The hour hand was swaying in circles with tremendous speed, the numbers of the date increased unknowingly, months became days, days turned to hours, hours finally broken down to seconds. I was here, beads of sweat rolling down my neck, fear gripped my conscious mind, tremor was promulgated through my body, staring at the paper as the invigilator laid it on my desk.
“Shit.” I muttered under my breath when the title read “Kepentingan Pelaburan“. I had zero exposure to this topic because I had a meager amount of knowledge about investment.
I skipped to the back and scrutinised the other section of the paper, the five other essay questions were foreign to me, my palms were sweating, a paroxysm of fear haunted me, Calm down, keep a clear mind, I convinced myself. I just need to compose one of the five essays. But, my mind was completely blank.
I forced myself to write, the paper was still wordless, the situation exacerbated as minutes of the duration for the exam was inching away second by second. I need to come out with something. I hate it when the writer’s clog became an obstacle when I want to write, especially during these vital moments.
Wawasan 2020. The idea brushed past my mind, I captured it and let my pen flowed on the paper like water, luckily one of the questions could be related to my thoughts. After finishing the essay, my heart was not yet settled because I had not confront the essay about investment. I need to hand in something. I urged myself to write because scoring the trial examination was mandatory. Hence, I wrote a shitty essay about it because I had no idea.
Bahasa Melayu done. Leaving me at tenterhooks about my marks.
English language was a cinch, wrote about the adage- never judge a book by its cover, associating factual and descriptive writing in a piece of ‘art’.
My greatest downfall among all three language- Chinese. I sought advice from Cryst and Pang but it was too late, I felt so hopeless for this subject. I did put in efforts into alleviating my shortcoming, but the effort was not unremitting, I crossed my fingers that I would not fail this exam.
The poetry analysing part, the old-Chinese writing analysing part, the famous saying by poets answering part, the essay writing part completely obliterated my confidence and the hope inside me. I did eminently terrible for this paper.
A thought rummage in my mind, I need to improve my Chinese, two months or so to the actual exam. Maybe ask Cryst to teach me Chinese and I could exchange in terms of teaching her additional mathematics.
“Cryst, I have a request for you.” I spoke with determination.
“Yes?” She looked at me.
“I was thinking… if both of us could like exchange our knowledge…”
“I teach you add maths and you teach me Chinese.”
“Sure. I also need some catch-up for my add maths.” She was adamant because she was absent for month due to her infection in her cochlea and missed lots of classes.
“Thanks.” I beamed, “So… Can I go to your tuition center and teach you? Staying back after school is not a good idea, because it is going to be just both of us.”
“Oh… Yeah.” She paused, “Ok, just come when you are free.”
“Why not this Thursday? I will try to give you some last bit of guidance before the add maths exam on Friday.”
“Its like using a cup of water to put out a vicious fire though…” Her voice trailed off hopelessly.
“Nevermind. Its better than nothing.” I smiled to nullify her beaten-up thoughts.
“Thanks.” She smiled in response.
The trial examination was still alive and kicking many of us because lacking of preparation.
Thursday was Maths paper, it was a piece of cake for me, but it was not the same for Cryst and Lerr. Both of them often left me to worry about them, I did not have an apparent reason to worry for them but it just felt right to care for them. Lerr was less worrying because I noticed her improvement in her Maths subjects but Cryst was leaving my heart in anguish.
“Why did you want to teach her only?” my mum asked as she was fetching me to her tuition center.
“I just thought its good to start small…”
Silence. My mum was processing my answer. My dream is to be a Mathematician and of course I need to learn how to express my ideas in a clear manner because I lack the felicity.
“Next time I won’t fetch you again.”
“Why?” I exclaimed.
“By law, she should come to our house instead of the other way round.”
My mum was right. “Yes mum… I will ask her to do the fetching job.”
As I reached Cryst place, I waved my mum goodbye.
She welcomed me to her place, I walked through her center, saw his brother and another guy presumably one of the heads who govern this place, greeted them. Cryst led me to a classroom. She turned on the air-conditioner with only two of us using the classroom.
“Cryst, won’t it be a waste?”
“Switching on the air-cond and just both of us using the classroom…”
“Nevermind lah… It’s nothing….” She smiled, “I’m just glad you are here to help me.”
Then I noticed she was stunning rather in her school attire. I did not tell her and was trying to control my lust. Her beauty was what caught my eyes but I already had a crush on someone else and she was never my cup of tea, it was just my lust.
I took a deep breath and started explaining the pattern for the paper tomorrow. We discussed some questions about the paper tomorrow, sometimes I stole a few glances off her, I really hate myself doing it, why are men like this?
P.S. 22-26 August 2016
First time teaching formally and facing the trials