The knocking is insistent at my door: knock, knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock. Knock, knock, knock.
I quickly check my alarm clock to see that the time is 00:01. What?! One minute past midnight? Who on this earth would be knocking at someone's door at this time?
Curious now, I rise from the covers, slip on my dressing-gown and hurry down the corridor; I don't have stairs. When I get to the front door, I fling it open, desperate to either shoo away the visitor, or maybe...maybe to welcome them.
My eyes met my knocker's.
"Maria?!" I exclaim incredulously, "What...why...it's ONE MINUTE PAST MIDNIGHT!" Maria's face is illuminated by the lightning, the thundering raindrops hacking away at her clothes. But, no matter how pitiful a sight she is, I still have to shout.
"Oh, Tristan, I...I...I...I've b-been kicked out o-of m-my house. I-it's the...the Landlord, he...he...he says that I-I'm a...a...r-rent-dodger...b-because I h-haven't p-payed my r-rent in f-five months. I'm out." My anger dissipates and I pull her inside, watching her stunning figure as I guide her to the armchair. Instinctively, I whip up a decent blaze, which should hopefully keep her a lot warmer than she is.
"Hey, hey, sorry. So you can't go back...? That seems...unfair." I'm not really sure what to say. Then again, she has just appeared in my doorway, wanting a lodging, or so I'm guessing.
"Yes. That's right." Her emerald eyes are wide with shock from the cold and being chucked out.
"And you want to stay here...?"
"Oh, Tristan...I..." She looks at me, desperation flooding her pretty face, "I just need somewhere to stay for a week. Just one week, I promise! My aunt's coming to take me to her house then, where I can stay 'til I find somewhere else, it's just for the gap period, oh please!" I've read enough books to know how these things turn out, but now I finally understand why the characters take them in after all; how can you let someone suffer so?
I shake my head in frustration, "Fine, sure, yes. But you'll have to sleep in here." And Maria jumps onto me, pulling me into a tight embrace.
"Tristan, you are my hero."