I’m currently teaching at a mixed school (not wishing to name it). This story does not lie within the school compounds, but it happened during a hike at Pulau Ubin.
A few years back, our school organized this day long hike to Pulau Ubin, compulsory to all students. We were supposed to be there at 12 noon, and leave the place by sundown, 7pm. This event was also organized in such a way that each class was divided into half, and each half went on different days. This arrangement was made to allow form teachers to take care of a small group of students only, to ensure maximum safety for all.
Class 3A set off on Monday and Tuesday. I was the form teacher of 3C, and i was supposed to take my group of 15 on friday.
While we were there, we were enjoying the serenity and picturesque view of the surroundings. A few hours passed, and the sun began to disappear below the horizon.
Before we stepped on the ferry back to Singapore, I did a head count for my group. I counted to 14, but the 15th person was no where to be found. I panicked, and i recounted, but there were still 14 people in the group. It was then i realized that Kendrick was no where in sight. None of the other 14 students also realized that Kendrick was missing, or saw him disapper anywhere during the trip, as he was the only one without a partner. Experated, we left the area first, and i returned later with a group of teachers to search for Kendrick.
We hunted the area till 3am with the help of police officers, but still to no avail. Finally, we surrenedered and returned home, feeling worn out.
The next year, the same event was organized. This time, i was to take the 2nd half of class 3H (10 people) for the hike. It was the final class of the level.
The hike proceeded uneventfully, this time with me keeping extra precaution on the students. It was soon sundown again, and i did a head count before allowing the children to board the ferry. This time, i counted to 11. Thinking that someone was playing a fool, i got angry and shouted at them, reminding them about the missing person the year before. I counted again, but still got to 11. The last person in the far end of the row was standing with his head bowed down,and was a distance away from the 10th person. He did not seem to be with us when we arrived at Ubin, but he was wearing our school’s uniform. Feeling a chill run down my spine, i went up to him to find out who this funny fellow was. When i approached him, the surrounding air felt cold. He looked up slowly with downcast, lifeless eyes, and said in a low voice “He…llo..Mr..Chan..Why..did….you…leave…me…behind……..?”.
It was Kendrick, the missing person from 3C the year before. His badly decomposed body was later found in a waterlogged swamp, stuck beneath a huge fallen tree trunk. It seemed that he fell in and drowned while we were having our lunchbreak during the previous year.