I moaned a little and rolled over. My shoulder popped out. Stomach griping in pain as I swam further up towards consciousness. That was that, I was awake, but with no idea what had woken me up. I blinked a little blearily still, realised it wasn't fully light, and decided I was definitely going back to sleep. I'd have to get up to pee first, which could be feat in itself, but no, still coming round I knew that wasn't the reason for waking this time.
Then I heard it again. Tap, tap...tap, tap, tap tap tap. Something was making a noise outside. Pnugh. Probably a cat. Damn cats again. Fighting in the road. Maybe even up to their old tricks and throwing themselves at my windows trying to get to my cats sitting, smirking, taunting them from behind the safety of the glass. But no, wait a minute...both cats were snuggled up in bed withn me, and unlike me, they were both still asleep...purring no less. It must be early if kitty#2 hadn't started hitting me over the head with her paw to demand breakfast. Hmmm. Maybe something was actually wrong. I was going to have to get out of bed to find out.
I rolled over, popping my shoulder again as I went, and performed my getting out of bed ritual. Roll, let feet fall onto floor, hold onto bed and hope for the best. My hips popped, legs buckled momentarily, and I waited, poised there in a parody of the best bent forward over bed sexual position you're ever likely to see, until my legs were likely to hold me up, and made my way to the window. The tapping had stopped, but I could definitely hear scuffling.
As I went to peep from behind the curtains there was a louder, more insistent tap. A little more awake by now I wondered if Roland towards the end of a long night shift had come round to tip me out of bed wanting a cup of coffee, then dismissed that thought as quickly as it had come...Roland has a true copper's knock...no timid tapping for him. He would either rap harshly on the door, or break in. Hmm, maybe I should get him to break in dressed in full uniform, mmmm. I digress, though a pleasant digression it is.
I stuck my head round the curtains to see what was making the noise outside my front door. Its my time honoured method of not having to do downstairs to open the door only to find whoever it is has given up waiting and gone away. Besides, it was 6am, no way was I going to all the effort of getting downstairs without a damn good reason. There, on my doorstep, swaying, bruised, dirty, dishevelled and wearing nothing but a little vest top and pair of panties was my next door neighbour. I called out to her through the window to wait, that I was coming down, and scrambled frantically down the stairs as fast as I could without tumbling head first into a heap at the bottom.
Some moments later I opened the front door to find her stood there looking confused and disorientated, unable to say much more than that she'd lost her keys. It was difficult to say who was the more confused at that time of the morning, so I simply pulled her by the arm into the house, told her the spare bed was made up, and headed back to bed via the toilet. By the time I'd made it back up the stairs and stuck my head around the door to check she was in bed and fast asleep.