''I... I... one minute...'' I turned, my head spinning, and rushed to the bedroom door, needing to get away, to find some refuge. Directly opposite the bedroom was an open door. Good - the bathroom. I went in and locked the door, then sat down on the edge of the bath, breathing rapidly.
Think. Think, Clare. Last night. What happened last night? The last thing I remembered was one of the girls, Jen, driving the two of us back to Sophie's. That's right, I'd hit my head, hadn't I? I rubbed my temple, it didn't hurt, wasn't even tender. Yes, We'd seen Henry, been talking to him at the hospital. But he'd left, and then we went to Sophie's, I was sure of it.
Could this be some kind of head injury induced hallucination? I looked around the room, felt the edge of the wash basin. It all seemed pretty real, but maybe that's what these things were like.
I stood and looked in the mirror. A pale face stared back. God, I look rough, I thought. Hold on a minute though, was that a grey hair? No, wait - a few grey ones. I can't have grown those overnight, surely. But maybe they'd crept up on me and I hadn't noticed.
Where was this place, anyway? It wasn't Sophie's either. From the brief glimpse I'd had of the landing during my flight to the bathroom, it appeared to be a large house. Nothing here seemed familiar. I opened the bathroom cabinet. Here were the usual things - paracetamol, indigestion tablets, sticking plasters - and something unfamiliar: a bottle of prescription pills. I looked at the label – Ferrous Sulphate – wasn't that iron? They were prescribed for a Mrs C Day. Who was she? Henry's surname was Day.
''Clare? You all right, treasure?'' he was outside the door. Treasure? That didn't seem a Henry-like endearment at all. In fact I couldn't imagine him saying that to anyone, never mind me. The ''sweetheart'' had been surprising enough. No. This had to be a dream.
Nevertheless I managed an ''I'm fine.'' and a few seconds later I heard the bedroom door close again.
I had absolutely no idea what to do. I couldn't stay in here for ever. But what do I say to Henry? Maybe I should just play along with this and hope I wake up, or maybe Sophie will turn up in a minute and tell me it's all a big joke. Mind you, Sophie isn't like that... it would be completely out of character.
Steve. Now this was more his style, the idiot. But that didn't fit, either. I really couldn't see Henry playing along with it. He was too... sensible – and kind. And it would be a cruel trick to play on someone. I'd always thought of Henry as a kind-hearted guy
I sat on the bath again. No use – I'd have to face Henry. Maybe I should just come out and tell him I didn't know why I was here.
I went back to the bedroom and opened the door. Henry was sitting on the edge of the bed, cleaning his glasses, still in his nightshirt – I'd been right about that. He looked at me with concern.
''How are you feeling, poppet?'' Oh no, another un-Henry like term. ''Shall I see if Mum's got any of that ginger tea? Settle your tummy?'' So it was Henry's mother's house, then... One mystery solved, anyhow.
I opened my mouth to answer him, then closed it again. And burst into tears.
''Oh, Clare. Come here darling!'' Henry leapt up and came to me, putting his arms round me and hugging me, rubbing my shoulder, stroking my hair.
''It's fine. You're fine. I'm here, sweetheart. Please don't be upset. Everything's all right.''
It was strange but it didn't feel wrong, in fact it felt like just what I needed at that moment. But this was Henry, and I had never in my life been this close to him, so it should feel wrong. But it didn't. Why didn't it?
I needed to tell him, but I couldn't stop crying. Confusion overwhelmed me. Then I pictured us, this strange couple, and the vision of Henry in his nightshirt, cuddling me in these ridiculous teddy-bear fleecy pyjamas forced an involuntary giggle up through the sobs.
Henry laughed with me, mistaking my hysteria for real mirth.
''It's probably...you know... your hormones. I was reading up on the internet last night. It said that women often get very emotional during the first trimester.''
The first ... trimester. I was sure that could only refer to one condition. Was Henry talking about me? I was pregnant? Whatever was going on?