by Victoria Png (P5 2022)
“Ring…!” The piercing cry of the school bell signalled the end of the school day and everyone made a beeline out of their classes. I was walking towards my mother who was waiting for me at the school gate when I saw one of my classmates, Emma. She had her handbook in her hand and it had many pen scrawls on it. Some pages also seemed to be missing as my pristine copy was a much thicker volume. I felt sorry for her and wondered about her circumstances at the same time. We were merely acquaintances, so I was not privy to her home life. Yet, I could not bear to think that Emma had to use a torn and tattered book for class.
Once my mother and I got home, I went to my room and took out my piggybank. I had this dream toy that I really wanted to buy and had been saving up for it since last year. I realised that I had finally saved enough! While I thought about buying the toy, my thoughts drifted back to Emma and her handbook. I felt uneasy and tried to dismiss those thoughts. Then, I changed into my pyjamas and went to sleep, ready to buy my toy the next day.
The next day, I walked up to my desk and saw Emma from the corner of my eye. She seemed lonely and was looking at her handbook sadly. I felt a twinge of guilt as I realised that everything she was using were mostly broken items and cannot be used. As I was walking through the cafeteria to get lunch, I walked past the bookshop that had everything a student needs; there were workbooks, textbooks, handbooks and many more. With a glint in my eye, I thought of a plan and went up to the bookstore auntie.
“May I have one handbook please?” I asked her politely. The auntie smiled and nodded her head in acknowledgement and went to get a handbook for me. I also went the extra mile and bought new stationery and a few more notebooks for Emma.
Once I reached home, I took out the items from my bag and asked my mom to help me get a box, some ribbons and a pink wrapping paper. She put everything on my desk and I started on my plan. I put the items into the box and covered the lid. After that, I wrapped it neatly and tied it up with the ribbons. I was proud of what I had prepared for Emma and could not wait to give it to her in class.
The next day, I went to school overwhelmed with joy and excitement. I searched the whole school for Emma during recess and found her sitting on a bench near the hall. I said hello to her but she did not respond. Unfazed, I took the box from my bag and chirped: “Here! I bought this for you. I hope it makes you feel better!” She turned to me, took a quick glance at the box. Without a word, she gently took the gift box from my hand. She unwrapped the gift and saw the new items I had bought for her and started crying, tears of joy. She hugged me as she thanked me profusely. My heart swelled with joy and I was grateful to have helped her even when it was a small gesture. I learned that you can be thoughtful to anyone in need by just helping them and saying nice things or asking if they are ok.