Taken in ...
       It was a sultry afternoon. The baking sun shone mercilessly even though fluffy clouds were drifting triumphantly across the azure sky. The piercing sun's rays were pricking my skin and beads of perspiration trickled down my cheeks. Even the energetic birds hid in the shady trees.

       Through the dusty corridors of Marine Avenue, which led us to the beach, I was having a picnic with my friends. As our stomachs growled with hunger, we gobbled our food and sipped our refreshing drinks to quench our thirst. While we were eating to our heart's content and admiring the breath-taking scenery, the pure white, fine sand, the leafy trees and the scenic sea, a little boy, aged between five to eight, approached us.

       The boy was tall and bamboo-like, with chubby cheeks and spindly, long legs. I stole a surreptitious glance at him and noticed that he was sobbing. Tears welled up in his eyes and cascaded down his cheeks. That sight melted my heart.

       "So cute!" said Chloe. Everything in the whole wide world just seems so adorable to her. "How pitiful!" Rebecca commented. "He looks like a monster," remarked Rainbow, always critical and negative.

       Compared to them, I was the most practical one. I ignored their silly comments and sensed that something was amiss. "What has happened, boy? Why are you crying?" I queried, consumed by curiosity.

       "My elder brother and I were fishing at a nearby canal when he lost his balance and fell into the canal. The current was strong. Neither of us knew how to swim. "Help, please help!" he yelled.

       We were in a dilemma. We pondered over the scenario. Thousands or perhaps millions of thoughts flashed through our minds. "What should we do? Would we fall into the canal as well? If we do not save him, would others do?

       Although I was incoherent with fear, a speck of guilt pricked us and we made up our minds to offer our help. When we arrived at the scene, a comical and prominent sight greeted us. A burly man in his twenties was clinging onto a branch for support. I was tempted to giggle but something stopped me. The branch was breaking off!

       We approached him only to find ourselves being pushed into the canal. I felt remorseful. As the current sent us struggling away, I could hear the chorus of "April Fool!" It was the "in" crowd which caused us to be stranded on an alienated island. If it had been longer, we would not have survived for days without food!

       Looking back, I felt indeed silly to be taken in by their tall story. This incident would be etched in my mind forever.