"Caught Red-Handed" by Brandon Tay

The following is a vivid account of written by Brandon Tay (Primary 5) about how his character was caught red-handed doing something he shouldn’t.

 Caught Red-Handed!

“Thomas!” my father spat. “Start doing your homework now!” he continued.

As usual, I sighed and strolled up the stairs without the slightest regard for what he was saying. He had always threatened to punish me if I did not listen to him but the angry threats of punishments that filled the air never materialised.

Suddenly, my mobile phone started vibrating. I knew what that meant. Racing back down the stairs, I snatched my “book bag” from the floor and vanished into the street outside. As I was running, I felt another vibration from my phone. Disregarding the message, I sent the standard reply: “Going to library to study.”

For the last six months, I had used the same excuse, countless times, that I was going to the library to study with a group of friends. All this while, my father believed I was engaged in serious group study. A pang of guilt ran through me, but I quickly suppressed it. I would do what I wanted and my father would not interfere.

“Hey Tom! We’ve been waiting!” Edward and I bumped shoulders.

“Soccer, right?” I checked.

“Yep!” Edward quipped.

We chose our teams and commenced the game. Soon, all that could be seen of the ball was a spinning mass of black and white. For a moment, we were ready to score, but by the next we would be struggling to keep up our defence. I was totally engrossed in the game.

“What’s going on here?” a thunderous voice cut through the air. I knew that voice.

“Thomas! You, boy, are coming home with me. You are grounded!” he roared.

My father had found out about our surreptitious soccer games. He dragged me home by the collar. I hung my head as trudged, struggling to keep pace with him.

When we reached home, there was a terrible silence, one filled with tension and apprehension. Then, the barrage of anger unleashed upon me. I knew I deserved the lashing but each word still stabbed like a dagger into my heart. I felt ashamed of myself.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, it ended.

“No more free time after school. I will watch you!” my father intoned fiercely.

As I sat in my room, I realised it was my own future I was ruining. My father had scolded me because he cared about me. I resolved to play and study at the right time. I must learn to manage my time wisely. In the end, this was a valuable learning experience for me.

 –oOo–

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