RESULTS

RESULTS DAY. 5 YEARS AGO. 18.

MY EYES SCANNED EVERY INCH OF MY FACE FOR BLEMISHES OR EVEN, WAIT, ARE THOSE DARK CIRCLES I SEE? UGH, I LOOK LIKE A PANDA. BUT THE PANDA LOOK IS KIND OF IN NOW, I THINK. AH, WHATEVER. EVERYONE WHO IS HARDWORKING HAS PANDA EYES. SO, IT ISSSSS A GOOD THING. I CALLED MUM TO HURRY UP AND SEND ME, WE WERE ALREADY RUNNING LATE. SHE EYED MY SKIRT AND ASKED ME IF I WAS SURE I WANTED TO WEAR A SHORT SKIRT TO SCHOOL. YESSSSS MUM, ITS NOT THAT SHORT, I MEAN LIKE IF YOU COULD ONLY SEE WHAT THE OTHER KIDS WORE -.- BUT INSTEAD OF SAYING THAT, I SAID DEMURELY, ”ITS JUST A SHORT WHILE TO GET MY RESULTS, I WON’T TAKE 10 MINUTES.” SHE PURSED HER LIPS AND SAID NOTHING. 

WE REACHED SCHOOL IN RECORD TIME, 7 MINUTES! NOT BAD..I SEARCHED THE CROWD OF PEOPLE FOR MY EX-CLASSMATES, SOME PEOPLE WERE ALREADY HERE. SU, JASON, SARA..BUT WHERE WAS JENA? HMM, MY IRRITATION CLEARLY SHONE ON MY FACE BECAUSE SOMEONE TAPPED ME ON THE SHOULDER AND JOKINGLY SAID, ”WOKE UP ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BED?” I TURNED AROUND ONLY TO GIVE A SARCASTIC, ”HA HA.” AS I WHACKED MY BESTIE EUJIN. HE WAVED HIS RESULTS IN MY FACE. THE FLIMSY PIECE OF PAPER SOUNDED LIKE IT WAS LAUGHING AT MY IRRITATION. 

”WHERE’S YOUR RESULTS?”

”I HAVEN’T COLLECTED IT..”

”WHAT? WHY? SCARED IS IT?”

I STARED AT HIM WITH A  -___- EXPRESSION. IF I WAS SCARED, I WOULDN’T HAVE COME TODAY TO COLLECT IT, I THOUGHT TO MYSELF. ”TSK, SHADDAP LA YOU..I’M WAITING FOR JENA. WHAT DID YOU GET?”

”HUH.. OH, JUST GET IT FIRST, SHE WON’T MIND.”

I TRIED TO SNATCH HIS PAPER AWAY FROM HIM, BUT HE LIFTED IT UP AND BACKWARDS AWAY FROM ME. JUST THEN, THE OTHER GUYS FROM EUJIN’S CLASS WITH THEIR RESULT SLIPS GATHERED AROUND US ALL SHOUTING AND LAUGHING AND THUMPING EACH OTHER ON THEIR BACKS. I ROLLED MY EYES AND WALKED TO THE BENCH. AS I SAT THERE TEXTING JENA, A CALL CAME THROUGH AND IT WAS MUM ASKING IF I WAS DONE. SHE DECIDED THAT SHE WOULD PICK ME UP ON THE WAY HOME LATER ON. JUST AS I HUNG UP THE PHONE WITH HER, JENA STEPPED INTO MY VIEW. 

I JUMPED UP AND HUGGED HER, ”YOU CAME!” SHE LOOKED LIKE SHE WOULD HAVE RATHER STAYED AT HOME AND SIMPLY NODDED. WE WENT TO OUR CLASS’ RESULTS COLLECTION TABLE AND SHOWED OUR IDENTIFICATIONS TO THE RELEASE SLIP TEACHER IN CHARGE. I SAW MINE BRIEFLY AND SMILED AT JENA WHOSE EXPRESSION CLOUDED WHEN SHE SAW HERS. 

”SO?”

”SO, WHAT?”

”HOW IS IT, YOUR RESULTS?”

”BETTER THAN I EXPECTED. 3 A’S THE REST B’S, C’S D’S.”

I NODDED. SHE LOOKED AT ME EXPECTANTLY WITH A LITTLE BORED EXPRESSION TOO. ”I DID WORST THAN I EXPECTED, BUT, I AM GRATEFUL.7 A’S 2 B’S 1 C,” MY VOICE HARDENING A LITTLE AT THE MENTION OF MY C.

THEN JENA SAID SOMETHING TOTALLY UNEXPECTED, ”YOU GUYS WHO ALWAYS DO WELL ACADEMICALLY ALWAYS SEEM TO BE SO SAD WHENEVER YOU GET ONE MARK/ HOWEVER MANY MARKS LESS THAN WHAT YOU GET. I MEAN, IF IT WAS ME GETTING YOUR RESULTS, I’D BE DAMN HAPPY ALREADY.” 

UNEXPECTED BECAUSE, ALTHOUGH JENA WAS MY CLOSEST GIRL FRIEND IN HIGH SCHOOL, SHE ALWAYS STRUCK ME AS SOMEONE VERY BRIGHT AND KNOWLEDGEABLE JUST NOT STUDIOUS OR INTERESTED TO EXCEL ACADEMICALLY. WHILE I ON THE OTHER HAND, NOT VERY BRIGHT BUT WORKED MY ASS OFF TO GET GOOD GRADES. I MULLED OVER HER WORDS FOR THE REST OF THAT DAY, TO ME, IT FELT LIKE A REMINDER THAT RESULTS ARE JUST RESULTS OF PAST DILIGENCE; NOTHING MORE. 

In my asian culture, results are everything. And now, where there are no grades in my professional papers; whether you get a pass or a fail is everything. And society today is consumed by how many pieces of papers, uh, i mean certifications one can get to deem you more ‘fit’ for a job. It is not everything, it is just a form of idiotic measurement scholastic institutions use to write a person’s worth down on paper; to somewhat immortalise that part of a person, while knowing full well that time is fleeting and the human brain is one that cannot store up information for long periods of time.

For we are mortal. And so are results.  


I am consumed with the pressure to pass, to not let my family down, but pride comes before a fall, and it looks like i have fallen. 

19Penang-Bridge-Malaysia-940x624

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