Nothing is as overwhelming as knowing you are one step closer to making your dreams come true.

I throw myself in bed, burying my face in a pillow, I hear footsteps coming towards the room.

“Where is my son-in-law? are you tired?” Mother asks.

“What is for dinner, I am starving?” I get up, passing her by the door.

“Angie are you going with me tomorrow?” Evah asked from the dining room.

“Yes, I am going with you.” I say as I dish up my favourite meal – samp and beef stew. I start thinking about students being all over the place with newspapers. I take my plate and join everyone.

My heart starts beating fast, I’m sweating, I open the widows in my bedroom and my cell phone beeps, ‘Good night babe, good luck for tomorrow.’ I raise my eyebrows. Is John being serious? who needs luck the day before getting results?

I reply with ‘Good night to you too.’ I get to bed. My mind starts running wild.

The birds are singing, I slowly open my eyes. The curtains are swaying, I forgot to close the window.

A loud knock, “Angie they have newspapers and you passed, let’s go!” Evah shouts with my little sister Ntokozo.

I slip my hand under the pillow taking my cell phone out to check messages and find ‘There has been an error locating your results.’ I wake up to wear my blue torn up jeans, a sweater and black sneakers. I open the door.

“Let’s go!” Ntokozo says following Evah.

I look up at the garage, students are everywhere screaming with excitement tearing newspapers.

“You always sat next to me; your examination number is after mine!” my friend says pointing in the newspaper. I look at it, my heart is racing, I lift my head up and everyone screams again and hugs me.

“Let’s go buy our own newspaper,” I shift aside, whispering to Ntokozo’s ear.

She asks, “Are you okay?”

I pull her hand and we cross the road, heading to the shops. We go back home and confirm that my examination number is not there. Everyone is shocked and they don’t know what to say. I ask my little sister to accompany me to school to collect my statement.

I lift my chin up, walking towards the school gate. Mrs Mnguni is handing over statements on the stoop. She calls out my name, her eyes pop and her lips are down turned, “I am so sorry my child, you never gave me any trouble ever since you got here.” She says lowering her voice and hands me my statement.

I find everyone at home murmuring in one room, they are all sad. My sister starts crying when she sees me, “How did this happen? Angie studied so hard,” she says.

“Don’t worry my child, this is not the end of the world.” Mother says with teary eyes.

I see how disappointed my parents are. I burst into tears. I run out and shut the door behind me.

I go to the mountains where I can clearly think, I sit on a big rock. How did this happen? Why did this have to happen to me? I am a loser, I wish this earth can just open up so I can get in, why don’t I just die at once?

The next morning, mother pulls the blanket over me, “Here, drink this tea you will feel better, you can always go back to school, you are still young.” she says.

I sit up and sigh, “Morning mom… thank you for the tea.”

I take the tea and put it on top of my headboard. “No, I can’t go back to school, all my friends passed plus a year is too long.” I say frowning.

“Forget about friends Angie and think about your future.” Mother says as I get off the bed.

“I will think about it, mom,” I head to the bathroom.

I supplemented my subjects which I wrote two months later, I failed again. I was sure I was not meant to have a certificate but my mother convinced me to re-write again. With bravery and courage, I went back, wrote for a third time in the end-year examinations. Finally, I got my matric certificate.

Failure never existed in my world until that very moment, it never even crossed my mind. The lesson I learned during that time in my life was ‘never say never’ and ‘never give up.’


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