“So how was school today son?”my father asked me with a rough voice.
“Err.....ff..f..fine Dad I stammered obviously hiding something. Soon my father asked question after question until I spilled the beans of being scolded by my teacher. My father was fetching me back from school and we had just entered our lift lobby. Sweat trickled down my soft tender cheeks from both the scorching heat and fear of my father’s unthinkable punishment. He was already boiling and I knew it was not the heat. Then, I saw my friendly neighbour, Mr Chan, whose always smiling face vanished the moment he saw a man approach him expressionless. He was tall and scrawny but his cold eyes told me he was not to be messed with.
He started a conversation with Mr Chan, now with cold sweat pouring down his face and worry swallowing his smile, but I could not make out the words.
A high pitched sound announced the arrival of a lift, its metallic doors sliding open welcoming people. The man pushed Mr Chan into the lift, not caring about the feeble man’s age. He too went in and the doors slid shut. I looked at the floor number, going up all the way to the twelfth floor, above the lift doors curious of what was going on. Another lift door opened and before I could move, my father was already walking into it, still holding my hand, and he pressed the same floor number. Now I realised where I got my sense of adventure from.
“Mr Chan looked worried. I’m gonna’ check on him. You just stay outside and don’t go anywhere ,” he said stepping out of the lift and walking towards Mr Chan’s house. After about ten minutes, which seemed like eternity, I got impatient waiting for my father. I went into the house, making no noise, just in case. No one was in the living room. Had they just disappeared? I saw two doors ajar with noises coming from inside. Quiet as a mouse, yet alert, I peered into one of the rooms in horror. My eyes grew big, jaw dropped and the colour was drained out of me. The same man held a knife at Mr Chan who was busy dialling some numbers on a safe box. I stealthily moved to the next room and saw another man holding a knife at Mrs Chan and my father who were both gagged and tied up. My heart raced as I darted to the nearest phone. I picked it up and called the policed. A man picked up but I was too scared to say anything. Just when I found my voice, I was slammed from behind.
I yelled in pain. Without looking at my attacker, I darted to the kitchen. I grabbed a pan and swung it round whacking the man’s head. He fell to the ground unconscious, scarlet red blood oozing from his head. I ran to the phone noticing the other man about to drive a knife into my father. I sprinted and gave him blinding kick to his ribcage, knocking the wind out of him and sending him scrawling on the ground but my childish kick was no match for his well built body. He immediately sprang up, his knife coming for my stomach. I dodged it and grabbed a perfume bottle on a dressing table and threw it at his eye. The bottle broke, the content stinging his eye. He stumbled out the door slashing his knife into me. I yelled and fell to the floor crying. The knife had dug quite deeply into my flesh. The pain was unbearable and I screamed uncontrollably. The room was spinning. The man, still holding his eye, came at me, fuming. With all the strength I had left, I pushed a heavy cupboard down to the floor, blocking the doorway but which got me badly injured too. The last thing I heard was a loud “Wham!” before I blacked out.
I awoke in the hospital, bandaged, but nothing really hurt except my knife wound. I sat up, with great effort, as I heard Mr Chan thanking me profusely. It seemed he had owed money to that man but had not paid back . Other neighbours had heard the shouting and came and hit the man on the head, calling the police and ambulance. Now Mr Chan learnt never to borrow money knowing he would not be able to pay back. It was a good thing my curiosity got the better of me or my father and Mr and Mrs Chan would have been killed. My mother’s words flashed through my mind, “Never beg, borrow nor steal!”.