Naomi reached Charles‘ side, smiling. “Hi, Charles.”
Charles smiled back. “I didn’t think I’d see you here.”
“I didn’t think so, too.” With that, Naomi told him about her meeting with Chandler, and Charles nodded in understanding.
“Is Sean here too?” Naomi asked.
“Yes,” Charles replied, frowning. “He’s not doing so well.”
Naomi considered this for a moment, then asked, “Can I go in and see him?”
“Of course you can. He might even feel better once he sees you.” Charles led Naomi into the private booth where he and Sean were. There were some things he could not ask Naomi directly, but he could rely on his intuition as well as “insider information” specifically from Amelia.
To Naomi’s surprise, the room Charles and Sean were in just so happened to be right next to the one she was in.
Sean was slumped on the carpeted floor, cradling a beer bottle. Naomi could smell the stench of alcohol the moment she stepped in, and she immediately noticed the array of bottles strewn all over the floor.
It was as though Sean was out on a mission to drink himself to death, as though this was the best way to avoid his pain.
Naomi turned to Charles. “Charles, can you ask the waiter to bring a bowl of hot soup? I’d like to sober Sean up so I can talk to him.”
Sean was never one to act out of line even under the influence of alcohol, so Charles trusted him and was fine with leaving Naomi alone in the room with him.
Charles left the room and closed the door behind him. Naomi sat down on the couch and gazed
At this moment, Sean turned to stare back at her with a dazed look. He was a little tipsy, but not to the brink of utter drunkenness. He could still register Naomi’s presence.
“Sean, where do you see yourself with Amelia in the future?” Naomi asked.
“Where do I see myself with her?” Sean turned these words over in his mind. They felt foreign. No one ever asked him a question like this before.
“Do you plan on dating her for the rest of your life, or do you eventually want to make her your wife?” Naomi asked again.
These words were not foreign to Sean at all, but the moment they left Naomi’s mouth, he felt a sense of suffocation, as though a heavy weight was placed on his shoulders.
Naomi watched him for a moment, then turned to gaze out the window. “When you date
someone, you can do anything you want, provided that it makes the two of you happy. You can go camping, go visit a haunted house, go bungee jumping together… It only concerns the two of you. You don’t have to consider the other person’s family, and you don’t need to think about the future. All you have to care about is what makes the two of you happy in the present, but marriage is differerit.
“Marriage concerns not only the two partners but their families. Getting married has to consider many other factors, such as family background, social status, education level, childhood, and the other person’s parents.
“Once you get married, it gets even tougher. You might have to deal with shortcomings, such as other people’s opinions about you, especially if your partner has elderly family members who care a lot about social status. More times than not, we, the younger generation, will have conflicting opinions with the elders, and that will cause a rift between you and your partner. It might even cause the vision of your dream life together to shatter. Love isn’t as perfect as we think; it extends far deeper than the happy moments, and it’s up to the two of you whether you’re willing to weather the tough times together.”
Sean furrowed his brows at this, and his grip around the beer bottle tightened.
He never once considered all this before.