The voices were muffled, muted. It took me a second to realize that they sounded that way because I had my head stuffed down the corner of the couch, between the cushion and the backrest. I slowly pried my head out into freedom and listened more intently, careful not to betray to whoever was in the room with me that I was, indeed awake. This habit, of waking up without any change in breathing, fluttering eyelids, yawning or stretching of any kind, was one born of necessity. Years of rather bad judgment required me to first discern where I was and with whom before allowing the world to know I was conscious. And it came in handy today.
There were two voices, one male and one female. I recognized Jame's instantly, but who was the guy? Jerone, the Able twins' little brother? I listened for a second and decided it wasn't him. Jim then, Jerone's friend who also lived there? Nah, not him either. It wasn't until I heard the speaker called by name that I realized that right here, in this room, was Jamie Drolema. But still, I stayed "asleep".
The conversation, very hushed so as not to awaken me, went on undisturbed. "Where the hell is this coming from? I'm getting married today."
"I always liked you. I just never told you because there was supposed to be time."
Oh dear. Jamie was trying to talk Jame (yes, it was a complicated sentence for me too) out of marrying Charles! And since I was her best friend and the only person who apparently even knew Jamie Drolema was here, the responsibility for saving her fell squarely on my very hung over shoulders. I rolled over onto my other side, as if in my sleep.
"Shhhhh! Is she waking up?" He sounded almost panicked.
"I don't know but who cares if she does? I'm not the one who snuck into the house to ruin a wedding!"
I did that smacking-the-mouth thing people do when they start to come to, both as a sign that I may soon sit up and also because strawberry wine coolers produce a particularly nasty sort of cotton mouth, and resituated myself so that my feet were pressed squarely against the back of the couch. I had no plan, but I would have to save Jame soon. It was clear that the appeal of Jamie was wearing her down.
I laid still just long enough to hear Jamie say a few more words and then mumbled. Then I mumbled again. "She talks in her sleep," my best friend explained.
"What?" she asked me.
"Am I asleep?" I mumbled.
"Yeah," Jamie answered. "You're dreaming."
At that point I opened my eyes just enough to take aim, pressed against the back of the sofa with both feet, and launched myself vertically to where Jamie was crouched in front of the chair Jame sat in. Although I hit him full force, he didn't go down as expected. I ended up flat on my back on the floor with him towering over me with a look of shock. I said the first thing that came to mind.
"I can't be asleep. In my dreams you don't duck."
Jame burst out laughing, Jamie snorted in disgust, and I attempted to untangle my legs from the blanket that had flown with me from the couch so I could stand up and maybe be of further assistance.
"Hey, could you leave us alone for a minute here? I kind of wanted to talk to Jamie," Jamie said to me from his new (safer?) spot behind the chair. I saw Jame shake her head and knew that I would have to sacrifice even more dignity to get her out of this mess.
"Um, actually, I wanted to ask you a question." I had wanted no such thing. What I wanted was to see those white shorts on the floor, but the odds of that happening now that he knew I was awake were akin to the odds of me winning the lottery without a ticket. "Uhh, er, could I have your autograph?"
"Yes, well uh, I was wondering if I could have your autograph. Here, let me get a pen." I ran into the kitchen wondering if I could have possibly come up with anything more lame, and grabbed a pen and the front of a friend's birth announcement out of my purse, then rushed back into the living room as fast as I could. Unfortunately I had slept in my socks and so I slid across the hardwood floor and fell, for the second time that morning, squarely on my ass. I reached up and handed the paper to Jamie with a solemn look on my face that was supposed to convey dignity but apparently only added to the oddity of the situation. They both burst out laughing and he signed my paper.
"Hey Chuck have a nice dream." How sweet.
I spent the better part of that morning shamelessly coming on to Jamie, rubbing his shoulders and complimenting him and otherwise sacrificing all personal dignity to keep his attention OFF of seducing Jame. All in all, it worked. Jame married Charles that day at the courthouse without incident, I got Jamie Drolema's autograph which I still keep in a hat box in the top of my closet, and Jamie got the much needed foresight not to pull over when flagged down by singing drunks on the street.
I mentioned to Jame a few weeks ago that I still had the autograph from that morning. She told me that Jamie lives in a small town about half an hour north of here and that someday we should go up and find him. I don't know. I saw him at a local Walmart a few years ago. The years hadn't been that good to him and his eyebrows had fused together. He just wasn't the Adonis in white shorts that he used to be.