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My whole life, I mixed with bad company - by M.S.

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That moment

'N' Level student-inmate from institution A2 Consolation Prize

I always got what I wanted since I was a child. I was pampered by my parents and grandparents. For that, I grew up thinking I was always right. I became an ego, self-centered person. I had no respect for others and I disregarded their rights. My father would always remind me to be humble and to respect others no matter their age. Being the way that I was, I often misunderstand my father’s advice as nagging.

In school, I was always in trouble. I would fight and play truant often. Once, I was caught smoking outside school. The school’s discipline master wanted to cane me as a punishment. My father, being the loving father, defended me. He argued that it had happened outside the school compound and so not within the school’s jurisdiction. The discipline master had no other choice but to suspend me from school. I was suspended from going to school for a month. As I kept getting in trouble and had no interest in studying, I dropped out of school at the age of fifteen.

My whole life, I mixed with bad company. When I grew up, I had no job. I earned a living by selling drugs. I was hooked on drugs too. My father knew I was dealing with drugs. He would tirelessly advise me to stop gambling my life away. Being the ego, self-centered man, I thought luck would always be by my side. I was wrong. I got caught with nearly two kilos of Heroin. I was remanded for twenty months, going back and forth to court, fighting for my life. If not for the lawyer that I had, I would have been sent to the gallows. Instead, I was sentenced to twenty one years imprisonment and fifteen strokes of the cane.

The moment my freedom was taken away from me, the ego, self-centered person in me was taken away too. In prison, I learned a lot about myself. I renewed my faith and I learnt to respect others, most importantly, I became the person my father had always wanted me to be, a humble man. My relationship with my father blossomed during my time in prison. We always had our man-to-man talk when he came to visit me. He would give me good advice and he always tried to make me laugh, to forget where I was. I always enjoyed his company when he came to visit.

Just when I was starting to appreciate my father’s love, he passed away due to a heart failure. I was devastated. Suddenly, I realised how much I loved my father and had no chance to tell him now. I do not even have the chance to thank him for the sacrifices that he had made for me as a father. That moment, tears streamed down my face. It was not tears of sadness. It was tears of regret.

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