A Secret

by Thea Teo (P6 2022)
          “Keep this a secret,” Jessica whispered, “and the money is yours, Raelyn.” After saying that, she looked me in the eye with a stare that was intense. It looked like it was saying, “Do not betray my trust.” Then, she gathered her books from her locker and stalked off.


         I quickly came to my senses after I agreed to Jessica’s ominous request. Why did I agree? Just for money? However, I knew that there was no turning back. I knew it was wrong for her to lie to her parents, telling them that she was going to meet me for a school project. In truth, she wanted to go to East Coast Park to meet her online friend. It was not safe and I knew this myself, but I did not want to ruin our friendship, neither did I want to betray her trust.


         When I reached home after school, I received a text message from Jessica. It read, “I’m going there now. Remember, if my parents ask you anything, you know what to say, right?” I gulped. I did know what to say, but I did not feel like saying it.


         A few hours later, I received a phone call. I unlocked my phone and the contact’s name was ‘Jessica’s Mom’. Cold sweat started trickling down my forehead and my face turned blanched. I could not leave her hanging. What should I do? Should I pick up? Multiple questions flooded my mind. My trembling fingers were forced to pick up the call.


         “Hello, Aunt May,” I greeted her with a tinge of nervousness in my voice.


         “Hello,” she replied. “How is your project going? I need to tell Jessica something as she doesn’t seem to be picking up the phone. Can I trouble you to pass the phone to her?”
My eyes widened like saucers. I quickly thought of an excuse. “S-She’s in the toilet now… I think she’s having a stomachache…” I stuttered. Then, many more thoughts rushed through my mind.


         After a big dilemma and debating in my head, I decided to come clean. Before Aunt May could reply, I rambled away.


         “Look, Aunt May… Well… You see, Jessica isn’t at my place doing our project. She went to East Coast Park to meet her online friend. I was supposed to keep it a secret, but keeping it was like a rock weighing down my heart. I know I betrayed her trust, but this is for her own good if her ‘online friend’ is a kidnapper or a bad person,” I cried. “I think you and Uncle Ron should look for her now before it’s too late.”


         “Thank you so much, Raelyn,” Aunt May replied hastily and I could sense the worry in her voice. “I’ll call you when I find Jessica.” She hung up. The rock weighing down my heart was alas, gone. However, I was still worried for Jessica. I decided to go to East Coast Park to make sure nothing happened to her.


         When I arrived, I did not see Jessica’s parents yet as they were probably still driving there. I cycled because I lived near to East Coast Park. Suddenly, I heard a scream. I scanned my surroundings quickly. Just then, I caught sight of Jessica and another girl. However, the other girl was way taller than Jessica and was grabbing her. My mouth hung agape and my eyeballs stiffened into my sockets. I knew it. The online friend was a bad person after all.


         I bolted towards Jessica as fast as my legs could carry me.


         “Hands off Jessica! I’m calling the police!” I hollered while running. The girl heard me and scurried away. At this point, Jessica was shivering in fear. After seeing the girl run away as I threatened her, I walked towards Jessica and asked in concern, “Are you okay?” She nodded silently. It was as if she had immediately learnt her lesson.


         It was 9 p.m. Aunt May and Uncle Ron had found us, and I told them everything that had happened. Aunty May and Uncle Ron said that they would reprimand Jessica and ground her. However, they also expressed gratitude to me and apologised.


         “We are very sorry for this and would appreciate it if you would forgive us. Jessica will need a friend like you and will seek forgiveness from you as well,” Aunty May said. Jessica also mumbled a “sorry”. I was relieved that Jessica was safe and let out a huge sigh.


         The next few days, I gave Jessica a phone call to how she was doing. She apologised to me again, this time more sincerely. I forgave her. In school, we interacted with each other even after that incident and I knew that we could be honest with each other. She trusted me and I trusted her. Even though I had betrayed her trust then, I knew it was the right thing to do.


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