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From "Silphius" by Piwiski. The snow outside the window muffled all the sounds of the usually noisy forest. The smell of warm cinnamon filled the air wafting in from the kitchen. The sun peeked out from behind a large, puffy cloud and made the microscopic snowflakes glisten. The sheltered flannel blankets were wrapped around me so tightly, I could barely move. I refused to let any heat escape my body. Yesterday had passed so quickly I’m beginning to think it didn’t happen. My only proof is, I can so clearly remember the look on my father’s face when he received the phone call. I remember exactly what he had said, “Emma, sweetie, I…I have to go…on a business trip. I’m sorry, love.”
I had nodded calmly and asked him how long he would be gone. “Three months.” I felt the tears swelling in my eyes at the time, but I blinked them away as he explained briefly that he would be sending over an old nanny we used to use. He had left that night after taking merely ten minutes to pack his bag. I had cried my heart out for at least an hour before the nanny, named Elise, showed up. She promised these next couple months would be fun. I didn’t believe her. Rolling over slightly, I glanced at my shiny new alarm clock. Judging by the time and the smells from the kitchen I figured it was time for breakfast. As fast a humanly possible I threw off my covers and put on my satin robe and slippers before I could freeze in the below zero temperatures.
I treaded across my maroon carpeting and out into the hallway. The walls were painted beige with thin gold trim. Paintings of our family elders speckled the walls on either side as I passed the many polished wooden doors leading to bedrooms, libraries and such. “Good morning Elise.” I took my place at the long table daddy had made for us and lay a napkin on my lap. Elise, who had already taken her place at the table, asked how I had slept, and I lied, telling her that I was perfectly fine and had slept through the night, which was not true. By now the maid had brought out two plates stacked with bacon, toast and eggs, with a side of orange juice and cinnamon flavored hot chocolate.
After breakfast I took a book out of one of the libraries and went out into the garden to read for an hour and a half. Then I went upstairs and joined my personal instructor, Gautier (a lovely man with a grand sense of humor), for my daily lessons. Then I proceeded to lunch, more lessons, and afterwards I would bake with the souse chef and go for a stroll around the house. Lastly I would head to dinner and then back to my room for a movie before I fell asleep. Days passed and my routine stayed the same, and each night before I fell asleep, I would cry for my father, and wish he were here.
Weeks went by and before I knew it a month had passed and I had been perfectly content (mostly). But as always, happiness doesn’t last forever, and I was petrified by the terrible accident with Elise. On a Thursday afternoon, just after lessons, I was heading down to the kitchen for some tea, when I heard a horrible shriek coming from the upstairs bathroom. I ran up the shiny wood staircase and arrived at the bathroom door. Of course I knocked but my reply was not ‘come in’ it was ‘help!’. Elise shouted from the other side of the door that she had been taking a bath and had slipped when coming out and that she thought her hip was broken.
Nervously I called an ambulance which came in a few minutes, during which I told Elise that everything would be all right. So now I was left without a sitter. My favorite maid, Melinda, told me she would find a replacement, but in the meantime, she would be looking out for me (as well as cleaning my room I hope). As usual, the days went by. Although only two passed before Melinda had found a new sitter. His name was Steven Arkes and although he had no history in young adult sitting, she had a strange feeling he would be perfect for the job. On Saturday evening, just after dinner, the chimes of our doorbell echoed through the house and Melinda anxiously sprang up to get it.
I listened from the living room as the door creaked open, the stranger clapped his boots together, and stepped inside. I heard Melinda’s quivering voice introduce herself and invite him in, and I saw Steven enter the living room through the corner of my eye. I turned my head as if I hadn’t been listening and smiled. He bowed his head in a polite hello, and I greeted him in the same kind manner. Steven Arkes was dressed casual, in a pair of worn out blue jeans made to look nice and a button up, white shirt. His sleeves looked like they had just been ironed and the bottoms of his jeans were wrinkled as if they were used to being rolled up.
He was wearing a navy blue hat, which he soon removed, and a shabby tan jacket, which he placed on the coat hanger. His shoes looked Italian, and like they had once been polished, but hadn’t been given a second thought. Steven introduced himself, even though we already knew each others names, and took a seat across from me on an off-white cushion with brass legs and accents. At first we were both quite nervous but as we talked we opened up more and started to laugh. He told me, like Elise, that these next couples months would be fun, but him I believed.
We spent Sunday laughing and having fun. I gave Steven a tour of the house and showed him his room. Since it was Sunday, I had no classes, and we played in the garden with my golden retriever, Penny. Steven would throw a small orange ball he had in his bag and Penny would eagerly chase after it, disappearing into the garden. Once she came back without the ball, so Steven and I scoured the garden for twenty-five minutes until we finally found underneath one of father’s rosebushes. At dinner, Melinda served Steven and I roast turkey with a side of salad. As I was placing the off-white napkin on my lap, Steven suddenly bent over and beckoned for me to come closer. I eagerly leaned forwards and Steven began to whisper. “Emma, I have a great idea. Why don’t we take a trip? Get out of this house! See the island!
The Isle of Wight! How much of the island have you actually seen?” I nodded and replied, “Well, a trip would be fun…but I don’t think that Melinda would allow it…” “That’s why we don’t tell her!” Steven exclaimed in a hushed tone. “We could go on our own little adventure! Just for a few days, and I promise you, I will take any blame Melinda throws at us. C’mon, it would be so much fun…please?” I smiled at Steven’s eager tones and after a minute of pondering the consequences, I figured father didn’t need to know, and it would only be a few days. “Ok,” I said. “But where exactly will we be going?” Steven smiled. As he launched into a full description of everywhere we would go, how we would get there, and what we would be doing, I watched Melinda out of the corner of my eye. She was glaring at Steven with devilish curiosity. I focused back on Steven just as he was telling me the last city we would visit, but strangely he stopped after telling me how we would get there.
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Oltre 6:30 minuti: lettura molto lenta Tra 5:40 e 6:30 minuti: lettura medio-lenta Tra 4:50 e 5:40 minuti: lettura normale Tra 4.10 e 4:50 minuti: lettura veloce Tra 3:30 e 4:10 minuti: lettura molto veloce Meno di 3:30 minuti: lettura rapidissima
TEST DI COMPRENSIONE
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