The clock struck 11.00, puncturing the silence in the examination hall indicating the time was up; I wrapped up my essay on Industrial Revolution and waited patiently as the invigilators walked around collecting answer scripts from all the candidates who sat for the exam. It was my last paper of my fall semester. An old graying lady, clad in togs from a bygone area, with eyes which have lost their youthful glimmer stood by my side, her wicked eyes pierced through my papers, her threatening hands reached to pull it away from me. I surrendered it, and compelled myself to look on the bright side; I had successfully completed 20 credit hours in a single semester.
I walked out of the examination hall, I could hear the whole place buzzing with voices; I jostled and pushed through the crowd and made a beeline for the narrow door out the institution. Under the shade of an old tree I stood and looked back at the mighty building. Vivid memories flashed in my head, from the first day I set foot into this institution, to that moment I stood there. My eyes stung as I remembered the ups and downs I endured to actually stand there and look at that building with the amount of satisfaction I felt.
It was approximately 7 months ago when it all started. I could have been the poster boy of happyville, but in 20 seconds, the plans I had to the UK to get my degree fell apart. The memory of it still mingles in my mind as if it was just yesterday it all had happened. Daddy - a policeman; man of the roads, had been involved in an accident. My eyes brimmed with tears as I entered the ward. There were tubes around him which reminded me of chains and shackles in a torture chamber. Saying I was shocked would be an understatement. I was trembling. I noted that his breathing was steady, relieved washed over me, and I thanked God. My eyes caught upon my mother and my little sister sitting at a corner, muttering silent prayers, reminding me that I had to be strong, for them at least. At that point my dad's worker called my mom telling her that there were customers waiting for my dad. Apart from being an honest policeman, Dad was in the business line too. Being the eldest and the only son- I took control of the situation- what else was I to do? - I told my helpless mother, that I would deal with it, knowing full well that I didn't know head from tail about my father's business; nonetheless, I had to do something. I called my best pal Navin to pick me up from the hospital and take me to my dad's shop.
The next four weeks were horrendous. Juggling my dad's business and classes together, I was a mess, especially with my semester examination creeping about the curb. I felt as though my whole world was crashing down on me and I had nothing and no one to hold on to. It was as if I was lost and the whole world was laughing at me, mocking me for faltering. I was helpless. But I believe at that point, my good friend Navin, was God's way of easing things out for me, because at every breaking point he was there to say "Go Bro You Can Do It". It was because his litany of support that I grew stronger not only to run my dad's business, but to study with my utmost capability. But fate had its own way of dousing my flicker of hope. My A-levels results were released and I fell short of the requirements of the universities I applied for. Although mildly disheartened, I managed to not let it get in the way of my goals. It was a mere glitch, one I would surpass. I decided to further my studies in the Land Of Opportunities by enrolling myself to do the American Degree Program in Sunway University College.
Books and recyclable items (with regards to dad's business) were my best friends. I would go for my classes during the wee hours of the morning and return to my dad's business place at noon and finally head home long after the sun has set. From burning the midnight oil studying, to solving business complications, my days just weren't long enough. But none of that shook the determination to achieve my goal. I was going set foot in one of the renowned universities, The United States could offer. There was no two ways about it.
And just like being sucked through a vortex, I was drawn back to reality. My eyes were still fixated on the building. I was persistent, I was driven, I had set my goals in life, and I was not one to be dispirited by glitches along my journey to achieve them. I was armed and ready to face whatever hurdles life was going to throw my way, and with that thought in my head and a smile on my face, I turned around and walked away...