John was up on a ladder trying to get at the offending shuttlecock on the roof when he suddenly felt the rung he was standing on give way under his foot. The next moment he fell heavily onto the ground below.
He could not move his left leg. His brother came running to help him up. He tried to get up but could not. There was great pain in his left ankle. He must have twisted it badly when he fell.
A few minutes later when the pain had lessened somewhat, John managed to hobble into the house with the help of his brother.
His mother came and applied a cold compress to the painful part. It was already beginning to swell. His mother said, “Now you can’t go to Singapore.”
John’s heart sank. He was supposed to go on his first trip to Singapore. His uncle and family there had invited him over to spend the holidays with them. His bus was due the next morning. In his condition, he could not possibly go. He had already bought a bus ticket. He wondered whether he could get a refund.
Oh well, John thought, he just had to telephone his uncle that he had twisted his ankle and could not make it to Singapore. He had to make the trip some other time. He felt disappointed for he had looked forward to the trip for some time now.
The next day John’s mother drove him to the hospital to get his ankle examined. The X-ray photograph showed no bones broken. The doctor told him to rest for at least six weeks for the injury to heal properly. John sighed. For the next six weeks, he had to sit down and do nothing. What a way it was to spend the holidays. All his plans for an enjoyable holiday was shattered by the rotten ladder. What a lousy turn of luck, he thought. Sometimes life could be so unfair.
For the rest of the day, John just sat and watched his brothers and sisters play. He could hardly hobble with the aid of a crutch.
Two days after the accident, John got up from bed feeling a bit depressed. His ankle still hurt and he could not do anything except sit around and read and reread the papers. He never thought how hard it was just to sit around. It drove him crazy. Uttering a sigh he sat down on a chair.
John’s eyes wandered to the newspaper on the table in front of him. He picked it up and started reading the headlines. “BUS OVERTURNS, 10 DEAD, MORE INJURED” was splashed across the front page. Headlines like this appeared almost daily, so it did not arouse any interest in him. Still, he began to read the story of the bus accident.
As he read he felt goose-pimples rising on his skin. The more he read the more intense the feeling became. My God, he thought, the bus described in the papers was the bus he had a ticket for! If ‘he had been on the bus he could have been killed or injured. He was so glad that he was not on the bus. Twisting his ankle was not bad after all. It was actually a blessing in disguise. He muttered a silent prayer of thanks.