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Shopping was the best thing he loved from this life. By shopping he got to get his hands on the things he needed to live. By shopping he got to get a membership card, confirming his importance to the stores he frequented in exchange of his personal information. He would happily hand it to anyone who would ask. None of his data meant anything to him.

After all, everything was man-made. Everything was invented. Everything was fake.

He was an orphan born somewhere under an abandoned ramp in Jakarta. He grew there, among the street hookers, vendors, and hustlers. The people who surrounded him were neither his friends nor his family. His supposedly mother left before he even remembered her. Right after, he lived off other people’s mercy.

Not that anything was free, of course. Everything under the sun was a transaction by itself. For every little thing he received, he had to give as much. He had to pay back, either by his body or his deeds.

Since long time ago he had forgotten how shame felt like. He had learned the hard way to be blind, mute, and deaf, when required. None of what other people did concerned him. His only focus was himself and himself alone. How to survive another day, how to get food, where to sleep, how to avoid bully, how to get money, how to escape the hell hole he lived in, those were his daily thoughts.

So when heaven opened its gate one day and offered him a chance for a better life, he didn’t hesitate even for a second to take it.

It was a cloudless night without moon above when a truck suddenly pulled over under the very ramp where he lived. The burly men were looking for people who would work under the scorching heat of the sun, with constant lack of food, drink, hygiene, and a decent place to lay one’s head. He heard their request and conditions and jumped right into the back of the truck with other twenty men.

He might be skinny and too lanky, but he was healthy. His body was toned and his muscles were formed in the right places. He could work physically hard and he would. He would do anything, work any job to get more money, more opportunity, more of life.

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