The feeling of freedom was surreal, I have only dreamt of this day since I started at Imperial College but today, it was over. Today was the day that I completed university forever. Confident that my final exams had gone well and now my fate lay in the hands of my professors.
Results day is next month but that hasn't stopped me from applying for jobs early, with my predicted grades. I had to be on the ball with all applications but knowing exams came first, now I could solely focus on getting interviews.
The journey home from uni felt easier than normal, not once did I have to think about what I was going to do first when I got home. The feeling of not having to worry felt so alien but I liked it, I liked it a lot. Was this what it felt like to be normal?
I don't even have time to register what happened as I walk through my front door, hearing Valentina cheer as she explodes a party popper in my face. Stunned wasn't even the word.
"Woo!" She yells loudly. "Congratulations you've officially finished uni, how do you feel?"
My lips can't even stop the smile that forms, my shoulders felt weightless and all my problems had somehow disappeared. But instead of saying this I say, "fucking fantastic."
Valentina grins back at me before grabbing two Budweiser's from the counter and quickly hands me one. "Well tonight we are going to celebrate both of our hard work, we have done so well to get through these shitty years. In this shitty flat, which I love but hate. For us to keeping our sanity." She raises her bottle to me which I gladly clink with my own.
"To us for surviving this bloody hell hole," I say before placing the bottle to my lips and gulping until my eyes begin to water.
"To us!" She shouts before downing the entire bottle.
"I couldn't have done it without you Vee," I say before stepping closer to her. "I really couldn't, you've been my rock and kept me going when things were getting tough. I appreciate everything you've ever done for me. So thank you."
Valentina pouts at me before flapping her hand over her eye. "Please don't," she mumbles. "You're going to make me cry."
"Shut up you softie," I laugh before pulling her body into my chest and hugging her tight. "How many drinks have you had?"
"You've been a godsend to me too Micah but I'm so glad we got to do this together," she says quietly into my shoulder. "I'm just so glad we met at that karaoke night."
A deep chuckle escapes my throat as I remember back to that night. "You're lucky I was even there because I hate shit like that,"
Valentina pulls away from me and nods at my words. "I know, you and karaoke do not mix whatsoever." She smiles up at me. "Why were you even there that night?"
"Our RA dragged all of our flatmates from halls down there for 'bonding', I wanted to kill myself if you don't remember how bored I was." Raising my bottle up to my lips and taking a quick sip.
"Mate, it looked like you wanted to blow your brains out," Vee says before stepping back and grabbing another bottle of beer. "Right, shall we get fucked up or shall we get fucked up?"
"C," my mouth blurts out.
"Stop trying to be a smart ass," she rolls her eyes dramatically in my direction. "Where is the tequila?"
. . .
Applying for jobs and writing covering letters was exhausting, why do employers want a six page essay before they even get to meet you?
I'd been researching up on each business before I applied, making sure that their company is ethical and their values are what I look for a work place. Being able to suss out complete bullshit in some job specs and reading genuine honesty in others.
I knew things were going somewhat okay when I started being invited to interviews, some went better than others but it was all about experience. Feeling anticipation waiting to be contacted whether or not I would be successful was currently ruining my life. I hated that knot in the pit of my stomach, every time my phone emails ding, I rush to my phone like I'd sent a risky text and I was waiting for the outcome.
Even at the restaurant that is all I could think about, the idea of leaving Cafe Cosmo felt strange but I knew I had to go. Abel doesn't want me to leave but has accepted that I can do so much better than being a waiter, I didn't go to university for nothing. And I knew he was right, I had so much to offer to the world and to my specific sector.
It was a Friday evening and Valentina and I were currently watching The Conjuring, I loved scary movies but going to sleep alone was the worst part. I have no idea why I put myself through this torture but I can't stop, I enjoy the idea of being scared.
"Do you think being an exorcist would be a fun job?" Valentina asks out the blue.
I crank my head towards her. "What?"
She reaches forward to place a handful of grapes into her mouth. "You know," her head notions towards the TV. "The people who get rid of those demons and shit."
"No Vee," my eyebrows shoot down in her direction. "I don't think it would be a fun job."
Valentina sighs. "Well that's that job idea out the window,"
"You're such a weirdo," I laugh before shaking my head.
"Whatever," she shoots back. "Have you checked your emails today?"
"Uh-uh," I say before focusing my attention back on the TV. "I took off my notification alarms so I'm not checking every five minutes."
"When was the last time you checked?"
My shoulders shrug quickly "Like noon?"
Valentina shoots out of her seat and onto her knees. "Noon?" She repeats. "Micah it's eight, check your bloody emails."
I sigh before reaching over to my phone sitting on the coffee table. "Vee it's pointless, I check all the time and it's so frustrating. I'm trying not to get my hopes up continuously when I see a notification."
"Shut your face and just check," she says aggressively before pointing at my phone.
"I am," I huff out. "Chill your fucking pants."
My eyes float to my phone as I click onto my emails and refresh the page. Scanning over the junk emails from Topman and JustEat. "Nothing Vee as usua—"
"What?" She says instantly, clocking my sudden pause.
My fingers work fast to click onto the screen, the email loading up. The words 'congratulations' one of the first words I see. Then 'we would like to offer you'.
A scream leaves my lips, a sound I had no idea that I could make. I'm up on my feet before I know it and Valentina follows my lead. "Oh my god," she says from beside me. "You got offered a job!"
After a few moments of reading I turn back to her as I nod. "Yeah, I did!" I yell.
"Who?" She demands sounding out of breath from the excitement. "What company is it?"
"It's this software company," I explain as I turn towards her. "They've offered me a position to be a logistics analyst and I am so fucking happy Vee, you have no idea!"
Valentina jumps into my arms and we stomp around our flat cheering at the top of our lungs. "I knew you could do it, I'm beyond pleased for you." She mumbles into me.
"They seem like such a nice company as well," I breathe out as Valentina pulls away from me. "They do a lot for charity and host events and they seem so moral. I think I've found my dream place."
"Right," she says sharply. "This calls for a night out. It's Friday, you've just been offered your dream job and we deserve to celebrate this fabulousness."
"Where shall we go?"
"Everywhere," Valentina's eyes light up at her own words. "If we get home before 6AM I will be highly disappointed in us, okay?"
I laugh at her words but then realise that she is being serious. "Okay fine," I sigh. "Let's go out and get royally fucked."
"Do you have work tomorrow?" She asks.
"No, Marco let me take the day off to apply for jobs, guess this worked in my favour."
"It sure did," she claps her hands together. "Give me forty minutes to get ready and we are out of here." I watch as she swirls around and runs to her room.
A messy night is what I need.
. . .
I lost count how many shots we did or how many bars we stumbled into. My sense of time had completely disappeared but I didn't want to go home, never wanting this night to end.
Valentina pulls her phone out of her side bag and pulls a face at the screen. "What's wrong?" I shout over the extremely loud music.
She sighs before shaking her head at me. "Arran," she says before tucking her phone away.
"What time is it?" I ask.
"What's he doing awake?" I question before taking a sip of my cocktail.
"Wondering what I'm doing," she says as a hand runs through her short hair.
An unsettling feeling knots in my stomach at her answer, the tone in her voice. "He's not being nasty to you is he?" I yell as I reach my hand over the table.
She shakes her head quickly, almost too quickly. "No, of course not," she smiles at me.
"He just worries, that's all," she taps my hand. "Don't worry about it."
"What does he worry about?"
"Just me, being out in London late."
I keep my eyes on her for a few moments, drinking up her expressions. "Okay well he's got nothing to worry about. We're together and we both now have rape alarms on our keys."
Valentina lets out a quiet laugh before grabbing my hand. "We sure do," she smiles. "Right it's sambuca time!"
The thought of any more shots made me want to vomit but before I could protest, Valentina calls over the waitress and orders a round. "Vee our heads are going to feel like absolute shit tomorrow," I groan knowing that I was already riding the wave.
"It will be Saturday, we can watch movies on the sofa all day and maybe order food if we're lucky." Her eye drops into a droopy wink and I can't help but laugh.
"You're so fucked," I comment.
"That's the plan," she shoots me a hand. "You need to get on my level, that's for sure. Maybe I should have got four shots."
"No, no, no Vee!" I shout at her. "No more shots, I beg. I don't want to be sick in the Uber, I don't want to have to pay that goddamn fee again."
She snorts loudly and almost falls off the back of her chair. "Oh my god!" She shouts. "I forgot that even happened!"
"How could you forget?" I raise my hands in utter confusion. "You filmed it and plastered it all over instagram?"
Valentina purses her lips, eyes wide, like she's been caught in headlights. "Oh yeah, I did,"
"So please, let's not make that happen tonight. I want to remember the day I found out I got this job, not remembering my head in a toilet." My eyes plead with hers but just on queue the waitress comes over with our shots and more cocktails.
"No promises," Valentina sings as she claps her hands together excitedly.
"You're the worst influence ever."
"Without a doubt."