“You have three hours to complete the exam. We have covered all the topics that are in that paper, so there is absolutely no reason for anyone to get below average,” Mr. Matlwa is adamant about ensuring that no student fails his course.

“I trust that you won’t disappoint me Rufaro,” he says to me as he places the question paper on my desk.

I look up to him and let out a giggle.

When Mr. Matlwa moves to the next desk, I flip open the first page of the question paper. The first question tightens my leg muscles and loosens my bladder. As I turned the next page and then the next, my heart rate accelerated with each flip. 85% of the exam was in the chapter that I had not had the time to revise. Between volunteering for Aisha’s organization and her showing me all the hotspots in Cape Town, I hadn’t dedicated enough time to my studies.

I turn my head to peep at Rea, I expect to see a frown on her face as well, but I don’t. The pen is flowing effortlessly on her page.

I am not one to let my lecturers read work that I am certain is absolute garbage. I flip to the page where I am certain I know the majority of answers, the rest, I leave unwritten.

I hurriedly hand over my exam script to the lecturer and I bolt out of the exam room.
It takes me 10 minutes to get to Aisha’s flat. I knock at Aishas flat for close to an hour but no response.

Hello Aisha. I am outside your flat. PS.

Aisha: Hi, I am the library studying for an exam. Can you come to the flat tomorrow?

I text back.

Me: Ohhh, I didn’t know you had an exam. Can I come over to the library?

Aisha: I am sorry. I forgot to tell you. No, you don’t need to come. I need to focus on my exam. See you tomorrow!

I shake my head in disbelief. I couldn’t fathom the fact that I could have possibly failed my exam only for her to cancel our appointment.

“Hey Rufaro, how was the exam?” Lerato asks as I saunter into the room. I try my best to hide my disappointment.

“It was great thank you.”

“That’s good news, I’m sure that you nailed it. I believe in you,” she smiles at me warmly. “So, how was the meeting with Aisha?”

“The exam exhausted me so I decided to cancel the meeting,” I lie.

“Oh, that’s a first. You cancelled an appointment with Aisha. You’ve been all over her since the first time you met.” There she goes again. “How did she take it when you bailed out on her?”

“Well, she also has an exam tomorrow so she took as an opportunity for her to study. Now stop it with the questions, I need to take a nap.”

“Why are you avoiding talking about her? One minute you’re on top of the moon because Aisha invites you out for coffee and the next you’re gloomy. The exam couldn’t have been that bad. I don’t get it. What is going on between the two of you?”

“Nothing is happening.”

“I don’t believe that. Tell me Rufaro.”

“What do you want me to say? That I am in love with Aisha?”

“What?”

Her eyes widen in horror.

“Should I repeat myself?”

“Didn’t Aisha tell you she is…”

“She’s what?” I blurt out. Anticipation taking residence in my body.

“Rufaro, Aisha is engaged. She’ll be getting married as soon as she graduates.”

I crumble to the floor and without any warning, tears stream down from my eyes. Now more than ever, I need answers to these questions that have filled my mind.

***

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