THE streets of Four Corner Town, Kundiawa, baked under the hot sun and I covered my blonde hair and fair skin beneath an old rainbow umbrella as I strode towards the post office.
I gave a glance back and saw one of the street vendors from Dom tribe staring at my bum. I continued my walk with a smile but I was already missing those cute eyes.
I put my hand into my bilum, pulled out the cell phone and rang my dad.
“Daddy, I’m on my way to the education office.”
“For what? Are you alone?” asked dad sharply.
“My classmates told me the selection list was on the notice board. I’m in a rush and didn’t arrange for someone to accompany me.”
“Oh, you’re on a mission. Let me know the outcome,” he said.
I reached the corner of Wara Market before making a left turn to the education office.
There were students and parents flooding the street and there was a crowd encircling the noticeboard showing the Grade 11 selection list for six secondary schools.
I peeped through the crowd to read the list for Yauwe Moses Secondary School. My name wasn’t there and my heart beat faster.
I moved to the list for Mt Wilhelm Secondary School but the list did not contain my name. I felt uneasy and humiliated.
Some of the students whose names appeared on the list were excited and their face glowed. Those unsuccessful were upset and their faces dull as ashes.
I went to a list on the other side of the wall. ‘Muaina Secondary School’. As I scanned, I saw the names of classmates. I was at ease and thought that soon my eyes would catch my name.
Suddenly I saw my surname. Was it really my name? I rubbed my eyes as if seeing a ghost name. For the second time I directed my eyes to the list. It was my name not someone else’s.
My heart jumped with joy.
I strolled away from the crowd, pulled out my cell phone and dialled my dad. I told him I was selected to do Grade 11 at Muaina.
“You made me proud. You are my superwoman and we will celebrate at home. Take a ride home bow,” he said.
I walked to Wara Market and bought a betel nut. I’d never chewed before.
I chewed the buai without the proper calculation of mustard and lime and felt the sweat running like a stream all over my body. My eyes turned bleary and I walked like a drunkard towards the stone wall.
I leaned against the wall for some time and then clambered aboard a JM Back bus and rode home with the great news.