As I sit here early in the morning, eating breakfast with my siblings, all I can think about is how I am going to cope today at school. I try to think about all the good memories I’ve had at school with all of my friends, but it never seems to work. Mom tells me to go wash my dish, take my bag and go to school. Likewise, I have to listen and obey mommy’s orders.

I go out of the house, open the gate and walk out. I drag my feet to school and along the way I bump into Nomsa, my good friend who takes my position in my class. I used to be the number one genius in class, the miss ugly top of the class, but ever since I started grade 10 things haven’t really been working out. Nomsa and I walk together to school people start asking her how she feels about her position. All I do is to stare and laugh but deep down I am embarrassed. I try to avoid it and keep my cool but nature never wanted it that way.

We go to the assembly hall and the pastor preaches. Then the principal takes his mic and tells us that we are going to award the top three learners in each grade. Oh God, I am so nervous and anxious, knowing that I’m not going to get an award. The top achievers are announced and people are amazed and stunned when my name is not read.

We go to our classes and people start talking behind my back but I keep my cool. Others are like, “We knew it was going to happen at some point.” Mrs Mbatha comes to the class and I am so nervous. She stands in front of us and starts teaching but I know that her lesson is only meant to hurt and embarrass me.

School is over I go home. I find mom standing at the gate. She drags me by my clothes then asks me about the awards ceremony. I start crying. She tells me to wipe my crocodile tears and I feel so hurt. She asks for my report card, the one I have been hiding in my bedroom for weeks. I escape from her hand and go straight to my room and start crying. I can never show her a failed report card.