Home > Uncategorized > 1) What I didn’t want to say was…

1) What I didn’t want to say was…

I must have been eight or nine, and it was Science class…or Maths. I got something like 2 out of 20 in a test and the teacher gave everyone back their paper but kept mine. Then he called me to the front of the class and waved the paper around in my face, everyone watching. All I remember were the red crosses.

I don’t remember what he specifically said. The dramatic version is him saying how ashamed of myself I should be. How great my family was and look how badly I was doing. I suppose the real version is a little toned down from that but equally as embarrassing. I had failed and I had failed terribly and it was an extra huge failure, my teacher thought, because of my surname. I remember that I actually fainted right there in front of the class, in front of Mr. Whatshisname waving my paper around.

There must have been a commotion and the teacher next door heard and ran into the class and lifted me. I remember it was the Yoruba teacher who had a soft spot for me regardless of my useless Yoruba. I remember he was tall and strong with a bald head and he wore a dark grey short-sleeved suit that day. I don’t recall him running in but it’s what I surmise.

I came to in his arms, as his legs were pumping us towards the sick bay. He must have seen that I was awake, he continued running but now started asking me questions. What did you eat for breakfast? Did he ask me what my name was or is that part of my remixed version? I’d eaten yam I said then wondered if I actually had. At some point he realised I was well enough to walk. Did we ever get to the sick bay? Did they check my temperature and keep me there for a while? I do recall getting back to class and my classmates being very sympathetic. Sorry, they said. Even the class genius, whom I had a massive crush on, felt sorry. I sat down, a strange kind of celebrity. Except I felt like finding some route to crawl to the centre of the earth through. I never mentioned the incident to anyone at home. She’s embarrassed, the, now subdued, Maths (Science?) teacher kept saying. ‘Mortified’ would have been more accurate.

  1. Ayodele
    July 3, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Me likey.

  2. Susanna Coleman
    July 5, 2013 at 7:52 pm


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