Through the spring Michael poured his entire being into the track. The work was hard. The long months of wallowing in his grief had taken a toll on his body. Yet slowly and painfully he started to build back the hard earned muscle and endurance. Michaels father had completely lost it after Thomas' death. He turned to the bottle even more and was never present in Michael life. Michael turned to his friends at school. He would often go home with them and if he ever returned to his own house Michael made sure to entire quietly through the back window. He would slip into his bedroom like a shadow making sure not to wake his father because he knew if he did the results of the encounter would be anything but pleasant. To the rest of the world Michael was like an amazing science anomaly. He was like a plant who had been set ablaze and completely trampled into the rough sewn earth. Gone. Nothing. Stomped on until he was non existent. And then the plant had sprouted again. And when he grew again he was more beautiful and better in every way than before. Michael didn't notice but he had become the center of much talk. He had been blind to it in the weeks directly after Thomas' death in his glazed over state. And now he was too focused on his running. He didn't see the other boys attempts to create friendships with him, boys who had not even given him a backwards glance before this spring. Michael didn't hear the girls who giggled and pointed when he walked past them in the hall. Michaels entire attention was focused on training, becoming stronger, being better. When school was let out he found himself a summer camp in California. He used The money that had been given to them after Thomas death and left in the third week of July. In California Michael found someone who would become a guide through his greatest achievement... and downfalls.