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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Illustrations for CNB (Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore) - Essay 15

Isabella Loh
Henry Park Primary School, 6 Initiative

That fateful Monday morning, the gorgeous weather betrayed the less than pleasant events that would take place that day. The sky was a shade of powder blue and a few cotton-wool clouds, blown by the light breeze, drifted lazily across the sky. I was having the typical Monday blues and was trudging grimly, shouldering my backpack on the seemingly tiny stretch of pavement towards my school.

“Amy! Wait for me!” a distant voice called out, just across the road. I abruptly stopped and swivelled to face the speaker.

“Gosh, I haven’t seen you for how long? Anyway, meet me here after school, ok? I want to show you something”, my best friend, Sandra, babbled excitedly.

I should have ignored her request and run to the safety of the school gates; after all, we had been strangers for two weeks. Her listless, irritable mood had soured our friendship. Instead, I dully nodded my head, half asleep, and just continued on my way.

It was only at the end of the last lesson when the bell was just seconds from ringing that I remembered her words, that the matter actually sunk in.

Soon enough, the familiar shrill bell rang and the sound of the screeching of chairs being pushed back and the excited chatter of my schoolmates filled the air. I grimaced slightly but scurried hurriedly to just outside the school gates where dozens of my schoolmates were chatting with their friends as they crossed the road.

“Amy! I didn’t think you would come! Why don’t you come and take a walk with me? I want to show you some of my new friends!” Sandra linked arms with me and chattered eagerly as she steered me in the direction of the construction site a stone’s throw away from our school.

She continued chattering away until we finally arrived at the construction site. She warily glanced around and quickly dashed to the bottom of one of the scaffolds.

“I did it, didn’t I? I kept my promise, now where is my reward?” Sandra lost her eager expression and took on a more sinister, more hungry one as we drew close to a few huddling girls.

“Of course you get your reward. I’m sure she’ll love it”, said the apparent leader, a tall, gangly girl, as she discreetly passed a packet of something colourful to Sandra.

“What are you talking about? What will I love?” I asked curiously.

“You will find out soon enough. Why don’t you try it right now?” she smiled invitingly and proffered a small packet of what looked like colourful pills.

Henry Park Primary School Isabella Loh - illustration 1 colour.

“Is that… is that ecstasy?” I looked incredulously at Sandra who had swallowed the whole packet of pills.

“No, no, this is XTC, it’s harmless!” That slightly desperate tone in her voice gave it away.

I sprinted swiftly in the direction of the school and none of them seemed to be steady enough to pursue me. I dashed into the principal’s office and gabbled the first thing that came into my mind.

“They’re taking drugs at the construction site!” I gabbled anxiously.

My principal swiftly issued several teachers to apprehend the students and with a flash of fingers, dialled the number for the Central Narcotics Bureau.

Henry Park Primary School Isabella Loh - illustration 2 colour

I was in shock and my vision was blurring like overexposed pictures. It was my first narrow brush with drugs and I could not believe someone would dare to take drugs in the heart of Singapore.

Needless to say, that gang of girls was sent for rehabilitation in the girls’ home and their drugs were seized. I never saw Sandra again and I am ashamed to say that I am glad.

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