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Essay: Being The Best

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Essay: Being The Best by : 10:18 pm On August 20, 2018

Always Grumbling. Ever-Complaining. Unsatisfied. These words correctly describe Mr. Aro after he logs in to the school website to check his semester results.

 

“That lecturer sef”, he would say with a disgusting look on his face accompanied with a loud hiss. “Why is he so difficult to please?”

 

“How far? Wetin you get?” I would say, drawing near to peer into his BlackBerry.

 

“Guy, just leave me. E bad gon.”

 

This scenario always plays out throughout the seven semesters we had in school.

 

I would log in to my page with my Nokia 2700 – already discouraged by Aro’s statement, yet willing to know how bad it exactly is. I would see a ‘C’ or a ‘B’ and think to myself, “not that bad”. Occasionally, I’d seen ‘A’s and I’d screamed in excitement.

 

He’d always ask what I got. I did tell him for the first four semesters. A particular event opened my eyes that made me stop telling him anything.

 

Well, he’d lost his BlackBerry in our fourth semester on campus, we had just resumed 300 Level. He begged to use my phone to check his results. Well, that was no problem by me. The only issue was; I had set my browser to automatically save recent pages I visit temporally, just to save me the problem of having to waste data if I wish to revisit those sites. It really doesn’t make sense outside the context that I was browsing on the 10MB weekly bonus from MTN.

 

He returned my phone grumbling, complaining and unsatisfied. I was used to it by now. I was happy for him that at least, he never repeated a course. I slid my phone in to my pocket. And kept talking with a friend.

 

Something reminded me I could see his result if I wanted to. At first, I didn’t, then curiosity took the driver’s seat. I picked up my phone anyways I received the shock of my life. All his results were in their 70s  and 60s. Absolutely excellent results. If that was what he normally scored at the end of semesters, I was certain he will graduate on top of the class.

 

I couldn’t hold it. I walked to him and handed over my phone to him

 

“WHAT!!!!”, he yelled. “What’s wrong with you?”

 

“No, what’s wrong with you?” I yelled back. “Why are you such an imp?”

 

“What?”

 

“Yes, you keep saying your results are bad. Look at mine”. I turned my phone and showed him my 50s and less-frequent 60s plus a few 40s.

 

He looked at me with little surprise and said “Well, that is your result. Not mine.”

 

I felt insulted. I could shot him in the head at that moment.

 

“Wha…”

 

“We have different goals, different ambitions”, he continued. “Look, I’ve never scored above 90 before in this God-forsaken department”. I’ve never scored more than 79. “I had lots of perfect scores back in secondary school and the Polytechnic from where I came here. It’s just been impossible here,” he sobs, fighting back tears. “It feels like I’m getting dumber by the day. I might leave this school a total lunatic, who knows.”

 

I was looking at him like a total lunatic would.

 

“Guy, free me.” he picked up his bag. “I’m better than those 70s these lecturers are giving me. Hell, do you realise where my IQ stands? Do you?”

 

He was expecting some form of answer. But I had none.

 

“You all have special abilities, talents… skills. What are you again? Yea! You’re a writer. Right?”

 

“Well…”

 

“You’re a writer. AY is a terrific graphic designer. But I have none of those. This, school, exams, binge-jacking, that’s where I have special abilities. It’s the only thing I’m good at. Now, they’re trying to take that away from me. It’d be a mess if I don’t leave this faculty as the best graduating student. Maybe overall best in the school. You’re going to write a book someday, and maybe it will become a best-seller. But this? This is my shot at being prominent. On that day when we’re convocating and the VC announces my name as the best student in the department, faculty, and the school if these old professors grade me justly. That moment has to happen. It is my only shot at fulfillment.”

 

He walked away, I chased after him, and tried to tell him something positive.

 

“You’re doing a poor job at convincing me to change my mind. So, shut it.”

 

I never recovered from that experience.

 

He graduated as the best student ever from the department and the second best in the whole school. I should mention. He found a girlfriend and he met Jesus. So, losing the title of the Overall Best Graduating Student didn’t hurt him so much.

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