Friday, August 7, 2009

Murphy and Me VII

I was definitely curled around a stuffed dragon. It was definitely masculine, but still, it was a dragon. And stuffed.

Which reminded me that I was in Murphy's bed, not my own. Which made me remember my day from hell.

Opening my eyes I realized I was facing the wall, something I'd unconsciously done. I must have rolled knowing the wall was on the same side as my own upstairs. Small comforts.

The door opened. I could hear it.

"Yo, you guys ready?"

Not a voice I was overly familiar with. But I did know if he looked at the bed he'd know it wasn't Murphy - the lump wouldn't be big enough.

"We got an hour and a half. So, no." That was Devan.

"Murph sleepin'?"

Oh, God. He was going to come and heckle what he thought was a sleeping Murphy. Then he was going to find that it wasn't Murphy. And then there would be hell to pay.

"Yeah," Devan said, "but he doesn't feel well. Might puke on you."

Which, for anybody, the phrase "might puke on you" was a natural deterrent. From the sound of it, whoever was at the door wasn't coming in. The dull thud that was said door closing was my answer and my reassurance.

"Thanks, Dev."

There was slight pressure on the mattress from underneath and I realized Murphy must have either been chilling under there, or had been hiding. My money was on hiding. Chilling would have been kind of creepy. Then again, who was I to judge? If he wanted to chill out under his own bed, that was his perragotive. Maybe it was weird because I was in the bed he was under it.

"No problem."

I rolled over, taking the dragon with me, and blinked. Murphy, on his knees in motion to get up, blinked back.


I smiled and rubbed my eyes. "Hiding under your bed?"

Murphy shrugged. "Chillin' with the Boogie Man."

Devan joined my line of sight over Murphy's shoulder. He looked a bit less concerned than Murphy, and I swore they'd worked it out in tandem because they said, in perfect unison, "How you feelin'?"

I blinked again. "Better." Then held up the dragon.

Murphy turned an absolutely delightful shade of pink. Devan chuckled.

"That's Smokey," Murphy explained, cheeks reddening.

I tucked the dragon back under the covers before Murphy could snatch him away in embarrassment. "He's nice." He seemed to relax at that. Devan's chuckle got a little louder.

"Are you hungry?" Murphy asked. Sometimes he confused me, he switched topics so fast. It was almost like he had a bit of ADD or something.

And I'll be damned if I wasn't ready to wolf down a pound of wheat pasta. "A little."

Murphy got off the floor and went to his desk as I sat up. Devan took a look at my over-large shirt which was Murphy's and nearly laughed out loud. Murphy came back with three Nutri-Grain bars. Blueberry. Quite possibly whole wheat, too. I pulled my knees up so Murphy could sit on the end of his own bed. Devan wandered back to his side of the room. I still felt grungy, but either it didn't matter to him, or he didn't care that his sheets might be a little gross.

"Who was at the door?" I asked.

"Abe," Murphy said. "Always thinks we're going to leave him when we go to dinner."

There were a few in every crows. I knew more than a couple.

"Sleep okay?" he asked.

"I was out." Which was true. I'd been under almost completely. Weird, because I have a bad habit of sleep walking and/or not sleeping when in a new place which explained why I hadn't really been able to get comfortable. Or, would have, had I not been tired and slightly cranky. Not to mention I'd locked my keys in my room.

"Yeah, you were," Murphy chuckled.

What was that supposed to mean? Did I snore or something? Or, oh, God, did I talk? Sometimes I talked in my sleep. Had I said something? Had I said something bad?

"What's that look for?" he asked.

I must have been red. "Did I say something? When I was asleep?"

He shook his head. "Nothing definitive. You just mumbled a lot. Mostly about wheat and something about a boy and a truck."

Well now. Please, God, don't let him conclude I was somewhat, nearly back-handedly, probably, undoubtedly talking about him. From the look in his eye, he knew. At least the dream had been pleasant.

I hope he felt comfortable with me because I moved Smokey from under the covers and into my lap. Murphy eyed the dragon as though trying to figure out how to separate us.

"Don't even think it," I said, a death grip on Smokey's tail.

Murphy muttered something about Smokey being his dragon. I grinned, munching on my Nutri-Grain bar, careful to not get crumbs on his bed. Devan flipped Murphy the TV remote and dragged his desk chair over. There was good natured arguing on what to watch and we settled on baseball, of all things. Not my team, but it was still okay. Toronto was playing, Halliday on the mound.

"Do you know his teammates call him Doc?" I said. I found sports comraderie, especially at the professional level, really interesting. Same with college. Specifically, nicknames.

Devan snorted. "That's like calling O'Roark 'Ma' because he seems like the team mom."

"He is team mom," Murphy said, a grin tugging at his mouth.

"What do they call you guys?" I asked.

Murphy flat-out grinned. "Devan's Wonder Woman."

Devan muttered something, turning pink. "Least it's better than Elf."

Now it was Murphy's turn to color. I looked at him for an explanation.

"Leprechaun was too much of a mouthful, so it became Elf."

I stared. Openly. Very, openly. "You do know that the two - "

"Yeah, we know," the roommates said together. Murphy shrugged. "You?"

My initials were O.K. Which had somehow turned into "Okie." I told them. It was their turn to stare. "What?"

"Yours is normal," Devan groused, seemingly put-out. Murphy leaned over and swatted his head.

There wasn't much left of the baseball game, and when it was over it was followed by tennis. Now, when I watch tennis, I really only like to watch Andy Roddick and I don't really know any of the rules. Or, don't have as good a concept of them as I do with soccer and football.

Wait a minute. Who am I kidding? I'm a flaming idiot when it comes to tennis.

"That was a great forehand, backhand, lateral move combo," Devan said with restrained enthusiasm.

Murphy and I looked at each other, clearly out of our element. Our respective elements, anyway. Soccer was at least comparable in some ways to American football - but tennis?

"Great slam!" Devan said, pumping his fist in the air.

Murphy took a look at me and shrugged.

Maybe I should have played tennis. On second thought, noticing the grunts of pain and effort that sounded more like constipation than anything else from the players on TV, I think I'll stick with my slightly quieter, no-so-independent sport.

From the look on Murphy's face, I think he agreed with me.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Murphy and Me VI

I guess it was a fitting end to the day. Really, it was.

With no idea what else to do, I sat cross-legged on the floor in front of my door, the erasable whiteboard now in my lap. There was no phone on my floor (because of the no lounge thingy) and at the moment I had no energy to get up. Did not want to get up and move.

Did not want to accidentally run into Murphy.

Because I was afraid of what he would do because A) He liked me B) He'd want to help me and C) There was the startling possibility that I'd let him do both of those previous things.

I took a deep breath and stood. Stuck the whiteboard back on my door. Headed for the stairs. Tried to ignore the way I smelled. I really needed a shower.

After picking up the phone and dialing security, I listened to it ring...and ring...and ring...and ring...Frustrated, I slammed the receiver down with more force than necessary. Freakin' phone lines.


I looked over - Murphy and Devan, still in work out gear, were paused by the lounge and looked at me. At least Murphy was. Devan gave me a pat on the shoulder as if sensing I was heading for a break down of monumental proportions and was deciding to leave me to Murphy.

"You okay?"

It was a simple question. People asked it to one another every day. Most tried to answer at least a little honestly; some flat-out lied. I liked to be in the middle ground. I worked in understatements.

"I've had a rough day."

Murphy looked at the phone - it was hanging crookedly in its cradle. "Looks like it."

Didn't even have the energy to blush.

"Do you want to sit down?"

I wanted a shower, that's what I really wanted. And a healthy dose of the boys from Supernatural. And to sleep. And maybe to be snuggled into Murphy's furnace-like warmth again, but that would be icing on the cake. The cake that was attempting to be scraped off the floor, proverbially. Hope it was vanilla.

"I locked my keys in my room."

Murphy looked a little relieved that he'd gotten somewhere. He went to the phone. "We'll just," he picked up the receiver, "call security," he dialed the number, "and they'll..."

He must have been getting the ringing.

"Fix it," he finished lamely. He hung up the phone far more gently than I had. Then he dropped a damn bombshell. "You looked pretty out of it at Mac's."

This time I did blush. It had been so hard to tell Sasha that I had issues. Telling Murphy...I'm not sure if I could tell him. I'm not sure I could tell him that I took half a pharmacy every day and I had lost it today because I had spent the night in the third floor lounge with burly football men. And didn't do my pill box. He'd blame himself, and really, it was nobody's fault. It was just my dumb luck.

Or lack thereof.

"I was pretty out of it," I admitted. Why I was having issues keeping it together? I just wanted to curl up and nap. Sleep until dinner and then eat more wheat. Lots more wheat. So much wheat that I'd turn into wheat.

"I just want a nap," I said softly.

Murphy smiled thinly and led me, not toward the lounge, but toward the Fishbowl. I balked instantly. I couldn't - Was he - Oh, Sasha was going to have a field day.

"You're not sleeping on a couch, or on the floor," he said, gently but firmly. "Devan won't care, and all you're going to do is sleep. When you wake up, we'll try calling security."

I looked tat him. Did I trust him this much?

"Trust me."

And deep inside, I think I did. I'd already slept next to him once, for God's sake. If I didn't trust him then, when was I ever going to? Not to mention he already had a hand on the door handle. And I was tired.


He opened the door and stuck his head in - presumably to make sure Devan wasn't naked or something - and ushered me in. It was relatively clean, and set up not with the dividing line in the middle, but sort of sideways. Murphy's bed was by the window, across from the dresser and desk. There was a DMB poster on the wall; the comforter was a dark red plaid. It was not what I expected.

Then it hit me that I hadn't showered. Now I wasn't sure I wanted to crawl into his bed as disgusting as I was. But I didn't know how to tell him that.

Murphy, he was good. He handed me a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, grabbed Devan, and vacated the room.

He was a big man. Stood to reason his clothes would be, too. I think I rolled the shorts three times. There was no help with the shirt - one of his high school football ones that all guys seemed to have.

"Olivia?" Murphy and Devan had cracked the door, both looking nervous about entering their own room.

I waved.

"I'm gonna chill out here," Devan said.

"Oh, no, you don't - "

"It's fine, really. Sleep." Devan closed the door.

Murphy helped my short frame into his semi-lofted bed and quite literally tucked me in. If my brain thought anything wrong with sleeping in someone else's bed - and a boy's at that - it was too bogged down with exhaustion to really care, let alone think straight. And when I examined the feeling in my abdomen, I found it was hunger.

I curled around what felt like a stuffed dragon and decided that when I got up, I wanted a whole pound of wheat pasta. Then maybe my room key.
"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz