Just when I thought I’ve had enough disappointments for a day, or maybe for a lifetime, I received an Email from Jamb. ‘Aggregate-169’.
‘Oh no, not again!’ It’s not as if I had expected a very excellent result but definitely not something as low as this.
I flashed back to the exam Hall ‘But the questions were simple, just like the ones that I’ve solved in the past questions’ I remembered how I’d been very excited after the examination and how I had imagined the surprise on my mum’s face when she find out that I scored high in the examination ‘Mummy would call me her smart baby and pamper me’ I had smiled at how good it will be to celebrate my victory over Jamb.
I let the tears flow freely as I reminisced on the events of the past few months, I wept the more at how my fantasies had been shattered. ‘Maybe I was never destined to go the university, maybe God hates me and has decided to punish me by bringing disappointments my way, maybe…’
I wept on and flung the throw pillows around my bed away, I buried my face in the pillow and wept the more. ‘Maybe there’s going to be a miracle, Maybe there was a mistake while collating the results.’
I could imagine the disappointment on my Mother’s face when she eventually finds out about my failure. ‘if I could have at least had an aggregate of 170, maybe I would have been able to gain admission to a polytechnic or even a private University.
I scratched my head as if it would change a thing and I even scattered my hair and threw my phone away. The phone seems to have brought more bad lucks to me than good these past few weeks. Whatever demons were behind making me sad were doing a great job! They have achieved so much in such a little time!
The once lively, sweet , lovely and jovial Amife has become a shadow of herself, I thought within myself as I rolled from one end of the bed to the other. ‘Maybe the demons are somewhere in this room, everything in this room seems to be so much against me’ I thought as I sat up on my highly comfortable 16 inches bed. I didn’t know when I gave up to the waiting arms of sleep.
‘Amife!’ I heard my mother called with her high pitch voice, which made it sound more like a scream. I fumbled a bit with the pillow and duvet as I stood and walked to the door to answer her call. I knew better than to allow her call ‘Amife’ the second time. ‘You’ve become so lazy these days, you better saddle up and finish up the house chores already, I cleaned the sitting room and toilet already, make sure you complete everything on time and find something profitable to do, please don’t take part of my Jollof Rice you can make yours if you like- make sure you find something to eat you can take bread or anything you want. I told Rose to come around today , I figured you might be lonely in the house so I thought it’ll be good for her to come around and keep you company…’
I almost screamed loud when she said Rose would come around, the last thing I wanted was the least of Rose’s troubles. What else do I have to tell my mother for her to realise that ‘Amife is now eighteen years and able to take care of herself?’ ‘Amife, make sure you clean up and do something today o. Don’t just sit lazily around the house. And don’t lock up yourself in your room.
By the way, have you checked your jamb result? It’s up to three day you wrote the examination and you told me the result would be out by the third day?’ This is the kind of moments I wish I had some supernatural powers that could make me avoid this question maybe by making her forget that I ever wrote any examination. Just anything to avoid this conversation ‘Amife! I said have you checked your Jamb result?’ I didn’t know the best lie to tell at that moment
‘Mummy my data got exhausted and I was even thinking I’d let you know about it, I’ve not been able to check the result’ I just told a lie! How did I make that up? ‘But I saw you on Facebook yesterday night’ I didn’t think of this o.
‘I was using free Facebook’ Thank God for free Facebook!
‘Anyway, I will send you some money to subscribe, and make sure you check the result before I return from work. Money is not easy to get o, mind how you use up your data o’ She said as she walked out of the door.
I don’t think there has been a day that my mother had been so sad and displeased about a thing and yet as calm as that. When I told her that I had a ridiculous score of ‘169’ in my JAMB examination, I’d expected that she would flair up and rain all abuses on my, telling me of how much of a failure I am.
I was thus surprised to the Maxima when on the contrary to what I expected, she’d looked down in a manner that showed that she was disappointed.
After some minutes of awkward silence she looked up and spoke ‘Amiifeoluwasimi dear, you didn’t fail JAMB and you’ll never be a failure, you just didn’t meet the cut off mark for your desired course. However I’ve always had it in mind that should this kind of thing happen, you’d attend a film institute I know of. How about attending a film institute this year while you prepare for the next year examination?’ I had to search my mother’s face well to be sure that she wasn’t teasing.
I really did suspect foul play! My mother could be very petty, she has a way of making one feel relaxed before she explodes her bomb of anger. I had expected her to say something like this ‘So, failures like you also like good things? You must really think I’m a very big fool to want to send you to a film institute, you couldn’t even pass a simple examination as JAMB what’s the assurance that you’re not just about to fail again. You better sit tight and read for next year’s JAMB examination, you think I’ll squander all my money on trying to get you to the University? You had better get yourself very prepared for the next examination if you really want to attend any higher institution of learning, I wrote JAMB just once during my own time, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t also aim at that kind of testimony, you think life is just full of being on social media and exhausting your data within weeks? Please go back to your room and start reading already!!!’
‘Amife, are you alright?’ I didn’t realize how much I’d been lost in thought until mother called out my name.
‘Mummy, are you sure about this?’ I just needed to say something.
‘Amiifeoluwasimi, I know you might be a little surprised at the way I’m handling this, but you know what, for sixteen years, I’ve been a very hard mother, I know you might not fully understand this, when I was pregnant with you, I lost my husband, Ifeoluwasimi, he was the best thing that I ever had! I felt all sort of things, I felt sad, angry, bad, guilty, and all sort of awful things. I felt like I should have tried harder to save him, I felt like there was something I could have done that I didn’t do, I felt like I could have done better. Maybe take him somewhere that all the cancerous cells might be removed, but I had lost him then! I was left with God alone! I determined never to remarry, I thought it was going to be easy, but it wasn’t! Before I knew it,I had grown to be this very hard woman who doesn’t feel anything anymore, nothing scare me anymore, nothing surprises me, I had put my emotions under! God gave me your name! He said you’re the proof of his love towards me, He said I should love you and never doubt that he loves me! But I had put all of those behind me, I thought they didn’t Matter but now I know better, I need to show you how much I love you, I need to get my emotions back! I had drifted..’ my mother!
I couldn’t believe what was happening! I didn’t know how much I had gone far apart from my own mother. I had built a wall around myself that was difficult for anyone to penetrate. I preferred to be in my shell. I had pushed everyone that cared away. My youth coordinator had tried all possible means to know a thing about me, even when I wanted someone around, it wasn’t just convenient for me. I didn’t feel the need to be loved neither did I think it was necessary to love anyone.
If I had given my home tutor a little chance to show me how much she loved me and wanted me to pass the examination, maybe I would have done much more better. I thought I could do it all alone.
‘Amiifeoluwasimi, please forgive me, please I am sorry!…’
Mother and daughter wept like new born babies, we made a stern decision to always make each other feel loved, we decided that we would be true proofs of God’s love to one another, we decided that we would love and be loved.
‘Amiifeoluwasimi! Come on stand up sleepy head! Your JAMB examination is by 10am and you’re still sleeping, madam this is 7:30am o!’ My mum entered my room to remind me of my examination.
I had almost forgotten that I had any examination ahead that day. I was having a fantasy filled dream of myself acting a stage drama, ‘Ohhh God! If you know the kind of dream you just interrupted now eh…’ She threw a throw pillow at me and threatened to pour a bottle of chilled water on me if I didn’t get up to dress up for the examination.
I really wished I could turn back the hands of time. And have my mum play with me as a kid and have her available to listen to all my secondary School gists, Maybe she could have advised me not to date David when I did, maybe she could have been the one to quench my desperate thirst for love at that time, even though the relationship didn’t last for more than half a term, it had a lot of effects on me. Maybe I wouldn’t have had to be so lonely on weekends, when I wouldn’t be going to school and stayed at home with my mum , it made no difference as being alone though. Maybe I should have loved Comfort better than I do. She is not a bad person afterall.
I have found a sister in her! Now, I have found a friend in my mother and a gist partner.