His friends are all intelligent, young, able people - adults who are about to embark on differing routes in life. Accountants, businessmen, dentists. The future holds starry promises of brilliance and prominence. Each wants life to be smooth-sailing with abundant riches and happiness thrust upon them.
He casts his vision far and wide yet all he could see was within the confines of the room.
Well-dressed people milled about in the narrow spaces. Scholars. The word - scholars - feels strange as it rolls off his tongue. Scholars, he try saying yet again. Many of them would end up as well-paid principals, permanent secretaries, education officers. In the sea of faces, he couldn't tell who.
He whispers a tuneful melody after biding farewell.
His friends - people who had shared much with him - are taking baby steps towards their ambitions, away from him. It was misleading, the idea that friends are forever. Each life runs parallel for mere phases. For their sake - and for his - he must take the steps forward alone.
When he was 17, he thought he could grow no older or mature anymore. It came as a pleasant surprise to find out that he can and will continue to learn, grow, develop with each passing year.