Diary of Chike The JAMBite: Part1
It was already dark when Chike walked into the house like a defeated solider. His mum was in the kitchen and his dad had his eyes glued to the plasma TV in the sitting room as if his life depended on it. It was 9pm and the news was awash with the recent massacre of policemen in Lafia. “What is this country turning into?” The man hissed when his son greeted him. “Daddy, good evening,” Chike repeated but instead of a reply his father said, “Do they want to turn this whole country into a burial ground?”
When Chike was sure that his father had heard him, he made to leave but his mother surfaced at that instance. Unlike her husband, the woman was about asking her son if it was just JAMB result he had gone to check for the past seven hours. She still had words in her mouth when her husband shouted, “Jesus Christ! What a gory sight!” The woman rushed to the direction of the TV without concluding what she was saying to her son.
Chike did and sign of the cross and said, “Thank God I’ve escaped yet another night.” He shuffled to his room immediately without trying to find out the scene that got his parents screaming. Whatever it was, he knew it will form the fulcrum for that night and no one would want to find out how his JAMB had turned out at least for that night.
Chike, who for the past one week had been trying to conceal his sadness from his parent, went into his room and lay down like a log of wood. His eyes darted from the wall clock to the ceiling and back to the wall clock again. He kept shifting from one end of the bed to the other. Time rolled away, but the young man did not even remember to join his other siblings for diner. It is said the he whose house is on fire does not chase rats. Chike was disturbed so much that nothing else mattered.
Time wore on but no one cared to knock on his door to inform him that food was ready. This had never happened before. Is the evening news too bad that his parents decided to go to bed without eating? “That’s not possible,” he said aloud and dismissed the subject by assuming that someone, probably his younger brother had come to knock but he was too carried away in his thought that he did not hear him. When he could not sleep a wink after an hour, he stood up from the bed and turned the light switch on. He opened his bag and brought out his JAMB result were he hid it. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he unfolded the piece of paper that contained his score; the white piece of paper that determines whether or not he would go to the University to study his dream course.
For the first time in years, Chike cried like a baby. Although he had seen it many times but the moment he unfolded the white piece of paper and beheld his score his threshold opened and cried bitterly. He blew his nose and sighed. “I’m finished!” he mused. Just then, he began to say aloud his score as if that would convince him and probably douse his sorrow. “Aggregate 180. This cannot be! How can I score 50 in English and 50 in Biology?
“No no, somebody should explain why I will score 20 in chemistry and 60 in physics?” he said with aggression.
At the peak of his sorrow, his blackberry beeped. And suddenly, like a man possessed by an evil spirit, he rushed to where it was on top of the TV, picked it up and smashed it on the floor. “You are nothing but a black devil!”
The knock on the door made Chike Jumpy. He wanted to ignore it but when his father called out his name repeated he answered the door. “What was that sound I heard?” the man’s eyes kept searching the room.
“It… i… it’s my phone. It fell from the ceiling, nor from… from…. it fell from the TV,” Chike stammered.
“Oh, you’re crying,” the man said when his searching eyes rested on the son’s face. “Come, sit on the bed and tell me what the problem is,” he picked the scattered pieces of what remained of his son’s phone.
When Chike sat on the bed, his whole body was shaking. So at last his father would find out what he had been hiding for days…
TO BE CONTINUED