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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Illustrations for CNB (Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore) - Essay 17

Title: A Horrible Price to Pay

Jerika Low En Ru
St. Anthony’s Canossian Primary, 4 Allamanda

Timothy used to be a young, inquisitive boy, always willing to try new things. He was a fast learner and could always easily comprehend whatever his teacher taught him. He had a bright future ahead of him, and even planned to be a doctor. His whole life was mapped out for him, and with his quick tongue and sharp wit, it was hard to believe that he would not succeed.

That was until John came into his life. It was a normal afternoon and Timothy was walking home after school. He had just reached the void deck when suddenly a rowdy-looking youngster stopped him. “Give me all your money now or …”

St Anthony's Canossian Primary Jerika Low En Ru - illustration 1 colour

Timothy saw the glint of a knife in the youngster’s right hand and immediately knew what was about to happen to him. Just then, a young boy about Timothy’s age sauntered up with a few older teenagers.

“Hey! Who do you think you are! Stop harassing others before we report you to the police!”

The youngster was about to protest, but seeing that he was outnumbered, he took to his heels and disappeared in a flash. Timothy thanked the group of teenagers and the boy introduced himself as John. However, the conversation did not end there.

“You want to repay us for helping you? Well then why don’t you hang out with us and have some fun.”

A red-haired boy smirked knowingly. Seeing no harm in that, Timothy agreed. Immediately, John looked around the void deck and whipped out a packet containing pink pills. The whole gang urged Timothy to take one, and he foolishly came to the conclusion that there was no harm in trying just one.

He was wrong. The next few months of his life whizzed past in a blur. He constantly felt irritable, dazed and had horrible hallucinations. He drew further and further apart from his younger siblings, who constantly stole worried glances at their once-beloved big brother. He spent almost all of his time after school either begging for more drugs or trying to steal money to buy drugs.

St Anthony's Canossian Primary Jerika Low En Ru - illustration 2 colour

One day when he had managed to obtain some money to buy more drugs, something happened. He was making his purchase, and was drenched in sweat and shivering. Just as John was about to hand him the packet of pink pills, a shout captured his attention. It was two narcotics officers! Timothy tried to run, but he was too weak and collapsed on the ground. John had disappeared in the blink of an eye.

“Come with us, you’re in deep trouble young man!” one of the narcotics officers hollered. They brought him back to the Central Narcotics Bureau and called his parents. When they found out what had happened, they started sobbing in disappointment. Why had they not found out earlier? Why didn’t they stop him? Regrets filled the entire atmosphere, but everyone knew that it was too late to bring things back to what they once were.

Timothy entered a drug rehabilitation centre, where he suffered withdrawal symptoms. It was a very difficult period of his life, and he encountered countless hardships. He was released a couple of years later when he was finally released and drug-free. He regretted the horrible encounter with John and started a whole new life. He made up with his family, who welcomed him back with open arms. Now, Timothy is busy spreading the message: Do not abuse drugs; the only thing that will come out of it is a horrible price to pay.

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