Rain dripped down the window pane and I struggled to see in the small, dark kitchen.

Perfect! The candles would look so pretty twinkling in the gloom.

I turned on the kitchen light to make the icing, and sang along to the radio as I worked. Half an hour later, the triple layer chocolate cake was covered in dark chocolate icing and covered with 37 red, blue and green candles. I put a box of matches next to the champagne. There was just enough time to shower, apply mascara and change into my sexy black dress.

Two hours later, I checked my mobile for the hundredth time. No missed calls or messages. Would it be so bad if I started on the fizz?

There was a loud knock at the door. I lit the candles, matches spilling out of the box, as the knocking became louder. I ran into the hallway, my cheeks flushed with anticipation. ‘Happy Birthday!’ I cried, opening the door.

The two police officers grimaced small, tight smiles.

In the kitchen, wax dripped down the candles, creating multi-coloured pools on the dark brown icing.