Day Four: Brenda, oh Brenda

Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life, and isn’t any more. Make this the first post in a three-post series.

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One day when I was eight, I brought a mini Hello Kitty pencil to school. It went missing the same day, even before the recess bell went off. I remember the incident so clearly, as if it were just yesterday.

In English class, instead of paying Mrs. Ngain some attention, I was busy fiddling about with the cute pencil of mine. The two and a half-inch yellow writing instrument was a gift from my mum only the day before. I was so pleased with it and wanted to show it to everyone – starting from my desk partner. Now, if my memory serves me well, her name was Brenda. I’m pretty damn sure she’s a Brenda. Let’s just call her Brenda, shall we?

Right. So, halfway through showing off my fancy pencil to Brenda, the both of us came to realize that Mrs. Ngain had stopped babbling and the rest of our classmates seemed to all be busying themselves with something. But what? An assignment, of course! One which the both of us haven’t a clue about, because we haven’t been listening in class.

Caution: Heavy usage of Singlish up ahead

What Brenda and I did next, was to bug all the hardworking kids in our vicinity:

“I don’t understand, what are we supposed to do now?”

“You never listen meh? Just submit a news report before lesson finish lor!”

“Huh? How to write?? Got what news??? Teach me leh!”

“Aiya, who ask you never listen to teacher! Don’t disturb me lah, I need to concentrate liao!”

So apparently, we had to come up with a news report before class ends, and said report had to be based on a factual piece of recent news, duh. But Primary Two Siqi was an ignorant airhead with nothing but straw (and perhaps a Hello Kitty merchandise) under her skull. I didn’t know nuts about any current affairs then (and probably now, still). This was what I submitted fifteen minutes before class ended:

A fire broke out at Bishan Street 24 yesterday. Many people died. […]

With this piece of made-up crap, it was pretty obvious I got called over to Mrs. Ngain’s desk.

“When was yesterday? You’ll have to state the actual date and time of the fire in a report. And are you sure many people died??? Please only provide factual details.”

Till this date, I still have no idea why Primary Two kids were required to generate news reports as class assignments. Anyway, when I got back to my seat, I couldn’t find my Hello Kitty pencil anywhere. I searched frantically – pencil-case, bag, my desk, under the desk, my chair, the floor… It was simply nowhere to be found! Sensing my despair, Brenda then tried to help.

“What are you looking for?”

“My pencil!”

“The Hello Kitty one?”

“Ya!”

“Did you try searching in your pencil-case?”

“YES! I’ve searched everywhere but can’t find it!!!”

Just then, the recess bell signalled the end of English class.

“Class, stand! Class, greet!”

I tore my eyes away from the floor as we all stood up to greet Mrs. Ngain.

And from the corner of my eyes, I could swear I saw Brenda smirking.

**********

This is a true recount. I can still remember the frustration and devastation of losing that pencil and, the feeling of resignation when I realized I would most probably never see it ever again. Serves me right for being such a show-off, don’t you think?

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