If I Could Change the World

6:00am, at a house

Amber began to hum a little tune as she got out of bed and headed to the bathroom. Her exams were barely 2 hours away, yet she was unfazed. The sixteen-year-old girl washed up happily, still humming as she went. After she had dressed, she bounded back into her room, to be greeted with a continuous muttering on the other side of the room.

Her twin was lying spread-eagle on his bed, reading frantically. His name was Andrew, and he was attempting to study 4 books simultaneously. His eyebrows were knitted together as he analysed the fine print. Grinning from ear to ear, Amber strode over to the long, opaque curtains that separated their sides of the room and pulled them apart.

"Hey, don't spoil the mood by reciting all those facts so early in the morning… Let's play cards instead, hmm?"

Andrew ignored her.

Amber pouted, walking towards her younger twin. She fished out a chocolate bar from her shirt pocket and dangled it in front of his face. "Want some candy?" She grinned happily, knowing how much Andrew loved sweets. As expected, his head shot up. "Yes." He took the bar and unwrapped it. "Thanks a bunch."

"You'd better go down for breakfast. Dad's about to leave already…"

"…mmm. Brrfhj."

Laughing, Amber playfully shoved Andrew's shoulder. "Swallow first, silly…You can choke on that you know… So, I'll see you downstairs, okay?"



7:30am, at school

Amber stared at the essay question before her, half-wondering who was the one who gave such an odd topic for her English. Thus were her instructions:

Write an essay titled "If I Could Change the World". Its length should be more than 180 words.

Well, of course, nothing can stop her from writing a bomb for her English teacher. She grinned, and began to write.

Amber's essay

If I Could Change the World – by Amber Brown

If I could change the world, I will turn all small trees into big trees.

That was just a joke. I hope you laughed.

If I could change the world… I will help the world maintain peace, mostly to spite those beauty-queen-wannabes that keep on using the same idea.

Racism will be eliminated altogether, because the colour of our skin simply DOES NOT MATTER. We are all humans, aren't we? So why do we care about whether a person is American, African, or Asian?

There wouldn't be criminals stalking the streets anymore. People shall be educated on how the way they behave can affect other people's lives. For those who are bent on committing crimes – well, there's always a reason the death sentence is used, right?

No more war. No more malnourished kids dying on the streets. How can we let those innocent children suffer from our own mistakes?

Those who are poor will not starve on the streets, and those who are rich will not be stingy. Everyone will eat in moderation, thus preventing obesity and decreasing the possibility of diseases like heart attacks and diabetes.

No more pollution. All these gasses are hurting Mother Nature terribly. Animals and plants that were previously classified as "extinct" will grow again, as the earth becomes rich with minerals again.

Courtesy shall be practiced, in the sense that vulgarities are not used in conversation. This will, in turn, lead to better relationships, and help in building a community with manners. People will also get angry less easily.

All this will contribute to a world without pain, sadness or negativity. Everyone, young or old, will have a reason to celebrate life. My ideas may seem far-fetched now, but all this is possible – if we just try our best.

Then, I can proudly say to my future children, "I changed the world with one essay."


10:30am, lunch break, at the school canteen

"So, how was the exam?" Amber inquired. "What did you write about?"

"Nothing much really… I would turn that group of girls over there into a patch of grass and set it on fire." He nodded in the direction of some giggling girls that were staring at him. "I wish they would stop following me around. It gets annoying after some time."

"Just be proud that you have so many girls after you. Besides, I'd really thought that you would write something about hoarding all the candy in the world into your stomach."

The set of twins stared at each other before they burst out into laughter.


At a cemetery

Funny, really. That was the last time she'd seen him; laughed with him. She touched the picture on his gravestone. He was grinning so innocently…

10 years had passed since Andrew's death.

He had died in a car accident, minutes before he was to receive an award from the Prime Minister himself. He made headlines the next day, even.

That's just like him… To be popular to the day he dies.

Amber had watched the car ram into Andrew that day. It happened too fast; she didn't even have the time to scream. One second, he was standing in front of the car; the next, he was lying on the floor 10 metres away.

Faintly, she knew that he will never wake up again, no matter how hard she wished it.

The surviving twin was inconsolable after his death. She couldn't stop blaming herself for his death, the way she couldn't stop the accident from happening in front of her eyes. She cried for days and days, and refused to come out of her room for 2 weeks. If she could change the world this time, she won't be wishing for cheaper handphones, or a Ferrari. She didn't even want world peace.

She just wished for Andrew.

Now, she'd finally come to terms with Andrew's death. But there were so many things in life that he's missed out on… Amber had a job, a boyfriend, a car, an iPod, and a life.

What does Andrew have now?

A tear slipped down Amber's face, unnoticed.

"I love you, Andrew… And I miss you, and wish you would come back. But wishes are for kids, right?"

Amber laid the rose she was holding on his grave.

"Andrew… There are so many things that I want to tell you. If only you were still with me now…" She choked back a sob. "Why did God take you away from me?" Tears flowed freely down her cheeks… But maybe, that was just the rain that had started falling, darkening the ground beneath her feet. She looked at his picture sadly.

"Goodbye, Andrew."

Amber turned and walked slowly away.

If I could change the world… I'll make sure wishes come true.

She will never return.