Daniel adored women. He was a real womanizer, a collector of fleeting affairs with no sequel. He was immediately overwhelmed with impatience to meet the beautiful stranger who had initiated this strange rendezvous. Because Daniel had decided that she was beautiful. So beautiful she would take your breath away. But he also had a premonition that the meeting with this stranger was unavoidable and that it was going to wreak havoc with the whole course of his existence.
Daniel found the day long, very long.
At six minutes to five, he was ready. He ran his hand once more through his thick black hair and let the elevator swallow him up. What was she like? Brunette? Blonde? A redhead? And what if she was ugly? Daniel rejected this thought. And what if she didn’t turn up? Curiously, this prospect filled him with dread. He tried to get it out of his mind. She was definitely going to come. She absolutely had to come.
Pulling away at great speed, the heavy saloon car, a Buick ‘Super Eight’ from the 1960s had lost control on the bend. Careering wildly, it executed a spectacular swerve and left the roadway to jump onto the pavement at the very moment when Daniel was coming out of his company’s building. It was a terrible crash. It was five o’clock. Precisely. Daniel had earned his place in the local news column.
You are never stood up by Death.
Translated by Wendy Cross