I turned my head, the clock said 8:30. I had come in at 3:13. Clearly something was not right; why was I conscious?
I lay still, I could hear traffic. A shaft of sunlight trickled through the shutters which, in my drunken state, I had not bothered to close properly; the cat was purring; I was in my own bedroom, so what was wrong?
'Really? I don't think that's true! Three stone in two months? What, was she doing the South Bea-'
There it was again.
I buried down deeper under the duvet and closed my eyes. My sister, Etheline, she was staying here. She was an early riser.
Then I heard something so chilling, so utterly terrifyingly spine tinglingly-ly chilling that I almost forgot to breathe. I heard Etheline - how could I not, dogs in the next county could probably hear her- say, 'I don't know Mum, no she's still in bed. Okay, see you at about ten. Bye.'
I sat bolt upright and as I did the hammer of Thor stuck me squarely between the two eyes. The cat toppled off his perch of pillows and shot me a disgusted look.
I gripped my head, lest it explode across my John Rocha sheets.
Oh no, please... The gods would not smote me in such a fashion. Thor tapped me again.
I flung the duvet aside and leaped from the bed. After a few moments of reeling about like a corgi with distemper, I threw on a scarlet Kimono and fluffy high-heeled slippers. I caught a glimpse of myself in the Cheval mirror as I fled my bedroom, black streaks of mascara, hair wild, crumpled, rumpled, hungover, run over, puffy, looking like the world's trashiest drag queen.
I stumbled into the hall and slammed into the far wall, blinded momentarily by the sunlight steaming through the door of the guestbedroom.
'Is my Mother coming here?' I shrieked.
My sister stepped into the hall. She wore a dazzlingly white t-shirt and soft blue jeans, her auburn hair was tied into a bouncy pony-tail, it glinted at me, healthily, mockingly, her make-up was minimal and flawless.
'Jesus, the state of it.' My sister grinned. 'I heard you coming in last night, you were singing.'
I blinked, swallowed - why was there no moisture? Summoning every last ounce of strength I pointed a trembling finger at her.
'Mom? Sure, she'll be here about ten.'
If a Cape African Buffalo had burst through the front door, charged down the hall and struck me the result would have been the same. I sank down the wall and puddled into an unsavoury mess on the floor.
'Coffee?' My sister said brightly, and sorta skipped off towards the kitchen.
I sat for a while on the floor. The cat, recovered from his tumble, came to sit by me. From the kitchen came the sound of Etheline humming like a jet engine as she banged cups about- she is so very loud.
I pressed my fist against the bridge of my nose and tried to think. Had I gotten engaged/married/had children/become a surgeon/vet/newsreader since the last time I'd seen my mother?
'She wants to bring us to brunch!' Etheline bellowed.
I picked myself up and stumbled to the bathroom. I had just over an hour.
Time for some serious damage limitation.