James and Melissa had known each other from young. They had attended the same
kindergarten and primary school. Indeed, they got along famously with each
other. It was inevitable that everyone looked upon them as an inseparable pair.
In secondary school, no boy or girl dared to date or separate these famous
childhood sweethearts. However, sometimes a relationship can go wrong and so it
was with this pair. One day, Madam Chow, the grandmother of Melissa, noticed
that her granddaughter was not her normal self She seemed very troubled. Years
of counselling teenagers as a teacher had taught her to sense that Melissa had a
"What's wrong, dear?" she gently asked Melissa, who was slightly startled.
With a furrowed face, Melissa answered, "Nothing." However, her tone and body
language betrayed her.
Seeing that her granddaughter was unwilling to unburden herself to her, the
grandmother left it as such but advised her that no burden was too hard to bear
and to be borne alone.
However, the girl's sad disposition did
not escape the eyes of her friends, students and teachers. One day, the Tan
family received a call from Mrs Devi, Melissa's form teacher. Mei Mei, Melissa's
best friend, had informed Mrs Devi that she saw Melissa leaving a women's
The cat was out of the bag for Melissa. On close questioning from her father,
Melissa was forced to reveal the truth. It seemed that she was two months
pregnant. James was the father. Both teenagers had been in a quandary. They
thought they could solve the problem by having a secret abortion without
informing their parents.
The day when Melissa was spotted leaving the clinic was the day she went for
a consultation. Upon receiving this shocking piece of news, the Tan family swung
into action. James' parents were informed. The two families decided wisely that
recriminations on the unfortunate pair over
past sins would burden their already guilty conscience. The pressing need was
what to do for the future.
A meeting involving both families was held the next day. After the young
lovers were strongly chided, they were
forgiven by all family members. Attention was then on what was to be done in the
best interests of the young couple's future.
In an atmosphere of goodwill and humanity, the Tan family, after the
discussion, proposed the following:
(1) There would be no abortion. Melissa was to leave school when her
pregnancy became visible. She would return to school some time after she had
delivered the baby if the school allowed her to do so. Otherwise, she would
prepare for her `O' level examinations as a private candidate.
(2) Melissa would marry James in a quiet ceremony after she left school.
(3) The Tan family would bring up their daughter and her child until James
reached adulthood and had completed his studies.
(4) After she turned 21, Melissa and her husband would decide whether they
wanted to stay in either family's household or live on their own. The Lee family
readily agreed to the proposal. Everyone was relieved that the issues had been
addressed and practical solutions had been found.