“Remember what I told you Scott”
“Yeah, yeah” I say,
But my reply falls on deaf ears for my kidnapper has vanished back into the building, an abandoned whorehouse that had a fire last year. It sits in the worst part of town, so no one wants to care for it and restore it, one less whorehouse in this town really won’t make a difference. I crack my neck and rub my wrists free of the feeling of being still tied up while I wait to hail a taxi. My watch says its past 3 in the morning, all the gamblers and street hookers are gone for the night, winners and losers going to bed with one another. In this town, winner and loser mean the same thing, in this town, winners and losers are just a fairy tale. I forget about the taxi and start walking to an all night sushi bar that I go to on a regular basis that is just down the block. I step through the doorway of the bar and Ricky is standing at the counter making rolls. I climb up onto a stool at the bar before Ricky notices me.
“Ah! Scotty san! You here early, you want usual?”
“Hey Ricky, yeah the usual, only just give me the bottle of sake.”
“Sake? So early? Bad night or you get lucky?” Ricky winks as he hand me the sake.
“Y’know, I think it was a little bit of both this time”
I don’t wait until Ricky finishes handing me my plate before I dig my fingers into a sushi roll, squishing the seaweed and rice between my fingers I devour it with greedy thoughts. It’s not until I’m done my third roll when I notice her sitting on the stool next to me, elbow propped up on the counter, head on hand, strumming her pink glossed fingernails against her blushing cheek, watching me eat.
“Hi” she says in a sweet, little whisper.
“Hi” I reply, sliding my plate over to her, offering her my breakfast, even though I want it all.
“Oh, thank you, I’ll split one because I’m not really that hungry”
She picks up a roll and breaks it into an uneven two and hands me half, I toss it up into the air and let it fall perfectly into my salivating mouth. She laughs as I chew and tosses her half up, it bounces off her lip and lands into her mouth as well. Still chewing, I smile and hand her a napkin from the dispenser to wipe away the few remaining rice pieces on her bottom lip.
“Mmm, those are good, I think I will have another”
“Hey Ricky” I say. “Can we get a few more rolls over here?”
“Sure thing Scotty” Ricky hands me a fresh plate of rolls
“And another bottle of sake please” she asks.
“Coming up Melissa”
We eat in silence, the comfortable connection perfect for the hour of the day. Just the buzz of Hover cabs passing outside in the empty streets of London. Draining the rest of the sake from the bottle, I got up, pulled my jacket from the counter. Melissa followed suit and grabbed her purse while stuffing the last piece of sushi into her mouth. Walking down the sidewalk side by side, Melissa slips her arm between mine. In the air, a light mist trickles gently down, dampening our hair as we walk to my apartment. Through the mist and dark of the early morning, climbing up the steps to the entrance, I look out down the street. The orange of a lamppost illuminates the alleyway near the corner store. Lurking under the lamppost, a figure stands, staring in my direction. Melissa reaches her hand into my jacket, searching for the keys, it distracts me, I pull them out and hand them to her, and when I look back to see the man, he is gone. I forget about him, head upstairs to sleep the day away.