by Sophie Chua (P6 2021)
Clicking rapidly on my phone, I invited my best friends over for a late-night party that day at 10.30pm. It was 10pm at night. After three tiring and dreadful weeks of mid-year examinations, I decided that I would host a party to celebrate the end of the examinations. Hearing that all of them could come, I pumped my fist in the air and pranced around the room. I could not wait! I had not seen them for a few months and hence was overjoyed that we would all be finally meeting again. I prepared everything for a perfect party night. Food. Balloon. Speakers. It was going to be the best night ever! I watched as the time ticked by and the clock slowly struck 10.30pm.
Not long after, all five of them arrived and our party began. With bags of chips in one hand and sugary drinks in the other, we caught up on each other’s lives and the living room soon became chaos.
“Guys! Let’s play some music!” I exclaimed, with the rest of them cheering along. I grabbed my speaker and instantly began streaming loud party music on it. It was deafening. With funky music roaring in our ears, we danced around the room and had a whale of a time, partying and hanging out to our hearts’ content.
Suddenly, a loud knock on our door reverberated around the room, interrupting our music. “Who could be at the door at this hour?” I thought. Cautiously, I tiptoed towards the front door and carefully unlocked it, pulling it open. Standing right in front of me was an old man with a scowl on his face and his arms akimbo. He was a person I had never met before.
“I am your neighbour from the floor above. Could you keep your volume down? Please turn off the music! You are disturbing everyone! If you continue to make so much noise, I will call the police immediately!” The man barked as he stomped his feet and glared at me. Stunned by his tone of voice and harsh words, I stumbled a few steps back.
“Leave us alone, we are trying to have fun. Maybe you should just mind your own business!” I snapped back as I rolled my eyes before slamming the door shut in front of him. Behind me, my friends stood rooted to the group in silence, mouth agape, as they had watched the scene unfold before their eyes.
“Don’t you think you were a little too harsh towards the old man? Maybe we should lower down the volume of the music?” Jane muttered, as she shuffled her feet uncomfortably with the rest nodding silently in agreement. However, I did not feel nearly the same way. Waving the issue off, I blurted furiously, “Of course not! It isn’t even right for him to tell us what to do! And plus, he was extremely rude! He even threatened to call the police! Let’s continue with the party!” Hearing this, they all nodded, and the party resumed again.
However, despite my efforts to ignore what had just happened, the incident still replayed at the back of my mind. By then, I was already extremely irritated by the old man’s rudeness. I thought, “I can’t let the old man’s actions go unpunished! How dare he threaten to call the police on me!” Raging, I decided I would head over to the floor above to tell him off and give him a taste of his own medicine. Telling my friends that I would be back soon. I bolted up the stairs at breakneck speed.
Knocking furiously on the front door, I got ready to begin giving him an earful. When I heard the door slowly creaking open, I retorted, “You were so-” Just as I was about to finish my sentence, I held it back as I peered through the tiny opening of the door and noticed an old lady sitting on a sofa, coughing uncontrollably.
“What do you want? My wife has cancer, and these few days might be her last ones. “Due to the loud music, she is unable to sleep,” the old man explained calmly.
Seeing the old lady sitting on the sofa and coughing to no end, all frail and weak, regret instantly overwhelmed me. How could I have been so inconsiderate and hinder her sleep? On top of that, I was even prepared to lash out at the old man!
Almost instantly, tears began welling up in my eyes. Extremely regretful and concerned for the old lady, I questioned sympathetically, “Oh my gosh, I am so sorry for making so much noise and disturbing you and your wife! I really didn’t know! Is she alright? I’m so sorry, is there anything I can do to help?”
Hearing this, the old man replied assuringly, “It’s okay. She is alright. Maybe you could just keep your noise level down past 10pm?” Nodding, I then apologised once again and headed back home with a heavy heart full of regret.
Upon arrival at my unit, I instantly admitted what had happened to my friends with remorse written all over my face as I hung my head low in shame. Sensing my sincerity and guilt, they quickly reassured me before continuing our party, this time aware of the need to be considerate and keep our volume down.
That day, I pledged to always be considerate and look out for others as you never know what someone is going through. You never know, they may be struggling with their own issues that you may know nothing about, and you could just be feeding the issue or be the cause of it.