Hiroku Hayashi is just coming into his own when he meets Seth Barrett on the basketball courts in the suburbs of Austin. With his shredded jeans, tousled hair and risky behavior, Seth more than lives up to his bad boy reputation.
Seth sees in Hiroku something Hiroku doesn’t see in himself—potential. With a hero-like worship, Hiroku embarks on a complicated and intense relationship with the older teen, who not only fascinates Hiroku as a lover but persuades him to take their experimentation to extremes. Hiroku reasons that if it feels good, then it must be okay.
But as Seth’s demands increase, Hiroku must ask himself, at what point is the sacrifice too much?
Told in parallel timelines of then and now, seventeen-year-old Hiroku weaves a story about emotional manipulation, abuse and addiction while struggling to understand the core of their relationship, who is to blame, and his own compulsion to choose Seth over everything else.
When fear is the heart of love, does it make your feelings any less real?