Laura had left my apartment pristine, the cats alive and fat and, if there were 16 messages on my voicemail that weren't for me - and one that was (hi Heath! if you're lurking) - I didn't mind at all.
Bleary-eyed, I got myself together and telephoned Laura. We talked for over two hours, catching up the way lovers do, when it is less the words than it is the tone and the togetherness than matter. She told me she might be able to pop in for a quick visit after school on Wednesday.
And so she did.
When she walked through my door we held each other and kissed, as if we'd been apart for a year, not a week.
We spent 2 or 3 hours together, then she was on her way home. We had plans to spend Friday night and Saturday together.
Not long - no more than a half-hour - after I returned to my abode there came a phone-call.
It was Jane, Laura's step-mum. "Is Laura there?"
I've met Jane twice now and, sort of, like her. For a 70-ish woman she has a good sense of humour and she seems to like me, despite the obvious reasons she shouldn't. More than that, she is taking her new-found (and entirely unexpected) duties as Step-Mom seriously - or so I thought.
Lying didn't occur to me. I thought - at the time - that Laura had been permitted an exception, though in retrospect it's clear I was wrong.
"She left about a half-hour ago," I said, instantly regretting my candour.
"She was there?"
"Uh, yes," I said, thinking that to lie now would only make matters worse.
"She wasn't supposed to be," Jane said.
"Oh," I muttered. "Sorry Jane ..." I added, and she hung up on me.
Desperate now, I got the number from one of those who had called during my absence, hoping that one of her friends could catch her at the subway station and warn her what was to come. The girl who answered wasn't the one who had called and didn't live nearby.
I haven't heard from Laura since and can only presume she is in what is sometimes known as deep shit, and quite possibly pissed off with me - as she has every right to be. I should have known better.