As Ian pulled into the parking spaces at the office he noticed Julie’s car there. Everyone else seemed to have gone home. He looked at his watch. It was just after six. ‘That answers that then’, he thought.
Julie was in her car but got out as Ian walked across the tarmac toward her.
‘I was hoping you’d be dropping in,’ she said. ‘I have a problem and wondered if you would help me please.’
‘I will if I can’ he replied. ‘How?’
‘I was going to this Friday’s reception with Dave,’ she said, ‘but something has come up where he works and he can’t make it. I know you don’t like these things but would you be a dear and come with me? I just don’t like going to these things alone but I feel I must go to this one. With this review going on it seems sensible to be visible at all times.’
She looked so woebegone as she stood there that Ian found himself agreeing before he had really thought about it.
‘You’re an angel’ she said. ‘Thanks. It’s smart casual clothes. I’ll pick you up, if you like. About half seven at your place?’ Her relief was obvious and Ian just nodded.
‘OK’ he said as Julie got back into her car with a quick ‘Must rush’ as her farewell.
On the Friday Julie arrived dead on 7.30 outside Ian’s flat and tooted her car’s horn. Ian appeared, reluctantly it seemed, and walked across to her. “Have you got your ticket?” she asked.
“You’ll need it.”
With a sigh Ian went back indoors and returned with the envelope, un-read invitation inside. “What’s this all about”, he asked. “Telling us money is tight and we have to be more careful, or not spend so much time with our people.”
“’S’pose we’ll find out soon enough” was her non-committal reply.