She was bent over her books but studying she was not. Instead she was lost in thought, thinking about her life and the circumstances that now confront her. She was happy she had this opportunity but she knew she had to work harder than all the others. For her this was the last chance of making something of her life and she couldn’t afford to mess up the chance.
She was from a part of the country where education for women was almost a taboo. Women were thought better educated if they were uneducated. In her place women had fixed roles of wives and mothers and nothing else they were to be seen and not heard. So her mother’s decision to send her to school put her in bad light with the community elders.
To compound issues, she was an only child and her father had passed on a year before. Even when he was alive he was at loggerheads with his family on his choice to send his daughter to school. With all this at the back of her mind, she knew for a fact that if she fails this exam she will be doomed. As her mother told her , her uncle’s were already parading potential husbands for her. According to them she was gradually growing beyond marriageable age.
She was tired and sleepy but she chose to numb her senses to both. She had to do her absolute best to pass. As tired as she was, she got up and went to the bathroom to wash her face. Hoping that in that process she will be refreshed to continue her studies. Whatever it takes she thought, she must pass this scholarship exam so she will have a future not tied to somebody’s ability to offer to pay her school fees.
She was determined to prove all men wrong and show them that a woman is beyond a wife and a mother. That a woman too can aspire and indeed be better than men in her chosen field of endeavor.