Chirp! Chirp! I was walking home after playing some Football at school. There was a nice breeze ruffling my hair. I was at the park when out of nowhere, a whole gang of teenagers walked up to me. I got really nervous when I saw that one of them was throwing a knife in the air and catching it.

          I avoided them when one teenager grabbed me and pulled me back. Then they started shoving and slapping me. I saw the teenager with the knife smirk, then he shouted,” Nice football!” I thought he was going to stab me and steal my football, but instead, he slashed my ball and threw onto the ground. I stared at my deflated football sadly. It was really expensive.

          They continued punching and shoving me. I thought I was not going to get out of this alive, when all of a sudden, my annoying neighbour Mr. Lim, who would watch TV at night at full volume, shoved one of the teenagers onto the ground. The one with the knife looked like he wanted to attack Mr. Lim with the knife, but he thought better of it, and got his friends to make a run for it.

          Mr. Lim helped me get up. He took me to his house to stop my arm from bleeding. I thought that Mr. Lim wasn’t such a bad neighbour after all.

          He got me a new football and we played with it together. He taught me self-defence and how to disarm an enemy. He even went to my school to play Football with me and my friends, although he got kicked out by the teachers an hour later.

          A year later, however, I saw him going downstairs with a box. I asked him,” Mr. Lim, what are you doing?”

          He replied, “I’m moving out. My father sold the house.” He gave me a picture of us together to remember him. Tears trickled down my face as I waved goodbye as he started up his car’s engine and drove away.    

          Many years later, when I had a wife and family, we moved into an HDB flat with a huge park downstairs. I was taking a nice stroll around the flat when I saw my old neighbour again. I could not believe my eyes. I asked him where he lives now, and he brought me to my new flat. I saw that it was right next to my home. That meant that he was my neighbour again!

          I introduce Mr. Lim to my family and told them what we did together. Then I told them, “He really made me a better person. He helped me through tough times and he taught me many things. He really was a good neighbour.”

by Brennan Lam

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