“Morning gorgeous,” I said, rolling over to find Mia’s side of the bed cold. I never believed in love at first sight until Mia. I thought she felt the same. I noticed a neatly folded piece of paper on the pillow.
If you want me, you will find me with a ruby lipstick kiss.
Screw that! I threw the scrunched up ball across the floor. She knew I hated games. Told her that last night, completely up front and she goes and kicks me in the bollocks. Just because she liked the thrill of the chase.
I sat in the cafe across the road from the hotel, opening up the menu. A piece of paper fell out.
If you want me, you will find me, you’ve joined the game with another lipstick kiss was. I looked around but Mia was nowhere. She knew I’d be here, it’s where we met. She wanted me to play, wanted me to find her.
Finishing my coffee, I jumped on a passing bus, grabbing a window seat but I wasn’t concentrating on the view as Mia’s flirtatious giggle filled my head. I tried to dismiss her but something caught my eye. Ruby red lips! Jumping off the bus, dodging traffic, I ran up to the newsstand where the lipstick kiss was.
“Have you seen a woman, about this high, wearing a short denim skirt, white top, brown hair, red lips?” All was met with a shake of his head, offering me a magazine or paper. I scanned the racks. The Face! I picked up the top copy. Mia mentioned this, a magazine for aspiring artists.
“Hey, if you wanna read it, you buy it,” the man said. I handed over a note and walked, flicking through the pages. A piece of paper lay neatly inside.
I’m glad you want me, you will find me . . . soon and another lipstick kiss.
I thought back to the conversations, way into the small hours. She said she wanted to be a singer. Did some busking . . . Another bus to Covent Garden. I ran around the bustling market, but only saw living statues. No point asking them. There were no clues. I was sucked into a game I didn’t want to play but now couldn’t leave. There had to be something. She said her favourite drink was a mojito. I looked up and found I was outside Henry’s. I ran in, downstairs (because Mia said she liked to drink downstairs). I opened up a menu. Nothing. Opened another. Nothing.
“Can I help you?” the Australian barman asked.
“A girl, Mia, orders mojitos, have you seen her?”
“Sure, she used to work here, handed in her notice this morning. Looks like you could use a drink.” Never having drunk a mojito before, I ordered one, flicking through the magazine, stopping at her kiss. I’d wasted the entire morning and now reached a dead end. That’s why I hated games. There was always the chance of losing or never finishing.
“I don’t suppose she said where she was going?”
“Na, just said she was going to be a popstar.”
I looked back at the lip print, gulped down the mojito and left, back out into daylight. It was easy hailing a cab. I looked at the lips again, circling a talent agency for singers. She had to be there. It was a short cab ride. I burst through the doors, met by security. Calmly I asked them about Mia.
“Are you Elliot?”
“Yes!” He handed me a note. The note was blank. Not even a kiss. “What? I don’t get it. Isn’t there another note?”
I sank in the chair, head in hands.
“If you want me, you will find me,” Mia’s voice sang. I looked up. She stood, grinning flirtatiously at me. “Good song eh? My agent thinks it’ll be a hit. How about you?”
AT that moment, I didn’t care about the song. All I wanted was to taste those ruby lips once more, hold Mia and would only play another game again if winning was ever this good.
This week's tune is Suzanne Vega Left of Center