The second-last exam I have ever needed to take

This is the story of how I died.

No, it’s not as bizarre as it sounds, and it’s just the tale of how my bones were buried in the exam hall, collected, and resurrected after walking out of the sacred gate of every-student’s-nightmare.

No, I haven’t graduated. But next semester I only have one exam, which officially made this the second-last time I have ever had to sit down on a pain-striking experience that destroyed every mental barrier I have ever built in my twenty years of studying career.

June 16th, 2012. The comatose experience.

It was Saturday. Such a wrong day to be having a coma. While the others went to the cinema, had brunch with some friends, or went to the zoo, I woke up at 8.30am, realising that I only had two days to live.

Panicked, I took a long shower, and went to a journalism training at 10. I would feel guilty if I didn’t go. Even though I only had two days to live.

Two days.

I was agitated for the next two and a half hours, trying to console my mind for the fact that I still have two days to live. I hadn’t finished studying, heck, I hadn’t even finished 20 per cent of it.

Halfway through the training, I took my leave. Went to the city to have brunch. Wrong choice.

Drinking my too hot cup of latte made me stressed, and I totally forgot the fact that I hate excessive cheese – it made me wanted to puke. My toasted flatbread with mozzarella and meatball came. I tried hard to finish it during the next 30 minutes. Then, I desperately wanted to go home from what it seemed like food poisoning.

At about 2, I had an emotional breakdown. Instead of studying, I was on the phone with someone who desperately trying to calm my nerves. At 3, I lied when saying I wanted to go to bed, and finished reading a novel instead.

I waited.

Waited for the last minute panic to kick in and shove some sense down my throat. I needed to study. I really needed to study. And yet my brain refused to become sponge-like to absorb the lessons.

Turned on the music. Put the iPod on speaker. Maximum volume.

I spent the next 30 minutes yelling some songs and doing the crazy dance. At 4, I was desperate. I took a long shower and decluttered my study table. I gulped down Vitamin C.

65 per cent. I told to myself. I just need 65 percent to do well in this subject. I pleaded. 65.

At 5.30, I started to study. Flicked through my notes and tried to gulp a series of alien language. Nothing was retained. I made a cup of hot green tea, and tried to calm myself down again. It was 6. I tried to do the multiple choice questions, and everytime I only managed to get four rights out of 10. Totally going to be a long night.

My sister came home. Youtubed some songs. Became crazy – me from my studies and her from her work. Sang some classic songs and shook the apartment for the next three hours. Now, it was 12.

I raised a white flag and went to bed.

June 17th. The last attempt.

Woke up at 8. Went to church. Went home. Had lunch. Attempted to study. Failed. Attempted to study some more. Ended up throwing my rage at some poor friends. Attempted to study. Took a nap instead. Attempted to study. Managed to cover 40 per cent of the subject.

Took a long shower. Studied. Had dinner. Studied. Distracted by some friends who played the role of a devil. Turned on some loud music. Yelled the songs. Did some crazy dance.

At 11, I gave up, and pathetically received my destiny of dying tomorrow.

June 18th. The day I died.

I woke up as late as I could in order to not feel guilty on how I spent my last day. I washed the dishes, listened to a podcast, and did a last minute one-hour scanning of some of the subject materials.

Never in my whole life I was this unprepared for an exam. Never in my whole life I accepted defeat against studying.

I took a long shower, and began the long journey to the sacred exam hall.

Death marks. Suffocating air. Crazy winter weather. Perfect day to die.

I prayed that the professors would remember that I did my best; I prayed that all the students would know that I was in their shoes. I prayed for future exam-takers to respect my bones lying right there.

Reading time. Panic. Then, the last two hours of my life. Air was depleting; life was fading.

I fought to the last drop of my blood, answering the questions that I knew, guessing to the very best of my ability for the ones that I didn’t.

The last five minutes. I closed my eyes.

Zombie-like, I left my seats. I knew I have died together with the finished exam paper. I speedwalked through the resurrection gate, and was granted a new life.

Farewell, my brave second-last-exam-taker self. I would forever remember you as a noble companion.

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