My relationship with the man known as the Canadian was sporadic and interesting, in that he had a liking for the bizarre. I was never sure whether the games he instigated were designed by him for me alone, or were part of a larger, more intricate plot he weaved in a number of countries, with a number of ladies.
In every way he was a gentleman, refined and cultured, speaking eight languages fluently and being on more than friendly terms with people whose names regularly appeared in the tabloid and business papers.
…following from The journey 2….
He’d given me detailed instructions about when and which roads to walk down, which underground trains to catch and where to get off. So far I’d travelled round the city in a circle, getting, on and getting off trains, ascending escalators and descending stairs.
I pulled the piece of folded paper out of my pocket and read the instruction near the bottom.
“Cross the road and enter the foyer of the hotel. There will be a package left at the desk in the name of Mrs. Viviane Richards. Take the package, go to the ladies and change.”
“Yes Mrs. Richards,” said the tall, dark haired male receptionist, who sounded Bulgarian or Lithuanian. “We have a package and a letter for you. Excuse me one moment.”
He disappeared into a small office and came back a few seconds later carrying a large Harrods bag and a white envelope.
“Thank you,” I said.
The ladies room was all blue marble tiles, sparklingly clean porcelain, and white fluffy towels. The air smelt pleasantly of sandalwood and jasmine.
I locked myself inside one of the large cubicles and opened the bag.
Inside was a packet of unscented wipes, a small towel, a hair brush, a makeup kit, a bottle of my favourite perfume, a red dress and a new handbag to match. There were no pants or bra. Inside the handbag were ten crisp twenty pound notes, and a small box of condoms.
I opened the sealed envelope.
Hello Mrs. Richards.
Please change into the dress provided. When you are ready, please go to the bar and order a drink. I have booked a table in the restaurant for 8.30. I will join you at that time. If you are accosted by any men, you are to accept any drinks they offer and allow them to chat up. However, should you be invited to join them in their rooms, I leave it up to you to decide whether you will accompany them. If you are not at the table when I arrive, I will assume that you are otherwise engaged. You may discard everything in the bag once they have been used, or that you do not wish to keep.
The note was unsigned.
I looked at my watch. It was five minutes before seven.