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Story Time: Everlasting joy

Story Time: Everlasting joy

The morning sunlight fell on bed, as if trying to wake me up. It was 7:30 already and I quickly got up to get ready to face the new day. It was the day of my maths exam.

As I waited for my school van, I went through my maths notebook. Upon reaching the school, I was ready to face the day’s challenge.

“Students, please take your seats!” announced the teacher. I could see fear on the faces of my classmates. I didn’t feel any fear because I was ready for the question paper which I was to receive after a few minutes. I took my seat and confidently waited for Ms Jensen to hand out the question paper to me.

As Ms Jensen started distributing the answer sheet and question paper, I could hear the deep breaths of the person sitting behind me. I turned back to find Maria there. She was breathing heavily. Softly, I asked her if everything was fine.

Maria answered that she wasn’t feeling well and she had been having chest pain for the last couple of days. By this time the teacher was approaching us, so I sat up straight and received my question paper. Soon I became engrossed in answering the questions.

I had done all the questions except three that I was a little confused about. I wanted to ask Ms Jensen a question but when I looked for her, I could not see her in the classroom.

I realised that she had probably gone for some work and the CCTV in the room was being used to monitor us. As we had only 10 minutes left, I hurried to solve the questions, but before I could start, I heard Maria’s heavy breathing again and suddenly she fell off from her chair and became unconscious. Everybody turned to look at her in surprise and concern, but nobody moved to help her or stopped solving the question paper.

A thought crossed my mind that life was more important than an exam. I immediately left my paper incomplete and rushed to help her. Without the support of anybody else, I carried her and hurried towards the staffroom. I found Ms Jensen going through some papers.

Seeing Maria in such condition, Ms Jensen quickly rushed to help me in making Maria comfortable on the chair. Ms Jensen asked me to go back to my class and complete my exam and she would take care of Maria.

I rushed back to the class but by the time I arrived, the examination time was over and Ms Uzma was collecting everybody’s answer sheets. When I reached my chair, I found that my answer sheet had already been taken.

I went to her and pleaded for a few extra minutes to complete my paper but she didn’t agree. I went home feeling very stressed, but didn’t share anything with my parents as I didn’t want them to worry.

On the result day, I was extremely nervous because this was the annual result and there was going to be an award ceremony where all the students and their parents would be present.

I was nervous when I arrived with my parents and we went towards my class to take my result. I had failed in the maths exam, the only subject in which I didn’t get an A grade. My parents were more surprised than disappointed as I had always got good marks. I felt tears flowing down my cheeks and I couldn’t meet their eyes.

After this, we went towards the hall where the award distribution was going to take place. The position holders and those with the highest marks in different subjects were called on the stage and given awards and certificates. I was sad that I was not going to be among them this year.

After the position holders from my class had been called on the stage to receive their awards, I heard Ms Jensen’s voice as she announced, “We have a special award this year for this class. One student who has failed the exam of a subject has been allowed to pass it under special consideration by the school. She is a student who risked her annual exam to save another student who suddenly became seriously ill during the paper. We are proud of her selfless act and we salute her. She is Iram from class eight and we want to present her the award of a helping hand.”

As Ms Jensen finished and everyone started to clap, I felt like I was flying up in the air. I could see the bright smile on my father’s face. I hurried towards the stage and was handed the award by the principal.

Quite simply, that was the happiest moment of my life.

Published in Dawn, Young World, November 18th, 2017

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