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When I am lying down in my cell in the middle of the night - by M.R.

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To my younger self

'N' Level student-inmate from institution TM1

Consolation Prize

Sometimes, when I am lying down in my cell in the middle of the night, I will think about my future and things like what will happen to me in five years’ time? Am I ever going to get married? What will I do with my life? However there are times when I think of my past. My younger days and how I had wasted it. The joy of having a meaningful life with family and friends. It is a shame how I had wasted my pathetic life.

It all started when I was a very young kid. I was about nine or ten years old whilst studying in primary four. Believe it or not, I had picked up a bad habit of smoking cigarettes way before that, but this is something even worse than smoking. On that fateful day, while I was walking back from school, I met one of my classmates and he showed me a packet of illegal substances which I recognised right away. Heroin! I knew it but I was reluctant to tell him the truth that it was dangerous and highly hazardous. I have known about drugs like heroin since I was a small kid. My sister was a hard-core addict, on and off by chance, I had seen her doing it without her realising that I was watching and well aware of what she was doing. I have been very curious about it since then.

‘Curiosity kills the cat’, that is what people used to say and I believe that it was somehow true. My classmate found that packet of drugs by accident after officers from the Central Narcotic Branch raided a flat on the second storey just across from my school. The trafficker managed to throw some of the evidence out of the window minutes before being approached by the authorities. It was retrieved by my friend after the raid happened. I had asked him to hand me the Heroin so that I can destroy it and not tell anyone about what has happened. That was how it all started. Since that very day, I was deeply involved in drugs. It became an obsession to me. I let go of all my sorrows through it. It became even worse after the passing of my father and mother. I completely lost my will to live, ignored my studies and to do well in life. Nobody cares, and all I want to do is to get high. The rest of it is history.

Nowadays, thinking back at the damage I had done to myself and my life, I feel remorseful. It is a bit too late to regret, however, let bygones be bygones. I need to get up and continue with what lies ahead in my life. Whatever that is left of it, at least for these few years that I have left in this world. Death comes without you realising it, I lost a lot of people to death, but I still have a few waiting for me out there for my release. The one I loved the most, my fiancé, who is patiently waiting for me to go out of this godforsaken place, to start a new life together. This time round, I will not let the chance slip away and to gain the trust of the people that I love. Most importantly, not to repeat what I had done in the past like what I had done to my younger self.

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