Have You Left Anything Behind?

Photo: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

GRACE Lim doesn’t take taxis often because she owns a car. Yesterday, however, she had to take one. Her BMW was at the service center for an oil change and a general tune-up.

She decided to hail a taxi at the curb rather than to call one. She figured that since it was slightly before seven in the morning, the chances of finding a taxi was high. True enough, she found one in three minutes.

As soon as she got in, she smiled, relieved that the taxi smelled nice. It had the fresh, perky fragrance of lemongrass. Even the taxi driver was well-groomed and clean-shaven, dressed in a neatly-pressed, white long-sleeved shirt.

“Good morning, ma’am!” he said. “Where would you like to go?”

“Plaza Singapura, please, thank you.”

Grace Lim now takes out her laptop and looks at her schedule of patients for the morning. At 8.30AM, she has Justin Tan, a cataract patient. Next, she reads the Wall Street Journal. An article about Donald Trump and his travel ban caught her eye. Before she knew it, she had arrived at Plaza Singapura. She paid the fare and happily went off about her day.

The only problem was that she had completely forgotten about her briefcase. She only realized this when she got into the lift. She was clasping her laptop against her bosom, worried about all the patient documents.

Meanwhile, Muhammad, the taxi driver, has discovered Grace Lim’s briefcase. He drives to the nearest police station at Killiney Road. In no time, Grace Lim received a phone call from the police station from a Sergeant Tan Wee Tian. His bright and cheery voice came at slightly past eight o’clock. There was no way she could collect her briefcase personally. Her patient, Justin Tan, would be showing up in about twenty minutes. She sent one of her nurses, Mabel, to make the trip.

She didn’t know how to reach out to Muhammad to thank him. She never requested a receipt. But what mattered most was that she was grateful in her heart. Surely, Muhammad would have felt that too in his own heart.

(358 words)

***

Dylan Tan, Primary Three
April 2017

For more essays by Dylan, visit Dylan Writes.


This essay was written in response to three boxed pictures:

  • a woman hailing a taxi by the curb
  • the taxi driver turning back to find, on the back-seat, a briefcase
  • the taxi driver at a police station, speaking to a police officer

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