I’m a fairly sociable girl. I go out, I meet a lot of people, I become friends with some of them, I have passing encounters with others. During the week, however, for the most part, I’m a solitary beast. I finish work, I go home, I eat, I sleep.
And so it was last night. Monsieur de la Pérouse came round for some fairly mediocre risotto (I forgot the parmesan – amateur mistake). The Squire, who’s staying with me for a couple of days, arrived back at the house later that evening. A convivial evening on the sofa with friends. Decent for a Tuesday night.
The house went to sleep at about 11. All was quiet.
Now, there are certain times that you never want to wake up. 6.30 on a Monday morning when your alarm goes off for work. 11.30pm when you think you’ve been asleep for hours but it turns out you just went to bed too early.
And 3.45am on a Wednesday morning.
Imagine my horror, therefore, when I was wrenched from my dreams this morning by an incessant ringing sound. “Diiiiiiiiing dong”. “Diiiiiiiiiiiiiing dong”.
I lay in bed, dazed, for a few minutes before I finally established that someone was ringing my doorbell. And that it had been ringing for a while.
I fell out of bed (literally in this case – I’m not very coordinated when half asleep). Maybe The Squire had decided to go out again and forgot his key. I looked into the spare room. A sleeping body.
“Squire? Are you there?” I asked the sleeping body.
“Urg” came the reply (which I took to be a yes)
“There’s someone ringing my doorbell. I don’t know who it is”
“Would you like me to go and find out?” came a mumbled reply.
Being the strong, independent woman I am, I practically threw The Squire down the stairs. I mean, who’s more important? An intelligent, newly-wed with the world before him, or a crumbly old spinster like me? My thoughts exactly.
As he padded down the stairs to the front door, I shuffled down after him (a little bit behind him, of course. After all, if it was a serial killer, I wanted to have time to run away)
“Can I help you?” I heard the Squire enquire, in his eminently polite manner.
*mumble* *mumble* “Nuttycow”
The Squire looked up the stairs at me. I looked blankly back. Who the hell do I know who’d come around at 3.45 on a Wednesday morning? And why did he want to see me? Was it an emergency? Had something happened?
I walked down the stairs a little and was faced with a stranger, wearing a Father Christmas hat.
“Hello” I said.
“I’m really very drunk” he replied. [Good start, I thought, if you're trying to encourage someone to talk to you - tell them how incredibly intoxicated you are] “I just thought I’d come round to say hello.”
The Squire looked up the stairs at me. I looked blankly back. A random man, whom I didn’t recognise, thought he’d come and say “hi” at some godforsaken time in the morning? Who was he? How did he know where I lived? Why was it so important to say hi? (and, more to the point, did he think I was going to welcome him with open arms?)
I decided to play polite. (after all, he could still be an axe murderer at this point – although I don’t think he had sufficient control of his faculties to be much of a threat).
“Yes, well” I said, in my primmest school-marm voice. “It’s 3.45 in the morning. I’m going to bed. Please just call next time.”
And with that, I turned on my heel and trudged up the stairs, The Squire behind me. I heard the front door softly click.
Back in bed, I lay awake for the next hour, going over and over it in my head. Who was this person? Was it someone I had met on a night out that I just didn’t remember? Was it incredibly rude that I didn’t recognise him? Even if I had met him, how did he know where I lived? I searched through my phone and facebook. Was he a friend of a friend? A friend of a friend of a friend? What…?
I woke up this morning, sleepy, not entirely convinced it wasn’t all a very bizarre dream. That was until The Squire came out of the spare room.
“That was weird, wasn’t it?” he said with a grin.
Yes. Weird. Welcome to the story of my life.