One of the ‘Reading Test’ texts for exam preparation in Belarussian schools (9th form)
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. Why 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.