Broken But Not Shattered ‘Episode One’ By Wasa A. Jerry
‘BROKEN BUT NOT SHATTERED’.
By Wasa A. Jerry
_Wrong Prayer Point_
Laraba’s joy knew no bounds when she found out that she had gained admission into Unibrax University Janruwa to Study Pure Chemistry. Most of her friends who wrote JAMB at the same time with her were not so fortunate. So she had to celebrate her BIG God.
The day she first came to Janruwa was the first time she left the Middle belt to the North Southern part of the country. The scorching sun of Janruwa gave her a very hot reception . “So it’s true that Janruwa is the last bus stop before hell? Nawao”. she said
After collection of confirmation of admission and finishing every registration, she was fortunate to get a bed space in Mamasi hostel. Thus, her life on campus began.
Laraba was the serious type right from time and fortunately for her, she brought her seriousness from her home town to Janruwa. She attended lectures assiduously making sure she signed attendance as she was told she needed 75% to enable her write exams.
She was among those who in their first year in the university said to themselves “I must graduate with first class no matter what it takes”. Her mind was made up and she believed nothing could stop her.
“Una good evening o”. Laraba greeted her room mates as she entered their room one evening.
“Ahn! Ahn! Laraba Jackometer(Bookworm). Since morning na now you dey come back?” Gloria asked. Laraba smiled in response.
“Abeg take am easy o. Don’t kill your self in Unibrax”. Gloria added.
“Abeg no discourage the girl joor”. Bose another of her roommate, who was busy grating pepper for her evening meal said from across the room.
“See my dear”, Bose continued. “For you to pass through this school in one piece, you need to devote yourself to God first, then your book. No more, no less”.
“Gaskiya kam”. Saratu chipped in from her corner where she was folding her washed clothes.
“Hmm…. By God’s grace I want to graduate with a first class”. Laraba said confidently.
The girls including Sharon who was lying in the bed pressing her phone bursted into laughter except Bose who just smiled.
“I love your dreams babe”. Sharon said after getting a hold on her laughter.
Laraba was so confused and couldn’t tell why they laughed because she didn’t see anything comical in what she said.
“Iyeee…Abu na first class. I pray you will still say that after you finish UG1 sha”. Fareeda, another of roomie said.
“Say that ke? She must settle for less joor. No be Unibrax wey me and una know?” Saratu said. “Anyways, I wish you well sha. Amma fa sai kin rike wuta sosai”. She added turning to her.
“Laraba Don’t mind them you hear. They are just sour grapes. Keep the fire burning and nothing can stop you OK? Keep aiming for the sun so that incase you fall, you’ll land on the moon”. Sis Bose said to her and she smiled and nodded.
“Thank you” she said to her.
She made a silent promise to dissapoint those sour grapes who were trying to lower her dreams. She quickly prepared noodles to eat before she laid down to sleep.
The next morning, after waking up and saying her prayers, she picked the CHM 112 lecture notes she bought the previous day and went to the library. She studied it for four hours straight without stopping until she yawned and started feeling tired and hungry.
She switched on her mobile data to take a break, and on UG1 pure chemistry students’ whatsapp page, she saw a photo of a notice. The info it contained was that they will be having MAT101 CA in two weeks time.
Even though she was a bright student, she detested Arithmetic with a great passion. That was because she found it difficult to understand. No matter how hard it was explained to her, she still couldn’t get it. Nonetheless she started preparing for the test.
Eventually, the day for the test came and she wrote it. She knew within her that she didn’t do well and she wasn’t happy.
On her way to the hostel after the test, she saw a group of students gathering at a notice board in physics department. They were scrutinizing a chain of A4s pasted on the board. On getting there, she heard exclamations like:
“Chai…I don die!”
“Jesu mi oo!”
“Nawao…!” and so on.
She moved closer to the board and on it she saw a list of admission numbers. Above them, it was boldly inscribed “THE STUDENTS WITH THE FOLLOWING ADMISSION NUMBER HAVE BEEN WITHDRAWN FROM THE UNIVERSITY”.
What that meant, she didn’t know. She just shrugged and passed, with the intention of asking her roommates since they weren’t freshers.
“It’s OK now Sharon. No be the end of life be this na. Stop crying”. Fareeda was saying when Laraba entered the room.
“How can I stop crying?…Three solid years, wasted for nothing. Where do I start from?” Laraba heard Sharon lament amidst bitter cries.
“Sis Sharon what happened? Are you OK?” Laraba asked worriedly but Sharon was too bitter to reply. All of their roommates were making efforts to placate her to no avail.
“Me, Sharon, withdrawn after three years in this school. Physics department it shall never be well with you”. She kept on lamenting.
‘Withdrawn?’ Laraba thought to herself. She then remembered the list she saw earlier. What does that even mean? And is it that bad? she kept thinking.
She would have asked straight away but she knew the time was not right. So she waited.
Later that evening when she saw Bose preparing to go for night class, she also prepared to follow her.
While they were walking, Laraba asked.
“Ehen sister Bose, why was Sharon crying like that?”
“Hmm, she was withdrawn from school”.
“What is the meaning of that?”
“Sent away from school”.
“You mean expelled?” Laraba asked on.
“Not really. I’ll rather say dismissed”.
“Based on poor performance.”
“I don’t understand.”
“You see, Unibrax do send students home at the beggining of every new session if their academic performance for the previous session is below average. For Freshers like you, if one is unable to hit a minimum of 1.5 cgpa, that person will be withdrawn or dismissed. So he or she has to take jamb again. While it’s 2.0 for all returning students.
This revelation really shook Laraba to the bone even though she told no one. She imagined the pain and trauma being withdrawn could lead to.
From that moment, her prayer point changed from ‘Dear Lord, help me hit first class’ to ‘Dear Lord, help me pass withdrawal point’.
When the results for MAT101 CA was released, she scored 7 over 30. She was disappointed and heart broken. She cried in silence and couldn’t eat properly for over a week. She became more scared of withdrawal and instead of focusing on her dreams of ‘FIRST CLASS’ she focused on exceeding withdrawal point.
During every of her morning and evening prayer, she always prayed:
“Ya Rabbana, God of the weak and defenseless, I beg you to come to my aid. Help me pass MAT101 even if it is with an E. Also, I do not want to ask for much, please help me attain 2.0 CGPA so that I won’t be withdrawn.”
Thanks for reading episode one of ‘BROKEN BUT NOT SHATTERED’.
Your comments and criticisms are highly welcome.
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SAY NO TO PLAGIARISM!
Next episode will be posted soon.