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66.28% The Bastard In The Zombie Apocalypse / Chapter 116: Recalling 8

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Chapter 116: Recalling 8

"Cousin, I want to earn cash. Can I join whatever is that you're doing?" Nathan said.

Maaz stopped and looked at Nathan in the eye.

Nathan looked at him in the eye as well.

They both stood in silence for 5 seconds before Maaz finally spoke.

"Cousin, this thing I'm doing, you don't want it. If you ask me again, I will shoot you," Maaz said dismissively and resumed walking.

"Wait!" Nathan grabbed Maaz by the shoulder and forced him to face him.

However, Maaz already pulled out his handgun and aimed it at Nathan.

"I SAID YOU DON'T WANT THIS!"

Nathan immediately raised his hands and backed away.

"Cousin, we're in public."

However, Maaz ignored his warning and continued to aim the gun at him.

Fortunately, there were only 3 people around the area.

Two were drinking, while the other one was doing something else.

They stared at each other once more for 5 seconds without saying anything before Maaz finally put his gun away.

"Cousin, if this is about Fatima, forget about it. She's not worth it, bro. Don't be stupid."

"No, it's not about her. It's more than that. Look, I only have 10k in my bank account! And that's money that I had to work my ass off for months! I'm tired of slaving myself just to earn chump change!"

Maaz didn't say anything and Nathan didn't make a follow-up

10 seconds passed...

"Fuck!" Maaz cursed under his breath and ran his hand over his hair.

He tapped his feet.

"Maaz, I seriously need money. If I'm going to kiss someone's ass, I might as well kiss the one who pays me the highest."

"Look, I can just give you some money. Trust me, you don't want to get involved in this."

"Don't patronize me. If you were me, would you accept the money? I don't fucking need donations! I want to earn my own shit!" Nathan slapped his own chest.

Pah!

"FUCK! GODDAMMIT, MAN!" Maaz cursed again and then massaged his forehead.

"..."

"Tch! Follow me," said Maaz and walked.

Nathan followed closely.

***

Maaz and Nathan were smoking at a ball field sitting on the bleachers.

In the middle of the ball field, there were some kids playing soccer.

Maaz got up and flicked his cigarette away.

His eyes locked on the kids playing soccer.

"Cousin, this is your last chance. If you're going to be part of the business I'm, you should know that there's no backing out."

"Cousin, I already told you that I'm tired of slaving myself just to earn chump change."

Maaz turned to Nathan.

"Cousin, I beg you, don't do this. You're a college graduate. You have a better chance in life. Please."

"And yet you're doing it yourself."

"No… I mean, yeah. But in my case, it was different. Look, I was never a smart kid to begin with. I can't even count the number of times that my father would hit me with a stick whenever I scored badly on tests since I was young. Do you know what it feels like to go to school every day with your hands covered in bruises?"

Nathan didn't say anything. He had his own experience with his father as well.

"When I started doing drugs in high school, I honestly didn't care about the future. I was just living every day with a devil-may-care attitude and I didn't have any purpose."

"..."

"I was just sinking deeper and deeper. Until one day, I met Deva. She was like this beacon of hope that I just found myself drawn to her, like a moth drawn to a flame."

Maaz sat down and resumed looking at the kids playing soccer, while Nathan continued listening.

"And as gay shit this may sound, if not for Deva, I probably would've already been dead by now. So please, trust me on this. You really don't want to throw your life away."

"Cousin, I'm not doing this for Fatima. I'm doing it for myself. Since I've started working, all I've been doing is kissing ass. All for what? Just for chump change? I can't even remember the last time I walked with my head up high from all the bowing down I've been doing! If I'm going to kiss somebody's ass, I might as well kiss the one who pays me the highest! Is that so hard to understand?"

Maaz let out a deep sigh and then said, "Okay. I'll talk to my boss tomorrow once I return to Banya city. However, I can't promise that you will be accepted."

Nathan got up, flicked his cigarette away and offered his hand.

"Thank you nevertheless."

Maaz reached out and they shook hands.

"No problem."

After shaking hands, Maaz said, "Let's go home. I'm sure they're worried about you."

Nathan smiled and said, "Yeah. In fact, I've received one message each from my mother and your father, and a couple of text messages from my mother, asking me if I'm okay."

Maaz shook his head and walked.

Nathan followed suit.

***

Later that night…

Nathan woke up from his bed.

His body ached and he felt weak from all the partying he did.

He noticed that Maaz wasn't inside the room.

Earlier, when they got home, he went straight to his room to sleep after getting an earful from uncle Mabrook and aunt Mariam.

'I guess they're out partying… They're like party animals.'

He forced himself to get up because nature was calling.

He went downstairs.

In the living room, his grandfather Sakhr and aunt Mariam were watching TV, while uncle Mabrook at the dining table checking some papers of his students.

"Nathan, do you want to eat?" said Mariam.

"I'm still full, auntie."

"Okay. But just in case you're hungry, just tell and I'll heat up the soup, okay?"

"Thanks, auntie."

Nathan made his way to the toilet.

Ka-cha!

Inside the toilet, as he sat down on the bowl, he thought Fatima.

So far, he hasn't texted her yet.

He recalled reading a few articles and watching PUA videos about flirting.

According to them, after getting a girl's number, one must wait for 2-3 days before texting or calling her because you don't want to appear clingy.

He doesn't know if it's true or not, but given his limited experience in flirting with other girls, he decided to follow the advice.

All of a sudden, he heard some shouting.

"WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU, SONS OF BITCHES, STEPPING INSIDE MY HOUSE?!" Sakhr growled.

"Who are you?! What are you doing here?!" Mabrook said.

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Thud!

"Dear!" Mariam said.

"Shut the fuck up and don't move!" A voice that Nathan wasn't familiar with said.

"Hurry and make it quick before the neighbors come!" Another voice that Nathan wasn't with.

There was the sound of footsteps climbing the stairs.

Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud…!

"YOU --!" said Sakhr.

Thud!

"Grandfather!"

Nathan's eyes were wide as saucers.

'What the fuck is happening outside?!'

He immediately wiped himself and flushed.

The sound of water flushing could be heard.

Ka-cha!

When he opened the door and got out of the toilet, he saw 2 men with ski masks and guns in the living room.

Two of them were pointing their guns at his family members.

Mabrook was kneeling on the floor and covering his bloody nose with his hand.

Meanwhile, Mariam had Sakhr on her arms who was looked like he had a heart attack and cried out, "GRANDFATHER! GRANDFATHER! PLEASE HOLD ON!"

As Nathan stepped outside of the toilet, someone struck his face on the side with the butt of a rifle.

Pah!

Nathan fell to the floor.

"NATHAN!" Mabrook and Mariam called out.

Nathan tried to get up but he was dizzy.

The person who hit him grabbed him by the hair and dragged him over to the living room to join his family.

"AHH!!!" Nathan cried out as he was dragged by the hair.

"PLEASE DON'T HURT HIM!" Mariam cried out.

"Shut the fuck up, bitch!" one of the men said.

"NO, PLEASE! PLEASE DON'T --" Mabrook and was about to get up but was kicked on the side.

Pah!

Thud!

Mabrook fell to the floor and curled his body from the pain.

"DEAR! NO, PLEASE HAVE MERCY!" cried Mariam.

Nathan finally recovered from his dizziness.

'Dammit!' he thought and gritted his teeth.

He wanted to rush over and help but was unable to move because a gun pointed behind his head.

He could feel the cold metal pipe pressing his head down.

His mouth was bleeding and he spat out blood on the floor.

Spit!

A person wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun climbed down the stairs.

And on his hand was a plastic bag.

It was the plastic bag that Maaz hid inside the mattress yesterday.

"Found it. Let's go," the man said.

The masked men immediately left.

When there was no sign of them already, Nathan immediately went over to his grandfather Sakhr and aunt Mariam first.

"Auntie, what's wrong with grandfather?"

"I DON'T KNOW! PLEASE CALL FOR HELP!"

Unfortunately, Nathan doesn't know the number of the local clinic here in Liit Town.

"Dear, calm down," Mabrook said to Mariam.

"Uncle! Are you okay?!" Nathan went over to him.

"I'm okay…. Go get my phone on top of the dining table. The number of the clinic is there. The name is Liit Clinic."

"Okay, okay, okay…"

Nathan hurriedly got up and went to the dining table.

Meanwhile, Mabrook went over to Sakhr and Mariam.

"GRANDFATHER, HOLD ON!" Mariam cried out.

Nathan grabbed the phone and spat out blood.

Spit!

He searched for Liit Clinic on the Contact List and pressed dial.

Ring…

As he was calling the clinic, one of their neighbors came in with a shotgun.

It was Jaad, their next-door neighbor and the father of Jadaa.

"In the name of the prophet Zalimun! Mabrook, Mariam, old man Sakhr!"

"Jaad," said Mabrook.

"JAAD! PLEASE HELP!" cried Mariam.

"Yes, yes, yes, I'll call the clinic!" Jaad said as he hurriedly searched for his phone inside his pocket.

"Jaad, Nathan is already calling the clinic," Maaz said and then looked over at Mariam. "Calm down, dear. Nathan is already calling for help. Stay strong."

The other neighbors entered their home as well.

"My god!"

Meanwhile, Nathan was…

"Hello, this is Liit Clinic. What's your emergency?"

"Hello, hello. I have an emergency please come here at…"

He told them the address…

***

At the clinic…

Nathan was standing outside of the clinic.

He was given painkillers and was currently pressing a pack of ice on his right cheek.

Mabrook went to the local police station to give his statement.

Mariam was on the hallway of the clinic and being consoled by a group of females.

Sakhr was inside one of the rooms being watched by the nurses.

There were other people here as well.

Some were genuinely concerned family members and friends, while the others were just nosy people who wanted to know what happened.

'This fucking sucks!'

Nathan put down the pack of ice on a corner.

He wanted to smoke.

He went over to one of the people around who was smoking and asked for a stick.

The person gave him a stick and a lighter.

Woooh.

Nathan blew smoke on the air.

When he swept his gaze around his surroundings, he saw Maaz from a distance, staring at the clinic.

His face was bruised as well and there were bloodstains on his shirt.

Nathan was about to call Maaz, but stopped himself after remembering the plastic bag that the men in ski masks took.

And regarding the plastic bag, everyone in town already heard about it.

If the people here knew that Maaz was here, they will surely beat the hell out of him for endangering his family.

Nathan tried to secretly head to where Maaz was.

However, Maaz noticed him right away and immediately left, disappearing into the darkness of the night.

'Dammit! Maaz, where are you going?' Nathan thought.

However, what he didn't know was that this would be the last time he would see Maaz… alive.

***

A couple of days later…

In the culture of Muwin, a funeral lasts for a week.

It will be held either in a funeral house or in the house of the deceased.

And on the 7th day, that's when the body will be buried.

Two days after Nathan last saw Maaz, his corpse was found inside a dumpster at Banya city.

The body had two gunshot wounds -- the head and chest.

The next day, the body was sent to Liit town.

Today was the 6th day of Maaz's funeral and Nathan has been here since it began.

And during those 6 days, only a handful of people came to visit.

Aside from aunt Mariam, his cousin Malik and a few people from the gym he works out at, the others were people whom he wasn't familiar with.

Mabrook didn't visit and Sakhr was still recovering.

Right now, he was the only one here at the funeral room where Maaz's coffin was displayed.

As for Maaz' crew, they too didn't attend.

Based on what Nathan has heard so far, among Maaz's crew, he heard that Khalid was listed by the police as "missing."

He also received a text message from Fatima.

She heard about what happened to Maaz and Khalid.

She told him that they should stop communicating with each other because she didn't want to get involved and risk the lives of her daughters.

When he tried to ask her about Baaz and Omar, her only reply was to ask them himself. So he asked for their numbers and she gave them to him.

However, he couldn't contact them.

He even tried using a different number, but he still couldn't contact them.

Nathan couldn't help but recall the conversation he overheard that Maaz and Baar had that night back at the hotel.

'I wonder where Baar and Omar are…'

As for his "feelings" for Fatima…

He understood why she chose to stop communicating with him.

If he was in her place, he too would make such a decision.

Did it hurt him?

Of course, he felt some pain.

However, he also realized something.

Perhaps it was infatuation, perhaps it was loneliness, perhaps it was inexperience, perhaps it was lust, or perhaps it was all of the above.

Whatever it was, one thing that he knew for sure is that it wasn't love that he felt for her.

And plus, there was no way he was ever going to beg to a woman again.

He already did that before with Karen.

Even if he was just an average person, he still had his own petty pride.

As Nathan was sitting down all by himself, a woman dressed in black and carrying a black purse entered the room and slowly went over to Mazz's coffin.

His eyes widened.

"Lena…" he whispered under his breath.

Her shoulders started trembling and he could hear her sniffing.

After 5 minutes, she turned towards Nathan and went over to him.

Her eyes were red from crying.

Nathan got up.

"Lena."

"Nathan."

She hugged him and he hugged her back.

She cried once more and it lasted for 5 another minutes.

After crying, Lena step away from Nathan's embrace and wiped the tears from her eyes with a tissue before pulling out a letter from her purse.

"This is for you."

Nathan knitted his brows as he took the letter from her hands.

"What's this?"

"From Omar. It's about Maaz's death," Lena said with a cold tone.

Nathan's eyes widened.

It wasn't a secret that the masked men that attack their family were related to Maaz.

The police even concluded that it was drug-related which caused Maaz to be hated by many of his family members even until now.

Only God knows how long will it take before they could forgive him.

"I have to go," Lena said and head for the exit.

"Wait! Where's Baar, Omar and Khalid?"

Lena stopped and turned around.

"Don't trust Baar and Omar. As for Khalid, he's probably already dead. Goodbye."

She finally left.

Once again, Nathan was all alone inside the room.

He looked at Maaz's coffin and smiled.

'Cousin, isn't it ironic? The woman that you cared less about is the one that came, not the other.'

Nathan opened the letter.

It was a handwritten letter from Omar.

According to the letter, their boss had to drop Maaz because he, according to their boss' own words, "bit more than he can chew" and "did a sloppy job".

As for why Baar and Omar were spared, the letter didn't explicitly say. However, written at the bottom was "I'm sorry."

Nathan crumpled the letter and threw it at the trash can.

What was there to say?

What was there do to?

He witnessed for himself the power of Mazz's so-called boss when the police let them go that night.

'You really can't trust anyone…'

Ding!

His phone received a message.

He took out his phone to see who messaged him.

It was his mother.

[Son, your father and I decided that Liit town is not the best place for you. Your uncle Eid will be coming over in a few days to pick you up and take you.]

Uncle Eid was his mother's brother and was an ex-military.

He put away his phone.

'The road to success isn't easy. High risks give high rewards, while low risks give low rewards…'

'But at least with low risks, although it will take longer for me to get to where I want to be in life, it's safer and my foundation will be more stable…'

*********************************************

Author's thoughts:

End of flashback arc!

I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Thank you for reading!

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