Something New
Chapter information

The Spirit of Competition



Written by


Release date

July 7, 2015

Word count


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"Thrown Into the Deep End"

"Come on, Asami! Time for school!" Hiroshi Sato yelled.

Damn it. Asami groaned and rolled over, not wanting to have to go. It wasn't like the sixteen year-old normally wanted to, but this year was different, as her bus had changed its schedule, and she was now forced to get up earlier to be able to catch it. It didn't help that soccer tryouts hadn't started yet; not to mention, the ninth grade sucked thus far, so today there was no point in going as far as Asami was concerned. She threw a shirt and some pants on, then walked downstairs, where her father was waiting for her. Her mother didn't bother coming downstairs at all - she was too lazy to even get up, but Hiroshi didn't mind, since he had to go to work anyway.

"Hurry up, Asami! You are going to be late and school hasn't even been going on for two weeks!" her father exclaimed.

"Sorry, Dad," Asami replied. She grabbed a granola bar, her lunch money, and raced out of the house.

While she walked to the bus stop, she thought about how she and her team would kick ass this season. She had been playing soccer ever since she was little and loved every little detail. Her team was based a few miles away from her school and was way more advanced. Last year, they won two tournaments, with Asami as the captain of the team.

Her school was a fairly new building. The district she lived in had gotten so big that they had to build another high-school. It was said to be one of the best in the country, though it didn't matter to Asami 'cause she hated it anyway. At school, she didn't have much friends. She had a small group of friends whom she liked, but found greatly annoying at times. As such, she had no one to sit next to at the bus. She was about to sit next to some girl from her grade, but was told that it was reserved. Reserved, my ass.

Asami really hated people. She just couldn't stand them, and she normally spent time in the bathroom or roaming the school grounds instead of going to class. Since school was only starting, though, she at least showed up, albeit sleeping through most classes. Needless to say, Asami was quite shy when it came to talking to people and making new friends and coming to a new school terrified her.

No one decided to sit next to her and school went as it normally went when it was still one of the beginning weeks. Teachers being nice yeah, not for long, journals, utensils being handed out, and finally a paper which contained after-school activities. This one Asami usually just gave to her parents because they were forced to sign it, and then keep going to her normal soccer team, but today would be different. Ever so slightly.

So Asami got home and did what she normally did. First, she threw her school bag to the floor. Homework? Yeah, no. Then, she threw herself onto her couch and turned her Xbox on, placed the FIFA disc on the tray, and played until her father returned. She bought many players for her "Ultimate Team" such as Carlos Vela, Fernando Torres, and Andrea Pirlo. Asami wasn't very good at videogames and rarely played them. The only videogame that bent that rule completely was FIFA. Oh, yeah; she could play FIFA all day long.

Asami's mother arrived afterwards, and so did her father. Hiroshi made cars in his own company called Future Industries. Asami didn't know much more than that, but they were doing alright, so she figured it didn't really matter. Hiroshi walked directly up to his room, where Yasuko, Asami's mother was. He didn't even stop to say hello to Asami, so she walked up with the sheet she had been handed at school, to get them to sign it. But heard her parents' voices. They sounded terribly worried, and it made Asami freeze.

"Don't know what we're going to do..." Hiroshi worriedly said.

"You can't let this happen! What about Asami?! What about the house?!" Her mother questioned. Asami was stopped herself from knocking and tried to figure out what was going on.

"Cabbage Corp is making things very difficult right now," Hiroshi calmly replied. "I think we'll have to find a smaller place." Hiroshi paused for a moment, then called his daughter.

As Asami walked into the room, she couldn't ignore their faces. They looked so down and hurt, so Asami thought she would try to make things easier by understanding the situation they were in, even if it hurt. Be strong. You can do this.

"Asami..." Her mother tried, but sobbed.

"Asami, the company is really not doing well at the moment. We've had to let a lot of people go, and our money ... won't be enough to stay here any longer," her father explained.

"I understand," Asami said with a sincere nod. Moving wouldn't be too bad.

"You need to understand that things," her mother said with a sob, "will not be like they were."

"I understand," Asami repeated. Well, isn't that a little obvious?

"You won't be able to bring lunch money, and we'll have to cut your allowance," her father included.

Dang it! "I understand," Asami once again said. This one hurt her, though. She liked being able to go shopping on Fridays with her miserably small group of friends and hanging out.

Hiroshi smiled, "At least we have a daughter that supports us. Asami? What is that you have in your hand?"

Asami had completely forgotten about the paper. Then she explained that the paper was for the after-school activities, and that they just had to sign it so that she could hand it back to her professor. Her father took a look at the paper, read it, signed it, and handed it back. Asami checked to see if she still had to fill anything out, but instead horror flashed inside her, for it wasn't just signed - her father had selected an activity, and it wasn't even soccer! What the --?

"Umm ... Dad?" Asami started.

"What is it, Asami?"

"I think you made a mistake here," Asami nervously chuckled. "It says here ... that you signed me up for..." Then Asami saw what she had been signed up for. No. Fucking. Way. "SWIMMING?!" There was absolutely not a single sport which sounded more boring and stupid.

"Hoh, yes, that is not a mistake..." Hiroshi replied. "Like I said before, he, he we are down on money, and it looks like it's the cheapest sport on there. Plus, you could benefit from swimming a little; it is said to be the most complete sport in the world!"


"Yep, you are definitely in puberty," her mom muttered under her breath.

The fight raged on for two whole hours. Asami's mother even left to get dinner, while Hiroshi and Asami explained/talked and yelled, respectively. Asami couldn't bear the thought of not even getting to play soccer this year. It was a nightmare! First, the ninth grade stinks, now this? They talked on until Asami was too tired to go on. She wasn't happy about it, but at the end of the day, she would have to do it anyway.

"Look, Asami. I understand your passion for soccer, and I love it, but this year I just... can't do it. Try it, please. Just this year," Hiroshi pleaded.

Asami sighed. She knew that she really didn't have a choice at this point, but she figured she could give it a go this year and the next, return to soccer. She didn't see how this could be hard and how it would affect her soccer skills, since she could still play at school. The only difference is that now, she would be swimming representing her school.

"All right, Dad," she said. "I will do this because you two need it. But don't expect me to like it, because you two tried to put me in swimming classes before, and it was ridiculous."

"Honey, this isn't like before," her mother answered. "This is a swim team. Just hang in there, sweetie. I promise this horrible year will go by in the blink of an eye, but look at it this way: things go by fast if you are having fun, and you will be doing something new. Try to enjoy it, or this year will really suck for you because you are going whether you like it or not. By the way, you are grounded for the tone you used when discussing with your father."

Ugh. "Yeah, yeah, all right," Asami replied, with a tear rolling down her cheek. Can't wait till this year ends. And with that, she stormed off to her room.

During that week, the moving van came and started packing everything. Everything seemed to be going too fast. Asami could barely keep up with the changes that were going on in her life. It was like she was being torn apart, and she didn't like that one bit.

The other day, she found a former person that was on her team. However, when she let her know that she was not going to be playing soccer anymore, she felt betrayed by Asami, and quickly informed the rest of the team, which of course, had to feel the same way. Asami's life was really changing for the worst, and it was as if she didn't even have the time to say: "soccer" one time before there was another drastic change that she did not enjoy.

She kept going to school, through August until September came. The place where the swimming would be was at a building where high-school students went, but it was still the same school. Asami and her mother headed over there, where they talked to the cashier. She was an old woman who had glasses, that looked like she was sweet, but could shout like crazy when was necessary. Asami and her mother sat down in front of her.

"Good day," Yasuko said.

"Hello," answered the old lady. "What may I do for you?"

"I am here to sign my daughter Asami up for train with the swim team," Yasuko proceeded to say.

By now, Asami was already bored, so she just sat there and waited until she was interrupted.

"Did you hear that, Asami?" Her mother asked, looking at Asami with big eyes.

"I'm sorry, what?" Asami asked.

"You will be training for two hours. From Monday to Thursday," the old woman answered. "Your training times will be from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. That is, if you want to be able to make the team, of course."

But I don't want to and probably won't make the stupid team. "Sounds good," Asami politely answered. Man, and I thought this would only be for one hour. Shit.

They finally left after Asami's mother paid the woman whose name turned out to be Mrs. Xue, and headed to a shop to buy a swim suit, a pair of goggles, and a swim cap. On the way, Asami looked out the window in hopes that at least swimming could bring her something good. They bought all the basic stuff at a shop close by, and after what seemed like a century, they headed home where they had dinner. Hiroshi cooked Asami's favorite: noodles. He hoped to cheer her up, but he miserably failed. It would take a lot more than noodles to get Asami out of this dismal position she found herself in. She went to bed, thinking of the day ahead of her. At least it will be a Thursday, which means you only have to swim one day, and then it's break. Plus, your birthday is on Friday! Asami got excited again, until she remembered that she had no friends. At least she had family, so it could be fun, nonetheless.

Asami barely slept when her father once again called her for school. The day was a regular one until five thirty. At that hour, the entire house was a mayhem. Asami packed towel, goggles, swimsuit, swimming cap, and clothes to change, since she was wearing the swimsuit under all her clothes. She was running up and down the house to see if she had everything.

"Do you have your goggles?" asked her Mother.

"Yes!" hollered Asami.




Shit. "Uhm ... yes?" Asami said as she ran down to the kitchen as fast as her legs would carry her to fill her thermos up.

"Well, come on! Let's go or you'll be late!" Yasuko yelled at her child.

Asami hurried to get down and was soon in the car to her mother's right.

"Can't believe it ... you're gonna be late. And it's your first day!" Yasuko exclaimed.

"Mom ... it's five forty-five. We have enough time to make it," Asami replied, laughing.

"I guess you're right. I think I am more nervous about this than you are."

"Trust me, Mom. I am freaking out," Asami assured her mother.

They headed over to the pool, where Asami was dropped off. She was to swim while her mother went for groceries. She kissed her mother good-bye and got off the car. She walked inside to the women's locker room. There, she took her clothes off comfortably and headed over to the pool quickly. The advantage of wearing the suit underneath. She held her goggles and cap in her right hand as she stared at the pool from one end. This is my life now. When she turned around, she saw something that gave her the biggest chill she had ever gotten. She felt her arms and legs spike up with goosebumps, and she shivered. She made the strangest connection with this girl that had just walked in. Damn, is she hot. Did I just think that? Asami stared with her mouth open as the girl walked up to her.

"Hello. My name is Korra," she said with a grin.


  • The title is also the name of a How I Met Your Mother episode.

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