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.
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.
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.
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.