Do the preparation exercise first and then read the story. If you find it too easy, try the next level. After reading, do the exercises to check your understanding.
… I’m afraid of the letter 'W'.
… Yes, I stutter. So what?
… A new boy started at school yesterday. His name’s Luke Williams. He’s Welsh. I can’t stop thinking about him.
What a day! There’s so much to write about and I’m probably not going to post some of this.
It started badly. The phone rang while I was having breakfast. Dad was in the shower. I was feeling good but nervous – an important day for me!!! So I answered it without thinking. Bad idea! It was Luke Williams. I thought, 'How has he got my number?'
When I saw him yesterday he probably only wanted to ask me what I was doing in the science fair, but I couldn’t speak. He makes me so nervous, so I just walked away. He probably thought I was an idiot. I feel terrible when I remember it. So I thought, 'Why is he ringing me now?' He said, 'Hello … hello? Is that Tom?'
Did I tell you ‘H’ is a problem for me too? So, trying to say 'hello' was my second bad idea. My throat just closed up and all that came out was that strange sound I talked about in last week’s blog. I wanted to die. And then I heard someone laughing. It sounded like Ryan Colby. I put the phone down. OK, so they were ringing to laugh at me. Nice!
Some people are only happy if they’re hurting someone else. Ryan Colby hates me and he knows about me and the letter ‘W’.
There are good days and bad days. This blog is helping. Music really helps too! Today was a good day. I had a talk with Dad. He told me there’s a new drug that can stop you stuttering. But guess what? I like my stutter! So does Dad. He told me it’s made me a better person because I think carefully before I speak. He doesn’t know I’m just trying to find words without ‘W’ or ‘H’ in them. We decided I don’t need drugs.
Today was a really big day for me. The last time I spoke in class was three years ago and it was terrible. I tried to say a 'W' and made that strange sound. Everyone laughed and I haven’t spoken in class since.
But it’s been going really well lately. I’ve got a great speech therapist and I can use my laptop in class all the time.
And guess what? This is really big news! When I listen to music on my headphones I can speak without stuttering!!! That’s why I said yes to talking at the science fair today.
So I arrived at school early this morning to practise with my group. Our project is about using bacteria to eat plastic. Luke Williams was waiting by the entrance. He was smiling. Ryan Colby was there too. He said, 'Hey, Tom, guess what?' I didn’t think. I tried to say, 'What?' and got stuck on the ‘W’ and you can guess what happened then. Ryan Colby and his friends started laughing. So yes, I turned and ran.
I wasn’t going to do the science fair after that but I got a text from Dad saying good luck. And I thought OK, I’m not going to let people like Ryan Colby make me feel bad any more.
Unfortunately, when it was my turn to speak I looked up and saw Luke Williams. He looked away. And then I was so nervous that I chose the wrong music on my MP3 player. So instead of Mozart I was listening to dance music. The problem is that when I have dance music on the headphones I can’t stop myself talking in the same rhythm as the music. So it just sounds like I’m rapping!
Most people in school never hear me speak. They were really surprised when I started doing a rap about bacteria that eat plastic. I could see they were laughing at me. But when I finished they all stood up and cheered.
After we finished, everyone wanted to be my friend. They didn’t know about the music on my headphones, so they just thought I was a brilliant rapper, ha ha! I checked my phone at lunchtime and I’ve got 187 new friend requests!!! I didn’t see Ryan Colby or Luke after the science fair.
OK, I’m not going to post this next bit. Luke came here this afternoon. I can’t believe it! I was wrong. He wasn’t laughing at me this morning. He was ringing to say 'good luck in the science fair'. And that wasn’t Ryan Colby laughing on the phone, it was Luke’s dog barking! We thought that was really funny! He thinks Ryan Colby is an idiot and no, they’re not friends! They had a fight after Ryan laughed at me today. We talked for three hours! And … he told me he really likes me!!!! I love his Welsh accent. I didn’t want him to stop talking. Anyway, Dad invited him to stay for dinner. They talked a lot and I could see Dad thinks he’s really clever. Then when I said goodbye to him at the door he turned around and said, 'Guess what?' And I said, 'What?'
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Did you like the story?