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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Illustrations for CNB (Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore) - Essay 9

Nuha Amani Bte Misbahuddin
Madrasah Al-Irsyad Al-Islamiah

Problem Solver

The price for taking drugs is too high to pay. Until this very day, Sharon still regretted her past actions. Bedridden, she closed her eyes and recalled how she ended up in this state.

“How much did you get?” asked Sharon’s mother, Mrs. Teo, as soon as Sharon stepped inside the house after school. Sharon glared at her mother before walking quickly to her room. She locked her door and let herself fall onto her bed.

School had been bad, and her Mid-Year Examination grades were not helping. “Your grades have dropped far too low. I’m afraid we’ll have to transfer you to the Normal Technical Class.” The voice of Mr. Fang, her form teacher, echoed in her head. Sharon used to be active in her studies, but she often got distracted by her parents’ recent divorce and pressure at school had stressed her out. Besides, she loved blogging. Sharon would sit in front of the computer, typing with her eyes glued to the computer screen as if her life depended on it!

The next day, Sharon was transferred to the Normal Technical Class. She felt humiliated to have dropped so low. She broke the news to her mother and as expected, she did not take it very well. Mrs. Teo had always blamed it on Sharon’s endless blogging. Sometimes Sharon got so sick of it that she would secretly cut herself. During those days, only blogging would release her tension; she had no friends anyway.

During recess, Sharon was sitting alone at a table, staring at her chicken rice while thinking about the numerous problems in her life when a group of girls from her new class approached her.

“Hi, I’m Nikki”, one of the girls introduced herself. “This is Lynn, Wei Qian, Suzie and Anne”, Nikki said, introducing her friends.

“Listen, we know you’re new and you don’t quite fit in, so maybe you could hang out with us”, she continued.

“We’re going clubbing tonight at eight. So maybe it would be cool if you joined us”, she invited. Nikki reached across to put a small piece of paper in Sharon’s hands.

“Just call me once you decide, okay?” she said, before walking off with the rest of the group.

That night, Sharon was on the dance floor enjoying herself. She had agreed to hang out with her new friends at a nightclub.

Madrasah Al-Irsyad Al-Islamiah Nuha Amani Bte Misbahuddin - illustration 1 colour

Mr. and Mrs. Teo had been yelling at each other over the phone, so she had sneaked out after calling Nikki with the number on the small piece of paper given to her earlier. She had to lie to the bodyguard outside about being 21 when she was just 17, as that meant she was underage. But now it did not matter as she was having the time of her life!

“Thanks so much for inviting me, guys”, Sharon said as she sat down together with Nikki, Lynn, Wei Qian, Suzie and Anne. “What a great way to get away with the tension at home!” she cried. The five of them broke into laughter. Nikki asked Sharon if she had any problems. Sharon told her friends everything as they seemed to be concerned. Suddenly Nikki gave Sharon a small Ziploc bag that contained two pills.

“What’s this?” Sharon asked, shocked.

“This will solve all your problems”, Nikki answered, coolly.

“But, uh…” Sharon started to stammer.

“Don’t worry”, Suzie interrupted, “it’s nothing. Trust us, go on…”

Sharon looked at her other friends and saw them stifling giggles and whispering to each other.

“You’re not scared, are you?” Anne teased.

“Don’t be a chicken!” added Wei Qian.

Not wanting to be a “chicken”, Sharon popped the two pills, which were actually drugs, into her mouth, her heart racing madly. Nikki and her friends cheered and applauded. Then suddenly she threw all of her fear away and felt proud of herself. After all, the drugs did leave a “good sensation”.

The following week, poor Sharon was already on her third packet of Ecstasy tablets. Yes, it made her feel giddy at times, but she also felt the “good sensation” and tingly “kick”. Plus, she was also a member of Nikki’s gang. For once she felt like somebody. Her new friends were so nice to her that she felt like she fit in perfectly. By now, Mrs Teo was becoming seriously worried, but Sharon did not even bother to think about her family, or anything else for that matter.

One evening, Sharon got another packet from Nikki. She knew that she was addicted, but she could not help it. Every time Sharon felt like she should not be taking drugs, she would think of all her problems: her parents’ divorce, her bad grades, and all the other pressure. Then she would feel the need to take the pills. It was her “problem solver”, after all. This would make her cry.

After swallowing the Ecstasy pills, Sharon started to feel high. She felt a sudden urge to take the elevator to the highest level and go up to the roof, so out of highness, she did. Sharon felt really giddy and started to swagger. Suddenly, she tripped over a piece of rubble and her feet brushed against the edge of the building. She could feel the wind rush through her body as she was in mid-air, shutting her eyes tight.

Madrasah Al-Irsyad Al-Islamiah Nuha Amani Bte Misbahuddin - illustration 2 colour

“Crash!” She could not feel anything anymore…

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