On that Sunday night, all my dear ones, except you, were under one roof. Heaped on the kitchen sink; used plates with traces of mutton curry and rice. The aroma still lingering in the air. With a soft contented smile on her face, a glass of V&A wine in her hands, Stella crouched herself in the chair opposite mine. I had a glass of fresh cold mango juice. Joe had sprawled himself on the floor, claiming that the position ensured the comfort of his stomach. A bottle of Jameson between his legs. From time to time, he would struggle to pull his upper body up and sip from it.

It was the last day of the year 2017 and we were waiting for the midnight. The semester had been rough, as usual. I doubt if any student can report otherwise. To mark the second anniversary of our friendship, we had agreed to stay behind and cross new year together. The past three days had been wildly fun. Bike racing, chess games and poker, blunt sarcasm, watching movies, dinning out. It was freedom. From sun rise to sunset, we flowed with the current. The following day all of us would travel. A reality no one in the room was willing to confront, Joe suggested we play truth or dare.

Dark closets were opened, secrets were spilled. Deep past trauma narrated. Broken dreams and present aspirations were shared over laughter. Boundaries were broken, as Joe and Stella kiss. Stella performed karaoke of her favorite song, Selena Gomez’s The Heart Wants What It Wants. I imitated my beloved movie scene of The Notebook, and later at Stella’s demand, fumbled through a poem I had written. And the most hilarious of all was Joe’s dance. He was heavily tipsy and no music was playing. Thirty minutes to midnight, the aura spontaneous, Joe inquired of something I’m awful at.

‘Goodbyes.’ I replied. The silence that followed conveyed a shared understanding. I glanced at them, their eyes emitted warmth and love, and a profound longing for things to stay just the same. ‘I am awful at goodbyes. Tomorrow I will be gone before dawn. See you later buddies.’ I whispered to myself, not wishing to disturb the silence. This post is not for goodbye either. It is to signify the end of the thirty days challenge, nothing more. It is to allow me convey may sincere gratitude for the support throughout, nothing less.

The past thirty days have been the best. Because of them I became alive. Because of them I rediscovered myself. I have noted with great interest that my voice is valuable, and can be heard in regard to issues surrounding gander equity. The flames of passion will never diminish, the passion that burned within my heart the day I wrote about climate change, under the title; What If. This coming month, April, I will be working on two short stories and a couple of poems in between. That will be my rest.

In May however, we will have a spin-off of Caught in The Storm. It will be a series of reality dilemma situations. In it we’ll experience the raw ugliness of life through our fiction character Nathaniel, a young man who was abandoned after birth. Everything I have learned from you, I promise to practice throughout. This person that I have discovered is exciting. It is my honest hope that you too, dear, have enjoyed the ride. I appreciate the feedbacks, the corrections and the critics. Goodbyes are never really good enough, so I’ll say; hasta la vista mi amigos!