Being Helpful

by Zoe Seah (P6 2021)
              “We shouldn’t do this, Ken,” I advised my childhood best friend as I tugged on his arm.
              Ken was not the tallest, nor the strongest person in school, but his aura was scary enough for you to feel like running far away even when you see the slightest shadow of him. He was a mild-mannered and impressionable boy.
              After he picked up some unpleasant behaviour from being friends with someone he met online while playing a game, his attitude unfortunately changed for the worse.  He would always have a smug but angry face and started treating others badly, especially a transfer student from Russia, Lev.
              According to Lev, his name translates to lion, but he does not seem like one at all. In fact, it was quite the opposite. He was a coward and let others walk all over him, unlike a brave lion that reigns over the jungle.
              From an outsider’s point of view, it was as if the roles had been reversed, as Ken looked average in strength while Lev was tall and burly.  At that moment in time, Ken, Lev and I were at the school’s stairwell, after curriculum hours. The tension between Ken and Lev was palpable. I hid behind Ken as I was smaller than him and was scared of Lev then, as he was still an unfamiliar and intimidating figure.
              Earlier that day during recess, Ken was standing behind Lev in the queue for hamburgers.  When Lev took out his wallet to pay the stall owner, Ken’s interest was piqued when he noticed all the money inside Lev’s wallet. There were more than fifty dollars and a malicious idea flashed across Ken’s mind. If Ken were to have that money, he could finally get the game he had been saving up for a whole year.
              So, after everyone had already gone home, Ken offered to give Lev a tour of the school. I was oblivious to what Ken had in mind and accompanied him and Lev.  As the three of us walked down the stairs, Ken stopped me from going any further. When Lev realised he was walking ahead of us, he turned around, having his back face the flight of stairs going down. He raised his eyebrows in surprise as Ken and I stared at him wordlessly.
              “Why did we stop?” Lev questioned Ken and me nervously.
              Ken’s mouth formed an evil smirk that I never wanted to see again.
              “Give me,” Ken paused before he sneered, “all your money,”
              My eyes widened in horror.  I could not believe the shy and kind Ken I knew had said that.
              “Give me all your money now or I’ll push you down the stairs,” he repeated his demand and threatened Lev.
              I did not dare to speak a word.  I knew Ken would never do something so horrible to someone, or would he? My mind was whirling.
              Lev looked absolutely terrified. He stepped back, unaware of how close he was to the edge of the stairs, and quickly turned around to run away.
              Then, a scream of pain echoed throughout the whole stairwell.  The poor student had tripped and now, Lev was sprawled across the hard floor at the bottom of the stairwell. His long arm was twisted in a gruesome way.
              It took me a few moments to comprehend what had happened.  When my senses had finally come back to me, I saw Ken still staring wide-eyed at Lev. His arms were quivering, and he was muttering his apologies repeatedly. A wave of guilt washed over him, causing him to go into a hysterical state.
              I quickly grabbed my handphone out of the backpack I carried almost everywhere, dialled nine-nine-five and demanded with a firm but shaky voice, “Send over an ambulance to Cognitus Secondary School now, please!”
              I snapped Ken out of his trance too.  We comforted Lev, apologising profusely and kept him company while waiting for the ambulance. If only I had caught or pulled Lev to prevent him from falling instead of watching him roll down the stairs. I agonised over this thought. When the ambulance arrived, Ken and I told the gurneys the way Lev had fallen. They were very understanding and the teachers who had gathered at the scene were very upset.
              The next morning, Ken and I woke up early to visit Lev at the hospital and apologised to him and his family.
              When Ken and I arrived, we saw a gorgeous girl with long blonde locks – the colour matching Lev’s. Her name was Alisa and she was Lev’s older sister. She was very forgiving and understood the situation.
              Ken and I faced the music, nevertheless.  The school was already aware of what happened to Lev but thought it was an accident. We felt too guilty to have gotten away with dislocating Lev’s arm scot-free. Ken confessed to threatening Lev and I was remorseful for being complicit in the situation.
              After listening to Ken’s side of the story, Lev forgave us.
              “The doctor has said that my body is really healthy anyway! I will be back in school in no time!”  Lev reassured us.
              Fortunately, we earned a new friend in Lev, although we had to serve a few weeks in detention. Our bond with Lev grew much stronger. Ken also blocked the person in the game he was playing who influenced all the bad behaviour Ken displayed. He eventually stopped acting the way he did as he strived to be more like Lev: kind and forgiving. I too followed in his footsteps.
              My first instinct to call the ambulance when Lev was injured, was definitely something I was very happy about. In the past, I would normally just get scared and run away. Nonetheless, I would never wish to have to help someone in a similar manner. One gruesome accident was all I could handle.


Under Cognitus Academy’s writing programme, your child can write this well, too. Find out how your child can prepare for Continuous Writing in Paper 1 of PSLE English examinations today by clicking here.

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