I come awake with a start from a dream about having to tap dance under the sea. It takes me a few seconds to realise that my phone is ringing. I fumble for it on my bedside table, jettisoning my diary, a box of tissues, my spare inhaler, and a packet of chocolate dragees onto the floor.
“Shit,” I mumble, and my fingers finally find my phone. “’Lo,” I say thickly into it.
Sounds of wild sobbing come through the airwaves. “Oh, Joe. Oh my god, it’s so awful.”
What? Who the fuck is this?
I raise the phone close to my eyes and squint at the display. Ah. Sally—one of my brides. It’s a good job I’m a wedding planner because that last sentence came across as far too much like Bluebeard for me to be comfortable.
“What’s the problem?” I say slowly, feeling like my tongue has been stapled to the inside of a dog’s basket. Fuck those last shots of tequila at the club last night. They’re looking like a very bad idea right now.
“It’s the cake.”
What possible fucking cake emergency can there be at this time of the night?
“It’s the wrong shape.”
Ah. That emergency.
I rack my brain and memory dawns. “You had the five-tier, espresso-infused butter cake with Kahlua butter cream and chocolate ganache, didn’t you? That was a lovely choice.”
“You think so?” she says hesitantly.
“Of course,” I say in a confident tone that doesn’t let on that my favourite cake is actually a Mr Kipling’s Country Slice. The prices these people are paying, it wouldn’t go down well.
“It’s all wrong,” she says in a tone of doom probably last heard from the person on the Titanic who was tasked with trying to squeeze two thousand people into fourteen lifeboats.
I punch my pillows and drag myself up into a sitting position. Spying the Panadol packet on my table put there by Past Foresighted Joe, I poke a couple out of the blister pack and swallow them with a swig of water. Now I’m ready.