It's 2017. You're 20 years old now.
Your name is Ilyas.
Your favorite color is white, your new best friend is Osman, and you still haven't gotten braces. The dentist you decided to go to wanted to correct your jaw alignment before putting them in, so that's a good step. It's going to cost you a buttload every month though.
You no longer talk to your so-called "amazing Muslim network." In fact, you probably hate them. But you never quite took the time out to evaluate your feelings for everything that happened. You were accepted into nursing school in Springfield. The idea of going is exciting, but the idea of leaving is not. Osman is currently asleep which is why you decided to type this all out.
Some big changes have happened. Your last journal entry was a poem you wrote for Al Bayyan Live. Here's what's changed since then: you're going to be a nurse. You don't talk to Atif or Benish as much, because they broke up. You don't contact Osama or Khadijah anymore, but Khadijah still sends you snaps everyday which you never reply to. Atif currently is talking to Nuha, but Osman is in love with her and Atif does not know this. At the moment, Toof (what you call him) is currently trying to get Osman to make amends with Nuha due to a previous incident regarding Osman's douchebag friends. Kemo removed you off of Facebook, and Iman knew you had unfollowed her on Instagram. Neither of them speak to me anymore.
Sauban asked for you to represent him in Meet the Nominees, but you politely declined. Sauban lost his position to Ali, however, Ali was elevated to president and Kareem took his place instead. Ali then resigned as president, putting Farooq next in line to become the president of the shura. This was done rather quickly and without the consultation of anyone else in the Muslim Student Association; no votes were counted. For some reason, you hold a lot of resentment in cliques, especially now in the UIC MSA. You're not one to criticize democracy but you somehow feel betrayed by the same system who said they'd be there for you always. My speculation is that Farooq felt obligated to run the UIC MSA in the presence of a vacant president position. Farooq is more than qualified to run, but the process in which he was put in was tacky and was kept quiet around his new shura.
After meeting some wonderful people in California, you hit reset on your emotions and changed. You also smoke so much weed now and you have vibrant memories of hitting the bong while watching the television where you stayed. Despite the fact that Karo and Marcus fought all the time, they made that place feel like home. Though you learned things about Karo you wish you never knew. Travis and Emaan are now etched deep into your memories. You love them both so much. You were so nervous to meet your new roommate, Faraz. It turns out you actually fell in love with him. You're writing here today because you are severely hurt. He had to move out. You also got crossed plenty of times with Kazi, another roommate, who's a little emotionally unstable. You genuinely feel bad for him and worry for his future. Ali Nasaruddin, the person who actually shares your room, is never home because he works full time. His brother Umi is nothing like him. You also had a thing with a guy named Jawad. He took you to Springfield, moved to New York, and left you a free hookah. You keep falling in love with people you should not be falling in love with.
In other words, nothing has changed. You are still a shitty human being.
It astounds you that you did not confess to Faraz your feelings. Perhaps a few years ago it would've been the first thing I would've let him know. Some people cannot live without closure, but I believe I can live with it. Life is too fleeting to worry about endings. Everything ends. I will end. My loved ones will end. My best friends will end. You'll probably send this all to Osman after you're done writing all this because Osman always understands everything. Even though it's 4:30am, you still wanna go for some more hookah. You are attempting to cover up a lot of pain. It's good that you have at least one person who you can trust with your thoughts. It will most likely be the person reading this.
There is also one more glimmer of hope in all of this chaos, and that is in your high school friend, Lupe.
Lupe was accepted to Springfield with you and has attended Northside, UIC, and now nursing school with you. You have known her for a very long time and you don't want to admit it but you're afraid of losing her too. You are constantly losing things in this life as fast as you are gaining them. And although you still consider yourself a Muslim, you no longer pray or read the Qur'an. You still do but very sporadically. As aforementioned, you're still a piece of shit.
All that is left for you to do is get a nursing degree and help your loved ones out. You've been in an incredible amount of debt for so long that you're not sure how you're gonna live from graduation and thereon. You play Overwatch, League, and Black Desert Online (now rarely), but now that Joshua's back, he plays the games with you. You just finished HTGAWM and now you're resuming Scandal. Jibawi called on the 4th of July to listen to you. That memory will live in you forever. Somewhere in the back of your mind, you know that you have so much more suffering to endure.
Are you ready?