Yesterday was a bit of an odd one. It started fairly normally, with me lying in bed, a hangover behind my eyes, a competing desire for sleep and water, until the smoke alarm started alarming. It's whacking my head with every beep, but I can hear rustling in the kitchen, so I assume it's Andy taking the new smoke alarm out of its packet and putting batteries in and I ignore it, silently cursing his name a little as it goes on and on and then just as I'm about to rouse myself to see what the problem is, I hear Andy yell my name. I go from 0 to 60 in a second. I've never heard that tone in anyone's voice, and now he's shouting for help and I can't find my glasses and I have them now and I come out to the hallway to find black smoke boiling out of the kitchen and somewhere in there is Andy, and he throws water on something and I see a fireball the size of a rugby ball whoosh past his head, which he jerks back just in time and all of that takes less than a second because now I'm in the living room, pulling my phone out of the charger and shouting back that I'm calling the fire brigade, just get out and he's saying it's almost out, it's almost out and I scream at him to leave as I shove my coat on, and sling my bag over my shoulder and I run out the door dialling and the call is done in five seconds but Andy is still not there, and I push the door back open and scream for him and he finally appears, coughing, saying he managed to put it out and we head for the door outside and take deep breaths and I'm hugging him and shouting at him at the same time to never, ever do that again, don't try and put it out, just leave and he's saying it's fine, he's fine, and then the firemen arrive and we tell them it's out, and they file in, wearing masks because of the smoke, its plastic and it clings and they throw the windows open from the inside, carrying out charred bits of kitchen metal. And we stand there in the rain, heartbeats slowing, the object of the street's gaze and I say: "I'm glad my room is tidy."
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