And then there was Amanda. Ohh such a ravishing deity. Our hearts beat alike. Amanda promised she was never gonna leave cause she always thought we were made for each other. I thought the same, though misinterpreted. Amanda was only going to see me for a brother.

The boys called it “The Zone” We’ve all had our fair share. When she figured I wanted more, she took a detour and everything went south. Suddenly, the girl who promised she was never gonna leave, ran even faster than the cheetah when it got “too” complicated. Again, I recognised the scenery.

The boys kept on with the convo though heated. At the time, I realised how time had walked past me and how many people had slammed the door behind them on their way out for years.

The thought of people leaving was like the siren of a motion train on the subway. I feared for my boys. I feared how my life was going to turn. I was scared for my own future.

Then Josh pulled me out from “oblivion” when he asked.

“How about the jobs? How about careers? What do we plan on doing after college?” Josh queried.

Suddenly, the room begun to exude uncertainty. Josh had opened up the pandora’s box. I felt a surge run down my spine and back up. It was everyone’s scariest question.

“What’s next?”

We all had big dreams coming to college. Now we can gradually see those dreams varnish into thin air Suddenly, the things which we were once certain about, seem distant each passing day.

The things we once celebrated, had become islands. We wanted to create a better version of ourselves but we’re only a far cry. The boys called it IRONY.

I reminisced when dad would flog on studying our school books. He always told us, it was the only way to succeed in life.

Edwin, my eldest brother, couldn’t dig why an illiterate but successful land owner would dragoon his kids to seeing the fore walls.

Explains why he forwent college to pursue music. Flash forward, I am right where Edwin was, years ago. Father said it was the only way to succeed yet he never saw these walls.

And now I’m thinking to myself, maybe father was wrong. At that moment, I had become startled by my own future.

Like the jet, the only question spurting from my head was

“What now?”


“Mike?!” Andy yelled.

It was only then I figured how long I had been away from the room or rather, never. I could barely identify with the name “Mike”

“Yeah…totally guys…errh…I am…” I stammered worse than Moses, only this time, I wasn’t in Egypt.

“I bet he doesn’t even have an idea where he is.” Steven said, irritated.

“Yeah..maybe he ain’t concerned about the future as we are.” Nathan annexed.

“So what’s next?” Josh asked.

I didn’t realise it was my turn to answer the dreaded question. Apparently, the boys took turns. All I saw was a wrangle.

Well, at least, that’s what I thought. Maybe Steven was right, I didn’t have idea where I was. Still couldn’t get a hold of me, blabbing.

“Steven said he’s gonna pursue law school after college. That’s what his mom would have wanted.” Josh said, trying to walk me through the convo.

Steven, being the only non-business student, had always wanted to be a great lawyer some day. His mom always wanted him to be a lawyer. Apparently, he’s still holding on to that dream. Wish I could say the same.

“Nathan thinks no corporate firm would want to hire him considering he had four legs. He says he wants to continue writing poetry and song lyrics, hoping to inspire the world through the strike of his pen.” Josh said.

I nodded in admiration even though I knew they were all just dreams. Dreams we had no idea how they were gonna become reality.

“Andy, thinks he’s got a shot at show business.” Josh added.

It wouldn’t come as a surprise to even Thomas the disciple. Andy was loved by everyone. He always anchored shows in college and his sense of humour soothed the audience.

Andy could make fun of a bad situation and everyone would still laugh about it. One time, he made fun of a professor who referred to “Naples” as “Nipples”. Even the professor shared a laugh. Today, everyone calls him “Nipples” no thanks to Andy.

“For me, I wanna improve my skills on programming and Web design. I’ve always wanted to be a computer genius. Dad says he’s got plans for me to study abroad after college. There are so many top-notch training schools over there, possibly Europe. I wanna give it a shot.” Josh said.

Josh was always good with the keypads. He had an expert opinion to every system default even when no one could understand his jargons.

When Josh talked computers, not even Charles Babbage could beat his knowledge. The boys called it “The Josh Mode”. It’s the only time where Josh seems smart, other times, he’s worse than a mannequin.

“So…how about you, Mike? What’s next?” Josh queried.

I was scared to death by the thudding question. My knees quaked. My eyes kept twitching. My hands fluttering and dripping like it was winter and summer at this time.

My heart literally throbbing like I was having a panic attack. My nose could literally smell phobia. And for the umpteenth time, the dictionary eluded my lips….[To Be Continued]


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