Mother told me I had started developing amnesia. I still remember that image though, the way Mayra looked at me, the guilt reflecting in her eyes the same way the sun always cast its light on the river behind our house at Ikene.

Mayra and I made promises. She told me how everyone in her house called her “the little genius”, and how much the teachers at Ikene had been rest assured that she would ace the exam. I could only laugh. She was a high-flying student. She didn’t even have to study much, while I battled with my “little amnesia”, and only wrote as much as I could remember.

What made Mayra accept the man’s offer, what made her give him that 500 naira, the only money aunt had given her for lunch, was something I couldn’t decipher. The only thing I remember, is that guilt I had managed to see, as I looked into my cousins eyes, and how she had curved her mouth, muttering those words, “I’m sorry”, as she looked down and started to write down words, from that piece of object we both despised, things we had promised never to engage in. I guess maybe she developed a little amnesia too, but I couldn’t really say, maybe it was the questions from the paper, things I couldn’t even attempt.

I could only shake my head in disapproval though, when the man had bent down beside me, telling me how everyone else had a higher possibility of passing than I did, and how I should gladly accept the paper. I could picture how everyone in Ikene were already calculating my results, already seeing the A’s they thought I’d have. I had thought my cousin and I were in this together, but I guess my best friend had another story to tell. And as the tears flowed down on the paper, not having any other choice, I submitted an empty paper, my name only being what I could remember.

Mayra would have only one sin I guess, but I would have two if I did, as dad already made me promise not to, I guess he believed I was his high flying daughter. Well, I guess now mum was right, I guess along with my failure, I have amnesia,…too.

By Aderolu Nuriyah (Instagram: @neesaah70)
She is a 16 yr old writer who loves writing, traveling, and had a lot of interest in photography.

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