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The Boy who questioned God

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Chapter 2- A new opportunity

“No? What do you mean, no?”, questioned Watari as he stood in the doorway, looking down at Nate.

“Apologies, Watari. I was just pondering over a question”, replied Nate truthfully, his eyes scarcely moving up to look upon Watari’s form.

“May I ask what question, Nate?”

“I’ll tell you later”, Nate said in a rather defensive manner- as if Watari had offput him in some way.

“Very well. I won’t press you further. But I need you to come with me. I’ve found an opportunity for you, something for you to do in the world, rather than staying in this orphanage.” Nate tilted his head slightly, like a curious feline, squinting at Watari in a manner where the man appeared suspicious for some reason.

Nate stood up for the first time in hours, blood rushing to his limp legs as he hopped slowly towards Watari’s purposeful stature. Despite being of old age, Watari held a presence of solidarity, massiveness, and status- almost to the point of intimidation- regardless of his somewhat thin and gaunt limbs, an ailment of old age. His hair was neatly styled and silvery- almost the same tone as Nate’s- with a trimmed moustache of the same colour upon his top lip. The thin eyebrows above Watari’s eyes were of the same silvery tone, overseeing the eyes which had seen it all, war, life, age. Every constant of life, those old eyes had seen them all. The man was dressed in a long, black trench coat, creating the outline of a police inspector or detective, over casted by a somewhat oversized hat- which placed a shadow over Watari’s face and glasses. He stood patiently waiting for Nate to trudge slowly towards the door.

As they began walking the now quietened halls of Wammy’s house, Nate immediately began questioning Watari upon this enigmatic ‘opportunity’ he so virtuously described.

“It’s a start in a career which I feel you will excel in, Nate, due to your above genius-level intelligence. I can either surprise you when we get there or tell you now. Take your pick.”, Watari cryptically told Nate.

“Surprise me. I feel like leaving it in the dark for now, to see if it truly lives up to your praises, Watari”, Nate replied, in a slightly mocking- but awkward attempt- at friendliness and ‘banter’, as the other orphans called it. As they continued wandering down the empty, winding halls of the orphanage- their footsteps echoing like thunder in the capacious rooms- Nate reminisced over his time at the orphanage. He had only been taken in by Watari 5 years ago in 2014- at 9 years of age- after his previous adopters could no longer provide for him. Nate didn’t miss them all that much. They were nothing special. Just the run-of-the-mill family, he supposed. But Wammy’s house had brought Nate what he really wanted. Alone time and peace. Despite the other children’s numerous advances to attempt to make friends with Nate, he had always spent most of his time alone- always working on his puzzles or discussing philosophy with a select few- even though the conversations were often awkward and incomprehensible. Nate definitely knew one thing; he would miss Wammy’s house. Of course, he could come and visit again. Hell, he didn’t even know if he was leaving for good. But this was home. It was welcoming, nurturing, and wholesome. And Watari quickly became a father figure for Nate. Someone to look up to, someone to admire, someone to care for him. Watari may have been the only person Nate ever truly cared for.

As Nate and Watari walked out of the heavy church-like doors of the orphanage, their chauffeur was waiting, standing professionally in front of a Rolls-Royce silver wraith- a magnificent, complex vehicle with an age that predated World War 2. The chauffeur smiled and opened the rear door, beckoning with a welcome hand. Nate got in first, followed by Watari. The chauffeur- a man dressed in a tailored grey suit, with combed black hair and a clean-shaven face- took his place in the driver’s seat.

“Where to, sir?”, he asked Watari in a monotone, professional manner. Watari leaned in slowly and whispered to the man- in an attempt to keep Nate’s ‘new opportunity’ in the dark. It worked.

“Right away sir. We shall arrive in around an hour and a half’s time”.

Nate deduced that they were headed to somewhere in London- as Winchester was around that distance from the heart of the country. Before long, Nate began working on a muddled-up Rubik’s cube, quietly and intently focusing on it- shifting pieces to form the final puzzle. Watari questioned Nate upon the matter he was pondering earlier.

“I was asking myself a question I haven’t asked for a long time. I feel like I finally received my answer to it”, Nate said whilst his eyes remained deadlocked on the Rubik’s cube.

“And the question was?”, Watari pressed on. Nate sighed.

“If you insist, then. I was asking myself if there really is a god out there. It’s a question I could never answer before- most likely because I had no time to truly think it through- but I have faith in my conviction that there is no god. Now, if you have questions regarding that conviction, please ask them.”

“Ah, I see. A very deep question: indeed, however, I refuse to debate it with you. We’d be here all too long otherwise”, Watari said with a warm smile.

As their journey continued through the streets of Winchester, it wasn’t long before the Rolls-Royce was driving smoothly down the M3 motorway. Rain began falling, slamming the roof of the car with a most thunderous orchestra of nature versus machine. Nate sat and watched raindrops trickle down the rear window- subconsciously making bets on which one would win to the bottom. This continued on for a brief while before Nate fell into a heavy sleep.

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