When I was asked to leave and the door was finally shut behind me, I knew life would never be the same again.
I remember vividly that fateful day. It was November 7th 2003, the second day of Kenya certificate of Primary Examination (K.C.P.E.) The day before, we had sat for Mathematics. English language and English composition papers respectively. I knew I was good at English but poor in Mathematics. However, I had answered all the questions to the best of my ability. For the second day, the papers included Science, Kiswahili lugha and Kiswahili Insha, in that order. It was my worst day because I was poor in all. I had in the past burnt the midnight oil in vain.. I could neither understand Science nor anything in Kiswahili.. As such, I looked down, upon the teachers teaching those subjects and the subjects themselves. No matter how hard I tried, I always flopped. In fact, it made me very uncomfortable because my target was to pass very well and go to my dream school which was Starehe Boys’ Centre in Nairobi.
I therefore had a plan up my sleeves which was bound to work to my advantage. Meshack, my classmate and my best friend was the best in Science and Kiswahili. The previous day, I had spent the night at his home with the permission of my father. We were to revise together. Nevertheless, it was never to be.’ Meshack wanted to read “GHCRE” and not Science. He was my rival in “GHCRE” and we both knew it. We had even aspired to go to the same National School but that was beside the point. Over and above all, we were great friends or so I thought.
It was then we had suggested that we cheat. He was to write Science answers for me in a paper then throw it my direction. At first I was a bit uncomfortable with the plan as I was the class prefect and an exemplary behavior was expected of me let alone being a role model to the other pupils. Sensing my discomfort, he had assured me that there would be no harm as he would do it discreetly. With no alternative to fall back to, I played along. Little did I know that Meshack had bad motives. He was actually not a friend but a wolf in a sheep’s clothing. He had told the chief invigilator who had encouraged him to write fake answers, throw the paper in my direction, and then the invigilator would intercept it. That was what happened on that fateful chilly morning.
As I bent to pick up the crumpled paper with Science answers, Mr. Muli the invigilator saw me and walked straight to my desk. It was easy as he had just been waiting for it. I could not believe my eyes. I panicked and started sweating as I denied having picked up anything from the floor. There was a pandemonium as he tried to force it out of my fist. At that spur of the moment, the supervisor stormed into the examination room and flushed me out. I glanced back at Meshack but he was as busy as a bee at his paper, I was shocked. Outside, I pleaded and begged the supervisor to forgive me but he could hear nothing of it. Leading me to our headteacher’s office, he made me know that it was Meshack who had alerted them. I felt sick at the mention of Meshack’s name. When we got to the office, our head teacher Mrs. Nasika was dazed to see me. “What are you doing here; you should be doing your Science?” She asked looking terribly worried. I could not answer her; it was the supervisor who explained to her what had happened. He went on to state in facts and figures that the Examination Council is tired of examination cheats like me.
I started crying uncontrollably, pleading and begging once more for forgiveness. Tears flowed down my cheeks freely blinding me partially. When I saw tears dangling in Mrs. Nasika’s eyes, my heart pained me. I knew I was the apple of her eye. She had a soft spot for me in her heart. Somebody looked very disappointed at me. After wiping the tears from her eyes, she asked the supervisor I reconsider his stand. She even begged him to deal with the school but allow me to go back to the examination room. He could hear nothing of it. Instead he bellowed, “This candidate must leave the examination centre now. He can come tomorrow for the final paper” His eyes looking calm betraying the devil that he really was
The head teacher raised her head and looked at me. When our eyes locked, I read it all ant knew I had lost the battle “You heard him, go home.” She said, her voice trembling with pity and eye tearful. I was heartbroken. Once more hot tears blinded my eyes but I chose to obey her and left as the supervisor closed the office door behind me. It was then I knew life would never be the same again slowly but with heavy steps I walked home knowing that there’s always a second chance, I stopped crying over spilt milk because it was useless to do so.
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