“Goodbye, Manfred! See you tomorrow!” My best friend shouted before jumping into his mother’s car. As I was strolling to the front gate, the school bus rumbled out of school with students waving at their friends who were waiting for their parents to pick them up. All I could hear were the screeching of tyres and parents calling out their children’s names. As I watched the others leave one by one, I hoped fervently for Mum to arrive soon.
I was chatting animatedly with my classmates who were also waiting to be picked up. Slowly, my friends trickled away with their parents. The area at the school gate fell silent and it became obvious to me that I was the only one left. Even my form teacher ambled out of school. However, she was so absorbed with using her mobile phone that she did not notice the lone figure staring at her in disbelief. I paced back and forth and held my watch up to my face nearly every five seconds. Where was Mum? How could she leave me waiting for so long? A flood of negative thoughts swirled in my mind and impatience simmered in me. I gritted my teeth with rage.
Finally, my mother’s car pulled up in front of the school gate. I quickly boarded the car, slammed the door and crossed my arms in anger. Flashing a bright smile at me, Mum asked, “Manfred, how was your day?”
I yelled in reply angrily, “Of course it’s bad because you were so late! Look at the other parents. Do you see any latecomers? No! They are always on time to fetch their children!”
“But ... b … but… “ my mother stammered in protest, tears welling up in her eyes.
“No buts!” I retorted. The remainder of the car ride was filled with silence. As soon as we reached our house, I stormed out of the car.
As I dragged my feet towards our front door, I noticed that Mother was limping. I glanced down at her leg and realised it was all bandaged up! “What happened?” I asked quietly as realisation dawned upon me.
“I fell. That’s why I came late,” she replied, gazing down at her injured leg.
“You could have told me earlier, “ I mumbled sheepishly, holding the front door open for her. Tearfully, she explained that she was just about to tell me. Before she could get a word in edgeways, I was already shouting hysterically at her.
At that moment, a wave of regret overwhelmed me. Why did I run my mouth before even asking her what had happened? I wished that I could turn back time and do the right deed. It was too late now and I could only apologise and ask for her forgiveness. From then on, I vowed to never let my anger take a hold of me and cause me to behave rashly.