Brenda walks out of the Harper Street Centre on a sunny but cold Tuesday afternoon. Although she’s had a busy day, Brenda has been thinking about what her best friend Amy said to her last night. When Amy told her that she had seen Andy with a woman and a little girl, Brenda was surprised. Then Amy told her that the woman must be his girlfriend because they were holding hands. Brenda was so angry that she shouted at Amy and said that she was lying.
As she walks along the street swinging her bag, Brenda is hoping she will see Andy again today. When she met him at the bus stop a few weeks ago, Brenda liked Andy straight away. They chatted on the bus and Brenda showed him her bank cards and keyrings. Brenda didn’t even know she had dropped one of her bank cards that day. Then she saw Andy again the next week and was so happy when he said he had found it. Last week Andy even helped her when a boy on a bike knocked her over and she hurt her leg. Andy is such a nice man and Brenda is sure that he likes her.
She is still thinking about Andy as she crosses the road. Just as Brenda gets to the other side, she sees Andy standing at the corner of the street. He is busy talking on his mobile phone and Brenda starts to run towards him.
“It’s me, it’s me,” Brenda shouts out.
Andy turns round when he hears Brenda’s voice and he quickly puts the phone in his pocket. Brenda is feeling so excited to see him but she also wants to ask him about the woman that Amy saw him with.
“Who were you talking to on the phone?” Brenda asks, as she puts her bag down on the pavement.
Andy is quiet for a minute and then he says, “Oh, it was someone I know who is having a lot of problems.
“Well, my friend Amy told me she saw you with a woman and a little girl. Is she your girlfriend? I told Amy she was lying,” Brenda says in a loud voice.
Andy looks at her, puts his hands in his pockets and laughs.
“Oh no, I haven’t got a girlfriend Brenda,” he says. “That woman your friend saw me with is my sister and that little girl is her daughter.”
“I knew it, I knew it,” she tells him smiling. Brenda is feeling so happy that Andy hasn’t got a girlfriend and she can’t wait to tell Amy.
“Do you like me Andy?” Brenda asks him.
“Of course I like you Brenda, that’s why I need you to help me,” Andy tells her. “My sister lives on the Harper Street estate and she’s in real trouble.”
“I can help,” Brenda says, “I’m your friend. Why is your sister in trouble?”
Andy thinks for a minute, puts his hand through his hair and then looks at Brenda.
“I have been trying all day to find someone who can help me. I don’t like asking you but my sister has a little girl and I’m very worried about them. Could you lend me some money to help my sister pay her rent?” Andy says quickly.
Brenda looks up at him, and feels really sad when she sees that Andy is upset.
“I’ll need to speak to my support worker,” Brenda tells him as they walk past an old man with his dog.
Andy stops walking and stands in front of her.
“Listen Brenda, you know how much I like you. You are a good person. If you lend me the money, I will pay you back next week. No one needs to know, it will be our secret. You don’t need to tell your friend or your support worker or anyone else,” Andy says quietly.
“How much money do you need?” she asks him.
When Andy tells her that he needs £150, Brenda is shocked. That is a lot of money. Brenda wants to give him the money but she knows she will be in a lot of trouble if their support worker finds out. The money in their bank is to pay for household bills.
While she is thinking about the money, Andy tells her that he needs it this afternoon. He explains that his sister and her little girl will have nowhere to live if they don’t have the money soon. Then he says that if Brenda won’t help him, he might have to move away to look after his sister.
Brenda looks at Andy and decides right away that she will lend him the money.
“I need you to go home and get your bank card Brenda,” Andy tells her. “But remember; don’t tell your friend what you’re doing. She’ll only ask lots of questions and she isn’t as clever as you are.”
When Brenda nods her head, Andy smiles at her and Brenda feels good. She is pleased that Andy knows how clever she is and of course everyone knows that Amy isn’t clever at all.
Brenda agrees to go home and get her bank card and will meet Andy outside the bank on Blossom Street at 4 o’clock. This is really exciting! Andy has asked her to help him so he must really like her.
As Brenda runs inside the house to get her bank card Andy walks towards Blossom Street. Taking his mobile phone from his pocket, Andy can’t wait to tell Jenny that he will have the money later today.
They are both going to have a very good evening!
Brenda asks you these questions:
What did Amy say about Andy?
What did Andy ask me to do?
Do you think I should keep this a secret?
What do you think will happen next?