The results were not posted even after four days. All candidates became worried. A week had gone by yet, the results remained unposted.
One morning as I was washing clothes, one of my friends from tutorial called me and informed me of the release of the results. I was still using that nokia torch then so I did not get the news immediately.
“Send me your details” he said over the phone “let me check yours too”
I hesitated a bit “Okay” I said later on and cut the call. It wasn’t too long I went back to washing when he called back. He was sounding so excited and I too, became curious
“Talk to me”
“You scored 271!”
My eyes were as large as saucers “really?”
“Yeah” he answered “go to a cyber café and print it out later”
“Okay dear. How about you?”
“I tried too” he said “287”
“Woooow!” I screamed. He had been hell bent on studying Pharmacy for three years now. The previous year, he was granted admission in another course but he declined it to sit for another JAMB.
“I’m so happy for you oo” I said
He laughed “I thank GOD. It’s now left for us to start jacking for the POST UTME”
After the call, I left the remaining clothes there and rushed upstairs. I called some of my close friends and broke the news to them. They rejoiced with me. That day was such a joyful one and one of the best days of my life. I waited for mum and dad to come back from work before I told them. They congratulated me and we drank a bottle of wine in celebration.
I began to learn tailoring but when the POST UTME was announced, I stopped and went back to my books. There wasn’t much time left to the day of my exam but I trusted myself that I’d do well.
The day before my exam, I set off for Nsukka. I had a friend who stays in the hostel so I went to squat with them for the night. Her roommates were all friendly and welcoming but really noisy. At some point I began to wonder how they manage to read but towards night, they all became serious. That was when I picked up my jotter and revised all I’d read. I went to bed early because my exam time was 7am.
I arrived the digital library on time, wrote my exam and came out with mixed feelings. The questions were tougher than I expected but I told myself that I’d done my best. On getting to the hostel, they told me that my dad had been calling and I returned the call. He asked me if I was already on my way back. It was still past 10am then.
“Nooooo” I answered “I need to do one or two things”
“Make sure you come back early”
Everyone in the room started teasing me “Nwa daddy”
I’d wanted to go round the school and meet up with my secondary schoolmates but I couldn’t do so anymore.” When I get admitted” I said to myself “I’ll see all the people I want to see”
So after a little chat with my newly made friends, I packed my things and made my way back home.The result came out within the week. I scored 273 and I jubiliated. Finally I’ll be admitted. Finally…
My family once again rejoiced with me. My friends and extended relatives heard the news and were calling me back to back. Most of them even asked me to start packing my things. Some said they were already preparing to come and eat matric rice. Everything seemed to have gone well until the first list was released.
My name wasn’t there but my people kept telling me to be patient that there are about 3 more lists to be compiled and that my name will surely be among.
My friend, Dennis who had checked my JAMB result for me, called me that very day the first list was released.
“Nne, I’ve been admitted o!” he shouted over the phone. Despite the little worries I was having, I screamed at the top of my voice “O.M.G!”
I was truly happy for the guy. Honestly, he had gone through a lot in his quest to study pharmacy.
The remaining lists were released at intervals but sadly, I was not admitted.
I had been motivated to a certain height that I couldn’t relapse easily. Though I was in pains, I refused to show it. Only my close friends who know me well would cage me in a warm embrace even when I was showing forth a broad smile.
“It’s well” they’d say
I hated the fact that I’m lachrymose because at times like that, I wouldn’t be able to control my tears anymore. I’d break down and my friends would be consoling me.
When the Christmas break was over, all my friends travelled back to their respective schools. I became very lonely and bitter. I gradually became introverted.
One day I was sent on an errand and on my way, I met one of my secondary school classmate. We smiled at each other as we approached
“Ada” I called “how far naw?”
“Fine o” she said then gave me one kind of look I cannot quite describe “have you gotten admission?” she asked
My countenance changed slightly “My dear…” I began “I haven’t o”
“I’ve been admitted” she gloated “I’m in 200L now”
There something about the way she said it. It was as though she was saying…’I thought you’re intelligent. How come you’re still looking for admission whereas I have advanced to 200L?’ or perhaps she really was but carefully disguised it using other words. That girl is someone that dares not speak when I’m speaking back then in our school days.
“Congrats” I said to her notwithstanding and not wanting her to find me an object of pity.
“bye” she said as she walked past.
That incidence was even a minor one because later on, I began to receive treatments that were worse. One day, I met another classmate of mine and I called her. She looked at me but continued walking till she walked past. If I hadn’t been watching her, I would have vouched she really did not see me but she did. I know she did.
Whenever I come online, I was being snubbed by some of my mates. I felt dejected and of course, almost every night, I cried myself to sleep. Even my parents started making me feel uncomfortable. Before I realized it, I had sunk deep into depression. I lost every willingness to get up.
The registrations commenced again and I went and registered but everyday when everyone leaves, I’d just lie down and sleep. If there was light, my eyes would be glued to the TV set till power goes out. Then I’d read a novel, chat, play music or sleep again. It became my daily routine. I did not care anymore.
At that time, suicide was trending. Each time you visit the internet, you’ll hear news of a student that drank sniper or someone that hung himself. That was when I began to have suicidal thoughts and coincidentally, that trending ‘SNIPER’ happened to be the insecticide we use at home.
I was mostly home alone and due to depression, I even decide not to have contact with the outside world . I might wake up one morning and feel like I don’t want anyone to hear from me so I’d switch off my phone or switch it to airplane mode. And for no good reason at all.
One evening, I was peeling oranges in the kitchen. The suicidal thoughts clouded my mind. I looked at the knife I was holding and started feeling its edge. It was very sharp and I smiled to myself. Just when I was about to commit the act, mum stormed into the kitchen and it slipped from my hands. She did not understand what was going on.
Another day, as she was rushing off to work, she sighted the sniper bottle ata the corner we usually kept it “Nne, take this thing inside “ she told me “you know ‘SNIPER’ is now the talk of the town”
She handed me the bottle “Hide it where they will not see it biko”
I nodded “Yes mum”
I took time to examine the container and then I took it with me into my room. I was going to hide it in a place where no one will ever find it. My stomach.
I went into the room and shut the door.