A Road Accident
 
       "Ring ...!" My alarm clock rang into the stillness of the early morning. "Yawnnn!" I rose and stretched my arms. I was an early riser as I believe in the phrase Ďthe early bird catches the worm.í I began to dress for school. Suddenly, I remembered that I was supposed to go to school earlier as my class was going on a hike up Mount Faber.

       I went down to have my breakfast, ham and egg. Then, I grabbed my school bag and walked to the bus-stop near my house where Jo and I often waited for each other and went to school together. But Jo was not there yet. Nevermind, I still had fifteen minutes to spare. "Tick, tick, tick ..." I held my watch to my ear. Yup, it was still working. I glanced at the watch for what seemed like the umpteenth time.

       "So ... ssoorry, Iím late!" Jo panted as he rushed up to me. "Ding dong!" Just then, we heard the school bell ring. We were late! Out of desperation, Jo dashed across the road, choked with traffic. "Jo, donít! Better to be late then never to have come at all!" I yelled. "Iíve waited for this hike for a long, long, time! I wonít miss it!" Jo cried out as I tugged at his bag. He pulled free of my grip and raced at top speed across the road. "Donít!" I shouted. But ... Screeecchh ... BANG!

       A blue Toyota skidded to a stop. Before it lay ... Jo! The driver looked pale. Panic spread over his face. He changed lane and sped off. I stood rooted to the ground. The truth began to sink in. "Jo!" I ran over to his bloodied and mangled body and wept uncontrollably. "Call the ambulance!" I heard someone hiss to his neighbour.

       After what seemed like ages, the ambulance arrived at the scene. An attendant leapt out of vehicle and he held his finger below Joís nose. "No breathing!" he reported. He checked Joís heartbeat. "Dead!" He pronounced the word carefully. I stood helplessly, staring into space. Behind me was a policeman, asking questions about the hit-and-run driver. "The license number was SME 4728E!" I heard someone say.

       The rest of the day passed like a blur. I went back to school and waited. Of course, the rest of the class went on the hike already, so I just sat in the empty and silent classroom. When the class came back, the teacher asked me why I was late. I told her the whole story. Class resumed, but what a subdued class it was.

       When school ended, I trudged home wearily, alone. It was time for news on the television. I glumly flipped on the switch. " ... road accident today. A school boy was knocked down by a car ... the culprit who knocked the boy down was ... He was caught by the police ..." I did not bother to hear the rest of the report. I showered, had dinner, and went to sleep early, for there was no homework to be done.

       However, although I was tired, I could not sleep and I tossed and turned for ages. Mother came in and told me that she saw the news report and was very sad. I broke down and cried. "It was me, Mum, it was me ... I caused his death. I didnít stop him!" "Donít be silly, child, it wasnít your fault. No one knew that this would happen! The most you can do now is to say a prayer and let him rest in peace," Mother consoled. I did what she said and snuggled down to bed, greatly consoled. This time, however, I fell asleep in two shakes of a duckís tail.