A Second Chance



(This composition is inspired by abridged news articles on crime from The Straits Times’ NewEd App which Is used at Yen’s Academy to Inspire writing and knowledge of current affairs)

Alex is a fatty!  Alex is a pig!”  All of Alex’s classmates started their sing-song chant as soon as he walked into the classroom.  Fighting back tears, Alex wondered why he was so unlucky.  He was constantly being bullied in school for being chubby, and at home, his father was cruel and mean and insisted that Alex follow in his criminal footsteps. 

When Alex entered Secondary School, he fell in with the wrong crowd.  He was tired of being bullied and decided to become a bully instead.  He started sniffing glue almost daily, and began to gamble with his new-found gangster buddies.  He even consumed drugs such as Ketamine and Erimin 5 to blank out and forget the cares of the world. 

In no time at all, Alex was playing truant almost every day and learnt all there was to learn about crime.  Shortly after, he dropped out of school and indulged in a life of crime.

Alex was feeling confident of his latest mission – to rob the Singapore National Bank.  He was cleverly disguised as a smartly-dressed security guard.  No one suspected that he was actually a criminal mastermind.  What a brilliant disguise!

Unknown to Alex, however, the bank vault was surrounded by state-of-the-art invisible sensors.  With an arrogant smirk on his craggy face, Alex thought smugly to himself, “Ah, I can just waltz into the bank.“ 

PRRRRRRRRRRRRNGGGG!  As soon as Alex had crossed the threshold, he triggered the security alarms.  The incessant shrill ringing of the high-pitched sirens pierced his ears and his heart filled with dread.  He looked up and found himself surrounded by the REAL security guards of the bank. 

Before Alex could blink, he was handcuffed and pushed roughly into the back of a police car.  “This is just a bad dream,” Alex whispered to himself.  He shut his eyes and saw his life flash before him.  When he opened his eyes again, he was behind bars.  Alas, it was not a dream at all. 

Life in prison jolted Alex and he resolved to turn over a new leaf.  He decided to learn some new skills so that he would not return to his old life of crime once he was released.  He signed up for some cooking courses and learnt coding in Prison School.  He practised daily and became a Master Chef and an expert coder.  He also spent his free time reading many self-help books and worked hard at becoming a better person.  Although seven years crawled by slowly, finally, the day came when Alex was released.

Alex went back to his father and refused to commit any more crimes. 

“I am walking the straight path now!” he declared proudly. 

“I can’t believe I kidnapped a useless fool like you,” his father grumbled and threw his hands up in disgust.

Alex froze with horror when he heard his father’s kidnapping confession.  Reeling with turmoil, he walked away from his kidnapper and set out to track down his real family. 

After months of searching high and low for his family, Alex was ready to give up.  He had left no stone unturned but Lady Luck was not on his side.  Just as he was about to close the chapter on reuniting with his real family, the shrill ringing of the telephone jolted him out of his reverie. 

“Alex!  We’ve found your family!” Sherlock Sam, Singapore’s best detective, announced with a whoop of delight.  Tears of joy ran unchecked down Alex’s ruddy cheeks.  

“Thank you for a second chance,” Alex whispered.  “Thank you.”

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