Story Contest 2019 #1 - Highly Commended Stories »

Highly Commended Story - Forgive But Not Forget

“Forgive But Not Forget” by Rachael Tay, CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ Primary School, Singapore, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2019.

Rachael enjoys reading action, adventure, fantasy, and realistic fiction. She is currently reading Chris Colfer’s ‘Land of Stories’ series and Rick Riordan’s ‘Percy Jackson & the Olympians’ series. She loves to create story booklets with her friends after writing stories, both on her own and collaboratively. She is also passionate about competitive running, playing the drums, and drawing. Rachael aspires to be a graphic designer and drummer.

Forgive But Not Forget

“Ashley! Clean the storeroom now! It’s such a mess!” her mother exclaimed, looking exasperated.

“Yes, Mum,” Ashley grumbled as she trudged down the stairs. ‘Cleaning is so tedious!’ she thought. As she stacked the books up into a pile, she stumbled across an old, dusty photograph. ‘What’s this?’ she wondered. She gently wiped off the dust and peered at them. She recognised them at once. She smiled, looking from face to face, remembering all the fun she and her old primary school friends had had together. Just then, something caught her eye. It was her former best friend, Rachel .Memories of friendships and sadness flooded her mind. She was ten years old again…

“Rachel, can I tell you a secret?” Ashley whispered, tapping Rachel’s shoulder.

“Yes, what is it?” Rachel asked, turning around.

“But promise you won’t tell anyone?” Ashley asked her face contorted with anxiety.

Rachel nodded vigorously. “Tell me!”

Ashley took a deep breath. “I…I can move things.”

“So can I! Everyone can! What’s so secret about that?”

“No, I can move things with my eyes. I’ll show you.” Ashley stood up and stared at a pen on the table. Slowly but surely, the pen began to move. “See? That’s what I meant.” She turned to look at Rachel.

“It…moved!” Rachel’s eyes lit up. “Can you bend spoons too?” she asked, her voice oozing with admiration.

“Yes…but don’t tell anyone! I only told you because I don’t trust anyone else!”

“Yes, yes. I won’t.” Rachel’s eyes shifted nervously to the ground. “I...I gotta go! See you tomorrow!” With that, she dashed off.

The next day, Ashley walked into the classroom and noticed a group of girls gathered around the table. ‘Why are they up to?’ she thought.

“Look! I can make my wallet move with my eyes!” Sana pulled the strap of her wallet and it fell, causing a peal of laughter from the girls.

“I can make my arms move!” Lisa jutted out her chin, flapping her arms like a chicken trying to take off, as she strutted around the classroom. The girls burst into laughter.

“Guys! It’s true! I saw her move the—” Rachel caught sight of Ashley and gasped.

Ashley’s eyes widened. She felt as if a stone had embedded itself in her chest. She covered her mouth, her eyes brimming with tears. How could she! Isn’t she my friend? She promised me! I shouldn’t have told her! She stood up and ran from the room.

Rachel ran after her. “Ashley! Wait! I didn’t mean to tell anyone!”

“Go away! I don’t trust you anymore!” Ashley ran towards the playground, tears streaming down her face.

“Please, Ashley! I’m so sorry! Please forgive me!” Rachel grabbed Ashley’s hand.

“Forgive?” Ashley stopped and turned around. “After what you’ve done?”

“Yes. Forgive and forget?” Rachel looked hopeful.

“Ashley! Why are you sitting here dreaming? Didn’t I ask you to tidy the storeroom?”

Ashley suddenly snapped back into the present. “Yes, Mum”, she mumbled, biting her lip. She carefully placed the photograph on the shelf. I can forgive, she thought, but never forget.

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