I’m trying a thing where I do a piece of creative writing every day. Cos I used to love that shit, but I realised I’d not written anything but angry essays and rants for about 5 years. Because I’m desperate for validation, I’m gonna share the things I write with you here on my blog. Feel free to tell me what a creative genius I am or compare me to Harper Lee or one of the Bronte sisters.
Two voices screech into the wind simultaneously, hands launching out at the exact same time.
“I’ve always wanted to do that,” Beth says sheepishly, turning to the stranger on her right. She’s met with a silence and stony stare.
No meet cute here.
A yellow cab pulls up to the curb, and the stranger – a man; white; mid-to-late 20s – reaches for the door. Beth resigns herself to another 20 minutes traipsing the unfamiliar New York streets looking for another cab, but to her surprise the stranger with the stony stare holds the door open for her.
“Ladies first,” the stranger says.
Beth smiles and carefully climbs into the taxi, trying desperately not to flash her knickers to the admittedly handsome stranger holding the door. She turns to thank him for giving up the taxi for her, but the stranger is already climbing in with her.
Maybe this is a meet cute after all.
Beth goes to object. She should object – after all, a random man (American. Perhaps Taxan, judging by the accent) has just climbed into her taxi without her permission. But… he’s cute. And this sort of thing just doesn’t happen in rural Yorkshire. So she says nothing and smiles, because this is New York and this is exciting.
The cab driver raises his eyebrows, but says nothing. This is New York; stranger shit has happened.
“Where to?” the cabbie asks.
Beth fumbles in her bag, grabbing the slip of paper with her interview address on and handing it to the driver. The stranger says nothing, apparently content to just go wherever Beth is going.
This is suddenly less ‘meet cute’ and more ‘meet-your-untimely-death-via-brutal-murder’. But it’s too late now. The car is moving.
“So umm, what are you doing in New York?” Beth stutters, nervously trying to make conversation who the man who might turn out to be her murderer.
“Business,” he replies, leaving it at that.
Beth studies her companion for a moment. Male. White. Mid-to-late 20s. She’s already established that. He’s wearing a suit (grey, nicely tailored, top button undone and burgundy tie loosened), so she assumes he’s a professional of some sort.
Well that’s comforting, Beth thinks. At least if I’m murdered it’ll be by a professional. None of that half-arsed, mediocre murdering for me.
“I’m a lawyer,” the stranger slash murderer elaborates.
Oh good. When he murders me he’ll know exactly how to get away with it. Perfect.
Beth makes some kind of noise of acknowledgement. She’s hoping for ‘distant and uninterested’ but it comes out as more of a squeak. He laughs and turns to look out the window, gazing at the people flying by on the pavement.
She studies him again, drinking in all his details (in case she has to identify him in a witness parade later on). His hair is dirty blond and full of product, sticking up artfully in all the right places. His eyes are very blue and very lovely, which Beth assumes is how he lures in his victims and convinces them to share a taxi with him. He looks broad, with somewhat muscular arms (all the better to strangle me with). Definitely a murderer, Beth concludes. A very, very handsome murderer.
“What about you?” the murderer asks.
“What are you doing in New York?”
“Oh. Umm. Well I was living in Old York and fancied an upgrade.” Beth laughs nervously, hoping humour will quell his murderous tendencies. “No. Um. I have a job interview. I’m hoping to move here. Start a new life.”
Great move, Beth. Tell the murderer all about your life plans. Make it easier for him to stalk and kill you.
“What’s the job?”
“Copywriter. It’s a junior position, but the potential for progression is high.”
“Ah,” he says, smirking.
“Ah?” Beth asks.
“Nothing, nothing. It’s just – young, attractive woman moves to New York to launch her writing career. It’s very ‘Sex in the City’. Very cliched.”
Beth is incredulous. FIRSTLY, she wants to scream. FIRSTLY, I am not ‘launching my writing career’. I am ADVANCING it. SECONDLY, you have clearly never seen Sex in the City. Stupid murderer.
She doesn’t say any of that, of course. Rule number one of interacting with murderers is ‘don’t yell at the murderer’. Instead she laughs nervously.
“Something like that,” she says.
They continue in silence for a few moments, the murderer clearly oblivious to Beth’s suspicions. After a few more bumpy minutes, the murderer yells STOP and Beth’s heart jumps out of her chest.
The cab driver obeys, much to the anger of the card behind him, and the murderer jumps out without another word. Beth blinks furiously. Confusedly. Watching as the murderer walks down the busy New York street, leaving her sitting there distinctly not-murdered.
It takes a few moments for her to notice the 20 dollar bill and the business card he’s left behind.