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, Ezechukwu
This is his story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
Hi, I’m Ezechukwu.
I’m not here to tell everyone my sob story of how my life has been miserable and I how wish I would just die. If I had one, I’d tell it. My life has been pretty comfortable, spectacular in measured doses.
I once read somewhere that the biggest comedians are secretly the saddest people. I’m known for bringing laughter and joy into people’s lives, but deep down, I’m the most disturbed youth I know.
I’m not disturbed because I feel life has been unfair to me. I’m disturbed because I feel I have been unfair to life. I grew up a very smart kid. Always top of my class, I breezed through primary school in a blaze of glory, took secondary school by the horns and wrestled it to the ground. As early as my JSS 2, I was representing my school in inter-collegiate competitions, and I won a huge number of them two.
From then this my SS 2, I was the golden boy, the one that everybody expected to be the next Ben Carson, Wole Soyinka, or Philip Emeagwali. I didn’t let it all get to my head, I continued to strive for excellence. But somehow, everything went irredeemably downhill like a rock in free fall.
First, I stirred up a riot in my school then. I honestly do not know what made me do that. I guess I was just, bored. Anyway, the school authorities felt I was becoming too big for the school and that they had to deflate by ego.
“You think by virtue of the fact that you represent this school nationally and internationally, you can do whatever you want and get away with it?” the Principal barked.
I was expelled.
All that hardwork…flushed away.
I picked up myself in time for WAEC and JAMB. WAEC was very good, JAMB was average. I failed to get admission into any university to study Medicine and Surgery. I couldn’t stay at home, and I had to settle for Botany.
I hate school. I hate the fact that I’m here, studying plants when I believe I’m smart enough to study something better. I detest every single day that I have to wake up, take my bath and go school. I have no love for what I’m doing and it affects my reading comprehension. When I do poorly in my exams, I stare at the results’ sheet blankly for as long as it takes me to convince myself that I don’t care. My GP is 2.25, and I don’t care. I hate what I’ve become, a boy who USED to be very smart. Now I don’t know if I’m doing poorly because I hate what I’m doing, or I hate what I’m doing because I’m doing poorly.
I used to be able to effortlessly understand what was taught, or what was in the textbook. Now I struggle.
The worst part about all this? My family and friends have no idea about my degeneration. They still think I’m the golden boy of ages past. They have no idea.
“Hey mum, here’s my certificate. I graduated with a third class.”
Yeah, that would be that day.
• • •
Don’t just read, say a prayer.
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’Her Story, XIV’ by Anonymous writer
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)