18 January 2012
Filofax 2012 News
'I have something for you,' he whispered.
He reached inside his coat and produced a large plain brown envelope. He glanced down at it. His hand was suspended in the air, as if reluctant to take the next step. He placed it on the table, his hand still on the envelope. The tendons on the back of his arched hand cast little shadow valleys in the subdued light. With a jerky movement, he thrust the envelope across the table.
'This envelope contains information vital to the well-being of your community. I cannot over-emphasise how important it is. But you must be careful.'
I pulled the flap open and inserted my fingers into the envelope.
'No!' he hissed at me. 'You can't read it here. You never know who's watching this cafe.' His eyes darted around and settled back to me. 'Take it home to read. But shut the curtains and bolt your door.'
I looked at him, trying to guess at what was behind his dramatic manner. What could be such a secret that it made him so frightened?
Almost to reassure him, I smiled and replied with a simple 'I understand.'
He touched the brim of his hat, looked around once more, stood up and made for the door. I followed him to the entrance, but when I looked up and down the street lit by dull orange lights, I could see nothing.
I looked at the envelope. It could only contain a few sheets of paper. I folded it and thrust it into my pocket. I finished the last of my coffee, dropped some coins in the saucer and got to my feet. I tried to act unconcerned, even throwing a quick smile at the waitress, but my hand trembled. Once out of the door, I hurried around the corner where I'd parked my car in the shadow of a warehouse. As I stood in front of the corrugated steel door, I wanted to rip the envelope open. I looked up and down. The street was deserted. But I remembered what my contact had said. After the risk he'd taken, I had to tamp down my curiosity. If I gave in now, somebody could so easily come along and snatch it out of my hand.
I only drove through one red light. My mind was so full of thoughts chasing each other that I didn't see it. The tyres screeched in protest as I braked hard on my driveway. I ran across the gravel, fumbling with my front door key, dropped it, but managed to open the lock at the second attempt. I slid my coat off and left it lying in a heap in the hallway. In my office, I locked the door, threw myself into the chair and opened the envelope.
I read the pages inside wide eyed..... the details of the new 2012 Filofax range......