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Model Composition - A mistake




“Finally, I’m home! I’m starving.”


Tossing my bag aside, I made a beeline for the kitchen, my stomach rumbling like the roar of a famished Godzilla. On the table sat a sandwich with its soggy content. I turned my nose at it and scanned the kitchen, my eyes settling on the refrigerator. "Mum, are you home?" I called out, the sound of my voice echoing through the empty house.


With newfound independence pulsing through my veins, I opened the fridge door to a world of culinary possibilities, pulling out ingredients. I pushed the unappetising sandwich to the side as I laid everything out. If Mother was here, she would shut it down immediately - she always said I was too young to be cooking, but I could not bear the thought of enduring any more sad-looking lunches.


 

A nice lunch of fried chicken was more up my alley. Though I had never cooked before, I could not recall Mother ever struggling in the kitchen. She made it look like a breeze so it stood to reason that I, daughter of the great chef Mrs Teo, could easily replicate her success. With that thought bolstering my confidence, I took a deep breath and decided to trust my instincts.


I adjusted the flame on the stove to what I hoped was the right level and watched as the oil began to sizzle. The aroma of the cooking chicken filled the air, and for a moment, I allowed myself to believe that everything was going according to plan.


I squinted at the chicken pieces. They were still not that delicious golden brown. Was the flame too low? I refused to let my insecurities derail me and with misguided resolve, I turned the stove to the highest setting.


Mother would be so proud of my achievement when she got back. In my mind, I envisioned her heaping praises onto me and telling our neighbours how lucky she was to be blessed with such an independent and responsible child. 

  

 

That bubble burst when, to my horror, a fire erupted in the pan. The red and orange flames surged upwards, licking at the air hungrily. Grabbing a stack of newspapers, I attempted to fan the flames in a desperate bid to extinguish them. Huffing and puffing, I blew at the stubborn fire, but to utter disbelief, the edge of the newspaper suddenly ignited! My eyes widened in terror, my chest tightening with panic like Ron Weasley facing a horde of acromantulas in the Forbidden Forest.


In a frantic frenzy, I tossed the newspapers aside, watching helplessly as they fell to the corner of the floor, where a broom leaned against the wall. Almost instantly, the flames engulfed the bristles, and an acrid smell filled the air, assaulting my senses like a blast-ended skrewt gone awry. I gaped in horror, and I knew I had to act fast before the situation spiraled further out of control.


Anyone would have thought that by then, I would and should have recovered some of my common sense, but with adrenaline coursing through my veins, I panicked and grabbed a random bottle, hastily uncapping it and emptying half of its contents before a look of defeat, dread and despair conquered my face - I was holding a bottle of cooking alcohol.


 

Snakes writhed in my stomach as I scanned around, trying my best to ignore the mini disaster that was raging in the wok. The kitchen was a chaos of smoke and sizzling oil, the flames dancing with an almost sinister glee. 


"Stop panicking. Stop making things worse."


Taking a deep breath to steady my nerves, I reached for the metal lid nearby. My hand shook as I summoned every ounce of courage I had left and slammed it down over the wok. I watched with a mixture of dread and desperation as the flames began to sputter and die, leaving behind the charred remnants of what was supposed to be my lunch.


Finally, the kitchen fell silent save for the sound of my ragged breaths. I leaned against the counter


 

I let out a huff of relief, the tightness in my throat loosening just slightly as I knew my troubles were not over - I had to call my Mother and tell her what had happened. As I dialled her number, my heart pounded in my chest. The next hour flew by and all I could recall was my futile attempts at cleaning up the mess and the frantic footsteps echoing loudly in the corridor.


“Thank goodness you're alright!” Mother's voice was tight with concern as she burst through the front door. Her eyes were red-rimmed and guilt weighed heavily on my shoulders as I watched Mother's worried expression. The tearful embraces and reassurances brought a temporary relief, only to be replaced by a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach as I knew the storm that was about to break.


Mother's worry quickly turned to quiet anger as her brows furrowed in frustration as she confronted me about the accident. I hung my head in shame as she delivered a stern lecture, her words laced with disappointment and fear for my safety.


News spread and for that one week that followed, the daughter of Mrs Teo did become the talk of the neighbourhood; just not the way I had imagined it. Faces that had once greeted me with warm smiles now regarded me with a mixture of amusement and pity and the suffocating blanket of embarrassment followed me like a shadow. It was a sobering lesson, one that I would not soon forget.


Mulling over the incident, it became clear that my honest mistake was born out of overconfidence. I thought I was capable of handling any situation without fully understanding the risks involved.


In the aftermath of her tirade, I earned a well-deserved lifetime ban from the kitchen. My culinary calamity had certainly injected a healthy dose of humilty!





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