When Anurika got into the large compound of her new school, her sister Ifeoma and her friends received her very well. Everything seemed strange. Since she was a lively girl, she got familiarized with almost all the students in her class. As a result of her loquacity, she soon became very popular with them.
She tried readjusting and acquainting herself with the boarding school pattern of life. The thought of remaining in the boarding school for the next six years was like eternity to her. For a moment, she remembered those words her sister said to her about inability to cope with boarding stress. Luckily for her, she had no difficulty in getting her clothes washed and ironed. Her friends understood her weakness and had often volunteered to help her. Anurika in return used jokes to put smiles on their faces. Her friends gradually began to enjoy her company so much that Ifeoma became jealous of her sisters popularity.’Look at this little girl that has just arrived yesterday. She is the talk of the whole school while only few students know me.’ She thought.
Just like her elder sister, she would always be late for prep and could not avoid being punished. On the other hand, Ifeoma, despite being an old student, contravened the school rules and regulations. She absented herself from some of the school’s extracurricular activities and at each point in time, would be caught and punished. She preferred sleeping to any other thing. She saw no reason why anybody would try to wake her up at the mere sound of the school bell. She was surprise that Anurika got acquainted with people easily. What she had feared most about her sister was no longer a problem. Many things were very familiar to her. The fact that Anurika was lazy and could not wash clothes were clear to her friends since she started school.
Months passed and their first term examination drew nearer, Ifeoma as usual,did not read her books well. While her classmates would be studying hard for exams, Ifeoma would be simply sleeping away her time. She kept procrastinating when she would read her books. Before she realized it, the examination started. The question appeared very unfamiliar to her. Anurika had troubles in reading. She wasn’t a heavy sleeper like her sister but she had several friends that were distracting her attention. She did not manage her time judiciously during exam period, she was a bit lucky because some of the questions she answered were very similar to what she studied when she was in primary six. When results were distributed to students that participated in the examination, Ifeoma failed woefully while Anurika had a weak pass.
Ifeoma became worried. She knew she had never been serious with her studies. She performed fairly good in her previous examinations. She expected a better result this time but what she saw brought tears to her eyes. She was very sad. She just wanted to be left alone so that she could have a re-think of what she actually wanted for herself. Anurika tried in vain to console and encourage her but it didn’t really help much. She feared the forthcoming Junior School Certificate Examination Which was fast approaching. Her parents did not hesitate to express their disappointment in her poor academic performance. They scolded her severely and compared her with Bridget and her younger siblings who always came first in their examinations.
“Their mum helped them to study their books whenever they returned from school”, Ifeoma tried to defend herself. Why cant you join them, her mother interrupted.
“They will always chase us away whenever we tried to join them in their house, saying that we would distract then.” Ifeoma replied. Mrs Okonkwo pondered what her daughter said, “I can’t do anything myself. You and Anurika don’t help me in domestic chores here. I wont kill my self.” Her poor academic performance placed her in a tight coner at home. She could no longer instruct her siblings on what to do without her parents complaining and reminding her of her own inabilities.
“You cannot properly handle things that are yours and you want to enforce your opinions on your younger siblings.
Anurika on her part was not often scolded by her parents. They were kinder to her. They were sceptical about her performing well in her examinations. Her result booklet gave them reasons to relax and encouraged her to continue to read and improve on her grades at school. They told her to let go all forms of distraction.
One evening, when her husband came back from a business trip, the wife said to him, “Darling, there is something important I would like to discuss with you. It is about our children’s continuous dwindling academic performance, especially Ifeoma. She has not improved. Our neighbours are not even ready to help as they seemed to be concentrated on their children only. They keep driving Ifeoma and Anurika out whenever they wanted to study with them.”
“I think I know the reason; Anurika’s unbridled tongue is enough for anyone to keep her at bay and you cant blame them for protecting the interest of their children.” Mr Okonkwo replied.
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