The sun- world’s known amebo presence graced the hall. It stood it’s feet on the ground and sat it’s butt on the desk. Attentively, it’s gaze was concentrated on almost-all-of-our papers that sat on the desk. It invigilated along with the external invigilator, making our faults known easily. The weather was meant for a cold morning but the sun known for it’s obnoxious behaviour struggled the morning with the cold, making the weather frigid and sultry. The morning was brighter than typical but maintaining it’s known scent of toxic waste-produced by the metal factory standing a arm stretch to the hall.
We sat in two on a long bench and desk before us. The hall setting often reminds me of my last visit to St. Michael Catholic Church. Long benches and desks arranged in order like battalions of army standing on a single file ready for war, leaving me to wonder why they prefer wooden long benches to the latest fancy flashy colourful single chairs used in other pentecostal churches.
“Start!” the invigilator announced like one who was at the brink of tears.
She stood at the center of the hall rolling her head round like an owl. Her glasses sat at the base of her nose with her eyes wide opened. She moved systematically as her long-black-skirt trailed along, with her every step knocking on the tiled floor. The sun reflected her shadow on the wall next to me, making her look like Cinderella’s step mother. I was gripped with fear immediately. I prepared for this paper, but my preparations can never be enough for it’s mathematics we talking here. It was my third time sitting for this exam, because this very paper-mathematics, keeps bringing me back. I was determined to make this very paper this year “BY FIRE BY FORCE I HAVE MADE IT” moreover, this is our theme for the year in church. I keyed into the theme that “BY FIRE BY FORCE I HAVE MADE IT” but I wasn’t ready to be a part of the holy aspect of the theme as I have always done in previous years. I was ready to “copy and paste” in whatsoever the school offers the candidates this time, especially in this very subject because “BY FIRE BY FORCE I HAVE MADE IT”.
Flipping of papers questioned the previous silence in the hall. Every candidates lowered their head as they swipe through their question paper. Some started immediately while the followers of Jesus bowed their head to pray. I said a short prayer before opening up my questions. As soon as I was done with prayers, I filled my answer booklet that requires me to fill in my names and other exam details, this I did not in a hurry-what was there to be HURRISOME about? after which, there would be nothing for me to pen down. Every candidate focused on their work. I also did same trying to solve what I had no idea of. I kept on cursing the inventor of mathematics despite I knew quite all right that he was far from the living. He left us all in a mental state of solving alphabet to get numbers as answers-c’mon who does that?. I know alphabet alone to be used for composition of words, so what’s it’s business with maths?
“I hate maths!” I yelled so loud that only I could hear.
This lady wasn’t cooperating with the school. She carried this fierce look around. I knew from the very start through her appearance, that she wasn’t the type that yearns for bribe like other invigilators did that had supervised previous subjects.
“You all had better focus on your work. If I dare catch anyone in engagement of malpractice, I would see to that person ending up in Prison” She announced loudly
Sweat in one and twos sprinted down my face despite the school uniform I had on was as light as a feather, yet the heat I felt was enough to melt an iron rod. Sweat-drop from my face landed on my exam papers that was before me. I re-adjusted my sitting position because comfort on this exam was far from me.
“Hey you! what’s happening there?” She pointed to me, moving fast as her legs could carry her to where I sat. As she approached me, her shoes made loud sounds on the tiles like that of a busy carpenter hammering a wood, I could as well feel the bang on my head. Her cologne saturated my environment on her arrival.
“Why are you disturbing the peace of this hall young man?” She asked as she turned my papers over checking in between them and my surrounding if I had any thing that could implicate me.
“Do you have a fever?” she asked
“No I mean.”
“So why the profuse sweating?” she kept her question on
“The maths” I said out without thinking
“what about the maths?”
“Sorry the heat. I feel hot. Yes, this is why I am sweating”
She ordered Mr chucks to put on the fan as she left my seat to another corner of the hall.
Every candidate at intervals flashes gaze at Mr chucks- a teacher we are all familiar with, known for reading out and distributing answers to us. A short bearded hefty young man that always had a face cap on. Rumour has it that, his head shape was like that of a trapezium, a reason why he always had his cap on. Mr chucks stood at a corner in the hall with his hands folded and tucked under his armpit. He wore a long facial expression, one in which we had never seen him on. He tics his head left and right slowly like a clock suffering from a dead battery struggling to move from it’s position, a sign telling us that we-were-on-our-own-on- this. It felt like the base of my feet was set on ice. The thought of me failing this subject again gripped and WAVERED around my head like gele. I looked at the questions again with all focus trying to figure out which I might be able to attempt, but the figures and alphabet mixed together made it more confusing. I stole a look at my sit partner who I can bet my life on that he won’t as well be able to attempt any of the questions. Past experience with him in previous subjects made me realize how “so bright” he is that he copy’s me word for word. No matter how hard I try to even cover my answer booklet, he still would find a way into my answer booklet and download every of my answers. He has-at-two-occasions written my name on his answer booklet instead of his(yea, he is that “bright”). He had a long ostrich neck and big eye glasses to his advantage. I re-adjusted my sitting position again-at least this was the only action solving the moment predicament for me.
“That boy what are you up to this time?!” she screamed at the top of her voice from the corner of the hall she stood. Every one looked back to know who she was referring to. I also joined the others in looking back in pretence like I was unaware she was talking to me.
“Me?” a boy said stamping his index finger on his chest.
“No, not you. He knows himself” she yelled
I opened my papers pretending the drama was over.
“Stand up and come over here!” She ordered
I stood up immediately like her words were backed up with charms.
“Come along with all your papers and belongings” she ordered
I picked up all my writing materials and walked up to the front of the hall as instructed. I could see eyes all over my body. She ushered me to a single sit that faced the whole hall. I sat with confidence putting on a sad smile. I had many thoughts running through my head at same time. I opened my answer booklet and started to write(yea you heard me, I started to write). I re-wrote the questions on my question paper into my answer booklet, that was all I could write. I had started to cry-my inner eyes. Hot tears I could feel slide down my heart.
“45minutes more!” she announced
The moon was all out. It lightened the compound. It peeped through my window direct to my face, tapping me to wake from sleep. I tossed from one end of the bed to the other, kicking the pillow to the ground.
“wake up” Dapo-my elder brother tapped me.
“You’ve been sleeping since you got back from the exam hall. What subject did you write today?” he asked
I yawned loud stretching my hands and legs up. I sat up struggling to open my eyes.
“What time is it?” I asked while I struggled to open my eyes
“7:47PM” Dapo replied
“wow, that was a long sleep” I said in a faint voice
“Indeed it was” Dapo responded as he was busy with his phone
“I had maths today” I said as I stood up trying to pull off my trouser
“That your worst night mare. So how did it go?”
“It went very well. At least I answered ten out of the ten questions given”
“You did all yourself?”
“I did none myself” I replied as I flinged my trouser to an unknown land.
“You gave in to copy and paste this time abi” Dapo asked as I could see a smile on his face.
“The invigilator didn’t give in to the school bribing her. She said it was a sin blah blah blah”
“But she eventually succumb abi”
“Yes jare after all her shakara. I guess they up the payment for her”
“So you this holy boy too follow do copy and paste?” Dapo grinned as the light reflection from his phone showed his satanic set of teeth
“I am still holy, moreover, that was an holy sin”
Dapo laughed till he fell off the bed and had his phone screen broken
“Now that’s what you get when you laugh at God’s anointed” I said as I gave him a tongue out