Tales of food, sex and friendship

Season 4: Episode 5

October 4, 2011

Mia waved a hurried goodbye to Sam, the receptionist, as she let herself out the door of the Pilates studio. The day had been mayhem and Sam, along with everyone else, looked completely frazzled. Two of the other instructors were off with flu and Mia had helped out by staying back four hours after she was meant to finish to look after their clients. Now, more than anything, she wanted a shower, food, and then some kind of alcoholic beverage. Not necessarily in that order.


She heard her phone just as she was stepping out of the shower. Every time it rang Mia’s heart would jump just the tiniest little bit. But then it would be work or one of her friends and she’d feel stupid for thinking that it might be him. Still, she grabbed a towel from the rack and ran to her room to try and catch it before it rang out.

“Hello, hello,” she said breathlessly.

“Oh hi,” said the voice on the other end of the phone uncertainly. A pause. Then, “Is that Mia?”

Mia nearly dropped the phone in surprise. There was only one person she had ever met who had that accent.

John from Bangkok.

What on earth was he doing calling her?

“John. Wow.” She tried to keep the surprise out of her voice as the words tumbled out. “This is…wow…how did you get my number?”

“You gave it to me,” he said. His voice sounded hurt.

Of course she had. But he wasn’t meant to call her. Wasn’t that the point of holiday flings?

“How’s Thailand?” she asked, by way of changing the subject. She vaguely recalled he was going trekking up north or something after she had left.

“I’m not actually there anymore.” He laughed, nervously. “You know how you said to get in touch if I was ever in Melbourne…?”

Oh no, she thought. He can’t be.

“Well, here I am.” He laughed again, sounding even less sure of himself.

“I didn’t know you had plans to even come to Australia,” she said eventually.

“Well I met this girl and I can’t stop thinking about her,” he said quietly.

Now it was Mia’s turn to laugh nervously.

“I hoped that… maybe she had thought about me too?” he continued.

His voice sounded so hopeful that Mia immediately felt terrible for not having used a single neuron to give him a moment of consideration once she had left Bangkok. That is not to say that John wasn’t a charming, attractive, interesting and caring young man. He would have been a catch for any girl, but unfortunately Mia’s heart had been otherwise engaged for quite some time now.

“Ah, sure,” she said quickly, feeling even worse for lying. “Of course.”

She could almost hear the giant grin that was plastered across his face.

“Do you want to catch up for a drink tonight,” he said in his lilting tone.

Mia was too exhausted to think of an excuse so she just said yes.


She wandered into the bar an hour later and looked around. No sign of John. She settled at the counter and ordered herself a much needed glass of champagne, hoping that the bubbles would calm her down a bit. One drink and I’m out of here, she thought to herself, already coming up with a list of excuses for an early getaway.

She almost didn’t recognise John when he walked in the door five minutes later. In her mind, he was a slightly geeky English boy who had provided a brief holiday distraction before real life kicked in again.

Instead, the man who entered the bar was taller and broader than she recalled. He walked with an air of confidence that made people move out of his way and his ruggedly attractive features caught the attention of every female in the room.

He walked over to Mia and pulled her into a hug, kissing her gently on the cheek. He looked and smelt amazing.

Maybe a couple of drinks won’t hurt, thought Mia.


The next morning, Mia stood in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil. Last night had been fun. A lot of fun. But now she needed John to wake up and leave before her housemates found out about him. She would never have admitted it to herself, but she was worried this would trigger a chain of events that might lead a certain someone to think she had a boyfriend. Mia acknowledged it was getting less and less likely that anything was ever going to happen with that particular person, but it couldn’t hurt to dream.

She chastised herself again for suggesting that she and John come back to her place last night. Although, the other option of going back to his hostel was even less appealing. The cup of tea was her ploy to wake him up and then, feigning appointments to attend and schedules to keep, kick him out.

Before she could finish making the tea, Mia heard footsteps pad lightly into the kitchen and felt a strong pair of arms around her waist.

“Good morning,” said John, nibbling softly on her ear.

He kissed down the side of her neck and along her shoulder before gently turning her around and kissing her tenderly on the mouth. Mia relented for only a second before gently pushing him away. She felt uncomfortably vulnerable making out in the kitchen with this half-naked man. She didn’t want to have to explain to anyone the details of when and how they knew each other. With the lead up to Ana and Tom’s wedding and all the excitement that had generated, she had managed to prevent her secret holiday fling becoming common knowledge. She intended to keep it that way.

“You should probably go,” she said, pushing him away. “My housemates…”

“Hello.” Willow’s voice startled her.

John and Mia spun around. Willow stood in the doorway of the kitchen looking from Mia to the strange man who was clad in nothing but a pair of snug fitting jeans, and could get away with it. She looked utterly bemused.

“This is John,” said Mia quickly. “He was just leaving.”

Willow’s eyebrows shot up. She needed to find out more about this young man who was canoodling with Mia in the kitchen on a Sunday morning.

“I was just about to make breakfast,” she said. “Sure you can’t stay?”

“Only if it’s Ok with Mia,” he said earnestly.

Mia nodded limply.

“Great,” said Willow. “How do you feel about pancakes?”


“Oh. My. God,” said Willow when John left the kitchen to go and have a shower several hours later.

“I know, I know,” said Mia. “I was going to tell you about him, but I forgot…”

“How on earth did you forget?” chastised Willow. “He’s absolutely gorgeous and the nicest guy I have ever met. Not to mention,” she teased, “completely in love with you.”

“He is not.”

Willow raised an eyebrow skeptically, but left it alone. She was just glad that Mia seemed to be interested in someone. She had been a bit concerned about the looks that had transpired between Mia and Johnny at the wedding. Not that she cared if friends hooked up, but Mia and Johnny…? That was just a recipe for disaster. Still, there was something a bit fishy about this new situation…

“It’s uncanny though, how he looks,” she said, closely watching Mia’s reaction.

“Hmmm?” Mia looked up from washing the dishes. She was foolishly hoping that Willow hadn’t noticed.

“You can’t tell me you don’t see it,” said Willow.

“What do you mean?” said Mia again, feigning ignorance.

“John is practically a carbon copy of Johnny,” Willow said.

Mia wasn’t able to hide the deep shade of purple that she blushed.