I Record: New Year, New Problem, New Bujo?!; Special Vlog #3; 10 January 2018

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

And Allah is Al-Afuww, the Pardoner. – MM


I Ramble: 28 December 2017

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

Here, play this song while reading this post:

I’m learning the song for Dry Magnum’s jamming session on 8th January 2018. Hehehe. We chose a very nice date, 080118. Kekeke. Obviously, I can’t sing like the legendary Dio so I’ll have to adapt accordingly. As usual. Hehe.

I’m just feeling knackered all over. Good Lord. This job might suck the living energy out of me! Very physically demanding but for some reason, I look forward to the adrenaline rush every now and then. I realise that I’m gaining a bit more momentum in my work efficiency. I’m starting to feel automated at the cashier and fitting room. I also feel that my tidying has sped up a bit but I’m still rather particular at it.

Anyway, besides updates on my work life, basically today’s agenda is to sit for SMC’s monthly meeting, with me not having done anything this time. Shucks. I’m going to get grilled by other partners for this. Then finalise the changes for our wedding card. When I received the first draft and saw my name on there, I must admit, it felt surreal. Like wow. Like it’s finally hitting me that I’m getting married. Just wow. And then I’ll also do a mini-review of what the Christmas Winter Wonderland at Gardens By The Bay experience was like for me via vlogging.

I foresee 2018 being extremely busy for me. I guess, I’m ready to step out a bit and step up my efforts for Metropolitan Muslimah, Rubber Bandits, SMC, and UNIQLO. So it’s going to be an uphill task, a mighty mighty challenge, but let’s go for it. Like le fiance tells me many times, we aren’t getting younger.

Okay, that’s all from me. Let’s get going. I’ll see if I want to come up with any new year resolutions or not.

And Allah is Al-Mawla, the Supporter. – MM

I Write: Mortal — Chapter 2

Zola looked out of Nerea’s dormitory room window. The sky was black but the school grounds’ lights were turned on.

“Gee, it is as bright as a stadium around here,” Zola remarked.

“I actually like it. Makes you feel safer, especially when you’re returning to the dorm late at night,” Nerea replied.

“Nerea, has anything bad ever happened that prompted the school to light the place up like it is Christmas?” Zola asked curiously.

“Well…” Nerea’s voice faded off. It took her about a minute before she continued, “I supposed so. I’ve only heard rumours but they are so preposterous that I much rather just dismiss them.”

“What do you mean?”

Nerea’s brows furrowed for a moment before she answered, “Supernatural stuff. Like monsters lurking in the dark. That kind of thing, which is definitely not my favourite topic to discuss.”

“Oh, right, sorry about that!” Zola quickly apologised.

With that, the momentary tension in the room eased as Nerea’s face relaxed. She said, “Well, now you know where to find me. Room 201. Level 2, 1st door. Got it?”

“Got it. You can find me at Room 111. I wanna head back to my room and rest now. I’m only in college yet I feel so old,” said Zola.

Nerea laughed, “Don’t worry about it. We all are. It gets really quiet by 10pm. That’s how old we are.”

“Well, looks like I’ll fit right in!”

The two girls giggled and said goodnight. Zola walked out of Nerea’s room and headed towards the staircase right beside it. As she was about to make her way down the stairs, she felt a sudden cool breeze on her neck. She turned around but there was nobody at the hallway. Zola felt uneasy. In the midst of trying to shake the uneasiness off her, she jumped at a sudden sharp sound but then heaved a sigh of relief when she realised it was made by a girl who slammed the door behind her as she made her way to the bathroom at the opposite end of the hallway.

Zola calmed herself down and walked down the stairs and to her room. She felt better as she made her way through the noisy level one hallway, full of the new girls who were excitedly visiting and comparing one another’s rooms. Zola then realised that she has yet to befriend a freshman like herself. She felt a little lonely but cheered up at the thought of her new classes the next day. She would be able to make friends with them then. Zola entered her room and locked the door. As she sat on the edge of her bed, she felt a desire to look out of the window.

She had a slightly different view outside compared to the one she got in Nerea’s room. She could see the school lake better and felt deeply satisfied by the view. She was too busy unpacking and settling into her room that she did not take the time to appreciate the view. Zola leaned backwards until her back was fully laid on the bed. She shifted herself to position her entire body on the bed. Before Zola could even think about anything, she fell asleep.

The night air around Arevig College was still. Arevig College was always known for its serene physical environment. But that stillness was broken momentarily when a car pulled up to the foyer of the boys’ dormitory.

“Dude, what took you so long to get here? You missed orientation!” Afif exclaimed as he welcomed the sight of a bespectacled dark haired boy.

“How is that your first concern?! Shouldn’t your priority lie in something else?” the dark haired boy retorted with amusement at his friend.

“Don’t worry about it, Anar, she’s safe,” Afif patted the dark haired boy’s shoulder.

Anar looked at Afif with a slight worry and said, “I really hope so. I tried to convince her not to come here after what was revealed to us.”

Anar sighed and continued, “But to each, his or her own. That’s the way it has always been with human beings.”

Afif smiled knowingly to acknowledge the truth in his friend’s words. He looked up into the sky to search for the stars and found them glistening brightly. He then looked down to see Anar doing the same thing.

“Even angels need a break once in a while. Tonight is a good time for that. The stars will watch over her. Here, let me help you with your things and then I’ll show you the place to park your car,” Afif broke the silence and reached for Anar’s luggages.

“Thanks, mate! If you don’t mind, can we stretch our wings for a little bit before we make our way back to the dorm from the parking lot?” asked Anar.

Afif nodded and paved the way to Anar’s room.

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.”