January 5th, 11:58 p.m.

My eyes were heavy; I struggled to keep them open. Regret and fear filled my thoughts. Maybe if I studied harder for longer then I wouldn’t have been this worried. I sighed as I waited for the SMS with my matric results to come through at 12 a.m. Time seemed to be moving slowly. After what seemed like forever, the clock finally struck 12 a.m.

I held my phone tight in my hands. I got a message saying that my results weren’t ready. In my mind what I read was, “You Failed”. Tears streamed down my face as I cried myself to sleep.

I woke to a sense of tranquillity.

“Vuka s’thipa! Vuka Tito,” my sister shouted.

I slowly opened my eyes.

“Vuka sijonge iresults.”

I wanted to shut her up and tell her that I had failed. But something told me to get up. My sister and I called the landline number to enquire about our results. The phone rang twice before it was answered by a guy with a deep voice. My palms were sweating like never before.

“Please hold,” the gentleman on the other end of the line answered after 10 minutes. I took the cell phone and went to the bathroom to brush my teeth.

As I was busy, the man asked for my exam number. I gave him the number and waited another minute for the reply.

“Congratulations mam, you have passed with a bachelors pass.” I couldn’t comprehend what he was telling me.

“Excuse me, did you just say I passed with a bachelors?” I said as I fought hard to hold back the tears.

“Yes, mam.”

I dropped the call and for the second time that day I cried. This time they were tears of joy. At the age of 16 I had passed matric with a bachelors pass.

I ran to my mom’s room to tell her the good news and she joined me in crying, she was so proud of her youngest child.


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