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Disfigured by the frequent passages of solemn and earnest promises - by R

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We Will...

'A' Level student-inmate from Tanah Merah Prison

3rd Prize

“We will walk through this together…..”

Six simple words that could potentially achieve what millions of dollars thus far, have failed to achieve…

“We will never abandon you to face this alone because we understand, because we care…..”

A sentence such as the above, uncomplicated in its meaning and construct that could, potentially give meaning to and reconstruct a complicated life.

Accusations and blame mongering tend to leave in their wake a haunting and horrible sense of insecurity…Punishments tend to contribute to an overwhelming sense of disillusionment and despondence….

These are the chain of events that are repeated over and over again brining about an outcome that is the same over and over again…By constantly heaping them upon us like a pile of trash, we are then expected to feel remorse instead of rising resentment. It is finger-pointing and shaming that is preferred in place of compassion and empathy.

Given all this, against all logic, we are still expected to repent…

Do those who claim to wear the white flower of a blameless life, understand that it is not the imprisonment of the body but the imprisonment of crushing loneliness that we fear and seek to escape the most through deviant behaviour for which, in the end, we are willing to suffer? Have they, who are quick in their judgements ever experienced the debilitating silence of a home devoid of love, warmth, and the crackle of food cooking, made all the more deafening by the careless abandon of family chatter and children’s laughter that occasionally seeps through the worn and tired cracks of the walls? When the spirit is beaten and the soul writhes in pain, it is baffling that some continue to be surprised by the inevitability of our ultimate actions.

How could it reasonably be expected to be otherwise, when those whose relationships matter to us the most, blithely allow the same exacerbating cycle to repeat itself? Is not then, the results that we see, a natural state of affairs if we are expected to accept life that has for so long neglected us like used and discarded debris left to rot along the fringes of an exalted but constitutionally dirty river?

So I would say there is little difference between Providence and a pack of cards found on the decadent tables of selfish indulgence. How else are we to explain the lottery of birth, life and death that seem to arbitrarily assign us our lot in this world? If we ever had a say into which womb we were to be conceived, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that we would probably now find ourselves cocooned in air-conditioned splendour couched in mahogany and velvet, instead of lying on a bed of our own sweat in this oppressive heat on rough concrete?

We hate the heat. We hate the rough concrete. We hate being told when we can eat. We hate being constrained by when we can s***.

Truly, it is ourselves we hate the most.

We hate ourselves for being the reason countless tears are shed. We hate ourselves for being the reason our loved ones lie to those who ask about our absence during momentous events. Most punishingly, we hate ourselves for realising, in the quiet hours of the night, we are weak, vulnerable and helpless against the onslaught that has brought only misery and destroyed or lives.

But still, stubbornly, we repeat the same mistakes, follow the same paths that like a whirlwind roller-coaster, bring us back to where we had begun…

For this we cry for help.

To those whose relationships matter, to our parents, brothers and sisters, wives and girlfriends, friends and peers and to the society at large who without your support, these words are pointless, we seek your understanding, compassion and empathy instead of condemnation and ostracism.

Above all else, we seek guidance…

We will change for the better, prove our detractors wrong, strive to uphold our pledges, never ever disappoint those who have faith and hope in us when we had neither, work tirelessly to bring blessings to those ignored and forgotten, banished to the ghettoes and slums of the mind…

All we ask is for help. Help in regaining our confidence. Help in winning back the trust that has been auctioned off time and again, disfigured by the frequent passages of solemn and earnest promises. Help in rehabilitating and restoring not only our addictions and other afflictions but our shattered and scattered sense of self-worth and dignity. To also help press upon our fancy new dreams and ambitions that will take wing in our imaginations…

And lastly, we need help in rebuilding the relationships that has turned sour, been misinterpreted and broken…

To all those who care and still believes in us: We will.

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