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Keily, the Bookworm Part-6

I discovered my passion for writing after I quit my day job. So I began to write fiction stories, self-help books, and articles, blogs, etc.

Pic: Teenage Keily

Pic: Teenage Keily

Seven years later…

Keily was in the afternoon shift of a new school in grade 9. Her sister, Natalie had blossomed into a little girl studying in the morning shift of the same school in grade 3.

Keily was not very happy in the new school. She wasn’t excelling unlike what she did in the previous grades in the other school.

She didn’t straight away come first in her grades any longer. Studies got tougher, and Dad felt he no longer needed to guide her all the time. He let her learn, make mistakes and relearn. But he was happy to help if she asked for guidance in any of the courses. He was aware that she wasn't doing well unlike in her previous school. Yet, he knew his interference in her studies was the sole reason that the father-daughter relationship had distanced so much. He wanted to make amends for that because deep inside he did love her elder daughter a lot. He wanted Keily to realize it.

But Keily had no time to give thoughts to it. She was desperately looking for ways to improve her grades in class. Once in a while, she did ask for Dad's guidance, and he was happy to help her out. Sometimes, if Keily lingered her studies with Dad, he lost his temper like before, and Keily would be sorry that she had asked for Dad’s assistance in the first place.

Dad didn’t opt for a home tutor. He strongly believed Keily would work it out by herself and ask for his help as well.

Two years went away fast. It was time for Keily to prepare for O-level exams under the University of London. Dad let Keily prepare for them solely by herself. He trusted her to be responsible for the first biggest examination of her life.

Keily made a step-by-step daily routine. She had about six months to help herself take preparation. She progressed something every day. Some days were more productive than others.

She sacrificed watching TV and reading novels, which were her favourite past times, just to make herself ready for the menacing exams.

At this point, she remembered how her first exam in grade 1 had intimidated her and how magically everything had turned out so well.

But this time, she sensed there would be no magic like that. You reap what you sow. If you put in enough effort, you would get results. The magic of those days all that long ago seemed to have been lost.

The first O-level exam day approached. Keily lost all hope, and tears filled her eyes. Dad asked Mom to recite the Holy Book for Keily’s sake.

As Dad got inside his parked car in the garage, so did Keily, but she realized she couldn't control herself any longer. Big hot tears fell down her cheeks, and she started to cry in silence. Dad noticed fortunately and gave her his handkerchief.

“Don’t get puzzled, Keily. You should be able to make it”, said Dad. He fumbled for more consoling words, but he felt in a fix unable to speak more, unable to calm down Keily and stop her from crying profusely.

Dad drove on and let Keily cry on his handkerchief. The exam center, British Council was in sight after quite a while. Dad said quickly, “Cheer up, Keily. You shouldn’t show your weakness to the world. You should be ready.”

Keily stopped crying immediately. She saw a crowd of students about her age from different schools gather on the streets and pavements around the main gate.

One by one, they were all let inside. Keily was also let in after she showed her admit pass.

Then they passed through another gate, and there among greeneries was a chart in stand boldly waiting for everybody to see. It was the seating arrangement plan for the exam hall. Keily matched the candidate number on her admit pass with that of the chart and soon found the row and column of her seat. Classmates from her school also noted down their seating arrangement. Then they all gathered outside the hall, talking solemnly and sometimes cutting jokes too. The laughter in such a grave situation helped Keily a lot. She realized she needn’t take it so seriously rather give herself the best shot.

It was an arithmetic exam. And she knew the pattern of question papers of previous years, and she had practiced plenty of them at home. Yes, she would make it.

When they were called inside, Keily found her seat according to the chart outside and sat down. She placed her pen and pencil box along with the admit pass on the table.

They were asked to hear recorded instructions, and they were handed out the question paper. They were requested to fill in their name and candidate number and other relevant information, which they could look up from the admit pass.

The exam was for 1.5 hours and time flew fast. Keily answered the questions in her answer script and just completed writing seconds before the finish time. She had hardly the time to revise.

Dad was waiting for Keily to come out of the center. She talked to her friends briefly, bade goodbye and reached for her Dad’s car with a smile on her face.

Dad asked, “So, how was it? Were you able to answer all the questions?”

Keily replied, “Yes, it was ok. I just managed to answer all, but I didn’t get the time to revise.”

Dad said, “That’s not good. I guess the time was tight.”

Keily replied, “Yes, it was.”

One by one, Keily got over all her O-level exams. It would be about a month during which she could enjoy the complete bliss of a carefree life. She could wake up late and have a late breakfast and do things in her way. Dad didn’t bother her much until the Result Day appeared.

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Previous Related Article

Keily, the Bookworm- Part 5

Part-5 shows Keily admiring the greeneries of the park nearby along with family, herself enjoying her workbook at home, Mom and Dad arranging for their baby's first birthday, and Keily escaping to the living room after the party was over to go over her lessons all by herself. To read more, click the above link.

© 2020 Rosina S Khan

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