Transcript

Welcome to Easy Stories in English, the podcast that will take your English from OK to Good, and from Good to Great.

I am Ariel Goodbody, your host for this show. Today’s story is for beginners. The name of the story is The Mature, Elegant Woman. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Mature. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Mature. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.

Today’s story is a story that I originally wrote in Esperanto. Yes, you are probably tired of hearing this. I have presented several stories that I wrote in Esperanto already.

But maybe you’re new to the podcast. Esperanto is a constructed language made by a Polish man in the nineteenth century. It was designed for international communication. Sometimes, I like writing in Esperanto. Before I started this podcast, I already had several stories in Esperanto. I thought it made sense to use the stories that I had already written, instead of having to write new ones just for the podcast. But, after this, there will probably be more stories that I wrote in English.

Anyway, I enjoy translating, so I had fun translating these stories.

OK, now let me explain some of the words that are in today’s story.

First of all, “mature”. “Mature” is when you act like an adult. So we say someone reaches maturity usually around eighteen, although some people grow very old and are never mature. For example, I am twenty-five. I have my own job, and I have to pay my bills and things like that. So I am mature.

But if I was twenty-five and I didn’t work, and I was mean to everyone, and I ate loads of sugar, and never went outside, I probably wouldn’t be very mature. So “mature” can mean acting like your age, or it can mean acting like an adult.

Something I was always told when I was teenager was, ‘You’re very mature for your age.’ I always took it as a compliment, but I think some people might take it as an insult.

I guess, if you’re mature for your age when you’re a teenager, it might mean that you’re boring. I think this might be true for me. When I was a teenager I didn’t drink. I actually don’t drink now. So, yeah. I’m not sure whether it was a compliment or an insult.

“Mature” can also mean old but attractive. So, old but not too old. When we talk about a “mature man” or a “mature woman”, we often mean someone in their forties or fifties who still looks good.

Speaking of which, we use this form to talk about collections of ten years. So your “twenties” is the age between twenty and twenty-nine. Your “thirties” is the age between thirty and thirty-nine, and so on.

Equally, “the sixties” are the years from nineteen sixty to nineteen sixty-nine. “The seventies” are the years from nineteen seventy to nineteen seventy-nine. “The eighties” are the years from nineteen eighty to nineteen eighty-nine, and so on.

An elegant woman from another time

This style of number does appear in the story. I thought I would mention it here because, personally, when I’m learning a foreign language, I find numbers really hard. Actually, I just find numbers hard in general. I’m not very good at maths. So, I want to make it as clear as possible.

The second word from the title I want to explain is “elegant”. “Elegant” means someone who is cultured, someone who dresses well, eats well, looks good. They might also like classical music, wine, things like that. Smart clothes. So, people who are elegant are often mature or older. And I guess a lot of the time, elegant people are rich. They have a lot of money.

An example of neoclassical architecture. By Sarah Casey CC BY-SA 4.0

There’s a mention in the story of “neo-classical architecture”. So, neo-classical architecture is a style of architecture from the mid-eighteenth century. Basically, it means buildings that have lots of columns. They are usually white or grey. They are buildings that are copying the style of old Roman and Greek buildings.

Also, hippies are mentioned. The hippies were a movement from the nineteen-sixties. They had a very specific fashion and also style of music. They were all about “free love” and peace, and also a lot of them took drugs like LSD. The Beatles were big hippies. They often sang about love. And The Beatles were very popular among hippies. They were hippy icons.

Finally, I will talk a bit about the theme of the story. So this story is about lying. Lying is when you don’t tell the truth. So, for example, if I say to you, ‘I am fifteen feet tall,’ that’s a lie, because I’m not fifteen feet tall. I’m only about six feet tall.

Apparently, on average, we tell one-point-six-five (1.65) lies a day. So around two lies a day. I don’t know if this is accurate. I think it’s just from one study.

But I thought it was interesting. I’m trying to be more truthful now. I try not to lie as much. When I was a teenager, I lied a lot. But I wasn’t lying because I wanted to trick people. I usually lied because I was embarrassed. Like, somebody asked, ‘What music do you like?’ and I didn’t want to tell them that I was into Japanese pop music, so I lied and said I was into jazz, and then they started talking about jazz and I had to pretend to know lots of things about jazz.

So, I guess the message is, ‘Don’t lie unless you can easily continue the lie.’

So, remember you can find a transcript of this episode, so the episode in text format, at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Mature. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Mature.

So, listen and enjoy!

The Mature, Elegant Woman

One day, on her way to work, Silna saw an advertisement.

Drink Less, Live Longer

The advertisement hit her like a baseball bat. She drank a lot. And she looked much older than she was. She wanted to say that the sign was wrong. She could drink as much as she wanted! But she couldn’t say that to the sign, because it was a sign, and not a person.

Behind the letters, there were pictures of people laughing. They looked young and happy. Their faces were soft. They didn’t have any grey hairs. Their teeth were perfectly white.

Silna hated them. She felt sick from hating them so much. As she walked to work, she kept thinking about those laughing faces. She carried the hate on her back, and it got bigger and bigger.

Silna was a teacher. When she arrived in class, she looked very angry. One of the students, Pegro, said to her, ‘Miss, does your back hurt? Maybe you should lie down. At your age—’

She looked at him. Her hair was wild, her lips were pushed together, and her eyes were on fire. It was the look of a monster! He stopped talking immediately.

Today’s lesson was about the Romans. Silna shouted for the students to get their books out, and they began.

‘Well, if you look at old books and old pictures, you will see that the Romans drank a lot of wine. In fact, they drank wine every day! And they never said, “You have had too much to drink,” or that you should “drink less, live longer…” ’

The students found the lesson very funny. Silna shouted so much that she gave herself a headache. So she went home and lay down on the sofa.

Then, she had an idea.

She would lie about her age. She would say that she was older than she really was.

Every time someone asked her age, and she told them the truth, they clearly wanted to laugh. They never did laugh, but she could always see that they wanted to. She looked far older than she was. Like a monster.

But if she started lying… When people found out her age, it would be a pleasant surprise! They would say, ‘Oh, Silna, how soft you look! How pretty you look! I thought you were far younger than that.’

Her classmates in university always said that she “lived in another age”. Well, now she really would live in another age!

She wanted to try her plan immediately. But how could she do that? At work everyone knew her too well. She could move to another city, but that would take too much time.

She had to go somewhere. Somewhere where nobody would know her. She lived in a big city, so that wouldn’t be hard. In fact, there was a concert that night, by a famous piano-player. She had seen a poster about it.

‘Yes, yes… That will be perfect!’

She went to her bedroom to decide what clothes to wear.

But wait. A mature, elegant woman doesn’t spend hours choosing clothes. She is too clever for that. She chooses something pretty, but also comfortable. So she chose a simple black dress.

Then she went to the bathroom to put on makeup. She took out a bright red lipstick.

But wait. A mature, elegant woman doesn’t wear too much makeup! So she put on some light makeup, and didn’t wear any lipstick.

Afterwards, she stood and looked at herself in the mirror. She didn’t see the angry, ugly old woman from before. Now she really did see a beautiful, mature woman, with simple clothes and makeup. And she had saved so much time!

She had a light supper, because a mature, elegant woman knows not to eat too much. She had a glass of wine with her supper, because even mature, elegant women drink. Then she drove in her car to the concert hall.

In the concert hall there were lots of people. Silna looked around. She saw a group of women who were talking about culture. Yes, perfect.

She went up to their group and said, ‘This building is wonderful, isn’t it? I love neoclassical architecture.’

The women quietly agreed.

One of them, a blonde woman with a big ring, said, ‘Do you know the piano-player?’

‘Yes,’ she said. ‘I have some of his compact disks. Or, as the young people say, “CDs”!’

The other women laughed quietly.

‘I think I’m the only one who doesn’t know him already!’ said the blonde woman. ‘But I love concerts. I think it’s the best way to find new music.’

‘Yes,’ said a brown-haired woman, ‘you invited us to the Facero concert, didn’t you? That was amazing.’

‘Yes, that was me!’

The women started talking about concerts they had been to. Silna had to find another way to talk about her age.

‘Ha ha,’ she laughed loudly. ‘That makes me think of when I was younger! I loved going to concerts when I was a student. I was one of those “hippies”. I’m lucky that I passed my exams!’

The brown-haired woman looked at her. Silna thought she was trying to guess her age. She smiled.

‘Did you study in the city?’ the brown-haired woman asked.

‘Oh no! I studied in the United Kingdom, at Cambridge. I graduated in 1981.’ She happily used the new date.

‘Wow!’ said the blonde woman. ‘Wasn’t it really difficult to go to Cambridge at that time, for people from our country?’

Silna stopped smiling. It was true. It was hard to get in at that time. She had completely forgotten that.

‘Well, I had a friend who was already studying there, who gave me lots of help and advice. But yes, in that time it truly was difficult. I was very, very lucky.’

She stopped and waited for someone to ask her age. But then the brown-haired woman started talking about the wine.

Silna understood her mistake. Mature, elegant women don’t ask other women how old they are. It is simply the wrong thing to do. She drank her wine, and thought of a new plan.

‘Silna! What a surprise to see you here!’

Silna turned. It was Kasha, one of the other teachers from her school. She was much younger than Silna, and had lots of energy. She made Silna feel very tired and very old.

‘Is your headache better?’

The other women looked at Silna. She had to be careful. Kasha might say something about her age.

‘Yes, I took some medicine. Now I feel much better.’

‘Pegro was in my class after you. He is so bad. And he is so afraid of you!’

The other women laughed.

‘Shall we go find seats?’ Silna said. ‘I think the concert is about to begin.’

She wanted to move away from the other women. But it was impossible. Kasha walked quickly, and talked lots. She was talking about how awful Pegro was in her class.

‘…he says so many bad words. I don’t know where he learns them, because his mother is lovely. He always says—’

‘Oh, Kasha!’ Silna said. ‘You are so funny, you young people. But please do not say those terrible words. I am too old to hear them!’

‘But you’re only a few years older than me, aren’t you?’

Silna smiled, and said loudly, ‘Kasha, dear! You are too kind. Many people have said that to me! But no, I’m probably twenty years older than you. I won’t say the exact number, but I am older than fifty.’

‘Really?’ said the blonde woman. ‘I thought you were younger than fifty. I thought you were around forty!’

Silna made herself smile. She thought that they would guess a lower age than that. But a win was a win.

Kasha shook her head. ‘No, that can’t be. Pegro said that you always talk about the year you graduated, 19—’

‘What a great view we have here!’ Silna said loudly.

At that moment, the lights went down. She was safe, and she could enjoy the music.

The concert was very good, and a mature, elegant woman would enjoy it a lot. But Silna couldn’t enjoy it, because she was sad. Her plan wasn’t working very well. Only one of the women had said anything about her age.

But after the music finished, something amazing happened. A handsome, mature man came up to her.

‘Good evening. I was standing over there and I thought, “Wow! A beautiful woman from my dreams is in the room!” And I decided I had to talk to her.’

Silna smiled. She was very surprised.

‘Lovely words from a lovely man. Do you often come here? It’s strange that I haven’t seen you before.’

‘Not at all. I couldn’t come, because I hadn’t dreamed of you yet…’

He bought her another glass of wine. They moved away from the other women, and Kasha. Silna gave them a strong look of happiness as she left. Kasha looked amazed. Another win.

She loved mature men, and this man was very mature. Unfortunately, this kind of man usually thought she was too young for them. But this time, that wouldn’t be a problem!

‘This building is a great example of neoclassical architecture, don’t you think?’

‘I thought the same! My friend didn’t think so, though. Are you a historian?’

‘Yes, I am a historian.’

She felt a fire inside her. He was a man of culture. Finally, someone who knew as much as her!

The conversation kept getting better. She almost forgot about her plan. But then, she saw a chance.

‘Oh, I loved The Beatles when I was younger,’ he said. ‘I suppose you were too young for them?’

‘Well, The Beatles are for all ages. But actually, I was a small child then, in the sixties. I listened to their music all the time!’

The man stopped smiling. ‘You look much younger than you are.’

‘Thank you! Yes, sometimes people say that.’ A mature, elegant woman is never too proud.

But strangely, her lie didn’t make the man happy. In fact, he looked very surprised. In a bad way.

‘Excuse me, I need to go to the toilet.’

She watched as he walked away and left the building. She wanted to follow him, but then Kasha came up to her.

‘Silna, you won’t guess what happened to me! I found another Cambridge student, who studied at the same time as you. Maybe you know each other!’

She turned and looked at Kasha. She felt very old, and not mature or elegant at all.

On Monday morning, Silna went into school wearing all the makeup in her house. She fell into her chair. As always, the first one to make problems was Pegro.

‘Miss, miss!’

‘What, Pegro?’ she said.

‘Kasha said that you’re over fifty years old. Are you going to stop working soon?’

She couldn’t even do that!

‘Thank you for the interest, Pegro,’ said Silna. ‘But Kasha didn’t hear me correctly. I am without age, and I plan to stay here until you finish school. So I’ll probably be here forever.’

This made the other students laugh. Pegro went red, and stopped talking.

Silna smiled. At least she had won that.

THE END

I hope you enjoyed the story. You can support the podcast by leaving a review on iTunes. Search for Easy Stories in English, give us a star rating, and say what you like about the show. It would really help us grow. Thank you for listening, and until next week.

Welcome to Easy Stories in English, the podcast that will take your English from OK to Good, and from Good to Great.

I am Ariel Goodbody, your host for this show. Today’s story is for beginners. The name of the story is The Mature, Elegant Woman. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Mature. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Mature. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.

Today’s story is a story that I originally wrote in Esperanto. Yes, you are probably tired of hearing this. I have presented several stories that I wrote in Esperanto already.

But maybe you’re new to the podcast. Esperanto is a constructed language made by a Polish man in the nineteenth century. It was designed for international communication. Sometimes, I like writing in Esperanto. Before I started this podcast, I already had several stories in Esperanto. I thought it made sense to use the stories that I had already written, instead of having to write new ones just for the podcast. But, after this, there will probably be more stories that I wrote in English.

Anyway, I enjoy translating, so I had fun translating these stories.

OK, now let me explain some of the words that are in today’s story.

First of all, “mature”. “Mature” is when you act like an adult. So we say someone reaches maturity usually around eighteen, although some people grow very old and are never mature. For example, I am twenty-five. I have my own job, and I have to pay my bills and things like that. So I am mature.

But if I was twenty-five and I didn’t work, and I was mean to everyone, and I ate loads of sugar, and never went outside, I probably wouldn’t be very mature. So “mature” can mean acting like your age, or it can mean acting like an adult.

Something I was always told when I was teenager was, ‘You’re very mature for your age.’ I always took it as a compliment, but I think some people might take it as an insult.

I guess, if you’re mature for your age when you’re a teenager, it might mean that you’re boring. I think this might be true for me. When I was a teenager I didn’t drink. I actually don’t drink now. So, yeah. I’m not sure whether it was a compliment or an insult.

“Mature” can also mean old but attractive. So, old but not too old. When we talk about a “mature man” or a “mature woman”, we often mean someone in their forties or fifties who still looks good.

Speaking of which, we use this form to talk about collections of ten years. So your “twenties” is the age between twenty and twenty-nine. Your “thirties” is the age between thirty and thirty-nine, and so on.

Equally, “the sixties” are the years from nineteen sixty to nineteen sixty-nine. “The seventies” are the years from nineteen seventy to nineteen seventy-nine. “The eighties” are the years from nineteen eighty to nineteen eighty-nine, and so on.

This style of number does appear in the story. I thought I would mention it here because, personally, when I’m learning a foreign language, I find numbers really hard. Actually, I just find numbers hard in general. I’m not very good at maths. So, I want to make it as clear as possible.

The second word from the title I want to explain is “elegant”. “Elegant” means someone who is cultured, someone who dresses well, eats well, looks good. They might also like classical music, wine, things like that. Smart clothes. So, people who are elegant are often mature or older. And I guess a lot of the time, elegant people are rich. They have a lot of money.

There’s a mention in the story of “neo-classical architecture”. So, neo-classical architecture is a style of architecture from the mid-eighteenth century. Basically, it means buildings that have lots of columns. They are usually white or grey. They are buildings that are copying the style of old Roman and Greek buildings.

Also, hippies are mentioned. The hippies were a movement from the nineteen-sixties. They had a very specific fashion and also style of music. They were all about “free love” and peace, and also a lot of them took drugs like LSD. The Beatles were big hippies. They often sang about love. And The Beatles were very popular among hippies. They were hippy icons.

Finally, I will talk a bit about the theme of the story. So this story is about lying. Lying is when you don’t tell the truth. So, for example, if I say to you, ‘I am fifteen feet tall,’ that’s a lie, because I’m not fifteen feet tall. I’m only about six feet tall.

Apparently, on average, we tell one-point-six-five (1.65) lies a day. So around two lies a day. I don’t know if this is accurate. I think it’s just from one study.

But I thought it was interesting. I’m trying to be more truthful now. I try not to lie as much. When I was a teenager, I lied a lot. But I wasn’t lying because I wanted to trick people. I usually lied because I was embarrassed. Like, somebody asked, ‘What music do you like?’ and I didn’t want to tell them that I was into Japanese pop music, so I lied and said I was into jazz, and then they started talking about jazz and I had to pretend to know lots of things about jazz.

So, I guess the message is, ‘Don’t lie unless you can easily continue the lie.’

So, remember you can find a transcript of this episode, so the episode in text format, at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Mature. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Mature.

So, listen and enjoy!

The Mature, Elegant Woman

One day, on her way to work, Silna saw an advertisement.

Drink Less, Live Longer

The advertisement hit her like a baseball bat. She drank a lot. And she looked much older than she was. She wanted to say that the sign was wrong. She could drink as much as she wanted! But she couldn’t say that to the sign, because it was a sign, and not a person.

Behind the letters, there were pictures of people laughing. They looked young and happy. Their faces were soft. They didn’t have any grey hairs. Their teeth were perfectly white.

Silna hated them. She felt sick from hating them so much. As she walked to work, she kept thinking about those laughing faces. She carried the hate on her back, and it got bigger and bigger.

Silna was a teacher. When she arrived in class, she looked very angry. One of the students, Pegro, said to her, ‘Miss, does your back hurt? Maybe you should lie down. At your age—’

She looked at him. Her hair was wild, her lips were pushed together, and her eyes were on fire. It was the look of a monster! He stopped talking immediately.

Today’s lesson was about the Romans. Silna shouted for the students to get their books out, and they began.

‘Well, if you look at old books and old pictures, you will see that the Romans drank a lot of wine. In fact, they drank wine every day! And they never said, “You have had too much to drink,” or that you should “drink less, live longer…” ’

The students found the lesson very funny. Silna shouted so much that she gave herself a headache. So she went home and lay down on the sofa.

Then, she had an idea.

She would lie about her age. She would say that she was older than she really was.

Every time someone asked her age, and she told them the truth, they clearly wanted to laugh. They never did laugh, but she could always see that they wanted to. She looked far older than she was. Like a monster.

But if she started lying… When people found out her age, it would be a pleasant surprise! They would say, ‘Oh, Silna, how soft you look! How pretty you look! I thought you were far younger than that.’

Her classmates in university always said that she “lived in another age”. Well, now she really would live in another age!

She wanted to try her plan immediately. But how could she do that? At work everyone knew her too well. She could move to another city, but that would take too much time.

She had to go somewhere. Somewhere where nobody would know her. She lived in a big city, so that wouldn’t be hard. In fact, there was a concert that night, by a famous piano-player. She had seen a poster about it.

‘Yes, yes… That will be perfect!’

She went to her bedroom to decide what clothes to wear.

But wait. A mature, elegant woman doesn’t spend hours choosing clothes. She is too clever for that. She chooses something pretty, but also comfortable. So she chose a simple black dress.

Then she went to the bathroom to put on makeup. She took out a bright red lipstick.

But wait. A mature, elegant woman doesn’t wear too much makeup! So she put on some light makeup, and didn’t wear any lipstick.

Afterwards, she stood and looked at herself in the mirror. She didn’t see the angry, ugly old woman from before. Now she really did see a beautiful, mature woman, with simple clothes and makeup. And she had saved so much time!

She had a light supper, because a mature, elegant woman knows not to eat too much. She had a glass of wine with her supper, because even mature, elegant women drink. Then she drove in her car to the concert hall.

In the concert hall there were lots of people. Silna looked around. She saw a group of women who were talking about culture. Yes, perfect.

She went up to their group and said, ‘This building is wonderful, isn’t it? I love neoclassical architecture.’

The women quietly agreed.

One of them, a blonde woman with a big ring, said, ‘Do you know the piano-player?’

‘Yes,’ she said. ‘I have some of his compact disks. Or, as the young people say, “CDs”!’

The other women laughed quietly.

‘I think I’m the only one who doesn’t know him already!’ said the blonde woman. ‘But I love concerts. I think it’s the best way to find new music.’

‘Yes,’ said a brown-haired woman, ‘you invited us to the Facero concert, didn’t you? That was amazing.’

‘Yes, that was me!’

The women started talking about concerts they had been to. Silna had to find another way to talk about her age.

‘Ha ha,’ she laughed loudly. ‘That makes me think of when I was younger! I loved going to concerts when I was a student. I was one of those “hippies”. I’m lucky that I passed my exams!’

The brown-haired woman looked at her. Silna thought she was trying to guess her age. She smiled.

‘Did you study in the city?’ the brown-haired woman asked.

‘Oh no! I studied in the United Kingdom, at Cambridge. I graduated in 1981.’ She happily used the new date.

‘Wow!’ said the blonde woman. ‘Wasn’t it really difficult to go to Cambridge at that time, for people from our country?’

Silna stopped smiling. It was true. It was hard to get in at that time. She had completely forgotten that.

‘Well, I had a friend who was already studying there, who gave me lots of help and advice. But yes, in that time it truly was difficult. I was very, very lucky.’

She stopped and waited for someone to ask her age. But then the brown-haired woman started talking about the wine.

Silna understood her mistake. Mature, elegant women don’t ask other women how old they are. It is simply the wrong thing to do. She drank her wine, and thought of a new plan.

‘Silna! What a surprise to see you here!’

Silna turned. It was Kasha, one of the other teachers from her school. She was much younger than Silna, and had lots of energy. She made Silna feel very tired and very old.

‘Is your headache better?’

The other women looked at Silna. She had to be careful. Kasha might say something about her age.

‘Yes, I took some medicine. Now I feel much better.’

‘Pegro was in my class after you. He is so bad. And he is so afraid of you!’

The other women laughed.

‘Shall we go find seats?’ Silna said. ‘I think the concert is about to begin.’

She wanted to move away from the other women. But it was impossible. Kasha walked quickly, and talked lots. She was talking about how awful Pegro was in her class.

‘…he says so many bad words. I don’t know where he learns them, because his mother is lovely. He always says—’

‘Oh, Kasha!’ Silna said. ‘You are so funny, you young people. But please do not say those terrible words. I am too old to hear them!’

‘But you’re only a few years older than me, aren’t you?’

Silna smiled, and said loudly, ‘Kasha, dear! You are too kind. Many people have said that to me! But no, I’m probably twenty years older than you. I won’t say the exact number, but I am older than fifty.’

‘Really?’ said the blonde woman. ‘I thought you were younger than fifty. I thought you were around forty!’

Silna made herself smile. She thought that they would guess a lower age than that. But a win was a win.

Kasha shook her head. ‘No, that can’t be. Pegro said that you always talk about the year you graduated, 19—’

‘What a great view we have here!’ Silna said loudly.

At that moment, the lights went down. She was safe, and she could enjoy the music.

The concert was very good, and a mature, elegant woman would enjoy it a lot. But Silna couldn’t enjoy it, because she was sad. Her plan wasn’t working very well. Only one of the women had said anything about her age.

But after the music finished, something amazing happened. A handsome, mature man came up to her.

‘Good evening. I was standing over there and I thought, “Wow! A beautiful woman from my dreams is in the room!” And I decided I had to talk to her.’

Silna smiled. She was very surprised.

‘Lovely words from a lovely man. Do you often come here? It’s strange that I haven’t seen you before.’

‘Not at all. I couldn’t come, because I hadn’t dreamed of you yet…’

He bought her another glass of wine. They moved away from the other women, and Kasha. Silna gave them a strong look of happiness as she left. Kasha looked amazed. Another win.

She loved mature men, and this man was very mature. Unfortunately, this kind of man usually thought she was too young for them. But this time, that wouldn’t be a problem!

‘This building is a great example of neoclassical architecture, don’t you think?’

‘I thought the same! My friend didn’t think so, though. Are you a historian?’

‘Yes, I am a historian.’

She felt a fire inside her. He was a man of culture. Finally, someone who knew as much as her!

The conversation kept getting better. She almost forgot about her plan. But then, she saw a chance.

‘Oh, I loved The Beatles when I was younger,’ he said. ‘I suppose you were too young for them?’

‘Well, The Beatles are for all ages. But actually, I was a small child then, in the sixties. I listened to their music all the time!’

The man stopped smiling. ‘You look much younger than you are.’

‘Thank you! Yes, sometimes people say that.’ A mature, elegant woman is never too proud.

But strangely, her lie didn’t make the man happy. In fact, he looked very surprised. In a bad way.

‘Excuse me, I need to go to the toilet.’

She watched as he walked away and left the building. She wanted to follow him, but then Kasha came up to her.

‘Silna, you won’t guess what happened to me! I found another Cambridge student, who studied at the same time as you. Maybe you know each other!’

She turned and looked at Kasha. She felt very old, and not mature or elegant at all.

On Monday morning, Silna went into school wearing all the makeup in her house. She fell into her chair. As always, the first one to make problems was Pegro.

‘Miss, miss!’

‘What, Pegro?’ she said.

‘Kasha said that you’re over fifty years old. Are you going to stop working soon?’

She couldn’t even do that!

‘Thank you for the interest, Pegro,’ said Silna. ‘But Kasha didn’t hear me correctly. I am without age, and I plan to stay here until you finish school. So I’ll probably be here forever.’

This made the other students laugh. Pegro went red, and stopped talking.

Silna smiled. At least she had won that.

THE END

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