Another morning in the Miskin household.
Following a less-than-favourable comedy gig, Montague had come home in the early hours of the morning, put his nightwear on, and attempted to read a novel before passing out onto the pillow. Upon peeking into his bedroom to check on him, Myron saw his son sprawled out on the bed and snoring his head off - his reading glasses skewered on his face.
Chuckling quietly, Myron closed the door and headed to work.
Some time later, a repeated knocking sound stirred Monty out of his slumber. Dazed and exhausted, he barely managed to lift himself out of the pillow.
"Dad!" he called out. "I'm trying to sleep!"
"Can't you get the spare key from Aunt Amelia?"
The sound grew louder and more frequent.
"All right, all right - I'm coming!"
Monty staggered out of bed, slipped his feet into bunny slippers and lurched towards the front door, pulling it open with dramatic flair.
"God, I work all night, and you.... oh... excuse me, I - I do beg your pardon..."
It wasn't his father at the door, but a young woman - an old acquaintance of his.
"Hey - I know you!" he cried. "It's Rebekah, right? Rebekah Berman? We were in school together!"
Monty's unexpected guest looked at him quizically for a few moments, and then smiled.
"Montague Miskin! I remember you! You put food colouring in the goldfish tank and mooned at the teacher's lounge window. We always called you Mad Monty!"
She giggled at the memory. Montague joined her, but his laughter was more forced.
"I'm sorry to have disturbed you," she continued, "I'm collecting unwanted goods for a charity white elephant sale. By chance, could you offer me anything?"
"I'm sure there's one or two things hanging about somewhere," Monty said. "Come on in - I'll make some coffee."
After rooting out a few tidbits for the sale, Montague served himself and Rebekah a cappuccino and sat beside her at the kitchen table.
"So... "Mad Monty", huh?" he chuckled. "It's a good fit, I guess. I was always a bit on the crazy side."
"Well... some people like crazy," Rebekah replied... blushing slightly.
A nervous pause hung in the air for some moments.
"Besides," Rebekah added, breaking the tension, "you might have been mischievous, but you were one of the smartest kids in school."
"Ah, well, I've my sister Juliet to thank for that," Monty told her. "She was my study coach growing up. I might be smart, but she's a real genius."
"Yes, I remember her. She was Head Girl. How is she these days?"
"Very well, thanks. Married now, and a kid on the way, too."
The pair chatted like this for an hour or so.. but it felt like a matter of moments to Montague. In his schooldays, he'd never really gotten to know Rebekah, but it turned out that she was a very good companion. Tolerant of his quirks, appreciative of his jokes, and - he had to admit - quite the beauty.
The cosy atmosphere was suddenly shattered when Rebekah looked at the clock. Alarmed, he left to his feet, seizing Montague's donations.
"Oh, goodness! Look at the time! I need to get going."
As she rushed towards the door, Monty followed her.
"It was nice seeing you, Monty."
"Rebekah, wait -"
"Thanks for the donations and the coffee!"
It was now or never. Rushing forward, Montague gently took hold of Rebekah's hands. Stunned, she stopped, and looked at him.
"I... I'd really like to see you again," Montague told her. "Maybe... over dinner sometime?"
Monty swore his heart jumped into his mouth right as he said the words - terrified of how his old schoolfriend would react. Imagine his relief, then, when Rebekah smiled gently at him, and nodded.
As she left, waving gently, Montague closed the door behind her, and punched the air.
When Myron returned home after his shift at the lab, he grew concerned when he noticed his only son had slid down the living room wall to the floor, and was laughing like a hyena on nitrous oxide.
"He's either totally mad, or in love," Myron thought to himself, heading to his bedroom. "Or indeed... both."