Author Name: Koh Muen Tuen
Age: 12
School: Bukit Panjang Primary School


Do you believe true friends do exist? Well, I used to think so, but that was in the past After an atrocious incident that happened two years ago, I really doubt if true friends really exist…

“Ring…Ring…” the school bell rang. Everyone made a beeline for the school gate and I was of no exception too. I waited at the bookshop for my best friend, Rachel, who came from a very opulent family while my family was not that well to do. However, Rachel was not like all the other wealthy girls who despised on poor people like me.

After a while, I espied Rachel prancing down the aisle and waved to her excitedly. Soon, we were chitchatting merrily as we ambled home from school without realizing that danger was lurking around the corner…

Suddenly, a red van careened around the bend came speeding up to us.

“Screech!” The red van screeched to an abrupt halt and two stalwart men hurried out of the van and shoved Rachel in.

“Help! Help!” Rachel vociferated.

I knew I had to save a damsel in distress. I racked my brains to think of a solution and something caught my pair of quick-sighted eyes – a bamboo pole! I grabbed the bamboo pole and used it to flog at the two men who were grabbing Rachel.

“Ah!” They groaned in pain and tumbled to the ground. Just when I was about to run away with Rachel, another pair of brawny hands grabbed me by my hands and knocked Rachel and me out. We plunged into a world of darkness…

Before we knew it, the men had already brought us to a dilapidated house in a remote area and dumped us in a sordid room. I tried to shout for help but my mouth was gagged with a malodorous towel. I saw Rachel still lying unconscious and tried to jolt her awake. Finally, she regained consciousness.

“O…oh no! W…what should we do? A…are we g…going to die here,” Rachel faltered with stupefaction.

“Don’t panic, we should be fine,” I consoled but knew I was lying.

I prayed to God for help and He seemed to have heard me. I saw a piece of broken shard of glass on the ground beside me and tried to reach out for it. Then with ever ounce of strength I had, I tried profusely to slit the ropes using by rubbing the edges of the broken glass against it.

After much painstaking effort, I got it done! Of course, I had not forsaken Rachel. I helped her to unleash the ropes and saw the men snoring away while we were padding to the door to our freedom.

However, when we opened the door, the creaking sound from the door awakened the men. They woke up with a start and were aghast to see us escaping. They hastened towards us and grabbed me while Rachel escaped without saving me! I could not believe my eyes! That egocentric Rachel had just left without me!

Luckily, I had taken wushu as my CCA and I had mastered some martial arts skills. Surprisingly, I trounced the two robust men effortlessly. I ran as swift as an arrow and escaped. When I reached a telephone booth, I dialled for the police and explicated to them what happened.

After what seemed like eternity, sirens of the police cars reverberated through the air and when the men realized that the police had arrived, they skedaddled and the police were in hot pursuit of them. Finally, the police caught up with them and having fought tooth and nail with them, they finally threw in the towel. The police handcuffed the men and brought them back to the police station.

It is only through this horrendous incident that I knew how selfish people can be and even true friends can throw you behind in order to save one’s own life. Ever since, I get to trust no one, except God and of course, myself…

Vocabulary and Good Phrases

atrocious – unpleasant and bad
made a beeline – go quickly and directly towards someone or something
opulent – wealthy, rich, or affluent.
espied – saw from a distance
prancing – walking especially in a confident way
ambled – strolled
careened – to move forwards quickly without control, making sudden sideways movements
stalwart – strongly and stoutly built; sturdy and robust.
save a damsel in distress – a male saving a female who is in trouble (Note: it has to be a male saving a female, not a female saving a male)
quick-sighted – sharp pair of eyes
flog – to beat a person or animal with a whip or stick
brawny – strong and muscular
dilapidated – old and in very bad condition
sordid – very dirty and unpleasant
gagged – to put a piece of cloth over someone’s mouth to stop them making a noise
malodorous – having an unpleasant or offensive odor; smelling bad
faltered with stupefaction – speak in a voice that sounds weak and uncertain, and keeps stopping and in fear
painstaking – effort careful and hardworking effort
aghast – shocked with something you had just found out
egocentric – thinking only about yourself and not about what other people might need or want
wushu – Chinese martial art
trounced – to defeat someone completely
robust – a robust person is strong and healthy
effortlessly – something that is effortless is done in a very skilful way that makes it seem easy
fought tooth and nail – try with a lot of effort or determination to do something
explicated – explained – made clear
skedaddled – ran away in fear, not wanting to be caught
threw in the towel – surrendered
horrendous – horrifiying