The clock struck noon and I grew more irritated. I had been searching for my school notebook that I needed for my assignments for the past two hours, but my efforts were in vain. As I reached the back of my desk drawer in frustration, I pulled out a slightly tattered dusty book that contained the photographs that I had taken since I was young. As I was flipping the pages of the book I saw a picture that caught my attention – it was a photograph of myself with an old friend, Joe, whose advice for me to eat healthily had changed my life for the better.

“Let’s go home!” John exclaimed as he waved at Tom. Grabbing their schoolbags, the brothers rushed out of the school together. Tom, the elder one, was thoughtful and mature. He was also a tall, lean and athletic boy. John was the polar opposite; he was a short, scrawny and bespectacled child. Although slightly immature, he was a sympathetic child. Nevertheless, they were like two peas in a pod. They were finally dismissed after a tiring day at school and the two could not wait to get home.

“Remember, you are grounded! No skateboarding or leaving the house no matter what!” Dio, the school bully, groaned upon hearing his parents repeat his punishment. He was so disobedient and mischievous that he had been suspended and forced to stay home while his parents went to work. Dio rifled through the pages of his book mindlessly. He would usually ride on his skateboard when he was free but his parents had kept it concealed from him.

“Ding dong!” My doorbell rang. A deliveryman at the door announced that he had a package for Mr Tang. I thought it was a new MacBook and my heart raced as I opened the safety cover and saw the laptop inside the box. My father told me that he had bought a new MacBook a few days ago and said it would be arriving shortly. My father was not at home, and he was at his office. I was not allowed to use the laptop, but I could hold it, so I decided to remove it from its box.

Skateboard. Whenever I hear that word, my stomach begins to churn. I knew that part of the reason I had injured myself was because I did not listen to my mother. If I had only worn my safety gear, I would not have been injured. I might even still be riding on a skateboard right now. That incident I sorely regret happened three years ago.

Regret.             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. 

Glancing around the hospital room, I stared at my bandaged and swollen leg.  Memories of what transpired just a day ago flooded my mind as I recalled the incident that almost caused me to lose my left leg.

Boom! Crash! Pow! The speakers blared. My thumbs jammed the gaming controller, with my eyes glued intently on the screen. “Bam!” the final attack destroyed my opponent in the virtual world. “Yes!” I leapt up and danced in victory.

John was on the brink of death. The rainy season of January made the water in the canal rush even more wildly than before. Especially with his inability to swim, it was even harder for him to stay afloat. John screamed a faint cry of “Help!” but no one heard. This had all begun that very morning…

Teacher’s Day.  My first ever performance.  I paced nervously up and down, waiting for it to begin.  I heard the emcee announcing, “Now, some students from 6H will be performing a song they composed, ‘Thank you, Teachers’.” I took my place behind the drum set, trying to control my churning stomach.  As the curtains were drawn open, the audience erupted into a thunderous applause.  I gripped the drumsticks in my sweaty hands.