The other night I think I was at my absolute bravest. Probably the bravest I have ever been.
I was woken by a shout, and there was a light on somewhere – I couldn’t tell if it was in the house, or belonged to the security light on the house behind ours. But there was definitely a light. And there was definitely shouting.
Carole had taken herself downstairs because she was completely unable to sleep and when she can’t sleep she tosses and turns like a crazy person, so she headed off with her Kindle, a drink and whatever else to try and get some sleep on the couch. So when I heard the shout, I immediately thought it was Carole – she has a habit of calling out if she’s had a nightmare, say, about three witches and some ribbon (true fact).
So I called out to her to ask if she was ok.
I was presented with no response.
But I knew that I’d heard shouting. And there was that light….
But then the shouting had stopped. And the light went off.
And everything sounded quiet.
So I just sort of lay in bed for a bit, listening. And when there was nothing else I kind of went back to sleep.
When I told Carole about this in the morning, asking if she had called out or if she had put the TV on in the night – which would have explained both the voices and the light, she said that none of it was her. Which added to the mystery a litte. But then she asked if I had, on hearing the shouts, immediately run downstairs to make sure she was alright.
Obviously I hadn’t done that. I’d remained in bed. Safe under a duvet which, as anyone knows, can protect you from all manner of things. So I got into trouble, because I hadn’t come to make sure that Carole was ok. She could have been murdered or anything, she said. I tried to explain that I’d done the listening thing, and that I didn’t hear any of the sounds I would associate with murder. I imagine being killed on the couch makes a very distinctive sound.
It wasn’t good enough. I was chastised for not running downstairs. But, even if I had run downstairs and found Carole being murdered, what could I have really done? We are not blessed with many weapons. I mean, I once took Carole out by throwing a Bagpuss down the stairs, but that was a very specific set of circumstances. I am not sure that you can fight off a potential shouty murderer with a soft toy – even if it is a spectacular throw.
Anyway, I shouted. No-one shouted back. The light had gone off. The noise had gone down.
And I realised I had the whole bed to myself.
I was busy.
Being a starfish.