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 writing in English to practise. I’m sorry I didn’t answer your email. I started school the day after we arrived in Boston and I’ve got too much work to do. I hate it here. I can’t understand what people are saying. The accent is very strange.
I miss Shanghai and I miss playing in the band with you. I try to practise the guitar, but the neighbour who lives opposite is angry because his daughter plays the violin and he said the noise disturbs her. I saw her staring out of the window at me. I think she hates me too. She’s really beautiful...
Hey, I’ve got to stop. My mum just came back from work and I haven’t finished my homework.
Please write back soon. I want to hear about what you’re doing in London. Can you understand the accent?
PS: I think I’m in love!
Deshi turned off the computer and opened his English book, but it was difficult to concentrate on irregular verbs. He couldn’t stop thinking about the girl in the building opposite. She had beautiful eyes. He opened his bedroom window and looked across the street. Her window was open too and he could hear her practising classical music on her violin. She was very good. “She probably hates rock music!” thought Deshi. “Have you finished your homework?” Deshi’s mum opened the door. “Quick! Dinner is in half an hour!” He wasn’t hungry.
Deshi couldn’t sleep that night and he was late for school the next morning. He ran out of the house and there she was! She was sitting in her dad’s car with the window open. Deshi dropped his schoolbag and she turned to look at him. He couldn’t move. Her eyes were green. He’d never seen anyone with green eyes before. He smiled at her but she just stared at him like he didn’t exist. Deshi could feel his face turning red. He picked up his bag and ran for the bus.
School didn’t go well that day. He failed a maths test and the English teacher shouted at him for not concentrating. At lunch time, he wasn’t hungry. The food in the cafeteria just made him feel sick. And then he had to stay late after school for extra English and missed the bus. He decided to walk home. He was crossing the park near his street, thinking about his school back in Shanghai and how he missed it. Then, he saw her. She was sitting on a bench with her dog. “Oh no, she’s seen me,” he thought. He waved at her but she just ignored him again. “Idiot!” he said to himself. “Why did I wave? Now she really hates me.” Later that evening, Deshi was practising his guitar with the headphones on. His friends in Shanghai thought he was very good but now he didn’t want anyone to hear him playing. He was thinking about getting a a classical guitar when his mum came into the room. She had a letter in her hand. “The postman made a mistake,” she said. “This is for the building across the street. Can you take it over while I’m making dinner?” “OK, mum!” said Deshi.
Deshi thought about how unhappy he was as he went down the stairs. His mum had no time for him, she was always working. School was really difficult and he had no friends in Boston. He was outside the building opposite when the door opened. “Oh no, it’s her!” he thought. The girl was about to come down the steps when she dropped something. Without thinking, Deshi picked it up. “Hello?” she said, frightened. “Who’s there?” Deshi was confused. “Er, I live across the street.” “Are you the boy who plays the guitar?” she said. “Hi, I’m Helen. I really like your music and I’m sorry my dad complained.” Deshi looked at what he was holding. It was a white stick. She was blind.
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