Illustration by Max Currie

On Shabu Kent believed he could find a way back to what he’d once been, the only thing in his life besides Kumi that ever made him feel that way. Kumi had saved him from what he’d left in the States. From Allan’s death and his mother who fell deeper into an already dangerous alcohol dependence and seemed unable to forgive him. From his stargazing father who offered no solace beyond the possibility of reincarnation via suicide. Kumi’s love and his popular success as RI-CHU-MAN-SAN! had convinced him that he was better than the person he’d left in America, that he was capable of being someone beyond the seven-year-old infamous for fratricide.

On shabu, Kent believed his life would turn around. Kumi would take him back, and they could start over for real this time. Ozman would be captured, his sentence lengthened, security in his cell heightened. Kent would return to Tokyo, rebuild his career, and forget Monique and Ozman. He’d forget Kumi had ever left him. Forget Renzo’s ridiculous publicity stunt. Together he and Kumi would once more become Tokyo’s Favorite Celebrity Couple.”

On shabu, Kent sorted out the disorder of his life. His thoughts marched along single file. On shabu, Kent trusted his life was fixable, that the chain of events which had led him to Japan and on to Tokyo sound stages and his life with Kumi, and, finally, to a small town in the mountains of central Japan would also point him right back to Tokyo and the good life he once enjoyed.


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