.

C’mon, hurry up! I thought. I just had to confirm something.

Finally, after running like I was in a race after hopping out of the bus, I had arrived at Lily’s apartment door. Grasping my knees and catching my breath, my mind was cloudy as I couldn’t stop huffing and puffing. My legs felt like noodles, and my heart was about to jump out of my chest.

“Kai,” Mr. Meyer opened the door. Beside his large figure was Lily, leaning against the wall while donning the most pissed face I’ve ever seen.

“Mr…” I huffed. “Meyer… I have something to request of you!”

I panted louder than ever, probably disturbing the neighbors in the process.

Mr. Meyer stared at me with eyes of confusion; he glanced at Lily, hoping to get an answer, but Lily just shook her head and shrugged her shoulders. Finally, I straightened my back again.

“Please become the coach of the women’s soccer team again! Please!”

That’s right…

Lily’s family used to run a soccer training academy - and her father was the coach of Rin’s soccer team last year. This was the business that my own father supposedly drove to the ground.