Nathan was lying on his bed and topless.
Without any work today, he decided to check out the messages on his phone.
One of them was from his mother.
The other messages were from Amir's parents, Abbas and Amira, and sister, Aena.
There were also messages from Amir, Malik, the younger brother of Maaz, and his ex-military uncle Eid.
All of them were about greeting and wishing him well in the celebration of the Holy Week.
He replied to all of them.
A week ago, Amir and his family arrived here in Muwin and were currently in the Latif city.
They came to visit the country not only to celebrate the Holy Week but to also scout a good medical school for Aena.
Although Amir's parents loved the freedom and progressiveness of Womania, they started to fear for their daughter's principles because of all the "freedom" that women have there and the influence of those all-women rights groups.
So to balance out her principles because they didn't want her to go full-feminist, they decided to have her attend college at Latif city which is in the central region of Muwin.
In their eyes, the central region was the best environment because it was a society where the northern and southern cultures were blended together.
He received two messages.
There were from his mother and his cousin Aena.
The messages were just about mundane things so he didn't really need to reply back.
And then he received a call…
It was from uncle Abbas.
"Hello, uncle Abbas. How are you?"
"Nathaniel, it's been a while since we've spoken. I'm doing fine. What about you?"
Uncle Abbas likes to call him Nathaniel and he's the only one who calls him that.
"I'm doing fine as well. Thank you."
Almost every family that Nathan knew heard about what happened to him 2 months ago.
Uncle Abbas was so enraged that he wanted to sue Karen and her family, Vincent and the police station. However, Amira and Nadia (his wife and Nathan's mother) talked him out of it, explaining to him that the issue has already been settled.
But despite all that, he still felt that Nathan's current situation was wrong.
"Nathaniel, my boy, why don't you go to Womania with Amir? The country is very welcoming to immigrants, it has a great economy so there's a lot of ways to earn money, and you have all the freedom there. I can help you with the papers and the cost of moving there."
As far as he knows, Womania was a very progressive country.
In fact, he has seen a couple of feminist and SJW videos online of people there in Womania that it just left him mind-blown due to the cultural difference.
And right now, the reason why he was in his current situation was because of a woman.
So why would he go to Womania?
That's like escaping from a tiger's mouth to jump into a dragon's mouth.
"Nathaniel, I know what you're thinking. Womania isn't a bad place, especially for immigrants that aren't Caucasian. And plus, you're a young man. You shouldn't be wasting your life in some small town on a tiny island at the edge of the country."
"Yeah, uncle… But… Um…"
"Nathaniel, I don't mean to pressure you. It's just that you're my nephew and I treat you as my son so I want the best for you, just like how I would want the best for Amir and Aena. Just think about my offer for a few days."
"Thank you, uncle Abbas. I'll be sure to think about it."
To Nathan, uncle Abbas acted more like a father to him compared to his own father, Nazul.
However, Nathan was used to being independent since at an early age so he preferred not to ask help from people if possible.
And if he were to go to Womania, he preferred to spend his own money.
So that in case he didn't like it there, he could leave right away and return here at Liit town without feeling guilty.
"Okay, I have to go now. Your aunt Amira is calling me. Take care."
"Take care as well, uncle. Bye."
The call ended.
Nathan decided to look for some home-based jobs being offered at Womania.
"Cousin, what are you looking at? Porn?" A male voice suddenly entered his ears.
He put his phone down and looked over who it was.
It was Maaz who just entered the room.
"LOL… Come on," said Nathan.
"I won't judge, you know," Maaz said as he went over to his own bed and lifted the mattress.
Nathan just smiled and resumed checking his phone.
Maaz pulled out a plastic bag from his waist and inserted them inside the mattress.
"Don't tell father and mother about this," said Maaz.
"Yeah, sure," Nathan said without looking.
He heard stories that Maaz was involved in some shady things so he rather not know or be involved in any of it.
And plus, Maaz was 4 years older than him. So who was he to tell someone older what was right and wrong? It's not like he's the smartest person in the world either.
In fact, in his current situation right now, Maaz's life was probably way better than his.
Maaz finished hiding whatever it was that he was hiding and turned to Nathan.
"I thought you have work?"
"No, I received a termination letter from the company I worked for," Nathan said, still looking at his phone.
Nathan continued looking at his phone.
Maaz continued, "So what are you going to do?"
"Nothing. I'll just read a book or something and then find a new job on Monday."
"So you have two days free, huh."
Nathan was still looking at his phone.
"Why don't you come with me and my crew? We're going to Banya city tonight to party."
"Sorry, I'm going to pass. I had a long day."
Maaz grabbed Nathan's phone to see what he was looking at.
"'Here's What's Wrong With Toxic Masculinity'? What the fuck are you reading?"
"Hey! Give me back my phone!" Nathan said as he got up from the bed and took back his phone.
It was a sample article linked to one of the writing jobs available in Womania.
Maaz looked at him with pity and said, "You city boys are really messed up."
"It was for a job listing that I was checking," Nathan said as he returned to his bed.
"Cousin, you really should come with me at Banya city tonight rather than spend you time reading some shit like that. Plus, we never had the chance to bond so this is a great chance."
"Yeah, but doesn't it take at least 4 hours to ride a boat going to Banya city?"
"We're going to ride a speedboat."
Nathan put down his phone. "Speedboat?"
He has never ridden a speedboat before.
"Yeah. So you coming? If you are, we should go right now. The guys are waiting for me at the docks right now."
Nathan thought about what Maaz said.
Aside from the fact that he hasn't ridden a speedboat before, they never bonded.
Also, he was pissed from getting fired and he couldn't go back to the gym to release his anger because he already worked out this morning.
He finally decided.
"Okay," Nathan said and got up.
Maaz smiled and shook his head. "Are you this hard to invite?"
Hearing Maaz said that to him, he couldn't help but remember Karen's words about him and going to clubs.
Even Vincent mentioned that to him a few times.
'Am I that boring?'
He always disliked going to crowded places, especially to clubs.
But hearing it from another person ever since the breakup, he couldn't help but think if he really was that hard to deal with, forcing Karen to cheat on him.
'I guess it --'
Maaz slapped Nathan's back, disrupting his train of thought and bringing him back to reality.
"Come on, hurry up. I promise you you won't regret it. I'm going to introduce you to some women there," Maaz said with a lewd smile.
It's been 2 months since he had sex so he felt a little thirsty.
"Okay, let me grab some clothes."
Maaz and Nathan arrived at the docks.
There, 3 friends of Maaz were waiting as well.
Nathan tied his hair into a ponytail and was wearing a black slim-fit shirt, gray jeans and black shoes.
Maaz and the others were also wearing black but mixed with white or blue.
"About time you came, bro. We've been waiting for so long," one person said who was smoking a cigarette.
"Sorry, bro, I had to ask permission from my father to bring my cousin along."
"Heh~" the same person said as he looked over at Nathan.
Nathan looked at him as well and couldn't help but sense some animosity coming from him.
He was 5'6" tall, shaved head, about the same age of Maaz, and had a few visible tattoos on his arms and was skinny.
Nathan then looked at the other two…
One was behind the steering wheel of the speedboat. He sported a mohawk and was wearing shades. He was 5'5" tall, the same age as Maaz, skinny and had visible tattoos on his arms as well.
The other one sporting a shoulder-length hair and was sitting on a corner at the dock texting. He was good-looking, 5'7" in height, in his late teens, skinny but had no visible tattoos unlike the others.
"So you guys already know that this my cousin Nathan. He's from Latif," Maaz said.
He then looked at Nathan and pointed at his friends.
"This is Baar." It was the shaved head.
"That's Omar." It was the one behind the steering wheel.
"And that's Khalid." It was the pretty boy.
"Let's go," Maaz said and boarded the speedboat.
Nathan couldn't help but noticed that it seemed like Maaz was the leader.
Nathan and the other two followed suit.
I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thank you for reading!
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