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You are here » Teacherovi's English Forum » Unusual » An unusual person

An unusual person

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A short Persian story goes like this: Last night, a voice whispered in my ear "A voice that whispers in your ear at night doesn't exist". And there I was, lying in bed after 2 AM, straining my ears so I would hear what my new neighbor was saying.
   I could still remember the summer day he moved into the apartment next to mine, not long ago. He came in a truck full of furniture, boxes, suitcases and bags. I was outside, sitting on the stairs and talking with my friends. And then he appeared. A little bird later told me that his name was Robert Peterson and that he was in his early 30s, though he looked much older. His sandy brown hair was cut short and his tanned skin was like caramel. I assumed that wasn't his real skin color because of his deep-set sky blue eyes. His cheekbones were prominent because of the sunken cheeks. Overall, he looked thin, frail and light enough for the gentle wind to blow away. But his facial expression made us, kids, think that he probably had many problems or a traumatic past weighing him down so he could actually walk on the ground. Mr Peterson worked tirelessly to get all his things inside, but despite the effort and the heat, he didn't take off the winter coat he was wearing. "What a weird guy." we all thought. In a way, we were right. Whenever we met him outside or in the elevator, he was morose and rarely answered our greetings. He didn't speak much and he preferred solitude and silence, that much we knew. And yet, at night, he didn"t sleep, but paced around and talked to himself. I would sometimes wake up because of the muffled noise. My friends and I have known everyone living in our building since we were little, so this new person, who was usually grumpy, mostly mute and most often ignored the kids, was bound to arouse our curiosity. "What made him so mad at the world? What's the deal with wearing a coat in summer? Where does he go every afternoon, dragging his feet and with a wistful look on his face?", we asked ourselves.  One day, the answer came to us... Mr Peterson was feeling less sullen and more communicative, so he came to the small group of children I was a part of and said, in a fairly pleasant voice:
  " Look, you lot, I know you've been following me around. Don't try to deny it. You're not particularly sneaky or discreet about it. I understand that you find me uncommon in my behavior and therefore intriguing. I don't like being followed, so I am willing to tell you some things about my past... Do you wanna hear it?"
  We nodded enthusiastically and he sat down, furrowing his eyebrows as he was collecting his thoughts.
  " When I was in middle school, I had this biology teacher who was incredibly passionate about her subject and she managed to make me interested. I came to love studying animals and plants and insects, how they interact and influence each other and all that. I became a biologist and, by the time I turned 25, I had already published a few research studies. Then, an unknown person founded an expedition to South America. I was sent, along with 4 other people, to the Amazonian rainforest. Adapting to the new timezone, to the terrible heat and the humidity took some time. I returned only 2 months ago, so for me, the temperature right now is very low. But the exploring and collecting data part was so awesome! There were so many species of birds and reptiles, not to mention the plants! I quickly became friends with my teammates because, well, we had many things in common. We had fun, too. Especially when the monkeys threw fruits at us. One evening, though, I suggested that we go into the forest again, but the others didn't want to because it was getting dark. I persuaded them, and as we were walking, I was thinking that my friends were just scaredy cats. But then, out the corner of my eye, I saw something move. I turned to find a 300 kg tiger pouncing on one of my colleagues and breaking his neck with its dagger-like fangs. We all panicked, and we tried to run away. By some sort of twisted miracle, I was the only one who escaped... I was sent back home and now I visit them at the cemetery. Their bodies were discovered partially intact, but that feline still haunts me, especially at night... And that's about it. My tragic past... I hope you can leave me alone from now on."
  And with that, his sour expression returned and Mr Peterson left. I thought about what he had told us before going to bed and I truly felt sorry for him. Fate can be so cruel sometimes... But, wait a second. There are no tigers in the Amazonian rain forest.

Last edited by Cristina.without.h (2019-03-25 20:05:52)



I liked the ending, what if he actually murdered them but
there's always a but
I doubt a murderer that rarely talks to anyone would open up to a bunch of kids stalking him (that's just me though). I think you could've added his backstory in a different way, maybe y'all finding his journal or something like that?



That was a really interesting plot-twist! At first I tought that the story could be explained only by saying he hasn't got used to life in that place, but I totally haven't seen the story with that tiger coming. And the fact that you tought  about such a backstory is great but I think you could have said more about his story.
Great job!


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