Chapter 14:

The Toilet Surfer

Corruptions Are Best Exposed In The Autumn!

I stepped out of the bus, having finally arrived in front of the Febai College campus - the college where Rin Miya studies and plays soccer. Given that it was already December, nothing but rain and cloudy skies filled the weather forecast, and buckets of mud covered the sidewalks.

Walking tothe gate of the campus entrance was harder than expected: since it was already evening, crowds of students, gathered in friend groups, club groups, or keeners chasing down professors, were packing the streets. All I could do was adjust my face mask and pull down the black beanie over my head, praying to God that no one would identify me.

The conversation I had the other night with Mr. Meyer still irked me to my very core:

Mr. Meyer kneeled down in front of me as I continued being hunched over on my knees.

“I can’t just go back to the team and beg for my job back, you know,” he replied.

“Please! I want to help restart the soccer academy and fix the women’s national team!”

“Quite the hasty comments, don’t ‘cha think?” Mr. Meyer sighed. “I left on my own accord, and the team now has a new coach and already replaced half the players who left.”

I glanced up at him. Mr. Meyer’s eyebrows were lifted, and I could see his eye wrinkles while he gently smiled down at me. It was simply a face that screamed: “It’s okay, I’ve already given up.”

“But…” I muttered, punching the floor. Mr. Meyer placed his hand on my head and ruffled my hair. I wasn’t about to let this night end just yet. “Can you at least let me know who in the team left last year?”

Mr. Meyer stood back up and turned around, his back facing my puppy eyes. “Kai, thanks for showing your concern, I appreciate it. But you’re only twenty-two, and already have this debt that your father left with you. Do your best to fix things one at a time, okay?”

“Can’t you at least give me more info on her ex-teammates?”

“I don’t have such info. Only place would probably be Febai College itself.”

I stopped near the gate entrance, which continued to overflow with departing students. My attempt at persuading Lily to help me earlier today during work didn’t do anything either:

“Lily, we’ve got to do something!” I stood in front of the storage room door, blocking her exit.

“W-What can we even do?!” she glared back. “There’s too much competition to restart our academy business. Your father invested into a state-owned company, and they own everything now! All the training grounds, equipment, and the entire market! No one will register with us if we just start over from the ground up…”

Thus, it was time for a new plan. Today was the day I had to talk to Rin about it, hence the reason why I texted her, asking to meet on campus.

The Febai College campus felt like that of a palace complex. Beige stone buildings surrounded the outskirts of the square plot of land, each hosting its own lecture halls and classrooms. In the center sat a large but old castle that looked straight out of a fairytale. Its stone walls were dusty but sturdy, and its edges were outlined with amber. A tall cone-tipped tower also poked out of the middle, shining its purple glass at the sky. All we needed were battlements that connected buildings to make it truly an exclusive royal kingdom.

What am I even doing here… I thought. A peasant such as I no longer belonged to the highest class of society, and Febai College featured world-class education that only the richest of the country could affiliate themselves with.


Arriving out of the tall, black gate was Rin Miya, sporting a tracksuit and a backpack filled with a soccer ball. Her usual burgundy hair was tied up in a ponytail, which made me slightly blush. However, there was no time to admire her athletic appearance.

“Rin, I need you to follow me!”

I grabbed her wrist and pulled her back into the gates of where she emerged from.


As I looked behind at her, a faint blush emerged on her cheeks. Hand-holding was supposed to be trivial at our age, but for some reason, my heart still thumped with just a touch.

“Where are we going?!” she yelled. Various gasps and darting eyes surrounded us; every stone path on campus had at least one student walking down.

“You’re going to show me where I can find the contact info for every player that left last year!”


Ignoring her reaction, I continued dragging her down the path with me until we finally reached the practice field near the back. A small white building lay in front of the field, which I assumed hosted the training and changing rooms for Rin’s soccer team.

“The door’s in here, right?” I asked, exhausted from the run. My mask and scarf were still over my face, making it hard to breathe.

“Y-Yes…” Rin answered, and I opened it without hesitation. Inside was a clean hallway which was even more white than the exterior. A long brown carpet stretched from the entrance all the way until the dugout on the other side. The ceiling was shaped in an arc, and both walls were decorated by glass frames which held photos of previous teams and individuals. I glanced around to find Rin’s team photo from last year, but as expected, it was missing. Before I managed to walk even further, Rin pulled my sleeve from behind.

“Kai, I appreciate your sentiment, but we already have a new team,” Rin muttered. “Those who were outcasted have long moved on and are doing their own thing in life now.”

“But we can work to bring back your old coach again and-”

“Coach Meyer left on his own accord,” Rin interrupted. Her arms were visibly shaking. “As much as we miss him, he can’t return. The new ownership is just too powerful. I could leave tomorrow, and the new owners would make sure no one turns an eye.”

“But we can at least find your old teammates and lobby-”

“Please, just stop!” she shouted, with tears flowing down her cheeks. I froze, too petrified as I watched her cry her eyes out. “I told you before, it’s fine now! I’ve accepted the changes! You’re prying too much into my business, don’t you have a debt to pay off?!”

I felt a pinch in my chest. “Ugh, I mean, you’re not wrong…”

But why does she have to say something so mean when I’m just trying to help -

Treading toward me with her hands clenching her backpack straps, Rin brought her face just inches away from mine, causing me to straighten my back in startlement. Her eyes were still red from crying, and her tears were still fresh on her cheek.

“The last thing I’d want…” she began, making me freeze in place. “Is for you to have more problems on your shoulders! If you do anything, they’ll triple your debt, and kick me out of the team!”

She knew about my debt?! I thought, yet it probably shouldn’t have been a surprise at this point.

She spun around, with her back now facing me. “Thank you, Kai. I truly appreciate you trying to do this for me. Over these past few months of knowing you, I can say that no one’s ever treated me so well.” She turned her head at me one last time, before her figure began fading away into the darkness of the dugout. “Let’s go back, and play another game on my console instead!”

“Wait, we can’t just give up-”

Just when I ran to follow her, multiple voices echoed down the hallway, causing both of us to freeze in panic:

“Just think about it! It has to be true, right Eliza?”

“Without a doubt. The ref was right in front of it too and he still awarded the penalty!”

Shit! I thought. More people are coming! If they see us together in the dugout, they’ll raise suspicions on Rin!

Before I could grab Rin’s arm to hide together somewhere, Rin dashed back and grabbed mine instead, pulling me into a nearby bathroom.

“Hey!” I whispered. “Are we really safe in - arghh!”

Rin opened one of the stalls and pushed me inside, slamming the door shut behind me once my knees bumped into the toilet seat.


“Quick, stand up on the toilet so they don’t see any feet under the stall!” Rin whispered back.

“Why do you gotta be so-“

“Shh!” Rin hushed. “They’re coming!”

Crowds of footsteps treaded past where Rin and I were in the dugout, and I jumped on the toilet seat without closing the lid first. My boots were covered in mud from the rainwater, so I knew I had to wipe down the seat soon, just like how I usually did in the bathrooms at Muller’s Blend.

“Hey, Suzie, I’m going to wash my hands for a second,” said one of the girls.

“Wait, I’ll follow you!”

Shit! I thought. I better keep silent and still…

“Huh!?” another girl’s voice popped up. By the sound of their footsteps and voices, there seemed to be three in total. “Rin?! What are you doing here?!”

A drop of sweat splashed onto the floor from my head. I wonder how Rin was going to explain herself, being found out this late at night.

“I just thought I’d get some late-night laps in before heading home,” Rin answered. “Anyways, Eliza, what are you girls doing here?”

“Suzie forgot her gym bag,” answered Eliza, who then threw in a question I had not wanted to hear: “Hey Rin, who was that guy you were with at that bubble tea shop the other day?”

Oh no… A shiver snuck down my spine, and I’m sure Rin twitched too. We were careless; I should’ve done better to hide my identity.

“Yeah, all of us are wondering now!” Another girl chimed in.

“The guy looked kinda like that son of that corrupted businessman,” continued Eliza. “I think his name was Kai.”

“I-I’m not-” Just when Rin tried to deny it, a third girl jumped into the conversation:

“Don’t worry, we’re just kidding,” she chuckled. “No one would get close to that loser of a guy.”

“I heard he has to deal with half his own father’s debt!” Eliza added. “And that he’s been spotted working at that café near Febai park. I can’t believe he’s even found a job with that reputation!”

“Right?! It was alleged that his father was betting on the team’s soccer matches last year too! I’m glad I wasn’t part of last year’s team like you were, Rin-”

“How about you all shut up and watch what you’re saying?”

Huh?! My body tightened up. Is… Rin defending me?! The gap between the stall doors was too narrow to see anything besides the wall. A brief silence filled the bathroom.

“R-Rin?” Eliza muttered, taking a step back against the stone wall next to the door. “What are you…”

“It wasn’t him that tampered with our matches, and it’s not his fault for having all that debt either. Go to the café and talk to him! See how he reacts! And then decide if he’s a loser or not by yourself, not just by assuming!”

Rin sounded so angry that I could imagine fumes blowing out through the stall. I squeezed my eyes shut and bit my lips. No one has ever defended me to the point where their own reputation among their friends was at stake.

“Rin has gone insane!” Another girl yelled. “Let’s go, Eliza, Ruby!”

Within seconds, all three dashed out of the bathroom leaving their dignities behind. Once I confirmed that all of them were gone, it was time to step down from the toilet and -

“Aaaack!” I yelled. My foot slipped on the toilet seat from the wetness of my soles, and I slammed my back against the toilet tank. Without being able to catch myself fast enough, I slid down the tank, letting my elbow dive into the bowl of water and causing it to splash all over my red scarf and my coat.


“Y-You okay?!” Rin asked, but all she could do was peek through the door and the wall, since my stall was still locked.

“Shit, yeah I’m-”

“What was that?! What happened?!”

Oh shit! I thought.

All three of Rin’s teammates busted back into the bathroom just moments later, bewildered by the noise I caused.

“Rin, what just happened?!” Eliza darted her eyes around the room, searching for the source. “I heard some sort of bang and a splash.”

Fuck fuck fuck!

My elbow was still in the toilet bowl, and my back was still against the seat. Since Rin’s friends rushed back in so quickly, I hadn’t had the time to recover and get back on my feet.

“Eeeeek, a stalker!” Rin shouted, which I interpreted as her trying to distract her friends once more.

“W-Where?!” Eliza and the girls shouted and poked their heads back into the hallway. “Ah, you’re right!”

Huh?! I thought. There’s actually a stalker here? It’s not just Rin trying to divert her friends’ attention?

“Girls, we have to get out!” Rin hurried out the bathroom, and her three teammates followed suit. “Chase that stalker down!”

“Y-Yeah!” Eliza shouted, and before I knew it, I was all alone in the women’s bathroom, with my arm still submerged in the toilet and my bum all wet and bruised up.

Fuck, what a loser I am…

I wasted no time unlocking the stall and creaking it open. Forget drying off my back and arm; I had to get out of the bathroom before the girls found me. The sight of their disgusted faces, if they saw the state I was in, had me breathing like a whale.