It has always been the prayer of many students all over the world that the inventor of examination is schools should be killed for the second time. It is something that usually makes some students get tensed up, emotionally agitated, and the like. After all these disturbances to the body system, nature has its way to compensate the body for all the inconveniences caused by examination stress.

It was neither the time nor the second time that Peter has been dreaming to ace his examination in one of his courses that has been giving him nightmares for months but all his efforts were unproductive. Despite all the materials he had to study and prepare well for it, he seemed not yet satisfied because to him something was lacking somewhere. He collected other study materials from his colleagues to add to the ones he was having, all in view of making the best out of them all.

He has two weeks to prepare again for the same exam and that might be his last chance for the examination for that semester. Failing it this time would mean that he had to wait for the next academic year before he could be allowed to sit for the exam again. This time around, body and soul were at work. He had to cancel all extracurricular activities in order to prepare assiduously for it. 

A whole week came and gone, Peter kept burning the candle at both ends trying to hit the books. The only thing that used to take him outside was just for him to take some fresh air and to stretch out his body even though it was during the winter period. The way things were going, he was satisfied and from all indications, it was obvious that he would make it this time around both in the written and oral parts. Three days before the examination, he gave me a call to come and pay him a visit. When I came to his apartment, books, and pieces of papers littered everywhere. I was unable to find a place to sit down. The surface of every object in his house was turned into a bookshelf. I tried to create a space so that I could find somewhere to sit but he humbly stopped me saying that I would mix things up for him. Finally, he created a place for me just opposite the headboard slat of his bed. He brought two cups of tea and a piece of cake. While we were doing justice to the tea and cake, he narrated to me his experience of the past week, how he has been preparing for his examination. Passing the written part would be your ticket for the oral part. Peter requested for a simulation oral test. I accepted and started asking him questions from his inorganic chemistry textbook. Oh my God! I was so impressed the way he was answering all the questions with detailed explanation despite the randomness pattern of the questions. It showed that he had a good mastery of the course now. “Guy, nothing on earth will make you not to pass this course this time. Even the devil cannot stop you this time,” I told him when we were about to go for another round of the simulation test. The second round was better than the first. After we finished, we chatted a bit and I took my leave.

The penultimate day to the examination, Peter worked all through the day and never had any rest. He was greatly determined to pass the exam without unnecessary mistakes. He burnt the midnight oil. At 4am the next day, he was already exhausted and decided to rest a bit on his bed after creating space where his body can fit in, with the intention of waking up as soon as possible to prepare for the great event.

He found himself in the exam hall, sitting with other students. Attendance sheet was signed and the exam started only for him to discover that he was not with his written materials. A Good Samaritan sitting next to him came to his rescue. He was so focused that while some students were busy complaining about the bad nature of some of the heaters in the classroom, his mind was somewhere else. The cold in the classroom was not giving him any concern. He was able to answer all the questions correctly and even demanded an extra sheet to finish up. He was almost the last person candidate to leave the hall. Coming out from the hall, he felt an intense urge to urinate. He rushed to the restroom, only for him to find himself waking up like one chased by a fierce animal in a dream, and made his way straight to his bathroom. “Oh my God, where am I,” he asked himself. Out of impatience to finish urinating, he ran to his desk to check his alarm clock with some drops of urine dripping down the floor. “What!” He shouted. It was already 10:15am.

The exam was scheduled to begin at 9am as usual. He was thrown into total confusion. All balled up, he headed for his wardrobe to take his dresses but its door was not opening as fast as he wanted. Just beside him was his desk chair. On it was a pair of trousers on the headrest and a shirt on the armrest.  He went for them as fast as he could. Immediately, his phone rang. He never cared about it and went for his shoes. Picking up his phone later, he saw twenty-five missed calls. I did call him forty-five minutes before the exam started but he did not pick my call. I thought he was already in the examination hall and never wanted any disturbance. I sent him an SMS, wishing him the best of luck. I never knew that at that point in time, my friend Peter was deep as sleep like a rock.

He quickly locked his door and went for the lift since he was on the fifth floor. The lift was occupied. He headed for the steps like someone been chased by death and was running for his or her dear life. Getting to the bus stop, he waited for a bus for about twenty minutes. Finally, the right bus came. Getting to the subway train station, he received another phone call from one of his colleagues by name Lorenzo. He touched the answering button without saying a word as he walked down the steps. “Peter where are you? What happened?” Lorenzo asked him.

“I am confused man. I can’t explain what happened to me,” he replied.

“It was already time and you were not in the exam hall. We tried calling you but you were not picking,” he said.

“I am already on my way now,” Peter replied. “Where are you now? Lorenzo asked him.

“I am at the subway now, waiting for the next train,” Peter retorted.

“Man, you cannot make it. You know already how long it will take you from there to the university. The exam is already over. It is almost ten past eleven o’clock. You know well that her exam used to last for only two hours,” Lorenzo said.

It was then that Peter came to his full senses and had a clear picture of his state. “Yeah, it is too late,” he said to himself. He dropped the call and went back home sad and depressed.


Published by Chinedu ikechukwu

A writer, a teacher and a comedian.

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