Describe a time when you were late for a meeting, leading to serious consequences.
I have waited for my friends for a hangout, waited for my parents to pick me from school, waited for the teachers in our monthly student-teacher talk; I have always been the person to wait. And the truth is, waiting for others to come is a torture for me. But until that fateful day, I had never realised that it is a torture for the late person, too.
Last winter, I and three of my classmates were chosen to represent the school in a Project Work Competition. The competition was vigorous; we had to spend a lot of non-curriculum time on various projects to get in the final, in which we would face our rival, International High. Our school had lost to them twice in the final, so our task became even more challenging. My team had become weary with the school's pride, the teacher's expectation and peer pressure. We must win. Extra practice, research, rehearsals, we did everything we could, so we must win.
We decided to have another meeting the day before the competition to rehearse, so that we would be more confident. Waking up, from my bedroom window, I could see a dazzling white curtain of rain in front of my eyes. Although my experience of waiting told me that heavy rain meant that people would usually be late, I still tried my best to get ready by 7 a.m. . Doing a quick calculation in my head, I knew that thirty minutes would be more than enough for me to ride my bicycle to school. 'I will end up having to wait again', I told myself as I wheeled my bicycle to the street.
I got on my bike and realised that I could pedal very smoothly on the empty street. Consequently, I decided to keep the speed slightly higher than usual, so that I could get to school a bit early to do correct some of the mistakes in our presentation. I reached my hand to feel the backpack, my raincoat flapping in the wind.
As I approached the crossroad, I reached out my left arm and waved in the freezing air, the other hand kept firmly on the brake, preparing to turn left. I pressed the brake lightly, a little harder, and then I had to squeeze my right hand hard, but the bicycle did not seem to slow down. I was terrified.
The next thing I knew was when I found myself in the middle of the street, my hands bruised. I tried to get up on my feet and led the bicycle onto the pavement to examine it. The brake must have been broken, I was so lucky not to break any bones. But how could I go to school without my bike? I looked at the empty street, a rush of despair washed through me like a wave. Looking down at my watch, I only had five minutes to reach my school, ten blocks away from the intersection. No choice left, I had to walk to school with my broken bike, the biting wind howling beside my ears while trees were dancing their awkward waltz. I sighed. For the first time in my life, I would become the person making others wait.
I managed to get to school twenty minutes later, soaked to the skin, my leg about to collapse. Running four levels, I rushed into the Language Room, heat burning my face. I was late. I kept telling myself. I did not know what to do when arriving late, but I knew that I was going to be in grave trouble.
Two of my team mates were slouch in the first row, their head resting on the table, ignoring my arrival. Silence conquered the room.
"Knock knock!" I knocked on the table, using the last bit of energy I could find to sound enthusiastic, but no response.
"Look, guys, I'm sorry for being late." I tried again, desperately, wondering how the late people managed to get through such anger from their friends. "My bike broke down, okay? I really tried my best to get here as fast as I could. So please, can we start now?"
"Start what?" Emily turned to me, her eyebrows knitted with irritation. "Mrs. Lee was gone. Who is going to judge us?"
"Mrs. Lee came so early?" I was really taken aback. Mrs. Lee, our coach had never been punctual for our whole course.
"Oh yes, and Elaine, too." Julie grunted, glaring at me. "They could not wait for our talented team leader, so they left. They were tired of this. And we are, too." Then, she turned back, took her bag and went out of the room with Emily, leaving me alone. I sat down slowly, snagged my teeth on the bottom lip, keeping the sobs from pouring out. My team had fallen apart.
It had been a year since then, but the pain of being defeated three times in a row by our rival still stroke on my life. Every now and then, the sad smile of my coach, the tears of my team mates and the murmurs of my school friends after the competition would flash back in my mind, reminding me of that time, when my late arrival broke the team apart. Many people say that if anybody has to be responsible for our loss, the person would be me, and it really hurts. A late arrival could kill your dream.Please give me some advice to improve this. Thank you Sarah :)