To be perfectly honest, I had absolutely no emotion when my name flashed on the screen and when I saw the unimpeachable streak of As on the cert. I felt like a pair of lungs, desperately gasping for air, for something to feel, something to shout and smile about, but ultimately and utterly crumpled under the total vacuum of emotion. If anything, the faintest emotion I had was that of melancholy – a slow, smouldering sense of survivor’s guilt for there were so few names on the screen and so few of my close friends in the library where only the top-scorers were herded to.
The very first genuine emotion I could remember feeling was shock. Not the positive kind but the “denial” kind. And my first actual reaction was to believe there was some kind of error in my results. My results still don’t make any sense to me. How I even got higher than a C for math, let alone an A will probably remain one of the greatest mysteries in my life.
A few moments later, when I was still coming to terms with reality and my emotions, or the lack thereof, I was inundated by congratulations and advise. It piled over and dripped over like a thousand avalanches and tidal waves. Dazed would the best description of my state of being (and thank goodness for the flask of Bacardi I had brought with me).
As the reality of the situation steadily converged upon me, I found myself drowning under what would could be termed, the unbearable weight of the future. My own ambitions until then have been disproportionately and pathetically puny to what I actually got for the A-Levels, and I am now obligated to have greater ambitions. With all my sincerest gratitude that it is due to teachers, family and friends, I feel ever more displaced and lost.
I feel like a worm forced out of its cosy earth.