Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.
The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.
We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.
Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers and he has asked to be named as Outkast.
This is his story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
Hi, Outkast here.
I don’t know why I decided to send something in for Beneath The Smile.
But here I am.
No one close to me has died. My lover did not jilt me and neither have I been raped.
I have been robbed a year of my life though. Who is to blame is what I don’t know. Me? Friends? Activities? God? My parents? The enemy?
Last year was the best year of my life. WAEC just once and I got an excellent result. JAMB also, top-notch. I passed my post utme and gained admission.
This is it right. The goal. The reward for the extra classes and sleepless nights in secondary school. Halleluyah.
Varsity is not paradise. You work for everything. You are your own boss. So I just lived it up. No, I don’t party. I hate the gliding bodies together, all sweaty and all. But I slept, watched movies and played various games. The first semester came and went. During the exams. I was just clueless. I prayed though, prayer is the key. We resumed the second semester and results for the first semester exams were released. As a maths major I know what a binary number looks like, and that was what my result was turning out to be.
I was advised. Friends. Pastors. Every Tom Dick & Harry I know. I did know a Tom Dick & Harry.
The exams came, I was positive. I mean, very positive.
Sadly, the result was no different.
I was asked to withdraw. What? How? Why? How do I tell my parents? I did tell them. I cried. I wept. And I think my moms wailing will haunt me till I die. Dad was like. Just go and learn a trade. You have wasted your life, all that money.
After a week. I was back to laughing. Tweeting and writing. Watching TV. Mom was like “can’t you think? Your mates are in school. You are here tweeting” I just stared.
My friends too. What is wrong with you. Throw your phone away.
If only they knew. If only they knew what was hiding behind the façade. The tweeting and writing keeps me sane. The fake smile makes
it look real.
I am embarking on another journey into the educational system. I hope it is not as fruitless as the first.
I am the architect of my misfortune. Right now I am re-writing my destiny, with the help of God.
It’s a sad place I hide beneath the smile.
Please advise Outkast.
• • •
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, VII’ by King
You can still send in your own true stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)