The story so far: After years of struggling Willem-Jan is making progress with his degree programme. And now he has a girlfriend too.
Deep in thought, Willem-Jan walked out of the Leeuwenborch and collapsed onto a bench. The conversation he had just had kept going around in his mind. ‘Well, lad,’ growled his supervisor, ‘I’ve never known anyone take so long over their thesis. But fair’s fair, the end result is good.’
Willem-Jan couldn’t help thinking about the period gone by: the procrastination, the frustration and the excuses. He came back to the present with a start. He was supposed to whatsapp Michelle.
‘It went well, you’ll never guess what I got…’ Sent. An eight, he thought. A fucking EIGHT. Unbelievable. And the film began to roll in his head again. ‘You’re capable of more than you think possible, and now you are on the right track. And take it from me, plenty of the professors here spent their student days in the pub just like you.’
Meanwhile, on his phone the emojis were pouring in. Smiling he walked to the bike shed. That feeling, that’s what he wanted to hold on to. He would have to make it last. There was enough work ahead.
Michelle would be at the uni for another hour and he didn’t feel like going home. So he cycled aimlessly around the centre, ending up at the Hoogvliet where he bought a sixpack of Corona.
‘I know an internship with a good allowance. That would make a big difference in your situation. That degree will come sooner than you realize,’ his supervisor had said. It wasn’t far from the dyke, and Willem-Jan puffed and panted his way up it (he hadn’t found time for sport lately). He stopped to enjoy the view, letting his bike fall onto the grass.
He sent his GPS coordinates to Michelle on whatsapp. ‘We’ve got to celebrate this. Are you coming? X marks the spot.’ He leaned back with satisfaction and grabbed a Corona. Only to reach for his phone again, cursing.
‘And bring a bottle opener.’