In collaboration with San Ying (12 years old)
Sunlight streamed into my bedroom as the alarm clock rang. “Mmmm, bright and sunny. It’s going to be a lovely day,” I said to myself. Humming a lively tune, I went to the bathroom to ready myself for school. It did not take me long. I was all set for breakfast within minutes.
However, the moment I saw my breakfast, my good spirits dissipated. Half-boiled eggs; could anything on earth be more disgusting than slimy, gooey uncooked eggs? I choked it down lest Mom began her tirade of nagging, “Be thankful there is food on the table and that I got up early to cook them for you. Blah … blah… blah … “
With the eggy taste in my mouth, I went to find my shoes. I found them alright – in a puddle of puppy’s urine. There was no other option but to wear my sister’s which were a size smaller.
I trudged my way painfully to the bus stop in silent agony. Of all days, the bus had to be late. Not just late but half an hour late. All the same, I was relieved that it had arrived. Finding an empty seat, I plopped into it. My relief soon turned into dismay. The traffic lights were not working, resulting in a traffic jam. “Doomed, I am doomed,” I mumbled. My demerits were escalating.
When the bus finally reached the school gate, I jumped out of the seat only to discover that something was sticking to my rear end. Annoyance soon morphed into horror when I realised that it was a piece of yucky pink chewing gum pasted stubbornly to my pristine white skirt. “Stupid, uncivilised goon should have done me a favour by swallowing his chewing gum,” I muttered angrily.
After alighting from the bus, I hurried to the locker to get my books but the door would not budge. “Forget it!” I groused and headed for the classroom instead. The class teacher, Mrs. Teo, glared at me the whole time I spun my tale of woe. “100 demerits!” she finally declared.
I sank into my seat thankfully. Several blisters had formed on my feet. Hot and bothered, I listened with half an ear to the teacher’s droning on and on about the Ming Dynasty. Why must we learn about some stupid things that people did in the past? It did not concern us youngsters in any way and we happened to live in Malaysia in 2014, not China in the 14th century.
Yawn. No sooner than I opened my mouth, a baby lizard dropped in. I tried to spit the brainless hatchling out. It glided out as calm as you please, but left its tail wriggling on my tongue. Chaos ensued. The girls screamed hysterically while the boys upended tables and chairs to catch the witless reptile.
Without excusing myself to the teacher, I dashed to the toilets to rinse out my mouth. When I returned to the classroom, the boys teased me to no end and the girls kept a safe distance. I had become the butt of the joke and a pariah all at once without even trying.
The next period was gym. I limped my way to the gym hall, trying very hard not to trip in my ill-fitting shoes. What was that quote about the more you try, the more you fail? Much to my detriment, it happened to be too true. I tripped and fell. The fall resulted in a knee scrape. Great, just great. My toes already pinched and my knee now throbbed as well.
I hobbled back to class and sat through the rest of the periods until the last bell. School was out but my trouble had manifested in another form. The sky had opened up and was pouring down generous buckets of rain. I neither had an umbrella nor a raincoat. “When it rains, it certainly pours,” I grumbled as I shuffled to the bus stop in the rain.
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