I thought Toby was scratching at my door at his usual five a.m. the other night. He never wants to go out; he wants to remind me that his breakfast is due in two hours and forty-five minutes. I am never allowed to forget it: he will growl at me several or fourteen times between then and quarter-to-eight.
It wasn’t Toby; it was Spud, trying to slip a note under my door; and it wasn’t five; it was sometime after one. He came in, as I was now awake, for spare bedding. He said ‘Excuse me’ but I was half asleep and didn’t register until he knocked me over, having expected me to move.
The note was to explain, in case I woke up in the night and wandered around in confusion, that two of his friends had phoned at one a.m. to beg a bed. They had been to a party which Spud had decided not to attend because of travel difficulties (three buses there; three buses back) and, because they live several towns over, had nowhere to sleep once they were kicked out.
We are not the sort of people to see teenagers on the streets, so of course the Hub had said ‘yes’. Besides, they are both in Godspell, with Sam playing Jesus. We want it to be a success and a destitute lead is not in the remit.
Spud was given his instructions by the Hub and, when the boys arrived some time after two, Spud opened the door and declared: ‘Sorry. There’s no room at the inn.’
We might be kind but we will have fun at your expense.