Introduction

Welcome! My name is Daniel Lim Jhao Jian. Here is where I share my experience, knowledge and ideas. You are welcome to leave comments and follow my blog. You are free to copy anything from this blog. Please recommend this blog to your friends.


Friday, 1 March 2013

24 January 2008 Tragedy

This tragedy happened just 3 weeks after I entered Form 1. It is also known as the 'bottle cover tragedy'. At that time, I was studying in afternoon class.

On the morning of 24 January 2008 (Thursday), there was a cross country competition in my school. At that time, I had the habit of not paying attention to what my teacher said in class. Therefore, before that I did not know that there would be a cross-country competition. I only knew about it at one day before the cross-country, when one of my friend told me about that. Still, it was not too late. I went to school in the morning on that day and took part in the cross-country competition. I was not good at sports but I still tried to run faster, hoping that I could win the competition. At last, when I finished running the cross-country, the teacher in charge said that my position was 25th. I heard that the top-50 runners would be taken into account.

I was very happy about that because I thought that I had won the cross-country competition, so I told one of my friends about that. However, he said 'This is only a rehearsal. Lets see if you can win the actual cross-country competition on Saturday.' I was disappointed to hear that. I did not know that the cross-country on that day was just a rehearsal because I did not pay attention to what my teacher had said. Still, I told myself that since I could get the 25th for the rehearsal I might be able to win the actual competition as well. Although I did not hear my teacher saying that the actual cross-country competition would be on that Saturday, my friend had said Saturday so I thought that it might be true.

At that time, I just entered secondary school and I had made a few friends. However, I had some problems with the girls in my class. Due to unknown reasons, they often teased and disturbed me. They liked to call me 'the steel rod dancing girl'. I did not know what it actually meant but I knew that they must be saying that I am a girl. They also called me 'dog'. Besides, they sometimes used a broom to hit my leg. I addition, they disturbed me in some other ways. So, I told my grandparents about that but they could not do anything. Therefore, I hated those girls very much. Then, I decided to use a set-square to take revenge against them. I used the sharp end of the set-square to poke the cover of their bottles. However, that did not cause any damage so the girls just ignored what I did.

On the night before 24 January 2008, my grandfather said to me that I really behaved like a girl, and that is why the girls in my class called me a girl. He said that I liked to drag on my words very long when I spoke and make some sounds like 'Eh!', which according to him are what girls like to do. My grandmother also said that when I was in primary school, I often sat with girls while eating in the canteen during recess. It was not true so I denied, but my grandmother just ignored me and continued saying. Then, my grandparents said that if I wanted the girls in my class to stop teasing me, I should change my behaviour first. I did not fully agree with them, because I thought that it was absolutely wrong for the girls to tease me, no matter what. However, I did not argue with my grandparents.

On 24 January 2008 (Thursday), after the cross-country competition ended, I went home for a while. I had to go to school again after a few hours because there was still normal school lessons in the afternoon. When I was at home, my grandmother cooked a plate of roasted chicken for me as lunch. I told my grandmother that I wanted to eat the whole plate of roasted chicken, but she replied 'Eh!'. So, I asked her "Why did you say 'Eh' ? " My grandfather who was sitting beside heard me saying the word 'Eh!' and immediately he said "There, you are behaving like a girl again, you said the word 'Eh!'. That is why the girls in your class like to tease you ". I answered 'Because grandmother said 'Eh!', so I want to ask her why she said so.' But, my grandfather said 'Your grandmother did say that, but you should not follow.' I replied 'No, she was the one who said, I did not say.' Then, my grandfather said 'I heard you saying'. I argued 'No, I didn't.' Then, he said 'If you would not listen to my advice, the girls will surely continue to tease you.' I did not answer him.

Later, I went to school again. In school, I thought of what happened earlier. Actually, I did not say 'Eh!' intentionally but I was just asking my grandmother why she said that. However, my grandfather insisted that I did say that. He should have find out the truth first before saying that I was wrong. Also, my grandfather should not have said that it was because of me myself that caused the girls in my class to tease me. In my opinion, the girls were wrong, because they should not have teased me, and there's no excuse for that. I was unhappy that my grandfather did not side me. In school on that day, the girls teased me again. Because of that, in addition to what my grandfather had said earlier, I felt very angry with the girls.

I again used the sharp end of my set square to poke the cover of one of their bottles and this time I poked harder. Suddenly, that end of my set square broke. The girls saw that and they laughed at me. I was even unhappy. The broken parts of the set square was very sharp, so I used it to scratch the cover of the bottle. As a result, there were 2 scratches on the bottle cover. Looking at that, the girl who owned the bottle started crying. Therefore, I stopped scratching her bottle. She told some other girls about that and they all blamed me. A girl KYF advised me to apologise to that girl but I insisted that she should apologise to me first, because it was her who teased me first.

Then, I realised that a girl TJW also knew about the incident. I knew that I would be in trouble. TJW came from the same primary school with me. During Standard 6, she sat my car to go home from school every day because her house is located near my house. She often used that opportunity to make reports to my grandparents whenever I did something wrong in school, and because of that I often got scolded by my grandparents. On that day, I knew that she would definitely report to my grandparents that I damaged the cover of the girl's bottle. In fact, that girl asked TJW to tell my grandparents about that. She promised the girl to do so and she even took her bottle to show my grandparents as a proof.I began to feel scared. It was already 5:30PM at that time and the school would end one hour later at 6:30PM. If later TJW sees my grandfather at the school gate, she would surely tell my grandfather about that straight away.

I told myself that later I should walk out of the school and enter the car quickly before she reached the school gate. However, even if she does not see my grandfather later, at night she might come to my house to tell my grandparents about that. Maybe her mother would stop her from doing so, since her mother knew my grandparents very well. But, I was not sure if her mother would stop her, and I would surely be worried all the time at night. Then, I thought of turning off the door bell of my house and disconnecting the telephone, but she could still call my grandparents in front of my house. I realised that I could not stop her from doing so. I decided to ask KYF for help. I told her to tell the girl that I was willing to apologise to her, as long as TJW do not report to my grandparents about the case. However, KYF said that there was nothing she could do to help me, because it was too late already. I tried to think of some other methods but there were none. Finally, I decided to tell my grandfather about that myself, hoping that he would not scold me.

When the school was over, I quickly walked out of my school. When I walked down the stairs, I saw that TJW was still above the stairs, talking to someone. I thought that she could not catch up with me and I quickly walked to the school gate. At the gate, I waited for a few minutes before my grandfather arrived. I was prepared to tell my grandfather about that. I thought TJW was not there. Out of my expectation, when I walked towards the car, TJW ran towards my car. I tried to stop her and I entered my car. However, when I tried to close the car door, she pulled the door and said 'Wait!'. My grandfather saw that and he asked TJW what happened. She told my grandfather everything. Then, my grandfather told TJW to ask the girl not to cry and that he would pay for the bottle cover. My grandmother was not in the car at that time because she stayed at home.

After that, I told my grandfather that I actually wanted to tell him about that myself. At first, he did not scold me. He said that it was just a small matter and asked me to give that girl the money for the bottle cover. He also asked me to apologise to her and I agreed. Then, my grandfather mentioned about the cross-country competition. He said that the students in his tuition centre told him that the actual cross-country competition would be held on that Saturday. On that morning my friend also said that it would be on Saturday, so I was quite sure that it was true. However, I lied to my grandfather that I heard my teacher saying about that. I lied because I did not want my grandfather to know that I did not pay attention to what my teacher said.

I thought that I had escaped from my grandfather's scolding. However, somewhere on the way back home, my grandfather suddenly said that it was not good for me to do that to the girl. I replied that I knew about that. My grandfather added that previously he had always advised me not to look for troubles with other students but I would not listen. Then, I said that I knew that I was wrong and I would not do that again. However, my grandfather said that it was no use for me to know that I was wrong since I already did it. He even said that the girl might tell the teacher that I was actually trying to hit her and she used her bottle to block, therefore her bottle was damaged. Then, my grandfather started scolding me.

When we reached home, my grandmother was already waiting at the door. Immediately my grandfather told my grandmother about that. She was very angry to know that. My grandfather decided to telephone TJW to ask her more about the incident. TJW told my grandparents that I had been scratching the cover of that girl's bottle and also another girl's bottle since a few days ago. That made my grandparents even angrier. Both my grandparents scolded me for a long time on that night. They said that I had done something wrong only 3 weeks after entering Form 1. On the next day 25 January 2008 (Friday), in the morning they continued scolding me. At last, they told me not to repeat the same mistake in the future.

After my grandfather came home from his tuition class on that day, he told me that his students said that the actual cross-country competition would not be held on that Saturday but on some other day. My grandfather asked me if I was sure that it would be on that Saturday. Actually, I did not hear my teacher saying about that but I assumed that it was true since my friend and my grandfather's student in the previous class had said that it would be on Saturday. So, I lied to my grandparents that I was sure that my teacher said Saturday. My grandparents then said that if I go to the school on the next day (Saturday) and found out that there was no cross-country, I could just go home, so it was just a small matter.

At that time, one of my friend TWS telephoned me to ask me something. I used that opportunity to ask her about the cross-country competition. She said that the actual cross-country competition would be held on the next Saturday, not on that Saturday. When I told my grandparents about that, they asked me why I did not listen properly to what my teacher had said. I told them that they should not blame me because my teacher really said Saturday but he did not say 'next Saturday'. They said that they were not blaming me but advising me to listen properly to what my teachers say in the future. I insisted that I did listen properly and my teacher really said Saturday only. I argued that my grandfather's student in the previous class also said that it would be on that Saturday.

Then, my grandparents got angry. They said the my teacher had definitely said 'next Saturday' but I did not listen properly. I again told my grandparents not to blame me for such a small issue. I did not tell them the truth that actually it was my friend who said Saturday because they might get even angrier. Then, my grandfather said 'Even if we blame you, there is nothing wrong for us to blame you, because you are the one who made the mistake'. My grandmother also said 'If you did not damage the girl's bottle cover, if you did listen properly to what your teacher had said, nobody is going to blame you.' As I expected, my grandparents mixed up the 2 issues. They scolded me again, for damaging the girl's bottle cover and not paying attention to what my teacher said. They also said that it was embarrassing for me to ask my friend about the date of the cross-country competition.

On 27 January 2008 (Sunday), I asked that girl about the price of her bottle cover because I wanted to pay her back. However, she said that she still had not buy a new one so I did not need to pay her yet. On the following day 28 January 2008 (Monday), my school rearranged the classes. I hoped that I would not be in the same class with those girls again. However, it turned out that the girls and I were in the same class again. I was unhappy about that but there was nothing I could do. A few days later, that girl claimed that I damaged the curtain of my class. She said that I did not have to pay her for the bottle cover anymore, but instead I had to pay her RM5 for the class curtain, since she was the AJK Keceriaan (the student in charge of decorations) of my class. So, I just paid her RM5.

Thinking of the incident made me feel unhappy. I just scratched the girl's bottle cover and to me, that was only a small issue. My grandparents have overreacted by scolding me.  I am sure that if my teachers were to know about the case, they would not have scolded me, but instead just ask me to apologise to the girl. I was also very angry with TJW. Because she reported the case to my grandparents, I got scolded. In fact, that was not the first time. During Standard 6, TJW sat my car to go home from school everyday. She often reported my mistakes in school to my grandparents while in the car and as a result, I got scolded by my grandparents. She even 'blackmailed' me by saying that she would report something to my grandparents if I refused to follow her instructions.

Due to the 24 January 2008 incident, I decided to take TJW as my enemy. I never talked to her again. I also told some of my friends about that incident. 3 years later at April 2011, an Indian boy Thinnesh Kumar became my enemy. I hated Thinnesh Kumar even more than TJW, so I took him as my greatest enemy, while TJW became my second enemy. Now, it is already more than 5 years after that incident. I do not hate TJW as much as I first hated her, but I could not forget that incident. So, I still consider TJW as my enemy, and I blocked her on Facebook.

After the 24 January 2008 incident, those girls seldom disturbed and teased me. At first, I still hated them and I took them as my enemy. Later, I realised that they were not that bad and the only person that I should really hate was TJW. So, I stopped hating them. Towards the end of 2008, I began to talk to those girls. By April 2009, I started taking them as my friends. I even invited them to my 14th birthday party on 4 April 2009. However, I continued to take TJW as my enemy. Later, they told me why in the beginning of Form 1 they called me the 'steel rod dancing girl'. It was because on the first day of Form 1, I kept on holding the steel columns outside the school hall and winded my body around it, making me look like a girl who was dancing. They also apologised to me about that. After completing Form 3, I was separated from them because they were no longer in the same class with me. Therefore, I often missed them.

This tragedy is my greatest tragedy throughout my 5 years in secondary school. It actually involved 2 incidents, and it did not benefit me at all.

(THE END)

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