Blog and Artwork updates of Singapore caricaturist, portrait artist and illustrator - Jit

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Illustrations for CNB (Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore) - Essay 3

Title: Helping a Friend in Need

Callie Hoon
Tao Nan School, 6K

Jamie used to top the class and cohort in everything from math to athletics. She was an all-rounder, consistently the first to go up on stage to receive her five hundred dollar cash prize during the year-end prize presentation ceremony. Her photographs frequently appeared in the school newsletter: “Jamie Tan clinches gold for school, Primary 6 girl bags gold in athletics”. Many of my schoolmates kept crowding around her, trying to get her to befriend them. But I, in a sense, was fortunate—I was her best friend. I had always treasured that fact until recently…

Tao Nan School Callie Hoon - illustration 1 colour

Just after term break, Jamie had bloodshot eyes and dry lips. I thought that she might have had a late night. But, during class, I noticed that she was not paying attention and was fiddling with her stationery, whereas she usually took meticulous notes. Other unusual behaviour was also displayed—failing her math exam, having sloppy handwriting on her worksheets and even having occasional anxiety attacks. I could hear the students speculating among themselves: “Oh? Jamie? That’s nothing. Just a case of being over-stressed.” I did not think so. The hardworking, friendly Jamie had transformed into a girl I did not know. Shunning me when I attempted to hold a conversation with her—that was not her! Angry and suspicious, I decided to search the internet for causes of those problems. It dawned on me that she could perhaps be on drugs, but I could not be certain.

The next day before school started, I sought her out. Just when I was about to leave the toilet, Jamie stumbled over to me and murmured, “I’m going to have Mary Jane today. Wanna join me?” Just as I was about to reply in the affirmative, the phrase “Mary Jane” instantly aroused my suspicions. Something clicked in my mind. It all fit perfectly. Mary Jane was simply another name for marijuana! Determined to get to the bottom of this matter, I pushed her into the toilet and confronted her. It was then that I learned that she had recently befriended some friends from a vacation job at a pub. They had egged her on to try the drug because “it’s cool”. Before long she was hooked on it. Jamie was indeed abusing drugs.

Frightened and confused, I was initially at a loss on what to do. I mustered up the courage to approach our form teacher, Miss Sim, and confided my worst fears in her. Miss Sim told me, “I’ve been noticing the drastic changes in Jamie. I think we should inform her parents about the situation and decide how to deal with the matter.”

Tao Nan School Callie Hoon - illustration 2

Her parents, upon learning about the situation, broke down and consented to report her drug abuse to the authorities. The narcotics officers showed up while she was in a slightly clearer state of mind and arrested her. Sadly, she gazed at her parents, “Sorry Mum and Dad, I’m sorry to disappoint you. But when I am released, I’ll never touch drugs again. Drugs only make you happy for a short while, but what comes after that is horrible.” To me she whispered, “Still friends?” I nodded.

Jamie was released two weeks ago. Up till now, she is free from drugs and is leading a happy life, topping the standard again.

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