I take a deep breath as I wait for the Dean of students Mr. Ngoma to finish making his tea, I am one of those invincible students at school and now I am here looking at him and wondering what it is I am being called in his office for. My grades don’t challenge anyone neither am I active in any sports so this is coming as a shock to me. Another three minutes pass and he is not yet done, the whistling of the electric kettle is making me irritated and I just want to walk out of his office and get back to my life but it looks like I will be here much longer than expected. Another two minutes passes but still it looks like he is not finishing any time soon.
‘I called you here because I need to talk about your behavior.’ He begins after another unbearable minute or so.
I look at him, wondering what exactly he is talking about because I have no idea what this is or where it is going.
‘I have reports that your grades have been moving from bad to worse and that is not good for you.’
I sigh deeply, how is he aware of this? Where did he get the time to check my performance.
‘Do you have anything to say for yourself?’
I shake my head.
‘Beatriz you know the conditions on which you were admitted into the school and those conditions didn’t change.’
I swallow hard, I had no idea he knew about this. I had no idea any one ever knew about this except my guidance lecturer - Sue.
‘I expect nothing but the best from you and you have 30 days to improve in all your grades or you can forget about this school.’
I swallow hard.
‘Dismissed.’ He says without even looking at me
I stand up, pick up my books roughly and walk out of his office without saying another word. Life is hard as it is I didn’t expect him to make the day any harder for me.
Shimbi looks at me sympathetically when I meet her outside, we are both second year students of Public Administration at the University of Zambia.
‘Don’t tell me it wasn’t something fun.’
I shake my head.
‘I will be.’ I respond feeling all sorts of emotions
‘How about lunch at Nandos?’
I have been turning down her lunch offers the past week because I don’t have money but she doesn’t seem to relent, she keeps pushing me and honestly I don’t want to look like I am taking advantage of her kindness but it is so hard to say no to her.
‘I have grades to pull up boo, how about we have lunch together tomorrow?’ I ask
She smiles widely
‘I knew you would say this and that is why I took the initiative and bought you some food whilst you were seeing Mr. Ngoma.’
My shoulders slump, honestly I don’t know why she keeps doing this.
‘Don’t say anything, just take the food and get going.’
‘Thank you.’ I tell her before hugging her really tightly
‘You are going to squeeze the air out of me if you don’t let go of me right now.’
‘I will see you tomorrow.’
‘Take care of yourself.’ She responds
I walk over to where my car is parked and get in, I almost want to cuss immediately I settle inside because I am running out of gas and I really don’t know how I will be able to come back to school tomorrow.
As I drive out I can’t help but think of Mr. Ngoma’s words, I have honestly been trying my best to get my grades right but I could never be one of those bright students in my program. Students Like – Moono, she is the brightest student we have and from what I have heard and seen she comes from a well to do family. Shimbi’s parents have money that throw at her here and there but it is nothing compared to what Moono has and she always makes it a point to show off to the rest of the class.
I look at the garbage immediately I get out of the car when I get home, I have been calling the garbage people to collect it since last week and they keep telling me that their vehicle is down. I honestly don’t know who I wronged, the room I am renting in PHI is not up to standard but the only one I can afford, the rest of the rooms in the house have ladies occupied who hate me because according to them I am a misfit and well below their standards.
Being a Friday, they are all out and I am pretty sure they will only start returning home in the early hours of tomorrow. I put my things in my room and go to the kitchen where I start cleaning after their mess, I know I shouldn’t be doing this but at least it will keep me sane and push me through some hours before I can go to bed.