IGCSE narrative essay | 2003 Oct-Nov | She couldn't help smiling to herself when she thought of


You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on the following topic:

She couldn’t help smiling to herself when she thought of what had just happened… Continue the story.

Model Essay

She couldn’t help smiling to herself when she thought of what had just happened. The day’s events replayed in her mind like a delightful, unexpected movie. Emma had been working at the local coffee shop for almost a year now, her daily routine as predictable as the sunrise. She enjoyed the simplicity of her job, but today had been anything but ordinary.

It all started that morning when she had arrived to open the shop. As she unlocked the door and turned on the lights, she noticed a small, beautifully wrapped box on the counter. There was no note, just the box, shimmering under the warm glow of the café lights. Curiosity piqued, she had set it aside, resolving to open it later when she had a moment to herself.

The morning rush came and went, and she finally found a few minutes of calm. She retrieved the box and carefully unwrapped it, revealing a delicate silver bracelet with a single charm in the shape of a coffee cup. Emma’s heart swelled with warmth. Who could have left such a thoughtful gift? As she pondered the mystery, her co-worker Sarah walked in, saw the bracelet, and smiled knowingly.

“Looks like someone has a secret admirer,” Sarah teased. Emma blushed but laughed it off, tucking the bracelet into her pocket.

The rest of the day went by in a blur of cappuccinos, lattes, and pastries. It wasn’t until the late afternoon, when the shop was quiet again, that something even more surprising happened. A man she had never seen before walked in. He was tall, with dark hair and kind eyes. He looked around nervously before approaching the counter.


“Hi, I’m looking for Emma,” he said, his voice gentle.

“That’s me,” she replied, a hint of confusion in her voice.

He smiled, visibly relieved. “I’m David. I, uh, left a little gift for you this morning.”

Emma’s eyes widened in surprise. “The bracelet? That was you?”

David nodded. “Yes. I’ve been coming here for months, watching you work. Not in a creepy way,” he added quickly, seeing her wary expression. “I just… you have this way about you. You always seem so happy, and you brighten up everyone’s day. I wanted to do something nice for you.”

Emma felt a rush of emotions—surprise, flattery, and a bit of embarrassment. She had never imagined that her daily routine had such an impact on someone else. “Thank you,” she said, her voice soft. “It’s beautiful.”

David smiled, looking relieved. “I’m glad you like it. Would you maybe want to grab a coffee sometime? Not here, of course. Somewhere different?”

Emma hesitated for a moment, then nodded. “I’d like that.”

They exchanged numbers, and as David left, Emma couldn’t help the smile that spread across her face. The day had turned out to be full of unexpected surprises, and as she thought about David’s nervous smile and kind eyes, she felt a flutter of excitement.

Closing up the shop that evening, Emma reflected on the day’s events. It was amazing how a simple routine could hold the potential for such delightful surprises. She couldn’t wait to see what tomorrow would bring, and as she walked home, the silver bracelet glinting in the fading sunlight, she smiled to herself once more, filled with a sense of anticipation and hope.

Word Count: 554