Let me start by saying that I graduated with a cgpa of 4.09. I’d always been an As and Bs student. Wasn’t the most serious but when exams come around I can read the entire note and finish an entire textbook. People in my department always wondered how I did it. Some thought I used to sort lecturers cos I was hardly in class. The only secret was that I partied hard, and read only when it mattered.
The day I was caught with expo was in the second semester of my final year. Our timetable was so jumbled up that some core courses were put together back to back (una sabi as some timetable dey sabi useless). After I finished the exam for that evening by 5pm, I discovered that the next paper was in the morning of the following day. I tried to read the paper but mehn the whole thing just seemed like Greek. Nothing seemed to enter my head. The numerous calculations were threatening to break my head and the owu wey dey knack the son of man that period no get one single joy. It was also the last paper for the semester so, low motivation. That was how the devil whispered to my ears:
‘Wayward pikin, tidy expo na! Do am the way you dey do am those days for 100 level.’
‘But I no get mind again like those days. This thing fit fail me o,’ I replied.
‘Oga don’t dull yourself na final year you dey. Nothing dey happen,’ the devil retorted.
It was the easier option anyway so I tidied my expo. Packed a whole notebook into one tiny sheet of paper. The next day na so I dey offload my expo into my answer sheet. My heart was racing ‘gbugum gbugum gbugum’ but I was confident that if I could download my expo into my answer sheet I was guaranteed an A in a 3 unit course.
All of a sudden an invigilator walked up to me and said, ‘Pass me your answer sheet.’ I passed my answer sheet to him and expertly slid my expo between my question paper.
The invigilator went through my answer sheet with a puzzled expression on his face and then asked me to pass my question paper. I passed my question paper to him and expertly slid my expo to the floor and stepped on it with my timberland boot. The invigilator went through my question paper with a puzzled expression on his face and then asked me to stand up.
As e come b like say water don dey pass garri, I start to dey cut am eye say make he calm down na. Why him blood too dey hot? With my eyes and a low tone I begged him, ‘Please sir… Please sir…’
Na so him voice come increase say, ‘I SAID YOU SHOULD STAND UP YOUNG MAN!’
At this point other students were looking in our direction. It seemed like the devil had chosen today of all days to disgrace me. Last paper of my final year exams. What manner of fvckery is this?
‘Bros abeg na,’ I begged with all the pity I could muster.
‘I said STAND UP!!!’
At this point I started weighing my options, as e don dey be like say devil wan use this man to spoil my career. And that was when I did the unthinkable.
With the speed of light, I reached for my expo and stuck the thing in my mouth. Na so the invigilator jump on top chair like Jackie Chan con grab my throat so I no go fit to swallow am.
‘Spit it out! I say spit it out!!’
For where. Shey dem dey teach monkey how to jump tree? I swallowed the God-damned thing, next thing I knew the invigilator landed me a very hot slap. As e be say I don confiscate the evidence, that was all I needed. I pushed him off me and turned to face him with ferocity of Sango, Thor and Amadioha combined.
‘You slapped me! Why would you slap me? What did I do? How dare you?’ I boiled, pointing my fingers in his face because if you touch lecturer dem fit expel you ooo.
‘What did you do? You brought expo into an exam hall!’
‘Which expo? Did you see me with anything? Why would you slap me?’ At this point I was holding my answer sheet and question paper as well as my school recepit and ID card. He tried to collect it from me but I slapped his hand away.
‘Oh, you think you’re smart? Mr Patrick, come please.’
Mr Patrick came over, a man that didn’t take me any course but knew me very well. I was always respectful and greeted him all the time.
‘Yes what is it?’
‘This boy brought expo to the exam hall.’
‘What? You brought expo?’
‘No sir I didn’t bring anything. I was busy writing my exams next thing I knew this man came here and started harassing me. Next thing I knew he slapped me,’ I said, turning to face my assailant with even more anger in my face, ‘Why would you slap me?’
‘You mean you have the guts to lie to me to my face? Something that you swallowed. I will deal with you today!’
‘What swallow? Did you anything in my mouth?’ I opened my mouth for all to see.
The speed with which Mr Patrick ran to get exam malpractice form still dey shock me till today. He didn’t walk o. HE RAN. As if he had been praying for this day to come. Someone that I thought was my friend lol. I hate him till tomorrow and I never greeted him after that incident. He came back with the form but none of them could get me to sign that form because once you’ve signed it you have implicated yourself which in my school (don’t ask, won’t tell) could lead to a fine as high as N70,000 and also expulsion. They all kept trying to collect my answer sheet and receipt and ID card but the way I hold am tight ehn, you go know say na my life I dey fight for.
As I don enter devil trap I might as well fight my way out of it.
‘He didn’t carry any expo na. Leave him alone!’
‘Why would you slap him?’
‘Leave him, he’s innocent!’
Shouts of support rented the exam hall, it didn’t matter that half the students in the exam hall witnessed me swallowing the evidence. Eventually they called the school security to come bundle me and lock me up. When the security detail arrived and they saw me, their hands fall. They were people I knew and I used to tip them and buy them drinks every now and then. Besides, I wasn’t the kind of guy that causes trouble.
Anyway I wasn’t allowed to write the exam again, and that was how I quickly boarded a shuttle bus back to my off campus apartment before any more stories that touch comes into play. To say that I was embarrassed and pained by everything that happened is saying the least, but I am thankful that I had the good sense to not fill the exam malpractice form. When the results came out, that particular course showed up as a missing script.
That incident cost me an extra semester in uni which I would just approximate to an extra year. It wasn’t funny then but now I can laugh lol.
Till next time,
Over to you guys. Have you ever been caught with expo before?