One October Evening

This is a crime short story for beginner and intermediate students. Read the short story and do the vocabulary exercise.

Hannah met Jamie in the summer of 2004. It was Hannah’s 21st birthday and she and her friends went to a club. They wanted to dance, but they didn’t like the music so Hannah went to speak to the DJ.

“This music is awful,” she said. “Could you play something else?”
The DJ looked at her and said “Don’t worry, I have the perfect song for you.”

Two minutes later he said: “The next song is by Coldplay. It’s called Yellow and it’s for a beautiful girl who is dancing over there.”

Hannah knew that the song was for her because she was wearing a yellow dress.

When Hannah and her friends left the club the DJ was waiting at the door.

”Hi, I’m Jamie,” he said to Hannah. “Can I see you again?” So Hannah gave him her phone number.

Next day Jamie phoned Hannah and invited her to dinner. He took her to a very romantic French restaurant and they talked all evening.

After that Jamie and Hannah saw each other every day. Every evening when Hannah finished work they met at 5.30 in a coffee bar in the High Street.

They were madly in love.

One evening in October, Hannah was at work. As usual she was going to meet Jamie at 5.30. It was dark and it was raining.

She looked at her watch. It was 5.20! She was going to be late! She ran to her car and got in.

At 5.25 she was driving along the High Street.

She was going very fast because she was in a hurry.

Suddenly, a man ran across the road. He was wearing a dark coat so Hannah didn’t see him until it was too late. 

Although she tried to stop, she hit the man.

Hannah panicked. She didn’t stop and she drove to the coffee bar as fast as she could.

But when she arrived Jamie wasn’t there. She phoned him, but his mobile was turned off, so she waited for ten minutes and then went home.

Two hours later a police car arrived at Hannah’s house.

A policewoman knocked at the door.

“Good evening, Madam,” she said, "Are you Hannah Davis? I’d like to speak to you. Can I come in?"

The policewoman came in and sat down on the sofa.

"Are you a friend of Jamie Dixon?" she said.

"Yes," said Hanna.

"I understand you were going to meet him this evening."

"Yes, at 5.30, at a coffee bar. But he didn't come so I didn't see him," replied Hanna.

"Well I'm afraid I have some bad news for you," said the policewoman.

"What? What's happened?"

"Jamie had an accident this evening."

"Oh no. What kind of accident?"

"He was crossing the road and a car hit him."

"Is he ... Is he ... OK?

"Well, he's going to be in hospital for a long time."

"Oh no."

"But don't worry. He's going to be OK."

"When did this happen?"

"This evening at twenty-five past five. He was crossing road in the High Street."

"Oh no! How is he?" Hanna said quickly

"This evening at 5.25. He was crossing road in the high street by the theatre."

"And the driver of the car?"

"She didn't stop," said the policewoman.


"Yes. It was a woman in a white car. Every police officer in the town is looking for her."

"Can I go to the hospital to see Jamie?"

"Yes. I can take you there now."

"I'll get my coat. OK I'm ready."

"Is that your car, madam? The white one over there?"

"Yes it is."

"Can I have a look at it?"

The policewoman walked to her car. Hanna followed nervously.

"Did you know your front light is broken?"

"No, I didn't."

The policewoman looked at her.

"What exactly were you doing at 5.25 this evening, madam?"

(Adapted from New English File by Clive Oxenden) 

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