A Worrying Incident
by Ethan Wang (P5 2021)
Waves and waves of anxiety overwhelmed me as I prepared to confess to my father what had happened to my smartphone. Looking down in trepidation and with fear scrawled all over my face at my cracked smartphone screen, I closed my eyes and prayed to God that my father would not punish me severely. I then gingerly approached him in the living room and took a deep breath before I presented my smartphone to him…
It all began when I first received the smartphone I had desired for the past eight months. My father, the sole breadwinner of my middle-class family, had toiled relentlessly in his office to earn the money to buy me the newest smartphone on the market for my birthday. I was filled with joy as soon as I unwrapped the gift and caught sight of it. I treasured the smartphone dearly and brought it along with me wherever I went.
A week later, I was strolling down the streets near my house and watching high-quality videos on my smartphone when I heard the last voices I ever wanted to hear. It was Jon, the leader of his gang of bullies. Knowing that they would extort the smartphone from me, I hastily stuffed my smartphone into my bag then put on a nonchalant expression and tried to walk away unnoticed.
However, it was not my lucky day. Catching sight of me slinking away, Jon said in a voice dripping with malice, “Ho ho ho! Look who’s here! It’s Immanuel Morel Bigg! I-M-Bigg! Come here!” One word reverberated around wildly in my head: “Run!”
I was the person that everybody would pick on. With such a fragile frame and barely any friends, who would not do so! Besides, most people found the slight stammer in my voice quite irritating. However hard I tried, I just could not shake the habit off.
With beads of cold sweat rolling down my face, I stammered anxiously, “Noth…Nothing!” Jon noticed the unnatural bulge in the smallest pocket of my bag and commanded his gang to see what it was. Why had I been so foolish as to place my bulky smartphone in the smallest pocket? With mindless, muscular grunts headed my way, I found myself in the stickiest situation in the world.
The most muscular, bulkiest grunt pushed me to the ground and I protested in pain. The other grunts poured the contents out of my bag and there on the floor was my brand-new smartphone. The grunts handed Jon the smartphone as I looked on with tears splashing around in the corners of my eyes.
“I…I need it!” A wide smirk spread across Jon’s face and he tossed the smartphone around in the air. He extended his hand to give me the smartphone then violently jerked back his hand and smashed the smartphone on the ground.
Upon contact with the hardened concrete ground, spiderweb-like cracks splintered across the touchscreen. My heart broke into pieces just like the screen as I buried my face in my hands and let the hot, glistening tears pour out of my eyes.
With poison seemingly dripping out of his voice, he blurted dismissively with a loud “hmph!”
“Ok, here is the phone that you need!” The bullies pointed at me and roared with laughter. Turning around to face his gang, he muttered for them to find the next victim and the bullies walked away blithely. As soon as the immediate danger of being beaten up was out of the way, thoughts of my extremely hot-tempered father screaming in my ear and grounding me instantly flooded my mind. I was just thinking of spinning a white lie to deceive my father when my teacher’s lessons came into my mind: “Honesty is the best policy.” At that time, I was cheating during an examination, and the teacher had taught me that we should never me dishonest and always tell the truth. Coming back to reality, I packed the crumpled and tattered papers on the floor which the bullies had stomped on into my bag and I prepared to meet my fate.
“What?! Your smartphone cracked!?” My father’s face flushed a shade of blood red as he screamed into my ear, just like I had predicted. Infuriated, my father’s screams ricocheted around the house. The room seemed to shrink as my maddened father loomed over me. Clenching my teeth, I worriedly recounted to my father what had happened earlier.
“Oh, ok. That is ok.” Surprised by my father’s extreme change in demeanour, I felt as if a heavy burden had been lifted off my chest. However, I was still a bit frightened about the bullies.
As if reading my mind, my father patted me on the back and told me that he would take care of the bullies. He then picked up his phone and called the principal. Suddenly, as if controlled by an invisible force, he abruptly stopped and hung up.
“Immanuel, you have to remember to stand up to all bullies and be a righteous boy. Sorry for being mad at you earlier without grasping the real reason why you had a cracked smartphone. I promise never to lash out ever again, ok?” Nodding my head, a wide smile spread across my face with a warm memory of this incident and I strolled out of the room carefreely.
Not only did I not get punished but I also learnt an important lesson that forever would be etched in my mind: We need to be courageous and stand up for the cause of righteousness. Besides, through this incident, the bond between my father and I tightened significantly, and I loved him more than ever.