Grade 7 Reading Comprehensions

Difficult Decision, Part Two

Difficult Decision, Part Two
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grade 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.1

     challenging words:    affable, antagonize, aversion, hartley, materialism, prostrate, surmount, visitation, witty, indulge, cocaine, curly-haired, dealt, cinder, sorrow, response
     content words:    Carey Connor, German Shepherds, Whatever Carey, Cocker Spaniel, When Carey

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Difficult Decision, Part Two
By Brenda B. Covert

1     While the affable Dr. Hartley and his office manager dealt with old Miss Spencer's dog, Carey Connor and I went into the back of the clinic to give the dogs that were boarded there some outdoor exercise. That would enable us to talk privately.
2     "I hope you won't indulge in any gossip after you hear what I have to say," Carey began as he led two white German Shepherds to the run.
3     Whatever Carey told me, however juicy the details, I promised to keep it to myself. I didn't want to antagonize or hurt someone I respected and admired.
4     Carey looked at the cinder block walls separating the kennel from the rest of the clinic. That wall - combined with the dogs' barking - would be enough to insulate our conversation from the ears of others. He turned his attention to me. "Have I ever told you about my aversion to airing dirty laundry in public?"
5     A witty response was on the tip of my tongue, but I swallowed it and waited for Carey to tell me his deep, dark secret. Did I even want to hear it?
6     Carey clenched his jaw and looked away before speaking. "Drugs not only destroy the lives of those who use them, they destroy families. They destroy dreams. I know, because my older brother got involved in drugs."
7     That was news to me. I didn't even know Carey had an older brother.
8     "It's a long story. I'll give you the abridged version," he continued. "Randy had a house, a wife, and a job in a growing organization. Life was great. Then he had the misfortune of being introduced to drugs. He thought he'd try it once to see what it felt like to be high." Carey's piercing gaze made my face burn. I turned to watch the dogs happily bound up and down the run. "Randy had been caught up in materialism; he had accumulated a lot of stereo equipment and other nice things with his salary. His wife was the literary type and had built up an extensive library in their den. By budgeting their income they were even able to take a cruise to Alaska. They had it made! Drugs like cocaine changed all that.
9     "Randy's interest in business dwindled. In fact, all he was interested in was the next high. Therefore, it was only a matter of time till he lost everything. My brother, this professional guy who had it all, was reduced to living on the streets. We used to be close, but after that he wasn't even hospitable to me. His need for crack mobilized him to do things none of us ever imagined possible. He got involved with a group manufacturing and distributing drugs. Dealing drugs paid for his habit. Then he got busted."

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