In one of the lessons where we were revising for SPM examination, I told my students that they should memorize at least a narrative essay in order to tackle Section B of Paper 1. One of my students memorize this essay:
However, I was aghast when I read the SPM Paper 1 questions. It was so specific that I wondered how can my students write what they had already memorized. Below is an idea:
4. Write a story about a fisherman starting with 'The wind blew strongly. Out at sea...'
The wind blew strongly. Out at sea, I carefully navigated the ship, hoping to survive another day. As a seasoned fisherman, this was nothing new. However, I could not help remembering what happened last year.
It was a scorching hot day. My daughter just had netball practice and felt very exhausted. She headed to the bus stop to wait for Bus 101 which would take her home. She was beginning to drift off to sleep when she saw the bus arriving. The sun was shining ablaze and that was probably the reason why she took the wrong bus, Bus 111. She was totally unaware of it.
She was glad to get a seat. Within minutes, she was slumped against the window, fast asleep. When she opened her eyes more than an hour later, she found herself in the middle of nowhere. It was already dusk and she was the only passenger left on the bus. She could not recognize the part of town they were passing through. She pressed the bell and the bus puffed to a halt. She planned to hop across the road and catch a bus going the opposite direction. But, she found herself on a deserted street with a row of shops that were already shuttered. She kicked herself for not asking the driver for directions.
As she was wondering what to do, a motorcycle lurched into view and stopped right in front of her. She braved herself to ask him how to get back to Taman Kenangan. He grinned, showing his uneven set of teeth. Then he patted the back seat and said that he would send her home. Without hesitation, she scrambled on the pillion. He turned the motorcycle around and headed in the direction she wanted. They travelled for about fifteen minutes and the road seemed peculiar to her. The rider made a few turns and she knew she was brought to different unknown destination.
Out of the blue, alarm bells started to ring in her head. She tapped his back and told him to stop. He leaned forward and went at high speed instead before slowing down to turn into a dark and narrow road that led into an oil palm plantation.
My daughter had had enough. She leaped off and rolled herself onto the ground. Angrily, the man turned around and rode towards her. She swung her school bag at him and he lost his balance before falling off his motorcycle. Without looking back, she ran for her life. She dared not to stop until she found herself on a tarred road. She was relieved to see a taxi and waved her hand, hoping that it would stop. Luckily, it did! She got in and gave the driver our house address.
After twenty minutes, she arrived at our home. When I came towards her, she hugged me tightly. After I learnt what had happened, I was horrified. I told her that she should have just looked for a public phone and called home when she was lost.
A splash of sea water on the face suddenly brought me to reality. I wryly smiled.