A. Listen to Alex and Emma talking about what happened. Are the two couples both together now?
Chloe proposed to Alex. She made a necklace with letters saying Will you marry me?
Tom proposed to Emma. He got down on one knee.
No, only Alex and Chloe are still together.
B. Listen again to Alex’s story. Then complete the sentences with a partner.
1 Alex didn’t want to …
2 Chloe began to talk about …
3 On 29th February, Chloe invited Alex to …
4 Chloe gave Alex …
5 The letters spelled …
6 Alex started putting the letters on the bracelet in …
7 Chloe got upset and explained that on 29th February, women …
8 Alex didn’t see her …
1 Alex didn’t want to get married or have children.
2 Chloe began to talk about moving in together.
3 On 29th February, Chloe invited Alex to her house.
4 Chloe gave Alex a box with some small beads with letters on them.
5 The letters spelled Will you marry me?
6 Alex started putting the letters on the bracelet in the wrong order.
7 Chloe got upset and explained that on 29th February, women can propose to men.
8 Alex didn’t see her for three days afterwards.
C. Now listen again to Emma’s story. Explain why she following things were important.
1 ten years
2 two years
3 the cathedral
4 a bottle of champagne and a bunch of flowers
5 a necklace
6 a crowd of tourists
7 white and shocked
8 walking to the station
1 Tom was ten years older than Emma.
2 After two years their relationship became difficult and she decided to end it.
3 Tom wanted them to meet at the cathedral.
4 When she got there, he was holding a bottle of champagne and a bunch of flowers.
5 He proposed and gave her a necklace.
6 A crowd of (Japanese) tourists rushed over and started taking photos.
7 Emma was looking white and shocked when the tourists took their photos (because she didn’t want to marry him).
8 She was walking with him to the station when he explained why he had proposed – he thought it would solve their problems.
My girlfriend Chloe and I had been together for just over a year. Soon after we met, I’d told her that I didn’t want to get married or have children, and she seemed fine with that. But then, Chloe began to talk about moving in together. I tried not to discuss it, and we went on like that for a couple of months. Then one afternoon – it was the twenty-ninth of February – Chloe invited me to her house. When I arrived, she was making a bracelet. I sat down and she passed me a box which contained some small beads with letters on them.
When I looked into the box, I realized that the letters spelled Will you marry me? I was horrified. I didn’t want to embarrass her, so I started putting the letters on the bracelet thread in the wrong order – I made words like ‘owl’ and ‘yellow’, but then she started crying. So we went out for a walk and she explained that the twenty-ninth of February only happens once every four years, and it’s the day when, traditionally, women can propose to men. I didn’t say anything and went home. I felt awful. It’s probably the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, and I didn’t see her for three days afterwards. But we got over it, and we’re still together. We’re not married, but who knows? Maybe in a few years’ time, I’ll propose, and Chloe will say no.
When I first started going out with Tom, I was completely in love. He was ten years older than me, very good-looking, and he had been an Olympic athlete. He was also a really lovely guy. In theory, he was my perfect man, but after two years, our relationship became very difficult, so I decided to end it. Not long afterwards, Tom phoned me to say that he wanted to meet at the cathedral. I thought, ‘OK, fine’.
When I got there, Tom was waiting for me outside. He was holding a bottle of champagne and a bunch of flowers. And then before I had a chance to say anything, he got down on one knee and proposed. He gave me a necklace – not a ring, a necklace. Then a crowd of Japanese tourists rushed towards us and began taking photos – Tom was down on one knee and I was looking white and shocked. It was awful. I asked him to get up, and explained to him, in front of all the tourists, that we were not together any more, and we were definitely not going to get married. We left the cathedral, and as I was walking with him to the station, Tom said he had hoped that if he proposed to me, it would solve all our problems. But it was never going to work. We’re not together now.
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