IGCSE narrative essay | 2008 May-Jun | 'He had always been a favourite, an example to all


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

‘He had always been a favourite, an example to all who knew him. Now, after what he had done, would they still feel the same?’ Write a narrative based on this quotation.

Model Essay

He had always been a favorite, an example to all who knew him. Marcus Phillips was the star athlete, the top student, and the kind of person who could light up a room with his presence. His peers admired him, his teachers praised him, and the whole town seemed to bask in the reflected glory of his achievements. But now, after what he had done, would they still feel the same?

It all started with a secret that Marcus had kept hidden for years. Despite his outward perfection, Marcus struggled with intense pressure and anxiety. The weight of everyone’s expectations had become too much to bear, and he found solace in a dark and dangerous escape: gambling. It began innocently enough—a few bets here and there, a way to blow off steam. But the thrill of the game quickly turned into an addiction.

One evening, after a particularly stressful day, Marcus made a decision that would change everything. He placed a bet on a high-stakes game, wagering a substantial amount of money he didn’t have. The game took a dramatic turn, and before he knew it, Marcus was in deep debt to some very dangerous people. Desperation set in, and in a moment of sheer panic, he did something he never imagined he would do—he stole money from the school’s athletic fund to cover his losses.

The news broke out the next morning, spreading like wildfire. Marcus Phillips, the golden boy, had embezzled school funds. The town was in shock. His friends couldn’t believe it. His teachers were disheartened. The whispers and stares that followed him were unbearable. He could feel the weight of their disappointment and betrayal every time he walked down the street.

Marcus was suspended from school, and the once bright future that everyone had envisioned for him seemed to fade away. He spent days confined to his room, reflecting on his actions and the consequences they brought. The anxiety that had once driven him to make those bets now turned into a crushing guilt.


But Marcus wasn’t one to give up easily. He decided to face the consequences head-on. He met with the school board, confessed everything, and agreed to work tirelessly to repay the stolen money. He joined a support group for his gambling addiction and began volunteering at the local community center, hoping to make amends for his mistakes.

Slowly, people started to notice the change in Marcus. He was no longer the untouchable hero, but a young man who had made a grave mistake and was working hard to rectify it. His journey was far from easy, and many still found it difficult to reconcile the Marcus they had known with the one who had betrayed their trust. However, there were those who saw his efforts and began to understand the depth of his struggle.

Months passed, and Marcus’s perseverance began to pay off. He paid back every cent he had taken, and his commitment to bettering himself didn’t go unnoticed. The community started to see him in a new light—not as a fallen star, but as a human being who had faced his demons and emerged stronger.

In the end, while Marcus’s reputation as the perfect example was forever altered, he gained something much more valuable: respect for his honesty, courage, and determination to make things right. The road to redemption was long, but Marcus had taken the first steps. And in doing so, he taught everyone a new lesson—not about perfection, but about resilience and the power of second chances.

Word Count: 589