Write a story ending with: "... Now I realise the value of a true friend."

- by carnation97, Kuala Lumpur

Aishah and I are classmates. We also live in the same neighbourhood. Although we had known each other since we were in primary four, we were never close to each other. I was the top student in class and I even looked down on her for her poor academic performance. Though she is known for her benevolence, I did not realise the fact until a tragic incident befell my family a few months ago.

That night, my family and I were sleeping soundly. I felt thirsty so I woke up and walked sleepily to the kitchen for a drink. Suddenly, there was smoke coming from the living room. At first I thought that somebody was carrying out open burning. Then, I realised that there was more and more smoke. Sensing something was amiss, I quickly ran to the living room to have a look. I could not believe my eyes. Part of the living room was on fire!

I immediately ran to my parents' room and told them everything. My father called the Fire and Rescue Department at once. We tried in vain to put out the fire. There was thick smoke and we could hardly breathe. Soon, the whole living room was ablaze and the heat was unbearable. After taking the important documents with us, we exited the home through the back door.

Many of our neighbours, including Aishah and her family, came to help us put out the fire. There was nothing much they could do, since the whole wooden house was burning furiously within a short period of time.

Soon, a fire engine arrived. After putting in a lot of efforts, the firefighters managed to put out the fire. However, most parts of our house had been reduced to ashes. Luckily, there were no casualties. We were deeply saddened by the tragic incident. The merciless fire had made us homeless and we had no place to spend the night. While we were thinking of a solution, suddenly someone patted me on my shoulder. I turned around and saw Aishah.

"Don't worry, Amy. You and your parents can stay in our house. You can share my bedroom and your parents can use our extra bedroom," said Aishah.

Tears rolled down my cheeks when I heard Aishah's kind words. She then hugged me and comforted me. I thanked her profusely. Then I heard Aishah's parents offering the same assistance to my parents. We were extremely thankful to them and gratefully accepted their kind offer.

It took three months to have our home rebuilt. During the three months' stay in Aishah's house, she had been extremely supportive to me, especially emotionally. She understood how I felt after losing a home. She tried her best to make me feel at home. She even organised a donation campaign at school to help us rebuild our home. No words could express my gratitude to her. Now I realise the value of a true friend.