Remember Every Road Leads Somewhere; Part (II) – By Emmanuel Takyi-Appiah.

After a rather long, unpleasant and boring wait between completing Junior Secondary School and the release of results, the Mid Day News caster announced the release of the results for the Basic Education Certificate Examination. My face lit up with anxiety and happiness, the wait was at last over, I am sure the feeling was somehow like what Dr Nkrumah felt when he declared Ghana an independent land. Immediately our rather unfocused jabbering became a focused discussion about when to go to our alma mater for our copies. We all run home to inform our parents and guardians about the news.  We all later in the day gathered at Amartey’s home and reached a decision; we were going for our results the next day.

The morning was a drizzly one but it wasn’t enough to deter a troop of four anxious boys wanting to know how they performed in an examination. The usual meeting points had not changed except the travel route changed from the longest to the shortest and the pace at which we walked was a fast one. We arrived at our alma mater and we weren’t surprised to find a full house. Everybody anxious to get their results and also curious about what was new each other’s lives. Countless emotional hugs and “I have really missed you” could be seen and heard. Some of the girls were spotting jelly curls and braids and were looking way beautiful than they did a couple of months before. I guess the examination fever took its toll on them and the break in between that and now did some replenishing of beauty.

Finally the moment of truth came; the handing out of result slips. It was a quick and tense period that passed leaving behind jubilant screams of success and muted sobs of heartbreaks. Our troop of four boys broke out running and screaming. We run the length of the school field waving our shirts like a footballer would upon scoring the winning spot kick. Soon it was time to carry the news whether good or bad home, emotional hugs followed and the words “I will see you again soon” were said. A “soon” that could mean a month, a year, a decade or never again.

The news got home by God knows how even before we got to our various homes, mummy greeted me with a broad smile and gave me a hug God rest her soul I will always remember her for. Supper felt like that of a Christmas day, the food was great and the double portion of chicken is still unforgettable. I guess we all had nights that will forever occupy special places in our hearts.

Soon the day came when we all stood side by side each other in school uniforms again with our parents and guardians. Though we stood side by side we did so in four different school uniforms, we got admissions into four different schools in different regions. Oko and I had different schools in Cape Coast whilst Amartey was going to the Eastern Region and Kweku was headed for the Ashanti region. The moment of emotional goodbyes came and both parents and wards gathered at the STC Yard couldn’t help it but shed tears and hug each other as if we were soldiers marching out to the frontlines of battle. We held hands as friends and family, we prayed for each other and exchanged painful hugs once more.

I walked to the waiting bus and I could feel loneliness fill my heart up I had never felt like this before. I took a spot by the window and watched mother from slightly open curtain, I felt a tear flow down my cheek and I knew I was missing mummy and my friends already. As the bus moved out of the station I could still see mummy wave and from the distance she still was until I could not see clearly the station itself anymore. I sat there quietly and alone reminiscing times and years gone by, our school days, weekends, the games we played, the arguments and our lives together on the whole.

What did the future hold for me, for my friends and for our families? Sleep overtook my mind and for that period all was well again. I woke up to a setting sun and for the first time I realized I was on my own far away from home. Mummy will sleep alone at home. I will sleep alone too but in a different bed, different place under a different roof. What will tomorrow be like? Which friends am I going to make now and what lies in this life for me now that I have climbed onto a new platform? I watched the sun from the distance appear and disappear behind the trees that lined the road and in the neighboring thickets as the bus traveled as fast as it could to take me to this unknown terrain…..To be continued….