(Yeah, five hundred words at a time isn’t a lot, but it’s the average length of some of my longer journal entries. Suffice to say that this story will take a while, but it likely won’t go over 10,000 words in the end)
Kurt paused from typing on his laptop, and leaned back against his chair. He took off his glasses, rubbed his eyes with one of his hands, then perched them back on his nose. He squinted, and looked at the screen. He leaned in, as if trying to find some detail on the the laptop’s LED monitor, but after a few moments he sighed.
He needed a break.
Kurt took a look at his wrist watch, and stood up. He walked over to the window of his room, and raised its blinds. It was already morning, he saw, though the sun still hadn’t quite risen over the horizon yet. Sounds from the neighborhood drifted in, as the people that lived in it woke up and started to prepare for the day.
Kurt studied the view of the neighborhood for a bit longer, then turned towards the kitchen.
A brief look through the contents of the refrigerator yielded nothing promising. Just leftovers from the previous night, and aside from the usual bottles of water, not even a single bottle of soda. This latter detail made Kurt frown a bit, after he closed the door to the fridge. So much for having a cup of cola to perk him up.
He leaned back against the kitchen counter, and rubbed his chin in contemplation. He looked at the fruit bowl that sat in the middle of the dining table, and noted that it was empty. He also glanced at the bread box, and saw that it was also empty.
At length Kurt smiled to himself. It looks like I’m going to have to go to the market anyway, he thought. Might as well pick up a bottle or two for myself while I’m at it.
The smile still in place, he walked back in the direction of his room to get his wallet. There he also put on his “outdoor shorts” and his trusty red windbreaker. He double-checked that he had the house key with him, then put it in the inner pocket of his windbreaker along with his wallet. Satisfied that he had everything that he needed, Kurt put on his favorite pair of sneakers, then walked out, the door locked securely behind him.
Miyu, a large set of sunglasses perched on her nose, exited the rear entrance of the hotel. It faced the parking lot, but at this hour it was virtually devoid of any vehicles, aside from the ones obviously used by the hotel. And aside from the guard on duty at the exit to the lot, the place was virtually empty of people as well.
The young woman sighed at this. She was relieved that there were no paparazzi waiting for her, but at the same time she was bothered how she was expecting some to be there. They were an unwelcome facet of her day job that she would rather not have, but it was still troubling to think that she had actually gotten used to their presence.
With her handbag cradled in one elbow, Miyu walked casually towards the car park exit. A small frown came to her face, as she felt the hollow rumbling of her belly. Of all the things she and her partner-for-the-night had done, dinner wasn’t one of them. Talk about being caught up in the heat of the moment…
She wondered if there was a fast food place close by that was open at that hour. Surely there were some that were open twenty-four-seven… Right?
Miyu started to rummage through her handbag as she walked, but for some reason couldn’t find it. She stopped just past the exit to the car park, and looked into her bag’s depths. She squinted behind her sunglasses, but her eyes soon widened when she saw that her wallet, with its cash and credit cards, just wasn’t there.
She looked through her bag one more time just to be sure.
Nope, it really wasn’t there. Everything else — her make-up, her lipstick, her traveler’s spellbook as well as the needed bags of components and foci — were though, which made its absence doubly annoying.
Did she leave it in the room? she wondered. No, she distinctly remembered not actually touching anything in her bag during the course of the evening.
Miyu crossed her arms, and closed her eyes in thought. She tried to retrace what she had been doing prior to going to the hotel. What was it again? She had used the waypoint magic she had learned during her last visit to escape from a particularly stressful session at the studio, and landed somewhere in the local red-light district. There she hooked up with her beau-for-the night and…
The image of her wallet, along with her cellphone, sitting on the top of the dressing-room table given to her, came rushing to Miyu’s mind. She had left them there during the recording, but she had been so frustrated that she just left the studio in a huff, and had forgotten to retrieve them on the way out.
“Ah damnit,” Miyu muttered to herself, as her palm met her face in disappointment. She wondered if it was too late to go back to the old man and mooch off him for the rest of the day.
Just as she was about to turn back towards the hotel, she heard someone call out to her.
Miyu turned in the direction of the voice, and saw the familiar, still-slightly overweight form of Kurt de Scela. A plastic bag filled with what looked like fruits and plastic bottles of cola was carried in one hand, while a folded newspaper was cradled in his other arm.
“Ah,” was all that Miyu could manage.
“I thought I was seeing things, but it is you, isn’t it?” he said as he walked over. He looked at her, glanced at the hotel she was in the process of walking back to, then back at her, this time seemingly noting her outfit. With its plunging neckline and its matching micro-mini, never mind the fact that it hugged her curves very closely, it wasn’t something that left much to the imagination.
“There’s an important reason for this,” Miyu started to explain, but stopped short when her stomach gave out a very audible growl. Miyu blushed in embarrassment, while Kurt looked on, his face unreadable.
Neither of them spoke for nearly half a minute.
“Say, there’s a Jollibee branch just close by,” Kurt said finally, one finger scratching his cheek as he spoke. “I was feeling a little hungry myself, so… What’d you say? Want to join me for breakfast?”
Miyu pursed her lips, and could only manage a nod of agreement in response.