I wake with the cold, tight-headed, empty sense of an impending family day. Annual leave is precious and it galls me to waste any of it with cousins' brats, my foul auntie and my mother's inevitable tears after a few glasses of Asti Spumante.
There's an unpleasant and unfamiliar odour in the bed beside me. Rolling onto my back, I feel too warm. The side of my thigh suddenly touches flesh, the slight contact eliciting a grunt from someone at my side. Gently retrieving my leg, I lie rigid, trying to recall something, anything. It's not until I hear the burr of light snoring that I can bear to look. Extremely hazy recollections of the latter part of the office party make this almost unbearable.
Who the hell is that? There's a teenage boy in my bed. A smelly angel with a dirty face. I haven't been in bed with a teenage boy since the neighbour's son used to babysit when I was nine.
What the fuck is going on? Afraid to move or breathe, I wonder if this is what being scared-stiff feels like. It's not just the fact that my bedmate could be anyone - a sleepy burglar, a sensitive rapist. It's trying to remember what happened and none of it explaining this.
There was the thing at work. God knows how much wine I had with the lunch before moving onto serious G&T's. Socializing with colleagues always puts me terribly on edge. Outside our work-roles it's as if we're complete strangers. Did I ask Bob about promotion? Oh Jesus. I've just had this vision of Marion, Bob and me in the Bistro. How did we get there? Didn't Bob buy champagne and keep trying to snog me? I definitely remember cold, wet lips bearing down.