I saw the examination paper. The questions might as well have been written in Greek because I couldn’t understand a word. When I finally found a question whose answer I knew, my hand refused to move. I was groaning and exhaling sweat and tears when I woke up from this nightmare. Nightmares were a regular occurrence during exam time.
If you asked my haters, they would tell you that the reason I always panicked during exam time was because I wasted my time on non issues the rest of the term. I expect you to take their claims with a pinch of salt. Here is why.
You must know that school was very important to me. It was mostly because my parents liked to play Hitler at the end of each term. They would summon me and demand explanations for each subject that didn’t meet their desired pass mark. I would walk away with my confidence burnt to ashes.
Also, my mother loved to give me vivid illustrations of how my life would turn out if I chose anything over education.
She would ship me off to a relative’s home to have my blood sucked by bedbugs and to get into endless battles with houseflies which for some reason felt entitled to my food. One time, a rat came and started nibbling on my feet. I woke up and screamed and that fat, impolite creature didn’t even run.
Therefore, believe me when I tell you that I wanted to study hard. I wanted to sit in Mrs Kworoba’s class and listen but I couldn’t resist drifting off to sleep. Her voice was soothing like the buzzing sound of bees.
I wanted to stay up late to read, but rumour had it that late in the night, Mrs Rwebishengye, as if to live up to her name (directly translated, her name means “someone who dwells in rooms”), liked to go from classroom to classroom, switching off lights only to slap, bite and steal the occupants’ hair. I forgot to mention that Mrs Rwebishengye was long dead.
Furthermore, visiting day was put too close to end of term examinations if you ask me. I would stare at the cream colour of my book and it would just remind me of the sensational taste of powdered milk melting in my mouth. I just had to rush back to the dormitory to save my salivary glands from overproduction.
So you see, there was so much going on in my life that I only realised that exam time was nigh when exam papers were close enough to touch.
I would try to revise my notes only to find blank pages. It would then occur to me that when I drifted off to sleep during Mrs Kworoba’s lesson, she didn’t stop buzzing, I mean teaching.
At this point, I was no longer afraid of Mrs Rwebishengye’s ghost. I carried a flashlight and practiced calling out the name Jesus. It’s a good thing she never showed up because fear has a tendency of leaving me paralyzed and speechless.
So I slept late only to wake up from a recurring nightmare; that I was late for an exam and I was running but I just couldn’t reach the classroom. Intercessors said I was being attacked by a spirit of failure, but I knew that if such a thing as the spirit of failure existed, it was none other than me.