You are on page 1of 6

Imprudence

John and Jack were identical twins. When they were born, they were so like each
other that even their mother could not tell them apart.
When they grew up, they were therefore the butt of everyone's jokes. People wond
ered whether they thought alike, or went to the bathroom at the same time. The b
rothers were sometimes perturbed and irritated by these jokes but overall, they
took it in their stride.
Beyond the physical side, however, the resemblance ended. As they grew older, bo
th began to differ more in character. Jack was always the extrovert one. He like
d sports and was known as a ladies' man.
On one fine day, Jack approached John for a favor. He had been
with a pretty college belle, Jessica, for some time. However,
t of the relationship but despite the ample hints, Jessica did
stand what he had been driving at. Jack asked John to stand in
Jessica wanted to go out with him. Jack and John were studying
ate colleges, so Jessica was not aware of a twin brother.

in a relationship
now, he wanted ou
not seem to under
for him whenever
in different priv

The first meeting between John and Jessica was a success. Jessica was pleasantly
surprised with John's attentiveness. She felt that Jack behaved like a gentlema
n on that date. Of course, she was puzzled at some point; he had coffee instead
of tea and he was not swearing like he usually did. John found Jessica interesti
ng. He was attracted to her beauty, intelligence and honesty.
Meanwhile, Jack was getting enamored with another popular college girl, Merry. M
erry, however, hinted to Jack that she would welcome his attention only if he ga
ve up his relationship with Jessica. Although John was the one going on dates wi
th Jessica, Jack still had to hang out with Jessica on campus.
Jack asked John to end his relationship with Jessica. However, a shocked Jessica
could not believe that Jack wanted to end the relationship. She also refused to
believe that it was John who had been going out with her.
Jack now knew that things were going too far now. He scheduled a meeting with hi
s twin brother to try to reason with Jessica. Jessica brought along her brother,
Thomas. At the meeting, Jack apologized for misleading Jessica. Jessica, howeve
r, refused to believe that John had been posing as Jack, even though the twin br
others stood before her. She had fallen in love with Jack and she believed that
he was the one who was courting her all the while. Even though John gave her cer
tain details of their dates which would conclusively prove that he was with her,
she refused to listen and practically shut her ears.
"I have been dating Jack and it is Jack I want to marry. If he is trying to get
out now because he wants to go out with Merry, I will pursue him to his death,"
she asserted angrily.
Thomas then dropped the bombshell to the shocked twins. Jessica was pregnant. Sh
e believed she was carrying Jack's child as he had been intimate with her. If Ja
ck persisted in denying his responsibility, the matter would be handled by their
parents and the school authorities.
Jack pleaded and argued with Jessica and Thomas but to no avail. Jessica insiste
d that Jack bore the responsibility for her pregnancy. She wanted to be married
as soon as possible.
Desperate, Jack turned to his brother, John, for help. John tried to persuade Je
ssica to change her mind. He argued that even if they were to be married to each
other, Jack was no longer in love with her. It would be meaningless. John also

reminded Jessica how they got along so well together. Jessica, however, refused
to listen. It was Jack all along, she insisted vehemently, who had been dating h
er.
By now, Thomas was feeling rather annoyed. He argued that Jack had to bear the r
esponsibility as the baby was his - Jack was the one she had been intimate with.
Moreover, everyone had thought that Jessica and Jack were a couple. He also sta
ted that his parents were old and could not take the blow if Jack did not marry
her. As for Jack getting John to pose as him, he was uncertain about the truth.
All he was certain was that Jack must face up to the fact that he was responsibl
e for. When Jack protested again, Thomas silenced him with these angry words, "A
man must be responsible for his actions. You do not have a choice."
The impact of these words sank into
er, he finally apologized and asked
future wife's hands as they went to
ation to them. He was determined to
ild.
perturbed

bothered

enamored

smitten

stricken

suffering

Jack. He was stricken with guilt. A week lat


for Jessica's forgiveness. Then he held his
their respective parents to explain the situ
make things right, for Jessica, for their ch

A holiday that turned out wrong


It was the eve of National Day in Singapore. My family decided to break the usua
l routine of watching the national celebrations in Singapore but to visit Batam
on National Day. Batam is an island a mere half hour ferry ride from Singapore.
On that day, we woke up, all fresh and keyed up to enjoy ourselves.
However, we got off to a disappointing start. No taxis could be hailed within si
ght and the few taxi drivers who pulled over were not too keen to bring us to Ta
nah Merah Ferry Terminal. They explained that the terminal was a distance access
ible by a deserted side road. The authorities did not allow them to impose an ex
tra charge, unlike the allowance at the airport. Moreover, it might be ages befo
re they could pick up a passenger for the return journey. Unbelievably, we were
rather sympathetic. After a long wait, a taxi driver finally agreed to take us.
Upon reaching the terminal, we rushed in, all flustered and worried about missin
g the ferry. We were relieved to find out that the departure time had been delay
ed. However, our relief was short-lived. There was a long frustrating queue as t
he immigration staff could not cope with the unexpected crowd.
There was a mad scramble for seats when we finally boarded our vessel. The mild
weather had changed and the day became unbearably hot. It was stuffy in the ferr
y. Many were seasick and vomited. The queue outside the toilets was a sad and di
sheartening sight.
Upon arrival, we waited for our coach. However, once on board the coach, another
disappointment awaited us. Groans from the passengers greeted the guide's annou
ncement that the watersports centre we were scheduled to visit was burned down t
he day before. We would visit a Go-Kart centre instead. This place was in the mi
ddle of nowhere and we spent a mindless two hours watching the kids queuing and
then squealing in delight at the limited turns they get.
My family and I were not Go-kart enthusiasts, so Dad offered to pay for any souv
enirs we wanted. But these were outrageously priced at the shops we visited.

Lunch was the only bright spot in the journey. The seafood dishes were varied an
d delicious. We tried sucking edible snail meat from the famous 'kong kong' snai
ls. It was a nice change. We finally relaxed amid the breezy and tranquil seasid
e surroundings.
Batam city was dirty and rather squalid. It had just rained and there were mud p
uddles everywhere. We had to walk through the mud just to get to the few shoppin
g centers. They invariably sold the same souvenirs. The unenthusiastic, bored sa
lesgirls and beggars outside these tourist spots made us realize how comfortable
an experience shopping in Singapore was!
We had not dared to try eating the many interesting roadside snacks or colorful
syrupy drinks sold by vendors because of the constant presence of flies. Fear of
dengue fever also reduced us to paranoid tourists slapping at mosquitoes.
Our tour guide blithely ignored our requests to visit a popular shopping centre.
We learnt later that the place would not pay him a commission for bringing us t
here. Instead, the brazen man kept pushing us to buy his homemade cookies.
Thankfully, there was no wait for ferries on the journey back. We arrived safely
but realized to our dismay that we were at the Harbour Front Centre, a consider
able distance from our home.
There were no taxis in sight. It seemed that the roads leading to Harbour Front
Centre were closed due to the National Day Parade. We whiled away our time at a
coffee shop and waited restlessly for the roads to be opened.
However, it was a relief to be back in dear old Singapore! Never again, I vowed,
would I celebrate a public holiday Day abroad!
squealing
squalid
blithely

yelling
filthy
casually

Write about an incident in which you were a victim of unfairness


It was one of those sunny mornings when merely breathing seemed to be an event w
orth celebrating. I was in a particularly good mood as my mother had just given
me RM400 for my daily expenses during the week that she would be away with my fa
ther in China to visit her ailing grandaunt. I was in seventh heaven just contem
plating the things I could do with the RM400. If I survived on bread and butter
the whole week, I would have a little windfall of RM300 to buy the latest comput
er games! It was certainly a great way to begin the day.
The physical education lesson was, as usual, a gruelling session of endless runn
ing and weight training. I could hardly catch my breath as I trudged back wearil
y to the classroom. As I neared the classroom, I heard a loud commotion coming f
rom it and quickly rushed in. My classmates were gathered around Tommy's table a
s the latter ransacked through books, stationery as well as some personal effect
s in obvious distress. Tommy had always been a popular boy in class. Not only wa
s he bright and well-mannered, he also came from a wealthy family that provided
him with all he could ask for. Yet, he chose to share everything he had with us,
never minding the fact that he always provided while we received.
As such, I rushed immediately to his side when I saw his anxiety. My classmates

quickly told me that Tommy had lost the money that he had brought as a donation
to the welfare home that we were supposed to visit that afternoon. Understanding
the situation, I proposed that we organise a search around the classroom and in
form the class teacher as soon as possible. Taking my suggestions seriously, the
class immediately took action. In no time at all, Miss Soh rushed to the class
room to take control of the situation. She decided to run a search through every
one's bag. We quickly stood by our tables and emptied the contents of our bags o
nto the table. When it came to my turn, I diligently took out all my possessions
for inspection. My wallet was the last item to be checked and as Miss Soh took
out the RM400 from it, the class fell into a hushed shock.
Up till then, I had no idea that the amount lost was exactly RM400. Had I not be
en aware of my own innocence, even I would have agreed that the evidence was inc
riminating enough to indict me. Everyone stared at me in horror. Miss Soh was tr
iumphant - pleased that her efforts at flushing out the thief had borne fruit. I
n a loud and harsh voice, she demanded to know where the money had come from. I
told her the truth, which obviously fell on deaf ears. She appeared not to have
heard anything that I had said, choosing instead to dwell on the 'facts' of the
matter. She proclaimed loudly that I had been caught red-handed, dismissing my s
tory as ludicrous in view of the fact that my family was not well-off and could
not possibly afford to give me RM400. She also went on to elaborate on the evils
of envy, implying that I had stolen from Tommy because I was envious of him. Al
l this while, I was struck dumb by her convincing words, amazed at the conjectur
es that she had come up with based on the RM400 found in my wallet. The situatio
n was worsened by the unfortunate fact that my parents could not come forward to
corroborate my story.
By this time, the whole class was shaking their heads mournfully at me, obviousl
y in full accord with the teacher's allegations. I was appalled and terrified. I
could feel the jaws of misguided justice closing around my neck and struggled a
gainst it. I kept protesting my innocence, trying to drown out their accusations
with the sheer volume of my voice. But it was to no avail.
The principal was called in to handle the situation. He promptly decided that th
e evidence against me was damning enough to warrant an immediate suspension or e
xpulsion once my parents returned from their trip. I was devastated. How could t
hey decide on my guilt without even checking out my story? Even a phone call to
my parents was considered too much trouble for the school. Instead, they chose t
o concentrate on consoling Tommy and placating his parents. I knew then that my
average background was the reason why my words carried less weight than Tommy's
distress. It was a sobering experience, educating me in the realities of life.
The entire week was spent in a state of confusion. I kept to myself a lot, choos
ing not to leave the house at all. I lost a great deal of weight, since I was su
bsisting only on bread and butter. The RM400 had been confiscated by the school
as 'evidence', leaving me only the loose change around the house to buy things w
ith. Humiliation and anger were my constant companions during that week. None of
my classmates telephoned me, not even those who were my buddies. Obviously, the
stink of being a thief was more potent than that of friendship.
My parents finally returned. They rushed down to clarify matters once they reali
sed what had happened. The school authorities, instead of feeling apologetic, ch
ose instead to place the blame squarely on what they called my "inability to put
across clearly the situation". My parents were infuriated. They wrote a long co
mplaint against the school and transferred me to a different school. The matter
was finally resolved when the principal and Miss Soh were chastised for their mi
shandling of the situation and I was officially cleared of all charges. But to t
his day, it still hurts to know that to certain people, wealth spoke louder than
truth.

incriminating

implicating

ludicrous

absurd

corroborate

back up

Write a story based on this line : "By evening, she was running a high fever ...
"

Far up in the mountains of Canada, there is an old abandoned log cabin. Once it
was occupied by a young couple who wanted to distance themselves from the chaos
of this modern world. Here they were miles away from the nearest town. Bob, the
husband, made the occasional trip into town to buy supplies whereas Jan, his wif
e, spent her free time by the fire, sewing. Their life was simply idyllic.
Then, one midwinter's day, Jan woke up from bed with a strange ache in her bones
. Putting it down to overwork, Bob shooed her to bed and made sure she rested. T
hough Jan was impatient to get to her chores, Bob soothed her, "Relax, Sugar. Yo
u're overdoing things. All these chores will be here when you recover."
However, Jan seemed to be getting worse instead of recovering. By evening, she w
as running a high fever and in greater pain. In spite of his best efforts, Bob c
ould not manage to ease her suffering. And then suddenly, she started to lapse i
nto unconsciousness.
It was then obvious that she was seriously ill. What could Bob do? He had no exp
erience in treating the sick and Jan was getting worse by the minute. He knew th
at there was an old doctor in town but he lived three miles away, downhill. Potbellied and obese, there was no way the doctor could make it up to their cabin.
Something had to be done quickly! Bob racked his brains but to no avail. The onl
y thing left to do was to go to the doctor. In Jan's condition, she could never
walk that far in the waist-deep snow. Bob would have to carry her!
Bob searched his mind for
had once made a sledge so
never got around to using
red with rocks and trees.

a way to move poor, sick Jan. Then, he remembered. He


that they could ride together over the mountain. They
it though, because the whole mountain was thickly cove
He had never found a safe way down, not even once.

"Well," he thought, "looks like I'm going to have to try it anyhow," as he dug o
ut the sledge from the storeroom. "Jan may die unless I get her to the doctor, a
nd life means nothing to me without her." With this thought in mind, Bob gently
tucked Jan into the sledge, got in the front, and with a short prayer for safety
, pushed off.
How they got through that ride alive, Bob has never figured out. As trees loomed
up in front of him and just as quickly whizzed by his side, close enough to tou
ch, he felt relieved that Jan was not awake to experience the ride. It was all h
e could do not to scream as collision seemed imminent, time and again, with only
inches to spare.
At last, bursting from the mountainside, the town came into view. Barely slowing
down, they sped through the icy streets, only losing speed as they neared the d
octor's house. The sledge, battered through the journey, collapsed in the left s
ki as it came to a halt, spilling out its occupants. Bob picked up his Jan and m
ade his way into the doctor's house.

After what seemed to be a long winter, Jan recovered fully from her illness but
Bob never recovered from his fright. They moved into the little town so as to be
near help in times of crisis, and have lived there ever since.
idyllic

simple and carefree

rack one's brains


batter

strain to find a solution

to damage as by heavy wear