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The first time we met, I was an innocent eight-year-old. My friends and I secretly took you down to our dark cellar, so that our parents would not find out. Later on, when I was about ten-year-old, we started to meet every weekend when my friends and I went to the noisy discotheque at our local youth club. We used to sneak out from the club up into the shady woods, where my friends and I sat with make-up on our faces and garish nail polish on our nails feeling very adult and mature.

From thirteen onwards we met several times a day, and by then my mother allowed you to come into my room. She did not want to know you,, having gone through so much to get rid of you. Naturally she was rather disappointed in me but what could she do? She kept hoping that I would «get my act together» but at this age I was unruly and rebellious and punishments and curfews did not work.

There is no doubt that you have been everything to me. You have been there when I needed a friend or when I was sad. You calmed me down when I was upset. In other words, you have been one of my best friends.

Unlike others in similar situations, I did not associate with you because it was fashionable or I thought it was tough. However, I had seen you and your equals, together with beautiful, sophisticated women; women who ate at expensive restaurants and drank red wine by candlelight. My friends and I tried to imitate those women; we wanted to live in that kind of world.

The problem was I liked you too much. There was no going back. I was caught in your trap. My flat was almost ruined because of you. My skin became a washed out pale grey. Sometimes I felt like an old woman. How was I so blind, deaf and ignorant for all those years? Why couldn't I let you go? I know the answer myself, it was because I did not care then, but I do now.

In spite of it being difficult, I am now trying to end our destructive relationship, as one must end all bad relationships. I hope I will succeed in my effort to stop smoking and that I will never buy another packet of Prince again. After more than eighteen years together I bid you farewell, my fair Prince.

Test № 14

I. Определите, верны (True) или неверны (False) следую­щие утверждения.

1. The narrator is twenty-six years old now.

2. The narrator's parents didn't know that she had started to smoke.

3. The mother had given up smoking when her daughter was 13.

4. The narrator has started to take care of her health.

II. Ответьте на следующие вопросы.

1. Where did the narrator and her friends go at week-ends when she was ten-year-old?

2. What role did smoking play in the narrator's life?

3. Who did the narrator and her friends try to imitate?

4. What does the narrator's skin look like now?

III. Исправьте предложения в соответствии с содержани­ем текста.

1. The first time she took a cigarette the narrator was ten-year-old.

2. From thirteen onwards the narrator was allowed to smoke in the club.


Прочитайте текст два раза и выполните следующие задания.

She was in the house of a married friend, sitting on the verandah, with a lighted room behind her. She was alone; and heard people talking in low voices, and caught her own name. She rose to go inside and declare herself: it was typical of her. Then she sank down again, and waited for a suitable moment to pretend she had just come in from the garden. This was the conversation she listened to, while her face burned and her hands went clammy.'

«She's not fifteen any longer: it is ridiculous! Someone should tell her about her clothes.» «How old is she?»

«Must be well over thirty. She was working long before I began working, and that was a good twelve years ago.»

«Why doesn't she marry? She must have had plenty of chances.» There was a dry chuckle. «I don't think so. My husband was keen on her himself once, but he thinks she will never marry. Something missing somewhere.» «Oh, I don't know.»

«The other day I caught sight of her in the street and hardly recognized her. It's a fact! The way she plays all those games, her skin is like sandpaper,2 and she's got so thin.»

«But she's such a nice girl. She'd make someone a good wife.» «She should marry someone years older than herself. A man of fifty would suit her... you'll see, she will marry someone old enough to be her father one of those days.»

She was stunned and outraged;3 but most of all deeply wounded that her friends could discuss her thus. And the things they had said! She tried to compose herself4 and went back into the room to join her treacherous friends, who greeted her as cordially as if they had not just that moment driven knives into her heart and thrown her quite offbalance; she could not recognize herself in the picture they had made of her!

1 clammy—влажный

2 sand paper—наждачная бумага

3 outraged—оскорбленный

4 to compose oneself—успокоиться

Test № 15

I. Определите, верны (True) или неверны (False) следую­щие утверждения.

1. Mary hadn't intended to listen to the conversation.

2. Mary was the same age as her friend.

3. The conversation was between Mary's friend and her husband.

4. Mary was keen on sports.

II. Ответьте на следующие вопросы.

1. Where was Mary that night?

2. Why did Mary's friend hardly recognize her when she caught sight of her in the street?

3. Who did Mary's friend think she should marry?

4. What did her friends do when she came back into the room?

III. Исправьте предложения в соответствии с содержани­ем текста.

1. Mary was amused by the conversation she heard.

2. She thought the picture her friends had made of her was true.


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