A Time When You Were A Leader

by Chloe Tew (P6 2021)
              “Class! Today I will be choosing the leader for our school bake sale,” my teacher, Ms Tan, bellowed across the classroom, tapping the whiteboard with a marker to get everyone’s attention.
              Everyone raised their hands eagerly hoping to be selected except for me. I was a very timid person. I was even called a “nerd” in school because I consistently had very good grades and always got bullied. “Maybe I should try being a leader so I can prove my bullies wrong,” I pondered quite desperately. As I raised my hand up slowly, Ms Tan caught sight of my hand and immediately picked me. Everyone’s eyes widened and their jaws dropped. Ms Tan strode up to my table and handed me some instructions relating to the bake sale. All my classmates were seething with rage. They all wanted to be the leader since our teacher had told us about the bake sale.
              The next day, everyone gathered outside of my house for the bake sale. “My classmates and I had already baked twenty cupcakes each before arriving. They placed all the baked goods onto a table covered with a checked tablecloth and stationed themselves at their respective spots.
              One hour into the bake sale, I realised that the number of cupcakes on the table were reducing in number faster than we were selling. What happened to our cupcakes? What will we sell? I sprinted to the kitchen and saw a trail of chocolate leading to an enclosed room. I broke out in cold sweat. I was stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. If I opened the door, what I would see might be too infuriating to handle. However, if I did not open the door, my curiosity would never go away and I would never be able to identify the culprit.  After weighing all the pros and cons, I knew what I needed to do. I reached for the doorknob and slowly opened the door, catching sight of Big Bully Jack devouring some of the cupcakes that we had painstakingly baked. Crumbs were falling to the ground and he was stuffing his face which was covered in icing! I snatched the cupcake that he was eating from his hand.
              “Why are you eating the cupcakes? Where are the rest?” I questioned Big Bully Jack, my face growing hot with rage.
              Big Bully Jack rolled his eyes in irritation. Since he did not want to answer me, I decided to scan the room. There was an opened box of cupcakes in a corner of the enclosed room with only one cupcake left. I was filled with wrath. As I was about to storm out of the room, I realised why I had volunteered to be a leader. Taking in deep breaths, I recognised that there was no point crying over spilt milk.
              “Jack… You know that we are not doing this bake sale for fun. We are actually helping children who are in need who do not have food, a home and even a family. Not only that, some of them are even battling illnesses. Please help our classmates and I in this bake sale so we can help them.”  I reminded him in a firm but gentle voice, stretching out my hand wanting to help him up.
              Just then, Jack recalled that his sister, Kim, was one of those children who were fighting a sickness. He really wanted to help his sister. “Maybe I should give it a try helping them.” Jack pondered aloud. Jack nodded and reached for my hand and I pulled him up and led him outside of my house. I suppose Jack realised his tea break could wait for later.
              When we reached the front of my house, I saw my classmates panicking. “Don’t worry about the cupcakes, as long as we persevere, we will be able to sell what we have and contribute enough to the children!”I motivated everyone as I punched my fist in the air. After everyone heard my motivational speech, their spirits were lifted and they continued selling the cupcakes. After a few hours, we had sold all of our cupcakes and my chest swelled with accomplishment. I was glad that I had led a group for once. That experience made me realise that we need teamwork and cooperation to complete the task at hand.
              That day, I learnt that being a leader would always have ups and downs. As the saying goes: A good leader leads the people from above, but a great leader leads people from within. Memories of that day would forever be engraved in my mind.
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