I knew she was different the moment she got in to the cab.
Nice looking, well dressed, but with that look that you only ever see in those art house French films where the woman turns out to be a multi murderess.
She sat in the front seat and asked to be taken to Central Station.
She didn’t say much on the way there but kept glancing down at the newspaper she was carrying. It was opened up on the Meeting Point page and she had obviously ringed one of the ads with a yellow marker.
When we arrived at the station and paid the fare, she said “do you want the paper?” and without waiting for a reply jumped out and left it on the seat.
Intrigued I picked it up and read the ad she had circled. “Juliet, meet me under the clock at Central Station 1pm today, Romeo”
Now I hadn’t had a lunch break and I reckoned this was as good a time as any so I parked the cab and got out to find a coffee stall in the station. At least that’s what I persuaded myself I was doing.
Of course, the first thing I did was look under the clock for Romeo and Juliet but all I saw was a young man. “Strange”, I thought to myself, “she should be there by now.”
Searching the station further, I then saw ‘Juliet’ hiding herself behind one of the concrete pillars; she was watching the man looking around looking for her.
“Three can play this game”, I thought to myself. Well, I was intrigued and wanted to know how long she was going to keep the man waiting, it was just past the hour so it probably wouldn’t be very long. And the coffee here’s not particularly good anyway.
After ten minutes or so, ‘Juliet’ still hadn’t revealed herself and man was getting a little anxious; glancing at his watch, the clock, looking up and down at the various platforms.
At twenty past, with ‘Juliet’ still hiding and watching, ‘Romeo’ looked up at the clock and seemed to make a decision. So did ‘Juliet’ who suddenly appeared from behind the pillar and made to walk to the clock. “End of game”, I thought.
But then I noticed another young woman running towards the clock from Platform 6. The man saw her and, just like you see in the movies French or not, ran to her and hugged her with all his might.
I turned round to see ‘Juliet’ stopped in her tracks. She watched the couple in their embrace, smiled a smile that could only be described as enagmatic and walked away towards the coffee shop I had been intending to visit.
Somewhat confused I decided to go back to work, man cannot live on suspense alone.
As luck would have it there was only one other cab on the rank, it soon picked up a passenger, and guess who was the next person to want a cab but ‘Juliet’ herself.
Giving me a quizzical look she picked up her paper which was still on the console, ringed another classified ad and asked for the Art Gallery.
It was only after she got out the cab, leaving the paper with me again, that I read “Mona Lisa, meet me on the Art Gallery steps at 4pm today, Da Vinci”.