“I can’t believe I did so badly on that exam!” Tina exclaimed. She was on the verge of panicking, teary-eyed and wobbly-lipped, unable to calm down and comprehend what had just happened. Sam nodded along, “I really thought that would be my best paper, and now… I don’t know what I’m going to tell my mum!”
The rest of the day passed by in a blur. There were fights at home, frantic phone calls between the two best friends, discussing their future plan of action, and their study schedule for the next set of exams, to redeem themselves.
At school the next day, Sam and Tina got into a heated discussion with some of their classmates and teachers, Sam taking the lead this time – how could you set such a complex paper? There wasn’t enough time to study! And, there’s no way we’re qualified to write such an exam.
Tina was proud of her friend; to see her so outraged, she found solidarity in the fact that everyone was going to fail this paper. She marched on home that day, ready to explain to her mother that it wasn’t her fault; it was the teachers for making a paper so ridiculously tricky.
Despite the conversations and arguments, she felt nervous the night before she was about to receive the paper. She called Sam at bedtime, “Sam, what are we going to do? I’m feeling so anxious!” Sam calmed her down and told her there was no way anyone could do well on that paper and that we’d grab ice cream afterward to help us both feel better.
Soon, Tina had forgotten all about the paper; all she could think about was the ice cream.
It was only when the teacher walked into the class that she remembered what was about to happen. Soon, it felt like she was in a vortex of emotions – fear, despair, sudden hope, diminishing, followed by fear again. Palms sweaty, legs bouncing, and lips wobbling, Tine heard the teacher call out her name and hand her the paper. She peeked at it. 32.
She had passed! She couldn’t believe that she had passed!
Tin ran over to Sam to hug her and jump and scream in joy, but it seemed like Sam hadn’t fared so well. “Sam, are you okay?” Tina asked. Sam looked up, gave her a sad smile, and then shook her head. She felt so guilty for doing well when her friend couldn’t look her in the eye. She hugged her and tried to comfort her the best she could.
Slowly, she took the paper from Sam’s hands to assess how bad the damage was. Like she did before, she only took a peek. Then a look again. Something had to be wrong. Indeed, the 0 there didn’t make sense. Could it be? Could it really be a 90?
Tina turned to find her friend wiping away her tears. It felt like she could burst with rage. Instead, she chose to stay quiet and embrace life’s greatest lesson – never trust a friend after an exam.
(Picture credits: Pexel)