Telling the Truth

by Shawn Yeo (P5 2021)

               “You’re going to break my windows! Go away!” Paul screeched while brandishing his walking stick in the air. Wanting to avoid Paul’s wrath, the children playing near his window immediately scattered and scurried home like mice fleeing from danger. The old man sighed. How he wished that children would stop disrupting his peace.

               Paul was an old, weather-beaten man who hardly ever went out of his house unless it was to buy groceries. In fact, he bought them every Wednesday. He had installed a security camera to his house to make sure Tom, the naughtiest child in the neighbourhood — at least in his eyes — did not break anything when he was away.

               One Wednesday, Paul was out as usual to buy his daily necessities. Unbeknownst to him, his security camera was not working that day. To his horror, when he got back home, his window had been broken. Paul’s mind jumped to the quickest conclusion he could make. He was sure that Tom was the culprit. In fact, the old man was so sure about that that he did not even bother to check the security camera. If he had, he would have known that he could not make that false accusation. Angrily, Paul stomped to the playground to confront Tom.

               When he reached the playground, Paul looked around to find Tom, but it was to no avail. Just then, Paul caught sight of a scrawny, bespectacled boy. The old man recognised him as Tom’s friend.

               “Where does Tom live?” Paul demanded to know as he frowned in great displeasure. The frightened young boy frantically pointed at Tom’s house. Paul stormed to Tom’s front door and prepared to scold Tom.

               Just then, Paul felt someone tug at his sleeve. He turned around to see who had done that.

               It was Tom!

               “Why did you break my window?” Paul bellowed before the boy could even speak.

               “I’m sorry. It was an accident. I saw a man in a black mask prying open your window, so I tried scaring him off by kicking the football towards him. However, I had missed and broke the window. When he knew that someone had seen him, the man ran away,” Tom explained before taking some money out of his pocket. “Please take this money to repair your window. It’s what I could save for the past three months from my own pocket money.”

               After hearing Tom’s explanation, Paul realised how much he had misjudged Tom. At first, he thought that Tom was a mischievous boy who always caused trouble but now, he knew that Tom was actually a kind boy. Without saying a word, he shook his head and declined Tom’s offer.

               When he got home, Paul reported this incident to the police. Within days, the would-be burglar had been captured.

               From that point onwards, Paul no longer held a grudge against Tom. In fact, he was grateful that Tom had told the truth. Otherwise, Paul would never have known that there were people trying to break into his house! The incident would forever be etched in Paul’s mind.


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