A/N: This chapter is named after a song by XTC off of their 1992 album "Nonsuch"
During the middle of the day, the four were playing basketball in a game of two against two. Oscar sees a Caucasian male in his early-40s jogging who has an uncanny resemblance to Ronan Keating. The man was wearing a grey t-shirt, black slim-fit joggers, and a pair of NMD_R1s. He has a feeling that he has seen Oscar before yet isn't too sure about it.
"You look very familiar, kid." said the man "I feel I've seen you before."
"What are you doing here in California?" said Oscar "An Irish singer wouldn't let himself be seen in public."
"Believe you me, kid." said the man "I am not Ronan Keating."
"Are you sure about that, bruh?" said Oscar "You have a strong resemblance towards him."
"I've been through this bullshit before, kid." said the man "I can show you my Instagram to prove I'm not him."
The man shows Oscar his Instagram profile revealing to be the owner of the MK4 Supra they spotted yesterday. He introduces himself to Oscar and his friends as Harry McCullough. David sees Harry's feed noting he also owns an '88 navy blue Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z. Seeing that both Oscar and David got his attention, Harry tells the story of how he got both of the dream cars he always desired.
A year ago...
Harry heard one of his friends in Bellamy Park got a used Camaro they did not want because it wasn't appealing enough to them. His friend wanted his parents to buy him a current-generation Camaro with a lot of horses in it. Spoiled brats were one of Harry's biggest pet peeves other than being tardy. He asks his friend what exact year and package the Camaro is. The guy did not even have a single clue about the vehicle whatsoever.
Thirty seconds later, Harry's friend sends a picture of the vehicle to his smartphone. His wife views the message seeing it's an IROC-Z with its body having minor wear and tear. Its previous owner also stripped the original paint with plans of painting it black. Harry decides to see whether the Camaro is a real IROC-Z or not. Most third-gen Camaro enthusiasts could not fool Harry into thinking they owned an actual IROC-Z when it was only the Rally Sport model cloned.
"Yuko, I'm glad you were able to tell it's an IROC-Z." said an impressed Harry "But I'm going to see if it's a 5.0 or 5.7 V8."
"I know you want it to be the 5.7 TPI." said Yuko "The VIN number is the key."
"Have you been snooping through my Chromebook?" asked Harry "I promise I won't get mad at you."
"No, I got my own." said Yuko "It's better than my slow-ass laptop."
"Oh, that's right." said a laughing Harry "I'm so stupid."
"Ugh, I don't look forward to seeing Chandler." said Yuko "Although, the guy is your former college roommate."
"Don't worry, I'm not going to lag." said Harry "We'll be out of here as fast we can."
"I'll go with you." said Yuko "I'm eager to check the car out."
Ten minutes later, Yuko sees her husband is pleased the Camaro is an actual IROC-Z with an L98 underneath the hood. She looks into its glove compartment finding a copy of 3 Feet High and Rising in there. The plans Harry had were now going to come to fruition. He thought of swapping the original motor and having an LS3 with a souped-up six-speed automatic transmission put in. Out of nowhere, Chandler purposely blurts out on when Harry plans to reveal his secret to his wife.
An irate Harry now had to reveal his secret to Yuko thinking her husband was having an affair. Chandler quickly disputes that idea knowing Harry would never cheat. Harry tells his wife he comes from a very wealthy family living in San Jose. Yuko did believe her husband was likely rich as he'd take her out to expensive restaurants on their anniversaries. She now wanted one good reason why Harry kept his wealth a secret from everybody he knows.
"Yuko, I'm sorry to have kept that secret from you." said Harry "I just do not want to be somebody's personal ATM."
"But you could've told me your secret." said Yuko "Why don't you live with your family?"
"My dad noticed how I never asked for money." said Harry "He saw that I was the most responsible one in our family."
"Were your siblings responsible in any way?" asked Yuko "Did they ever have any intention of working like you did?"
"No, they're not responsible." said Harry "They never wanted to go out and get a job either."
"Wow, at least you told me about your son." said Yuko "I would've felt guilty if I left him with his stepdad."
"That man doesn't matter to us." said Harry "What's more important is my son spending time with me."
"You're absolutely right." said Yuko "I'll see you back at the old house."
Yuko met Harry's son on a cloudy day when he was walking home from where he works a few days back. She had given him a ride home to which Edward was reluctant to accept at first. Edward did not look forward to going home where he'd argue with his stepfather every night. Their arguments always end with the man hitting Edward with a belt. His mother did nothing to stop her lover from physically abusing him. No matter what, she would always stand by the man's side.
Both Yuko and Edward see the stepfather outside of his house with a nasty look on his face. It was clear he had just finished arguing with Edward's mother and ready to hit him with the belt once again. That moment, Yuko sensed something horrible was going to happen if she left Edward there. She chooses to have the youngster move in with her and Harry as their house has two extra bedrooms. Once there, Edward was anxious to see his father thinking he'll take him back to his stepfather's house.
"Edward, what are you doing here." said Harry "It's been a good minute since I've seen you, my son."
"I'm sorry, I lied." said an emotional Edward "My stepfather isn't a great man like you are."
"I always knew something was off about that man." said Harry "It ticks me off how your mother is still with that jerk."
"I don't know, it puzzles me." said Edward "It is okay if I move in with you, Dad?"
"Sure, it's okay." said Harry "I mean, getting custody of you will be difficult."
"Yeah, I understand." said Edward "It saddens me how my mom doesn't do anything either."
"She'll realize her mistake." said Harry "Tomorrow, why don't you and I spend time together?"
"Sure thing, Dad." said Edward "You're the greatest."
A month later...
Harry and Edward worked overtime to make the Camaro look brand new as if they purchased it out of a dealership. It had parts and accessories such as new rims, Alpine sound system, and Sparco racing seats put in. The exterior itself no longer looked shabby with Yuko painting it navy blue. She previously specialized in painting and adding custom vinyl for people part of the racing scene in Modesto. Not only that, but Yuko would attend car meets consisting of JDM, American muscle, and exotic vehicles.
The couple met each other at a car meet when Yuko was checking out Harry's '94 Acura Integra six years ago. An attendee kept bugging Harry into singing a Ronan Keating song due to his identical appearance to the Irish singer. Yuko herself was familiar with the musician only because of a friend who hears his music. She figures out Harry isn't the musician when she paid close attention to his eye color. His eyes were not blue but were hazel while his hair color is blonde.
"Harry, you're home early." said Yuko "I was just checking out your Camaro."
"No, I'm not." said Harry "I came back to get that part for my customer's Datsun pickup."
"Ah okay, do you want to go out on a drive tonight." said Yuko "You know, in your Camaro."
"You read my mind, girl." said Harry "I'll see you, later."
"Cause you are my love and you are my life
What my dreams are made of (whoa, whoa, oh)
So dream of this love I'm giving to you
Forget all your troubles (whoa, whoa, whoa)"
The friend of Harry's suddenly wanted the IROC-Z back when he saw a picture of the vehicle restored on Instagram. Harry realizes Chandler is the type of person who gives an item to another person and wants it back later. Nonetheless, he flat out refuses to give up one of the dream cars he always wanted. It angers Harry more when a police officer pulls them over at the end of their drive. His buddy reported the Camaro stolen despite selling it to him.
Chandler cracked open like an eggshell revealing his true colors forcing Harry to end their friendship. Both Harry and him slowly grew apart and gained different interests over the years. It resulted in Harry no longer being able to listen to the Smiths either. Their friendship dated back to their years in college when they were living together in a dorm. Harry also kept contact with his other roommate in which that one works at a body shop in Bellamy Park.
"Wow, the audacity." said Yuko "I told you Chandler's a piece of shit."
"Tell me about it." said Harry "He's got that supercharged Camaro."
"If I were Chandler, I'd kill to have that car." said Yuko "But I guess that jerk wasn't satisfied."
"He's never satisfied." said Harry "I just couldn't stand him anymore."
"Do you remember when he asked us for money?" asked Yuko "If I remember correctly, he wanted a thousand from us."
"Yes, I remember." said Harry "My other roommate doesn't ask me for money."
"He does run his own business." said Yuko "I like him way better than Chandler."
"Indeed, he's a better person." said Harry "Let's get our rest, we've got a big ahead ahead of us tomorrow."
Seven months later…
Harry was delighted to find a '97 Toyota Supra despite having been in an accident with its front end damaged. The vehicle itself only had 86,278 miles on the odometer while its interior is in perfect condition. Numerous people were after the Supra based on how hard it is to find. Its current owner refused to sell the vehicle to those involved in street racing. He intended to sell the Supra to an honest person who'll only race it at a speedway track or an enthusiast.
Being an enthusiast, he tries his luck by sending a text message to the owner in hopes of the vehicle not being sold yet. Yuko thought her husband wouldn't ever get his hands on a Mark 4 Supra. He proved her wrong the moment he found it through Craigslist. The owner responds to Harry's message agreeing to meet with him in person. As his way of saying thanks, Harry stops at a liquor store to buy a six-pack of Budweiser.
"Are you the one who wishes to buy my Supra?" asked the owner in a serious tone "You're not going to be one of those lowballers, are you?"
"Yes, I'm interested in going through with this transaction." said Harry "And no, I promise not to rip you off either.'
"Bribing me with a six-pack ain't going to work." said the owner "A scumbag pulled that trick on me yesterday."
"Nope, this is my way of saying thanks." said Harry "I could easily import a tuner into this country if I wanted to."
"Wait a minute, you look familiar." said the owner "I think you're the one who that Keating fangirl couldn't leave alone."
"You were there when I met my wife." said Harry "Wow, time seriously files by quickly."
"It was six years ago, man." said the owner "I just can't believe I'm letting Robin go."
"I understand." said Harry "It ain't easy letting go of your own car."
The owner reveals he's selling his Supra to pay off a fine of over seven thousand dollars. His nephew had crashed the vehicle in a neighborhood where Harry crashed his Integra before. Its street was so narrow that a driver coming from one side would have to move aside to let the other go through. The nephew was so busy showing off the Supra he accidentally rear-ended a parked pickup truck. He panicked when figuring out the vehicle was not insured as he believed.
Twenty minutes later, the owner has the vehicle sold to Harry at a reasonable price they both agreed on. He was fascinated when the Supra happened to have a six-speed manual in it. The ad claimed it had an automatic transmission used as a tactic to attract more buyers. Harry holds up a promise he made with the other college roommate and lets him know he acquired the Supra.
Before making his way home, Harry coincidentally sees that roommate coming out of a diner not far from his house. The two hadn't seen each other since their last college reunion. His roommate notices Harry reverse parking the Supra next to his black Trailblazer SS. It was unusual for Harry to see his roommate in Sacramento other than in Bellamy Park.
"Harry McCullough, is that you?" said the roommate "It's been a long time, dude."
"Rafael, what brings you here to Sacramento?" asked Harry "You're always such a busy guy."
"I came here to visit one of my relatives." said Rafael "But I had no idea you lived in this city."
"It's not like you're stalking me, mate." said Harry "And you're a long way from home."
"Haha, I sure am." said Rafael "Dude, I can't believe Chandler became a jerk."
"Whatever, fuck him." said Harry "We had a falling out a few months back."
"Yeah, your wife told me through WhatsApp." said Rafael "Chandler always thought he was better than us."
"Let's just forget about that little shit." said Harry "He was never truly our friend."
Seconds later, Harry and Rafael go inside the diner to catch up with their lives over a cup of coffee.
A/N: The quoted song in this chapter is Even When You Sleep by the SOS Band. I also wanted to clarify the abuse both Edward and Luis faced is entirely different. 3 Feet High and Rising is an album by the hip-hop group De La Soul for those who aren't familiar with golden age hip-hop.