The text (B1)

You shouldn’t believe everything you read in a text message ... or should you?


Do the preparation exercise first and then read the story. If you find it too easy, try the next level. If it's too difficult, try the lower level. After reading, do the exercises to check your understanding.

Amy normally hated Monday mornings, but this term had been different. Kamal was in her art class and she really liked Kamal. She was waiting outside the art class when her friend Tara arrived.

“Hi Amy! Your mum texted me. You forgot your inhaler and your phone’s switched off again!” Amy wasn’t good with technology. She never sent text messages and she didn’t have a Facebook account either.

“So, did he ask you to the disco then?” Amy wished she hadn’t told Tara about her feelings for Kamal. Tara was Amy’s best friend and she thought that gave her the right to know everything about Amy’s life. “I don’t think he’s interested,” said Amy. “Anyway, you can never see him on his own. He’s always with Grant.” Neither of them liked Grant.

“Have you heard about their art project?” asked Amy. “Yes, it’s something to do with graffiti, I think,” said Tara. “They’ve been working on it at that abandoned house behind the factory.” “But isn’t that really dangerous?” asked Amy. “Aah, are you worried your boyfriend’s going to get hurt?” Tara teased. “Shut up! Hey look, here they come now!”

Kamal and Grant walked over, whispering to each other. “Hi Kamal!” said Tara, ignoring Grant. “Are you going to the Halloween disco tomorrow?” “Maybe. Hi Amy,” Kamal said, smiling. “Do you want to come up to the house and see our graffiti project after school?” Tara elbowed Amy. “I’m coming too!” she insisted.

After school that day, Kamal took the girls to the abandoned house. No one had lived there for years. There was rubbish everywhere. The windows were broken and there was mould on the walls. It was creepy and Amy didn’t like it. The boys had cleared the rubbish out of one room and the walls were covered in paintings of zombies and skeletons. “We’re going to take photos and enter them in the school competition,” said Kamal proudly. Amy didn’t seem impressed. “Very nice,” she said sarcastically. “Where’s Grant?” asked Tara. “Er, he’s gone to buy paint.” Kamal looked away quickly. “Aaah, have you two had a fight, then?” Tara jeered. “It’s getting dark,” said Amy. “Can we go now?” She had had enough of zombies for one day.

Just then, they heard a loud groaning noise coming from a cupboard in the corner of the room. “What was that?” Amy looked frightened. “I didn’t hear anything,” said Kamal. Something started banging against the door and moaning in a low voice. Someone or something was behind the door. “Oh no! What is it?” Amy was trembling now. “What are you talking about? There’s nothing!” Kamal was trying not to smile when the door suddenly burst open and a horrible, bloodstained zombie appeared, moaning and waving its arms. Amy screamed and covered her eyes. “Oh, very funny, Grant!” said Tara, looking bored. Kamal and Grant started giggling. “Ha ha, I scared you!” Grant laughed, very happy with himself. Tara turned to Amy to suggest leaving and noticed her friend was having trouble breathing. Kamal looked worried now. “Is she OK? We were only joking.” “No she’s not OK, you idiot. She’s having an asthma attack and she hasn’t got her inhaler.” Tara took out her phone. “I’m calling her dad.”

The next evening was Halloween. The girls were at the school disco. “Are you sure you’re OK now?” asked Tara. “I’m fine,” said Amy. “It wasn’t a serious attack. I think it was the paint fumes that started it.” Tara looked around. “So, where are the zombies?” “Who cares?” Amy said. “I don’t want to see Kamal again. Come on, let’s dance!”

Amy and Tara were having a great time when Grant arrived, looking worried. “Hi, my phone has been stolen. Have you seen Kamal? He told me to meet him here. Can you phone him?” “Get lost, idiot!” Tara turned away and didn’t stop dancing. Grant looked hurt. “Tell him I’m looking for him if you see him,” he called as he left. Tara really didn’t like Grant.

Just then Tara’s phone beeped and she looked at the screen. “Ha!” she said, “I don’t believe it!” “What?” Amy asked. “Kamal just sent a text. Listen to this!” Tara read Kamal’s text.

“I’m at the house. I’m trapped. Please help. My battery is running out. Call an ambulance.”

The girls continued dancing. Lots of their friends had seen Kamal’s text too, but Tara told everyone to ignore it. It was just another one of his jokes.

The next morning, Amy’s mum and dad were listening to the news on the radio while they were having breakfast. “Is Amy up yet?” Dad asked. “No, today’s a holiday and she didn’t get back home from the disco until midnight,” said Mum, turning the volume up on the radio.

“This morning, police are asking if anyone has information about the tragic death of a sixteen-year-old schoolboy last night in an abandoned house on Moortown Road...”

Dad put down his newspaper and looked at the radio. “But that’s where Amy went with her friends on Monday.”

“...The boy, who died from loss of blood, was discovered early this morning partly buried under a pile of rubble and has been identified as Kamal Naseer...”

Brendan Dunne


Do you always agree with your best friend?  Do you ever argue?

Personal online tutoring
EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council’s one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds.


Submitted by PolinaLogvinenko on Mon, 08/15/2022 - 20:13

I don't always agree with my friends. Because different people have different opinions.
Profile picture for user Kostantinus

Submitted by Kostantinus on Sun, 02/21/2021 - 09:21

Different people can have different opinion, so it's normal if you are not agree with your best friend. It's not about friendship at all. Yes, sometimes I argue with my best friend, but I do that really rare. I don't think I should impose my opinion to someone. I think in some way and that's enough.
English courses near you