He had arrived at Heathrow Airport at 6:45 am. The cab ride to the Park Plaza Westminster Hotel, near Big Ben, had cost him 40 British Pounds. The conference didn’t start until 9:00 am tomorrow so he had made the date will Helen for 8:00 p.m. that night. He had never actually met Helen. She worked in the London branch of his firm and they had similar positions within the company. He knew she was “unattached” to use her words.
He had arrived at the hotel lobby a full half hour early. He had asked her how he would recognize her and she had replied that she would be wearing a red suit with matching slacks. That really set off his imagination. Maybe he would get “lucky” tonight.
He saw her coming in the swinging doors of the lobby. “Hi, I’m Gary,” he said to her, “You must be Helen!” “Afraid not Bloke, but nice try anyway,” she replied.
Two more tries with the same response. How many women are wearing red pant suits tonight?” he wondered. Perhaps the full moon had something to do with this continuing women wearing red outfits.
From behind him a voice said “Are you Gary?” “I’m Helen.”
He turned. Holy Shit! She was a knockout.
They were escorted to the table he had reserved. The dinner conversation was easy; as if they were old friends just catching up on what they had missed since they last met.
After dinner, and making arrangements to meet tomorrow just before their meeting started, he said “I’ll drop you off at your flat on my way to my hotel.”
Their conversation, as satisfying as before, continued on the cab ride to her apartment. As Gary stopped in front of her flat she stepped out, and after closing the door looked inside the passenger side window and said:
“You coming in?”
“Sure”, Gary said.
“On second thought I don’t think that’s a good idea”.
“Can I at least walk you to your front door?”
At her door, she said thanks for the dinner, I’ll see you tomorrow.
Was her saying “I don’t think that’s a good idea” meaning just not a good idea tonight? Or not a good idea in general for the rest of the conference, aka, “it’s been fun, but this is where we part ways?”
He didn’t sleep well that night. What should he, or how should he act, when they meet tomorrow? Pretend nothing ever happened? He had to be careful in front of the other employees least suspicion of their relationship became a subject of conversation. Both their careers could be put in jeopardy if this wasn’t handled well.
He arrived a few minutes early for the conference looking for her now that he knew what she looked like. She wasn’t there when the meeting started promptly at 9:00 am. Not at 10 a.m. either. He was becoming concerned.
At the morning break he asked one of the attendees if they had seen Helen. There was a horrifying look on the mans face as he replied, “I’m afraid she wouldn’t be here at the conference”.
“What, why not?”
“She was found murdered in her apartment early this morning.”
“I was with her last night. Should I seek out the police and talk to them?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea, Sir.”
Word count = 554
This week’s prompts: “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” To be used anywhere in the story. There is also a photo prompt, which can be seen at the top of the post. The challenge: Use 750 words or less to tell a story incorporating those elements in some way.