I took one look at my report card and I decided that there was no way I was going to allow my parents to see it. I knew that they would blame me for falling short of their impossibly high academic standards when clearly, it wasn’t even my fault.
It wasn’t my fault because firstly, I was personally affected by the Karabandas (ghosts) of Keino House. Yes the truth is that I had personally never encountered one.
Still, how was I supposed to make time to read my books without interfering with time to discuss how one student woke up with a mysterious scratch on her neck? Or how another student’s dead grandmother visited her to tell her that she (grandmother) was buried in a place where water was entering her nose?
Moreover, this one girl touched my head right before we entered a Physics examination and I could swear it was the reason the exam was hard. I had studied hard. At least I had read the parts of my book that were not blank from me failing to stay awake during lessons.
Also, my agriculture teacher hated me. He once caught me mimicking him when I thought he wasn’t coming. I was putting particular emphasis on his lisp when he walked through the door. He threw a fit. He sent me out of his class. If you asked me, he overreacted to the whole thing.
Then there was the fact that I had accidentally lightened a portion of my nose. In an attempt to remove a scar left behind by a zit, I had applied a cosmetic which in the end bleached part of the nose.
Girls at my school who bleached their skins became subjects of ridicule. That’s how Agnes from S3D had officially acquired the name “whose face?”
I couldn’t let that happen to me. So I spent most of the time stalking this one girl Miriam who had seen me apply the cosmetic. I made her my best friend so she wouldn’t gossip about me. That was very tasking not to mention time-consuming.
I looked at all the problems I had encountered and overcome and patted myself on the shoulder for staying alive in the first place. But I knew my parents would not appreciate my struggles or even empathize with me.
So I hid my report card and when they asked for it, I went crazy pretending to look for it. I threw all my belongings out of the suitcase and looked and looked.
I had expected my mother to lose interest in my search after a few minutes but the woman stood there looking over my shoulder. I was about to start sweating plasma when she finally left me alone.
However, over the course of the holiday, she kept asking if I had found my report. It was almost as if she knew I had it. I didn’t appreciate her accusatory tone.
At the beginning of the following term, she said to me, “I hope you will do well this term so that you don’t have to hide your report card.” I had foolishly underestimated her investigative skills.