I Write: Mortal — Chapter 1

Zola Chichi Afolayan. zola@quickmail.com

Zola lifted her pen and handed the sign-up sheet back to Venera, the president of Arevig College’s Computer Club. Zola decided to join the club mostly because she was impressed by Venera. No one would have guessed Venera’s after-school activity and her position to boot if she was seen outside the school grounds. Venera was a tall and slender blonde with attractive facial features who dressed fashionably. Zola had to take a second look at the booth’s banner when she saw Venera, just to be sure that it did not belong to the cheerleading squad. Venera smiled at Zola and thanked her for joining. Venera had a soft voice yet she was charismatic in promoting her club. Zola had always admired females who were able to hold positions of authority and excel holistically. As of that moment, Venera was one of such females and Zola looked forward to the idea of being led by a female in a computer club.

Zola did not exactly have a terrible experience in her high school’s computer club, which was led by a decent guy called Anar. However, Zola occasionally found it frustrating whenever he insisted on having her male peers contribute more to the club because “guys should work harder than girls”. Zola knew that Anar’s intentions were good and she appreciated him greatly during those painful monthly cycles but she wished she had more opportunities to contribute and shoulder a fair share of the club’s workload.

Zola decided to look around before heading to the canteen for dinner. She had considered joining the Art Club for a change. Her parents were worried about her staring at screens for too long anyway since middle school. But Zola concluded that if she were to graduate with a stellar transcript, she might as well leverage on her strength. Besides, it would have been more convenient to seek guidance directly from the Computer Club, given that her course of study was Computer Science.

“Hey, do you like Art? You should totally join us if you do.”

Zola caught the eye of the guy who spoke. He smiled warmly and extended his hand, “Hi, I’m Afif. The president of the Art Club.”

“I’m Zola. New member of the Computer Club,” Zola shook his hand.

“Damn it! Venera has got quite a charm, hasn’t she? Even on girls! But hands down, she’s a great club president,” Afif replied with candour.

Zola chuckled and nodded, “Hence, why I joined. I follow the greatness.”

Afif laughed and clapped, “Good one! Well, anyway, even if you don’t join us, we like to offer art programmes to all students in general. We believe that art is great to share. So follow us on the social site, WhatIsUp. Our handle is @ArevigCollegeArtClub. Follow the Art Club, follow…”

“…the greatness,” Zola completed Afif’s sentence with amusement.

“You got it!” Afif snapped his fingers and winked.

Zola grinned and walked away from the booth while taking out her cellular phone from her pocket to do just that. Even if she couldn’t commit, it would be nice to view the images of the students’ works.

“Ow!” A girl, shorter than Zola rubbed her head.

“Oops, I’m sorry! I wasn’t looking where I was going! I was following the Art Club on WhatIsUp”, Zola quickly replied.

“Ugh, no worries. There is no blood so I’m good. I can’t stand the sight of blood. Are you a freshman? I haven’t seen you around before. I’m in my second year. My name is Nerea,” the short girl shook Zola’s hand.

“Zola. Again, I’m really sorry about your head,” Zola looked at Nerea apologetically.

“Again, don’t worry about it. So you joined the Art Club? They’re pretty cool but I’m in the Toastmasters Club. I like to talk as you can see,” Nerea giggled.

“Nah, I was just following them for fun. I joined the Computer Club.”

“Ah, Venera. Of course.”

Zola looked at Nerea with amusement, “Venera is really popular, huh?”

“I would say she has quite a charm. Kinda makes you feel bewitched sometimes. Hmm, I wonder if she really is a witch,” Nerea mused.

“Even if she is, that would be cool. Besides, witchcraft seems to be an accepted practice nowadays.”

“You may say that but any thoughts of the occult give me the nerves.”

“Okay, mental note to self: Do not point out blood to Nerea and do not begin cult discussions with Nerea.”

“Thank you very much. I like you already. Welcome to Arevig College!”

Both Zola and Nerea laughed and headed for dinner together as the sun began to descend.

On a bench nearby sat a guy with sandy hair. He closed his book and looked at the two laughing girls making their way to the canteen. A hand fell on his right shoulder.

“I’m pretty sure you were more interested in the new girl than Nerea,” said a raspy voice.

The sandy haired guy replied without turning around, “I do not look forward to loving another only to lose her again.”

“There, there, Lyuben. You can’t be holding a grudge against me for separating you and Nerea. After all, I saved your life,” said the raspy voice again.

“Yezekael, leave them alone,” the sandy haired guy, Lyuben, stood up to leave, still refusing to look at the speaker, Yezekael, as he walked away.

“It wouldn’t have worked out anyway. She can’t stand the sight of blood!” Yezekael shouted to ensure Lyuben heard him.

Lyuben simply waved Yezekael off without looking at him.

Yezekael watched as Lyuben disappeared from the school’s quadrangle and muttered to himself sadly, “And both you and I need to feed on blood to live.”

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