So there I was, playing an Xbox 360 game and minding my own business, when Paul came over and sat down beside me on the sofa. I knew it was Paul because out of the corner of my eye I recognised the navy polo shirt and dark buzz-cut. I kept playing but something distracted me; I saw him drop something into my lap.
I paused the game and looked down; lying on top of my jeans was a tangle of thick, white rope. I stared at this uncomprehendingly for about a second, and then looked up at Paul. He had sat down facing away from me with his hands held out behind his back. He was looking over his shoulder at me and his gaze was steady.
After a moment I realised what I was supposed to do.
"Come on," he said, sounding a bit impatient.
"No, mate, I don't want to do that. It's kind of weird."
"It'll be fun," Paul chided.
He made jabbing motions at me with his fists, still clasped behind his back. He was absolutely serious. With the Xbox controller in my hands and the rope sitting in my lap I looked at him. Maybe if I did what he wanted me to, he would shut up and let me continue playing?
Sighing, I tossed the controller to one side and picked up the rope. Paul grinned and then turned his head away, facing the wall. I looped the rope around his wrists several times and then knotted it firmly. Now Paul sat docilely beside me with his hands tied behind his back.
"Are you having fun?" I asked him sardonically.
"Yes." It had been a stupid question because Paul was smiling as he answered.
After a while I thought he had begun to struggle in his bonds, but upon closer observation I noticed he was just flexing his arms and getting the feel of the rope around his wrists.
"Weird," I repeated, but I smiled as I took hold of the controller again.