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The recess bell rang just as Mandy’s form teacher finished her final sentence. After pushing in their chairs, Mandy and her classmates streamed out of the classroom and made a beeline for the canteen. Mandy was so eager for recess that she jostled her way past her friends and walked briskly to the canteen.

“Class, please remember that your English examination will be held next week,” my English teacher, Mr Chia, reminded the class at the beginning of his lesson. ‘’You should have revised most of your work.’’ My classmates replied Mr Chia with a resounding yes. Satisfied with the reply he had received, Mr Chia continued his lesson.

It was my birthday. I was having a blast at my party with all my friends and cousins. The huge room was decorated with vividly coloured balloons and streamers all around. Glittery banners were hung on walls in the room. A large grin was plastered on my face. I felt butterflies in my tummy. I had a feeling that this was going to be a wonderful birthday as I saw my guests having fun playing games like hide and seek, nerf war and dodgeball.

The sun shone like a brilliant disc in the clear blue sky. I walked home from school with a bounce in my step and my heart swelling with joy because I had finished all my work. Today, I could play the whole morning till the afternoon!

“Remember to buy some apples and oranges on your way home!” my mother reminded me as she passed me some money. It was my turn to run the errand because we needed apples to bake an apple pie. Although my eyes were fixed on my favourite television programme, my mother insisted that I do it. I was very reluctant, and I let out a big sigh.

“I can’t miss my exam!” Tom muttered to himself as he looked nervously at his watch. “If I miss it, my parents will definitely scold me for not doing well in English this year!” It was not the first time Tom was late for school that year but on that fateful day, he had a major examination.

I was exhilarated. My parents had bought me a new phone of the latest model. I was as happy as a lark and could not stop grinning from ear to ear. My heart raced with excitement upon receiving the new phone. I decided to bring it to my tuition lesson on the same day as I was very eager to use it as soon as possible.

“Yay! I can’t wait to see Mark and Nick at the park later!” I exclaimed as my mother and I were packing my belongings into a bag that Sunday morning. My mother beamed widely, full of mirth, as soon as she heard me. Once we were done packing, I ran to the front door but soon stopped in my tracks.

“I’ll be heading John’s house now to practise soccer before our big match!” I exclaimed from my bedroom as I packed my soccer ball into my bag. As I was walking towards the door, I heard a shrill voice cry out from the home office, “Remember, don’t play indoors as John’s parents had just installed a new window last week!”

“Mom, I am done with setting up the dining table,” Zora called out to his mother who was still busily preparing the food in the kitchen. Joyful Christmas cards played on the radio and Zora hummed while waiting for his mother’s reply. Zora’s mother thanked him for his help and asked if he could assist her with the presents.