ON THE RUN - A short story

Isabella bangs into her room totally fagged out, she had a long and hectic day having engaged in so much involvements. Her noise jilters her roommate, Ava who was already sleeping. ‘Welcome dear…late as usual and time isn’t generous’ Ava says. Isabella checks her wristwatch firmly strapped on her left wrist and shrugs, ‘hmm… I can do nothing about it’. Ava urges Isabella to minimize her extra- curricular activities and have ample time for studies especially as exams are drawing closer by the days. While Ava is busy laying emphasis on effective time management, Isabella changes into her bathrobe and enters the bathroom for her night rituals. Ava could hear the sound of tooth brushing and flossing. 

For Isabella she had found a path to tread and is the perfect controller of what she does with her life. Ava happens to be in her second year at the prestigious Cornell University of New York as a medical student and knows how things work in the system while Isabella is a fresh student on campus who loves to explore everything at any time. For her, every invitation is something to treat. As a sixteen year old young Civil Engineering student, she is an eligible member of all the societies in her department, hostel and fellowship such as the debating society, the drama society, the music society, the press society as well as the sports team, she is also among the key leaders in some of the teams. 
Moreover, as an event and photograph mania, Isabella loves to be all over the place. She could skip an evening class for a friend’s birthday party or deprive herself of an adequate class assessment preparation for a programme or show of some sort. If anything at all, item seven was an enough encouragement to make up for lost time. Also, definitely she would have to keep up her relationship glowing with Fred, she will never turn down an outing or picnic because her philosophy of life is about doing the things you love even at odd times. 
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In two weeks to the beginning of 
the end of the session’s examination, Isabella and Ava went shopping for clothes at a mall opposite their hall of residence. Ava informs her roommate on a scholarship opportunity for students with a minimum CGPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 grade scale. Isabella thought this juicy as well and expresses with excitement that she will love to win such a scholarship to do her parents proud but deep down within her, she can tell how much she’s been lagging behind academically and even her continuous assessment tests were not encouraging either. However, being an optimistic fellow she assures herself of sufficient time to study hard for the exams. She will have as many TDBs (Till Day Break) sessions to make up for lost time even though she eventually uses a best part of the time to chat with friends online and dozes off in less than an hour into reading. Upon discovering her reading strategies, it’s now time to make good use of the day time. Of course, Isabella will not read without some cookies, popped melon or French fries and she’ll pay more attention to the chewiness than she would to the books. Hours rolled into days and days into weeks, exams came in finally and Isabella could only crash read her notes, textbooks and handouts. She develops a feeling of fear and anxiety of failure and breaks down in the process. Unknowingly to Ava, Isabella had been taking drugs and smoking cigarettes to keep her awake, energetic, and hyperactive and she slumps in the bathtub while trying to take a shower in preparation for an examination that morning. Ava, on discovering what had happened screamed for help and the ambulance had come for a rescue. Unfortunately, she writes her exam in the school clinic but not to the best of her natural ability. The social workers who had brought the exam papers earlier and the medical officials watches helplessly and sadly as Isabella gave up on the exam questions when she isn’t even halfway done, she falls back on the bed complaining of weakness and Migraine and she throws off severally. 


Eventually, Isabella is discharged after a month, she had undergone series of tests to discover the degree of damage by the drugs and her parents who came all the way from Jamaica had arranged for a psychiatrist to help her get out of drug addiction. A month had been used for marking of the scripts 
and collation of the result. Hence, the result gets pasted before vacation. Unfortunately, Isabella lands on a CGPA of 1.9. She packs for home mourning her fate, the scholarship wasn’t even an option now. She’s definitely ineligible and unqualified for such a great opportunity. The two girls get to the airport without speaking to each other, Isabella is obviously in a bad mood. 


Seating side by side at the middle class section of the airplane, Ava breaks the silence. ‘Bella, do you know that you’re quite intelligent? You only needed a 0.1 to meet up the criteria for the scholarship’ Isabella pulls through the window. She didn’t want Ava to see the tears forming in her eyes. Ava assures her friend of better opportunities but advices her to change her mindset. ‘I promise to have the right attitude and set my priorities right’ Isabella affirms, she knows that Ava always wanted the best for her. The Crew gets in no time, the airplane hovers around gathering momentum and they’re in the clouds in no time. The next time Isabella lands at New York City, she will surely be coming for a feat! 

________Aluko Deborah. 





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