HERE are three things that are dear and close to my heart: my four pillows, my blanket, and my iPhone.
I suppose you could take away the pillows and my blanket, and I could still fall asleep. I’ve slept in all kinds of circumstances—in class with my head on my forearms over the desk; under a hot, stuffy tent with five other girls and the root of a tree and a giant pebble poking at my lower back; and in the bus, nodding off and dozing away. No pillows, no blanket, and sleep still comes.
But take away my iPhone, and I’d suffer the worst kind of withdrawal: paranoia, sleeplessness, anger, and mood swings not even PMS can beat.
Once, my mother seized my phone in the dead of night. Why in the world was I still up at one on a weekday night, and not even buried in school work, but texting away? In truth, I was consulting a friend about some assignment, but any kind of explanation would have been utterly lost on her, so why bother? What ensued was a sleepless night pounding away with stupid what ifs. There was an appointment with a friend the next day: what if she canceled it, rescheduled it, changed the meeting place, didn’t hear back from me? Then, there was the raging anger: “What the hell’s wrong with my mother?”
Not having a phone is not pretty at all, not just for teens like me, but I imagine anyone, and that includes my mother. I’ve seen her thoroughly edgy when her battery’s almost juiced out. That, in my mind, is an even more cruel dilemma—having the battery die out on you before your very eyes. I can never stand that sour, helpless feeling when I see the battery hit a dangerous single digit.
Just the other day, at about 6.45PM, with my battery languishing at 8%, I worried so hopelessly at the prospect of my sister and I missing each other at the yet-to-be-confirmed 7.30PM, because I had left off with the “see you whenever you’re done” text earlier in the day. For a whole 45 minutes, my life was hanging on a thread and time seemed to chew me up slowly and deliciously.
So you don’t have to take my phone away to make me go nuts. The minute it’s near-dead, I’d be, as my sister likes to say, “screwed.”
Imagine, no Spotify to cancel out the tedious, sentimental love songs the school bus driver plays every morning. Or Telegram to poke fun at the teachers who seem to have been born to bore us silly, or Snapchat to bully the losers and lame chicks, those dorks who have a way of making demons of us.
So, go on, take whatever you want from me. Steal my wallet, deprive me of my pillows and blanket, I’d protest for sure, but whatever you do, don’t mess with my iPhone.
Lim Zhi Yi, Secondary Three
For more essays by Zhi Yi, visit Zhi Yi Writes.
This essay was written in response to the ‘O’ Levels 2015 exam, Question #1:
Describe the possession that matters most to you and explain why you would never be prepared to part with it.