"Grandfather, you've lived a long life. What's the purpose of a person's life?"
Sakhr still had a smile on his face.
"You little brat. I just told you not to overthink things yet here you are asking such a question."
Sakhr sucked his cigarette and blew smoke in the air.
"A man's purpose in life, huh. Hmm… I believe there are two kinds of purposes -- 'personal' and 'non-personal'."
"'Personal' and 'non-personal'?"
"Let's talk about the 'non-personal' first. A non-personal purpose is what society values, something like the continuation of the human species."
"Getting married, starting a family. That's a non-personal purpose that everyone's shares."
"But what if you have bad genetics?"
Call him an overthinker, a racist, anti-human or whatsoever. But the way Nathan sees it, there are some people in this world who are not fit to pass down their genes, yet are left alone to freely breed.
Putting aside the financial status, what if a person has a disease or disability that has a 50/50 chance of passing it down to his/her offspring?
If the child doesn't inherit the disease or disability, then it's okay. No problemo.
But if the child inherits the disease or disability?
Sure, it's okay if it's curable. But what if it isn't? What then? Do you have the heart to see your child suffer and get mocked by society throughout his/her life even after you're gone?
Sure, the parents could do their best to provide the best care possible for their child. However, parents can never shield their child from all the pain and horrors that would come.
Life is already hard as it is and will be 100 times harder for those with disabilities from childbirth.
To Nathan, such parents are selfish. Selfish enough to condemn their child in a lifetime of pain and suffering.
Thinking about this, he also thought about Karen's abortion.
'Thinking about it from this perspective, perhaps I was wrong?'
He felt irritated and tried to look for a reason to paint her as an evil being and himself as the victim.
'No, the main issue here is that she cheated on me, despite the fact that I was solely and faithfully devoted to her! The baby is only a by-product of the evil deed! Also, who is to say that the baby has deformities?'
As far as Nathan knows, Karen herself and her family seem to be healthy so there was no way the child would have deformities.
Also, regarding the possibility that the child could be his, he consciously and subconsciously evaded it.
Even if he didn't, what's there to say and do? She already killed the baby and it wasn't against human laws. Only God can judge such a thing.
"Hey, brat. Are you listening?"
"You're really an overthinker. Well, I guess everyone has their quirks. But you better learn to tone it down a little bit because that will no doubt make you indecisive."
"Okay, so the other one is the 'personal' purpose."
"The personal purpose is what you personally desire. Do you want to be a successful writer? The first man to ever walk on Mars? The strongest man to ever live? A millionaire? That's a personal purpose. Also, it could be more than one."
"A personal purpose… Hmm... Does being a husband or a father count as personal purpose as well?"
"Hmm… yeah, being a GOOD husband and father is something that can be considered as a personal purpose."
"So grandfather, your personal purpose, were you able to achieve it?"
"Before I became 20 years old, I already slept with 100 women. After that, I continued increasing the number until the age of 80 that I lost count. Hahahaha~!"
'That's…' For some reason, Nathan couldn't help but feel that such a personal purpose was too shallow.
An image of his grandfather naked flashed inside his head that he had a strong urge to vomit.
He shook his head viciously to erase the image.
Going back to what his grandfather said…
He knew that his grandfather married his grandmother at the age of 36 and they never got divorced.
She died at the age of 70.
'Perhaps she died from grief due to grandfather's actions?'
Nathan couldn't help but feel pity for his late grandmother.
But then again, who was he to judge?
He remembered how he knelt and begged like a dog in front of Karen when he confessed his feelings.
Thinking about it now, he couldn't help but think how pathetic he was.
'Anyway, everyone has their own desires. What seems trivial and useless to me may be the opposite for other people.'
He thought about his personal desires.
What did he want? So far, he couldn't think of any.
'No, it isn't that I couldn't think of any. It has just become complicated as the years gone by…'
When Nathan was young, he wanted to a chef, and then an astronaut, and then a cowboy, and then a doctor -- basically, it kept changing.
And when he graduated high school, truth be told, although he prides himself as a so-called lone wolf, part of the reason he attended college was because it was what society accepts as a natural progression on one's life for happiness and success.
And plus, Karen and Vincent were also going to college.
He wanted to continue a journey with them, especially with Karen.
So he attended the same college with her and chose a degree without thinking much about it.
And after they graduated college, although he and Karen had no grand goal aside from working and spending time together as a live-in couple, in his mind, it was still an acceptable goal by the very least because there were only two ways down that road: Either they end up getting married and start a family once they become financially stable or break up.
In the end, they broke up so he couldn't help but feel lost.
And since the incident, all he did was focus on work to forget about the pain and work out to release his anger.
"Brat, you're lost, aren't you?"
"You see, back in the days when I was young, everyone had a role to fulfill that was sometimes pre-determined or chosen because of the lack of options."
"The problem with your generation now is that you have too many options and freedom, which overwhelms you. You can be this, you can be that. I may have lived a ripe old age of 95, but even I would say that I still have many things to learn and experience. However, I can still say that I'm satisfied. Plus, with my age, sex is already impossible even with the pills and all. I'm just ready to die already."
"Then what should I do, grandfather?"
"I don't have all the answers, but I can offer a few advice from the perspective of a man who loves women."
"Right now, you're only 21, right?"
"There's a saying, 'Men age like fine wine.'"
"You see… most young men will have shitty lives. To society, you're nothing but a workhorse, expendable, which is the opposite for women."
"At your age right now and as an average young man, you have no skills and experience to offer whatsoever. All you would be doing is fighting over the scraps left by the successful ones. It's only at the age of 30 that your life will start to turn for the better."
"Okay, so my life will get better at the age of 30?"
"That is assuming that you've worked your ass off for years and steadily accumulated success in regards to your financial status, of course."
"And when you get to the age of 30, my God, that's where life starts to become brighter. You see, by this age, assuming that you've worked your ass off and steadily accumulated financial successes along the way throughout the years, it is the women who would come to you naturally. You just have to do little or no effort at all!"
"Wouldn't that make them a gold digger?"
Sakhr spat on the ground.
"Tell me, if you were a woman, would you want to be with an undependable mate?"
"Would you marry a fat and disabled person? If you say no, then I can easily accuse you of being superficial."
"So tell me, is it a crime to desire safety and comfort?"
"Okay, okay, I get your point. Tell me about the opposite for women then."
"Take note: A woman's best years is between the ages of 18 and 25. These are the years where she's at her prime."
"However, at 25, which is her peak, her physical attractiveness will start to dwindle until she reaches 30. And at 30, this where she will start to hit The Wall."
"Yeah, looks fade. And aside from that, as a woman steps into the age of 30, her chances of getting pregnant decrease as well as she ages so her value in the eyes of the society diminishes."
"That's a dark future…"
"Yeah, but it's nature. The Wall is unforgiving and unbeatable. So my advice is not to be butthurt because some woman you've dated hurt you. Just continue dating other women until you reach the age of 40 where you're financial status is really stable."
"And here is why the South Muwinian culture is the best," Sakhr grinned wider and then sucked his cigarette. "At the age of 40 and being financially stable, you can marry the most beautiful virgin between the ages of 18 and 25."
'A person marrying an 18-year-old at the age of 40? That's sick! No way I'm marrying someone that young!' Nathan thought.
If it was a gap of 10 years, perhaps it was okay. But more than that? It just felt so wrong to him in so many ways.
But then again, who was he to judge other people?
"Unfortunately, your father and your uncle didn't take this advice of mine." He sucked his cigarette one last time before throwing it away. "In the case of your useless uncle, he married his high school sweetheart a few years after they graduated college."
He was surprised to hear that uncle Mabrook and aunt Mariam were highschool sweethearts.
'I wonder how they managed to remain together after all these years…'
"Meanwhile, your father…" Sakhr's expression darkened. "He was the worst! He never had any interest in dating anyone so I had no choice but to arrange a marriage for him! The family's reputation was at stake!"
"Grandfather, does it really need to be a virgin? I mean, isn't love important?"
The dark expression on Sakhr's face vanished and he laughed uncontrollably as he kept slapping his leg.
Nathan had a dumbfounded look on his face and thought, 'Eh~ Did I say something wrong?'
"Hoho~ Hoho~ Oh my God! You're killing me!" Sakhr wiped the tears on his eyes.
"Brat, let me tell you this. Here in the South, we have a saying: We don't divorce our spouse, we bury them."
In the South, it was considered a taboo for couples to get a divorce.
But if it was something unavoidable, the person who is responsible for the divorce is shamed and considered tainted so he/she will have a hard time getting married a second time, especially if it's a woman.
"So, tell me, would you marry a used woman and spend the rest of your life and form a family with her? Are you a cuck or something? Are you seriously going to treasure something that was discarded by others?"
Nathan frowned. "Virginity? It's nothing but a one-time use. Once a person experiences sex, it's not like it will return or anything. And no, I'm not a cuck. However, I don't mind marrying a woman who isn't a virgin as long as we love each other. It's not like I'm a virgin either."
Sakhr let out a sigh and shook his head. "Brat, you're still so young, so naive."
"One day, you will realize that there is no such thing as unconditional love. Everything in this world has a condition. Take for example us. Because you're my grandson, I'm willing to share this information with you. If you weren't, I wouldn't even care if you drop dead right now."
'God… This grandfather of mine…'
"Oh well, I guess it can't be helped. You've lived your whole life influenced by the culture of the North. But just remember this, brat: You're the man and it's your duty to be a provider and be the leader of your family so don't EVER settle for anything less if you're going to form your own family!"
Although Nathan didn't agree with everything his grandfather said, he still absorbed all the information given to him.
'So what's my personal goal? What's my non-personal goal?'
He wasn't from a rich family.
He wasn't a person with gifted talents.
He was just an average person.
He finally decided.
Although he wasn't someone who dreams to be a millionaire, let alone a billionaire, he still wanted to have a nice and peaceful life.
His new goal right now was to earn enough money to be able to buy a house near a beach with not so many neighbors, marry a person he loves and have 2 kids -- a boy and a girl preferably.
And assuming what his grandfather said is true, his only choice right now as a young man was to improve himself by focusing on his job and work his ass off.
So by the time he reaches 30 years old, hopefully, he wouldn't be that much of a loser and things would work out well for him.
'On the brighter side, in a way, at least the break up gave me this new insight. If that incident didn't happen, who knows what kind of cuck or loser I would've lived as for many years.'
Nathan raised his head and gaze upon the bright blue sky.
'Things really have a weird way of working. I guess it's just a matter of perspective…'
"Grandpa! Cousin! What are you guys doing here?" A man called out.
Sakhr and Nathan looked towards the direction where the voice was coming from.
It was Maaz, the eldest child of uncle Mabrook and aunt Mariam. And with him were a group of drugged-up and dangerous-looking men.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thank you for reading!
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