My Imsu Desire
Another Saturday morning and the difference it had with the last one was very obvious. The previous Saturday, I had been so full of life and very hopeful about the day’s event. But now, one week later, I now seem to be a walking dead, life squeezed out of me and angry at the world.
Not once have I ever imagined myself in this kind of dilemma(me of all people). That I would actually fail an exam which I studied so hard for never ever occurred to me. The score “107” was just too low for me to even think of. I stood up from bed and walked slowly to my reflection in my mirror.
I couldn’t even recognize myself again. My eyes were red from too much crying, my face squeezed with several sleep lines across it, my short(lowcut) hair which I haven’t combed for days now was tangled, even my cute Kiss Daniel’s kinda lips were looking terrible as well. Where is the soft and cute Ifeaz I used to know. Even a mad man now looked better than me.
I checked the small clock in the room. It was 8am and by now(on a normal day), I would have already gone to check on my chicken friends and probably bring them out of the cage for their morning stroll. But now I have no strength for that and I couldn’t even bring myself to go outside for fear of being mocked.
I managed to drag myself to my dad’s room and I saw that he was busy prepering for his work. “Son, how are you feeling now”, he asked. “Good morning sir, am feeling better now”, I lied. How will I ever even get better. “OK then, I think you should stop by your place of work later and explain to your boss why you’ve been absent”, he said, now almost ready to go.
“Yes dad, I’ll do that, I can’t afford to lose my job”, I said. Jeez!, I haven’t even thought of that. The manager of the factory must be very angry at me now. The time Prosper had called me to come check my result at the cyber cafe, I was still at work and I had forgotten to take permission before stepping out. I would have to go and apologize to him. I need that job, badly.
The problem is, the man has never liked me and he might use this as an opportunity to finally kick me out of the job. At around 11am, I stepped out in my usual working outfit. I walked through the neighborhood in my new style of walking, head facing the ground. “World people” never still stop to dey judge me. I’m now very popular in a bad way. I’m now very well known as the guy who collapsed after seeing his JAMB score ‘107’. Very shameful indeed.
I fought with the urge to cry and I barely succeeded because by the time I arrived at the factory, fresh tears were flowing freely down my cheeks. My fellow workers were busy as usual (we hardly have time for rest). When they saw me, I wasn’t surprised they didn’t bother to acknowledge me. Am sure they’ve also heard about my unluckiness and failure. Even the ones I used to be close to just examined me spitefully and went back to their jobs. I saw a new guy among them which was very uncommon because the manager hardly change workers or employ newbies except one of the workers(probably me) did something wrong.
As soon as I stepped into the manager’s office, he looked at me irritably from head to toe. “Mr man, what are you doing here again, go, you have already been replaced by someone else”, he backed. Wetin I even do this guy. He wasn’t even the owner of the place, I was there when they employed him as the manager 2 years ago. About 25 years old, not much older than me sef.
“Please sir, I can explain, just let me…….. “Explain what, wetin you wan explain, that how left hour job while on duty without my permission then you skip work for the next 3 days, are you normal at all”, he said. “No sir, it’s not what you think, I was ill and………… “You’re a fool, big one. I never see person wey fail JAMB before, so you get mind to tell me say you fall sick, my friend Vamut from here”, he was yelling at the top of his voice now and the others have come to witness the scene. I need to save my job, my dad needs me to be in this job. It’s our biggest source of income.
“But sir, you can’t kick me out like this, I don work very hard for this factory for almost 3 years now. I’ve earned and I deserve my place here, just give me another chance and I’ll…………… ” “Weyyou, quiet your mouth there, muna see this mumu oh, I have told you. You are fired and nothing you fit do again, final, shuoo”, he turned to the onlookers who were obviously enjoying my humiliation. “Make una warn this una friend oh, tell am make him comot here before I…………..
I didn’t let him finish talking, I just turned away to save what’s left of me. As soon as I came outside the building, I let the tears flow freely again. Just then, my phone blipped in my pocket, a message had just came in. I thought it was Ijeoma again and I was surprised when I opened it and saw that it was from my formal secondary school principal, the message read :
“Mr Ifeanyichukwu Maxwell Ibekwe, the school management have heard the recent news about your embarrassing failure in JAMB. The school is deeply ashamed to have awarded you with a scholarship in the first place. Therefore, we have withdrawn your scholarship and awarded it to someone else who is deserving. Thank you.”
My head started to spin, I might collapse again in a few seconds. I tried and did all I could possibly do to avoid that. Everything just dey happen like African Magic for my eye. I needed a friend right now, a friend whom I could share my problems with, I thought of Prosper and decided to go see him, after all we used to be very close(until recently), not knowing I was going to meet the biggest upset of all.
When I got there, he was with his gang of odd friends, Uche and 3 other guys, ooooh why now. I walked up to him and tried giving him a brotherly handshake, he avoided my hand and blunted out : “Who be this one and wetin you con do for here, see omo just start to dey trek comot here now before I plank you with wood”, he said with all seriousness and the others started laughing. Oh no, this isn’t happening.
“Prosper na me oh, your best friend”, I said almost in tears now. “Guy, your papa well well, which best friend, you nor well, see as you don fall your hand finish and you still expect me to dey follow you para, for wetin naaa, see guy comot abeg, I nor wan shout too much”, he said even more seriously this time. “This guy, you too mumu abeg, so you still get mind to con show us your fine face after you fail JAMB, abi you tinx say we wan celebrate your failure with party rice”, Uche added while the rest of them continued laughing including Prosper.
I was crying now as I looked at my former best friend who didn’t seem to care. A friend who I had consoled and reassured whenever he failed his own exam for 3 years. A friend who I had taught simple, algebra and linear equations nonstop until he became perfect. A friend who…………. I saved my thoughts for later. I needed to get out of here as soon as possible. I took one more glance at Prosper and then I realized I never did had a best friend………
I really don’t know how managed I to arrive home safely in the evening after those hurtful occurrences. My headache had grown worst and my legs hurt so bad. My dad isn’t going to come home tonight, he’s on night shift and duty every Saturday. I went straight to my bed, my new comfort zone and wept sorrowfully. I thought about how that terrible score has suddenly changed my life. Now I had no friend, no scholarship, no job, what’s next?
At around 12am, I was still awake sobbing. This failure of a thing is too damn hard to handle. I’ve heard stories of how people commit suicide over exam failures and I have always frowned at the thought. But now, I understand them. I got out of bed and outside our house in that dark hour of the night. I don’t know where I was heading to but I just kept walking.