Home Is Where The Heart Is

It’s been years since Harry last saw Louis. They met in high school and they fell head over heels in love with each other. But right before they went off to college, they split up and ever since then, Harry has felt incomplete. He’s just lost his job and his landlord kicked him out of his apartment because he couldn’t pay his rent. He’s got no place to go. Harry decides to go on a journey to find Louis. After all, home is where the heart is, and Harry’s heart is forever with Louis. Copyright 2014

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14. Scavenger Hunt

Harry's POV

I wake early the next morning, craving warmth. When I turn my head to the left, I see why. Louis isn't on his side of the bed. I sit up, confused, and look around. The bathroom door is open, the lights are off, and I can see from here that no one is inside. I throw back the covers, getting a little worried now. I tiptoe into the bathroom and check in the shower, expecting Louis to jump out at me screaming, "Gotcha!" Nothing happens though. I'm about to start panicking when I see something on the coffee table across from the sofa. It's a folded up piece of paper that definitely wasn't there when I went to sleep.

I unfold it and smile when I see Louis' familiar scrawl. This is the place where we first ate when we arrived in Paris. Can you get there in time for the next clue?

A scavenger hunt. Louis is sending me on a scavenger hunt. I take the fastest shower of my life, probably one for the record books. I throw on some clothes haphazardly, not really caring if they match or not. The first café we ate at was Breizh Café, so I set out in that direction, hoping I don't get lost. When I reach the café, it's not open yet. I frown and start to turn away, thinking I have the wrong place, when I see a blue piece of paper sticking out from behind the bench that is in front of the café.

I snatch it and read the next clue. The next clue will be waiting where you almost needed an ambulance.

He must be talking about the place where we had our snowball fight. I don't remember exactly where it is, but I know it was on the way back to the hotel. I turn and head back in the direction that I came.

I look around, waiting to see something familiar. When I spot the sign that marks the place where Louis kissed me for the first time, I make a beeline for it. Sure enough, an orange piece of paper is stuck to the back of the sign.

I pull it off and read it. This is where I made fun of you for looking like a tourist.

The shop where I bought the model of the Eiffel Tower is probably the place he's talking about. As I start the walk to the store, I think about how long it must have taken Louis to do this. It most likely took him ages, and he probably had to wake up super early this morning to hide the clues before I woke up. He sure is intent on making me walk around the whole city, that's for sure.

The store is already open and I smile politely at the lady behind the counter before heading to the shelf of mini Eiffel Towers. There must be at least ten statues on top of the paper, and the lady watches me strangely as I pick them all up to reveal the paper underneath. She stares at me as I leave with the paper. I wave at her before closing the door.

On your fourth clue already? The next one is a planet, the paper reads.

I furrow my brow. The next one is a planet? I think back to all Louis and I have done and all the places we've eaten at, but nothing is ringing a bell. I don't want to give up, but I have no idea what this clue means.

I start to walk aimlessly down the street, occasionally peering into shop windows as if Louis might be in there waiting for me. I make a right turn at the end of the road and look around me.

A little farther down, I spot a sign that says SATURNE. I hurry to the front of the restaurant and see that it's closed. Saturn is a planet and I have no idea where else to look, so if this isn't where the next clue is I'm screwed.

I stride around the perimeter of the building and see a piece of yellow paper sitting on a windowsill in the back. I take it and read the next clue. You'll find the next clue at the place where you first called me your boyfriend.

Louis' clues are getting more and more complicated, and I wrack my brain trying to think of when and where I first called him my boyfriend. Then suddenly, I remember. The Eiffel Tower. I asked the woman who took our picture to take a picture of me and my boyfriend.

I pivot and rush toward the Tower. Maybe this will be the last clue. My burning legs hope it's the last one too. When I reach the Eiffel Tower I'm out of breath and I have no idea where to look for the paper. Even though it's early in the morning, there are already tourists swarming around it, taking pictures and talking in a million different languages.

I skirt around the tourists and keep my eyes peeled for a clue. I see a green paper dangling from a nearby tree and I rush over and pull it down. Almost done! The next clue is where we FELL in love.

Where we fell in love? Then I realize why he put fell in all capital letters. The ice skating rink. I hail a taxi and sit back as Paris flies by outside my window.

When the driver pulls up to the rink I pay him and half run to the door, anxiously looking for a clue. A piece of purple paper is wedged halfway under the front door, but not far enough that I can't pull it out.

This is your last clue. (If you're a random stranger who found this, please put it back where you found it. Thanks.) I'll be waiting for you where we had our first date when we were high schoolers.

I thought I would be able to finish the scavenger hunt, but I have no idea what he means. Our first date when we were high schoolers? That was in America...

I think back to the date, searching desperately for a clue. It wasn't anything particularly fancy, but it was one of those restaurants where you can get up and dance and I remember dragging a reluctant Louis onto the dance floor at least twice that night.

Dancing. Could it be something with dancing? I pull out my phone and search places in Paris that have to do with dancing. A bunch of dance studios come up, but then something catches my eye.

A bistro called "Pirouette". It wouldn't surprise me if Louis was at a place that served food. I bet he's feasting on French cuisine right now, wondering when I'll show up.

I hail yet another taxi and sigh in relief as I slump in the backseat. It was an exhausting morning overall, so hopefully Louis has something more moderate planned for the afternoon.

It only takes about ten minutes to get to Pirouette and I quickly pay the driver, dash up the steps leading to the front door, and burst in.

I see Louis immediately. He's sitting at a table in the corner, sipping a drink and looking out the window. I slide in across from him. He jumps, but smiles when he sees it's me.

"That was pretty fast," he says. "I'm impressed."

"How long have you been planning that?" I ask. "That was crazy."

Louis looks satisfied. "I came up with it yesterday at the rink. So I take it you didn't have any trouble finding me?"

"Not really, the only one that tripped me up was Saturne. I was so confused."

Louis nods understandingly. "That was the hardest one, other than the last clue."

"What time did you get up this morning to be able to do that?" I inquire.

"Six," Louis replies.

"The only reason I woke up was because I was cold without you next to me," I tell Louis.

He smiles. "Can't live without me, huh?"

"I guess not," I say. "What would you have done if I couldn't find you?"

"You would've found me, even if it took you all day," Louis replies confidently. "You see, when two people are meant to be together, they'll always find their way back."

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