March 1, 2003
'Do you want another one?' asked the barmaid. When she reached for the empty glass, her bulging breasts revealed themselves up to the rims of her nipples. The low-cut tank top was already having a hard time to confine them in place even without such moves.
'No, thank you,' said the blond man who had leaned on the bar. He had a noticeable accent. 'It's enough for me. I have an appointment.'
'Lucky girl.' She winked.
'Nothing like that. It's a business appointment,' he replied, trying to keep his voice above the loud music. She was very sexy, he thought, and she likes me. She had a jet-black long and wavy hair. Her big blue eyes were full of promises.
'You drink well,' she smiled. 'Two pints of Guinness in half an hour, I must say. You're not from these parts, are you?’ She leaned on the counter on her elbows. Her breasts, squeezed between her arms, looked like they would just pop out of her top. ‘I'm Tracey. What's your name?'
He swallowed the last drops of his beer. He suddenly felt his throat quite dry. 'My name is Eric. I am Swedish. I'm a tourist here; and business as well.'
'I knew that you were from somewhere like there. I thought German or Scandinavian. You have so blond hair… and so tall.' She smiled wickedly.
'Well, I'm afraid I must go,’ he said, somewhat unenthusiastically. He got down from the barstool.
'Hey, look, I work here every night six to eleven except Wednesdays. In the daytime, I go to the college. I can show you around, if you want.'
'Sure, I’d like that very much. I'll be here tomorrow evening again. We’ll talk about it then, alright?'
'Alright Eric, see you.' She looked at him from under her eyelashes, and discreetly waved a good-bye with her fingers.
Eric opened the pub’s door and let himself out to the bitter March evening. Behind him, people were still singing along with the noisy music was boiling over the pub onto the street. He looked at his watch. It was just after 10 o'clock. She was a beautiful woman, but there were things to do. Once he was away from her and in the fresh air, out of the dense cigarette smoke and the noisy music that had made his head hurt, he felt uneasy. He had started to think strait again. He tried to remember what exactly he had told her there, while his mind had been occupied with her bulging breasts. He had not told her that he was German. He was absolutely sure of that. But, somehow, his name had slipped through his lips. He shrugged; well, no harm had been done. It was just a name, after all. Who knows how many more Erics were around?
Eric Seibert had arrived in London the previous day, after a long and rather tiresome journey all the way from Ireland. He had changed several buses and trains along the way on top of a Ferryboat ride that he had not particularly enjoyed in the rough sea. After studying a tourist guide on the way, he had decided that Finsbury Park area in north London would be a good choice to stay. It was a cosmopolitan part of the city with a working class population and an active pub life. It had seemed almost perfect. The prying eyes would almost always keep their attention on the posh areas of the cities.
He had registered with a fake a name at one of the moderately priced hotels without any problem. He had learned long ago that hotels in such areas knew that they would not profit from prying into their customers’ affairs.
Since leaving Argentina in a hurry ten days ago, he had been using a fake passport that showed him as a Swedish businessman. Tonight, it was the first time that he had dropped his guard and let his real name slip through his lips.
The street was full of Pubs on either side. In front of every pub, on the sidewalk, there were groups of people with beer glasses in their hands. They talking and shouting; if he had not heard the hysterical laughter, he would have believed that they were fighting. They were drunk. Eric pulled his raincoat's collar up, the night was chillier than he had expected.
An old blue car pulled over a few yards away close to the sidewalk. The car had had its share of the rainy London. It seemed that it hadn't been washed for months. He saw that the electric window on the passenger side was lowered. The diver was a woman. She leaned from her seat towards the open window, holding a London street map in her hand. Eric Seibert was not particularly trying for it, but by that time, he had reached the car.
'Excuse me, excuse me,' called the woman. He stopped and looked at her. She smiled apologetically. She looked not more than twenty-five. Her straightened long black hair had fallen over her shoulders onto her studded leather jacket. She wore a dark-brown lipstick on her lips and exaggerated black highlights around her brown eyes. She must have been a rock babe, he thought. He had been told that Finsbury Park was very fashionable with heavy-rockers, too. 'I think I have lost my way around here,' she said, leaning towards him. 'I am trying to find Tollington Road. Do you know how I can get there?'