Whenever somebody comes up to me and asks whether I have ever seen miracles in my life, I will usually tell them a story first.

An ordinary story.

That once upon a time, in a land far, far away across the south china sea, lived a boy who was so good at nothing. He was the source of punchline in school for so many reasons. He wasn't academically inclined, nor that he was good at anything the other boys did. He was always discovered during hide and seek game in less than 3 seconds, crying in despair and exhaustion when he was chasing the other kids in police and thieves game, mishit the balls every single time in rounders and few other not worth mentioning loser-traits.

And it didn't help when he was so atrocious at his studies.

So it was, to no one's surprise, when he failed his UPSR examination. When the other kids were filled with joy and excitement for having scored 4As, 5As and such, he was secluded and unnoticed among the shrieking and hollering top-scorers. He failed. Full stop. The subject that did the damage?


It didn't bother him an ounce. He had always hated the subject anyway. He had never liked it. No one in his family ever spoke that stupid language. So he continued to be a dork for another period of time.

Form 1 result.

Mid-Year Examination: Failed. Subject? English.
End-Year Examination: Failed. Subject? English.

Form 2 result.

Mid-Year Examination: Failed. Subject? English.

What a failure this imbecilic boy had been. Although he had never liked the subject, this time around he was hell determined to make things right. At least, a passing grade. So when Madam Yee stepped into the class that day, carrying a pile of exam papers, the boy knew it was now or never. He had to nail it this time around. So, when it was Adrian, the best student for English, who was sitting next to him that day, he glimpsed a flash of hope. "At least, a passing mark", he whispered to himself.

The exam papers were distributed, and the exam began.

The boy examined the paper for few minutes. It was a text so full of odd words. He stared at it so ever blankly. He barely knew the words written on it. But he had promised to himself to do good this time around. So, he looked at the foreign words so hard, wishing the meaning could come out floating. It didn't work. Damnation! He cast another spell. He scrutinized every word, hoping to find a word or two that could shed some light.

And the light showed itself.

He finally found a word that was so familiar to his thick skull! Walking! He knew the word Walking! He had seen the word somewhere and it sounded so familiar! So he forced himself to think a little bit harder and he miraculously recalled the meaning! "Bercakap! It's like I'm walking to my friends! That's it! I'm not stupid after all!" The boy gasped in excitement. What a joy a word could bring! He looked around, and the other students were all looking at their paper on the table, pen poised mid-air, their forehead wrinkled. "Poor them. I wish I could tell them what 'Walking' really means", the boy said to himself, sounded almost apologetic.

He couldn't afford to waste time thinking about his poor friends, so the boy quickly turned the next page to answer the questions. Now he had to write." Okay. It should be easy", the boy patted himself encouragingly. He was about to write the answer when he realized one last setback. What's the pronoun for female? Is it He or She?

It started to bother him. How could he forget such a thing at this crucial moment? The boy then realized that he didn't actually forget which was which. He had never been able to tell them apart! The clock was ticking away. So he resorted to the sole option left. Ask Adrian. He must know it.

The boy looked to his left and saw Adrian was already answering the last page of the exam papers. He looked at his own paper. It wasn't even half-way done. He was still stuck at the first question. He looked at Adrian, and in a very low voice, he called Adrian. Adrian responded.

What? He said, sounded tad irritated.
"Eh, pompuan dalam bahasa inggeris She ke atau He?" the boy whispered to him. Adrian wrinkled his forehead, as if he was doing a very hard thinking before he said with a grin "Pompuan He la. Yup. He", and continued to ink his exam paper away.

The boy was so lucky to sit next to Adrian that day. Adrain knew everything.
And Adrian probably knew the boy's results too, long before it was officially issued.

Form 2 Result:
Year-End Examination: Failed. Subject? English.

The day the results were issued, it was also the day the boy knew Adrian had fooled him. And the boy was a fool, too. A fool had been fooled. What a sight to behold. It didn't get better that this.

The boy handed his results to his parents with shame. He knew he had disappointed them, yet again. He was sad, but there was a fire burning in him. It was a desire to prove himself. A desire to seek revenge to Adrian. A desire to master the subject that had forever eluded him. It was a will from heaven. It was a grudge he held. It was a thirst for success.

Most of all, it was the thing that brought him here today.

* * * * *

Whenever I look back to those days, I would smile, and my eyes filled with tears. I am thankful. I am blessed. I am humble.

A year after the event where I was fooled by Adrian, I got my first A for English. That was in my PMR. The whole school, particularly my friends who knew my long and hard history with English were taken aback. The incident with Adrian was an eye-opening for me. Like I said, it was one of the things that brought me here, in TESL Program. People say every cloud has a silver lining. I couldn't agree more. I am glad it was cloudy the day I asked Adrian what's the English pronoun for female. I am glad he lied to me. I am glad that it was the silver lining that paved the way for me.

Or else, I wouldn't have been here today.

So, my answer is yes.
I have seen miracles in my life :)

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Azie Nazri said...

Aziz, this is really inspiring. Its true when they say we need to fall sometimes to really rise up and be on the top.
Nothing's impossible kan? We just cant give up and be grateful to Allah for the opportunity.
Congrats Aziz!

Aziz said...

I know this is tad embarrassing, but I want to tell the whole world the lesson I have learned from this. :)

Every day, when I wake up, I still can't believe it. I started from zero, and I slowly crawled to get here.

I thank God, Azie.
I thank Allah for this miracle in my life. And I don't wish to look back. I want to keep moving forward. :)