It was just one of the silly days I passed through. I woke up 8:00 in the morning; I remembered that today is Saturday and I should have checked the testing center where I would have the test. I wonder why I remember important things in the last minute? I tried to phone the center but no one replied; I said to myself that one thousand pounds is not something you get everyday. Feeling uncomfortable, I drove to Dokki where I had the test. The man at the entrance checked my name in a paper; there was a sigh of relief.
In the past months, I was almost overloaded; I had to translate some of my stories into English to apply to a writing program abroad; at university, there was another computer course and more personal statements and application forms to fill in for another program. One thing I promised myself though is never to be imprisoned by my papers and books. The result is some studying at the metro or while attending book discussions for colleagues. Every Sunday there should be a movie and let the TOEFL test go to hell!
Heavily I sat at the desk, waiting for the test to download, one of the reading passages was about the Aztec era; another was about deserts; I felt that I did bad in reading and my disapointment was carried over to the listening part. I hoped that something would happen and I would not take the test. But what may happen? Electricity will go off, for example? A big testing center like this must have generators in case.
It was almost the end of the listening section. I looked desperately at the computer; the world was a bit yellowish in my eyes. I clicked Next and paused to think before clicking Ok. Between Next and Ok, I was in an ebb and flow. If I have to pay for one more thousand pounds, then let it be. Quickly, I clicked "Ok" , I clicked again and again yet the computer did not respond. " There 's a system error"; "There is a system error".
The message kept reiterating in my mind as if it was an echo; I was standing there beside the well, saying my wishes. I raised my hand. The proctor said she would try to solve the problem. In the waiting room, I contemplated the third secondary students who were there to apply for the American University. I chatted with them, imagining Aisha my niece like them after so many years . I kept waiting for nothing.
Moving glasses by the movement of the eyes; or putting coins under my pillows, to duplicate, and going into the television were things that I had yearned for in my childhood. I was looking lazily at the face of the proctor; she could not fix the problem she said. She apologized for this rare accident and gave me phone numbers to call in Holland. I went home, glad and perplexed somehow. In my room, I put my head on the pillow, closed my eyes, hovering back to the time of my childhood.