Published by Afterschool.my on Nov 08, 2017, 01:11 am
Hi, my name’s Moorthy and I have a confession to make. I’m not particularly proud of it, but someone once said, ‘the truth will set you free’, and well, I feel the need to tell someone, so here goes: I stopped talking to my best friend, Vincent, a guy I’ve known a long time -- we used to waddle around in soggy nappies together. Why? Because he went from being a Red Devil, to a Saint. I tried to stop him, tried to convince him otherwise, but it was much too late. To explain what happened, I’ll have to take you back to where it all began -- right after SPM.
The First Signs
I remember the days succeeding SPM, utter bliss was the theme of most days. School was over and the party had just begun. And by party, I mean doing absolutely nothing. Done alone, it can drive one mad. Doing nothing with the right person however, and it suddenly morphs into this inexplicable paradise you never want to escape from. Vincent and I constantly watched English Premier League games both old and new, and we both shed tears every time we watched that treble winning year in 1999. We were the two pieces of wood, and Manchester United was the glue that strung us together. But of course, we were pulled out of our slumber by the parental units, who moaned and groaned about our lack of responsibility and implored us to think of our futures. The thing is, we already had. Vincent and I both decided on chemical engineering, and we were both going to a local public university. I say were, because then, it started. Vincent told me about this private university in Malaysia, one which offered up a chance to graduate with a Master’s Degree when you enrol for a Bachelor’s. “Cannot be la”, I dismissed him. But then Vincent mentioned their ranking: top 10 in the UK for engineering according the Complete University Guide 2018, and I shut up. I saw right then and there, he had his heart set. And so, we went to different universities in Malaysia, but promised to stay in touch, and keep our love for the Red Devils burning brighter than ever.
A Sky Full of Stars
Vincent and I both completed our respective foundation programmes swiftly, and I quickly got on with my Bachelor’s degree. But Vincent suddenly decided he wasn’t going to pursue Chemical Engineering. He had found something better: Aeronautics & Astronautics. “Eh, you want to be an astronaut ah? Can ah with your glasses?”, I naively asked him, to which I duly received a bonk on the head. It was the only course of its kind in Malaysia, delving into matters related to aerospace engineering. I was besotted with the course, but I never did tell Vincent. Why? Because he kept jangling my nerves. During one of our ritual conversations about Manchester United, he suddenly brought up something peculiar. “Eh, Southampton FC are doing quite well, don’t you think?”. I was taken aback, more than slightly, but Vincent told me not to worry and laughed. He put down his new-found interest in the Saints to his lecturers, who were all trained in the UK and rather close to the stadium of the aforementioned team. “Okay”, I said hesitantly.
Absence Does Makes the Heart Grow Fonder, They Just Never Specified for Who
Things were still alright. Vincent would bring up Southampton FC every now and then, talking about their new signings, and I was okay with this. Then, when we commenced the third year of our respective courses, Vincent left to the UK as part of his programme, to Southampton itself. “Isn’t it expensive?”, I asked him, hoping selfishly, he would decide to stay. I was worried. But Vincent told me he was given something called a transition bursary by his university. “Manual or automatic?”, I asked him to which I received another signatory bonk. Jokes aside, the bursary was worth over RM10,000. The joke then, was on me. Vincent also received a 50% reduction in his year One fees for doing well. And so, he boarded the plane and flew away. Funnily enough though, we started talking even more. We now had totally separate experiences and as such, oodles more to talk about. Vincent went on and on about the people of Southampton, and how jovial and kind they were. Then came the tipping point: One day, Vincent passionately explained his excursion to St. Mary’s for a game, going in detail about how passionate the fans were, even posting a picture where he donned the Saints kit, sponsors and all emblazoned on his chest. I chastised him immediately, raging on and on. Vincent merely cut the call.
The Final Shot
Vincent and I grew distant after that. We did keep in touch, but the same way one would do with an acquaintance. A random picture every now and then, a quick check-in here and there, the bare minimum required. Then Vincent called me up one day, his voice roaring. He had just met the Southampton players after a game, and they all signed his jersey. I tried to remain calm and quickly changed the topic, keeping my inner kraken firmly in check. We were about to graduate and I shared my worry about life beyond university, the uncertainty of it all. Vincent assured me as a friend would, not even once echoing my fears. He told me he had the privilege of talking to a careers and employability team at his university, who helped him sharpen the edges around his CV, and even went as far as honing his interview skills. His university’s partners had all come down for an open day as well, and he had interviews with Rolls-Royce and IBM lined-up the following week. Vincent even extended an olive branch, offering to help me with my own CV. But my mind wouldn’t budge, and the kraken was finally released when I uttered the words I had needed to for the longest time. “Who do you support now?”, I asked him. “Southampton FC”, he replied without a hint of hesitance in his honeyed voice. It was my turn to cut the call, and we haven’t spoken since. And that’s how I lost my best friend.
The University of Southampton Malaysia Campus is ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide, and is situated in Gelang Patah, Johor. For further information regarding scholarships and courses offered by the University of Southampton, please click here.