‘What’s going to happen to me?’ asked the man. He was seated in a chair with his legs and hands tied to it.

‘It depends on what you did,’ answered the military man in front of him.

‘I did nothing. I just got a letter,’ he said drily.

‘Well, that’s not a crime, is it?’ said the interrogator. ‘What letter?’

‘A letter from a friend of a friend.’

A woman dressed in the military uniform was standing at the wall. She rolled her eyes and then looked at her partner. She had a bad feeling that this was not their man.

The man in the chair bent forward as much as he could and told them a story:

He said he came to this country a long time ago. During the communist era it was impossible for common people to travel abroad. Anyone who tried to leave the country was risking his life. This man took that risk and it paid off. He got out and started a new life here.

But he had a lot of friends and family in his old country. He left them all behind. Even though he had lived here for many years, he felt very lonely in his new country.

But a few weeks ago, he got a letter. It was from his friend who had another friend in their old country. This man had a daughter who was a professional athlete. She was sent here to represent her country at a world competition. But when she was abroad, she decided not to return to her country. She stayed here.

She finished a school, found a job and then she met a man. She fell in love with him and they got married. But after a few years, the man turned out to be a real tyrant. He beat her often, kept her locked at home and he didn’t let her meet her friends.

The woman was living a hell in the country of freedom. And she wrote her old parents a few long letters.

‘Now the communist government is gone, and so they got all her letters without any problem. Her parents were very unhappy and asked their friends for help. Somehow, they met my friend and he told them about me,’ said the man on the chair.

‘Told them what about you?’

‘He told them that I lived here and that I could take care of their problem,’ replied the man.

‘So you got a letter,’ said the interrogator.

‘Yes. My friend sent me a letter on their behalf.’

a letter in an envelope - jan vrabec - sparrow's english reader - Level 3 English for learners
an envelope / blog: L-3: A Letter from a Friend of a Friend

‘What was in it?’

‘The address.’

‘What did you do to the man?’ he asked.

The man on the chair was quiet. He was looking into the military man’s eyes, but he was not saying anything.

‘Tell me what you did to the man!’

But the man on the chair just smiled. ‘Go and have a look.’

interrogator /ɪnˈterəɡeɪtə(r)/ – (vypočúvajúci) – a person who asks somebody a lot of questions over a long period of time, especially in an aggressive way

take a risk – (risknúť to) – to do something even though you know that something bad could happen as a result

it paid off – (vyplatilo sa to) – (of a plan or an action, especially one that involves risk) to be successful and bring good results

Even though = Although – (hoci)

lonely /ˈləʊnli/ – (osamelý) – unhappy because you have no friends or people to talk to

turned out to be – (ukázal sa byť) – to be discovered to be; to prove to be

hell /hel/ – (peklo) – (in some religions) the place believed to be the home of devils and where bad people go after death

on somebody’s behalf / on behalf of somebody – (v ich mene) – as the representative of someone or instead of them