I had never taken my studies seriously. In fact, I was the happy-go-lucky type of person. Compared to me, my classmate, Ming Wei, was exactly the opposite. He was quiet and serious in his studies. Thus it was not surprising that he often performed well academically.
Despite the fact, I was not interested in being Ming Wei's friend. Since he was only interested in the schoolwork, I consider him a bookworm and believed that it would be extremely boring to be in his company.
This year when the school restarted, I was down with flu. Therefore I was absent on the first day, when students chose their seats in class. A few days later when I had recovered, I found that I had been allocated a front seat. In the past, I had always tried to avoid the front seats, since being seated so close to the teachers meant that I would constantly be under their watchful eyes. To worsen the matter, Ming Wei was seated next to me. No words could describe my annoyance.
In spite of the fact that I did not like Ming Wei, I found him rather helpful, especially in explaining mathematical problems. As I was weak in mathematics, he was always willing to lend me a helping hand when I needed it.
One day, a few friends requested me to join a gang. They told me about the benefits of joining, including the support and protection that I would get from the gang and all the fun I could have with the members. Being young and naive, I was very much attracted and agreed to join without much consideration.
The very next day, I realised my mistake and regretted acting too hastily. I discovered that as part of the gang, I was required to obey everything the leader said. That day, I was ordered to commit a robbery with a few other members. I was reluctant to commit the crime as it was against the law to do so. I disobeyed the leader and told him that I wish to resign from the gang.
"If you wish to resign, you need to pay us RM500," said the leader in a menacing tone.
I was worried as I had no money. Not daring to tell my parents for fear of the outcome, I was at wit's end.
"Why do you look so worried, Lex?" Ming Wei asked me the next day at school. "What happened?"
I told Ming Wei everything. After learning about my terrible predicament, he comforted me and promised to get the money from his parents. The next day, he came to school with RM500. I paid off the gang with the money and was free once again. I was extremely grateful to Ming Wei for helping me out. Now I realise the value of a true friend.