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I jump from my recently found sleep as what I’m sure must be a giant monster roars into my ear. I fumble to silence the awful growling, and realize it’s simply my phone rumbling against the hard wood of my nightstand. The screen flashes a picture of a stranger at first, that’s too bright for my eyes to see yet. Finally, they manage to focus on the stupid grin that I know I should recognize, but my tired mind still lacked the reasoning to put the rest of the face along with the name shining under it. I answer the phone on auto-pilot. “Hello?” I yawn.
Hey sweetheart, you awake?” asks a voice that seems much happier to be awake at whatever ungodly hour this was than I.
Slowly coming to my senses, I recognize the ever-sarcastic tone of my best friend. “Rod,” I sighed, “what’s up?” I finally glance at my bright alarm clock as I remember it exists. “It’s four o’clock.”
“I know,” he answers happily, “I was juzzwondrin what you’re upta.”
Of course, I think as the slurring of his words made my fuzzy, sleepy world make sense again. “You’re drunk, aren’t you?”
“No!” he answers belligerently.
I roll my eyes. “Don’t lie to me, Rodney,” I demand.
“This izznot the point! What ya doin?”
Calls like this weren’t uncommon. They don’t bother me at all, though. They actually have a funny way of being one of my favorite things in the world. Rodney knows that I’m here no matter what state he’s in. What’s a best friend for, anyways? “Well, I was sleeping,” I finally answer.
“Well, tha’s no fun. I was almost sleepin, and then I thought I would see what you were doin’ instead,” he slurs in a happy, sing-song voice.
I can’t help but laugh. “You’re ridiculous.”
“But you love it,” he adds.
Of course I did. Rodney wouldn’t be my best friend if it weren’t for the fact that he is the most ridiculously entertaining person I’ve ever met in my life. I sit up and fix my messy bun back into something manageable, knowing this is going to be a long night.
Rodney really wants nothing more than to talk. Not about anything in particular; just to ramble about his life. While I leave my bed and make myself something to eat, Rodney tells me stories. He tells me stories about his night, his day, his week, his childhood…everything. He tells stories that I’ve heard fifty times before, and even stories that I witnessed take place. His drunken renditions of happenings are usually more entertaining than the real story, so I let him go ahead and tell them.
Around 5:45, Rodney finally starts to lose fuel. He starts to doze off in the middle of sentences, and forget what he’s talking about mid-story. I take my chance to push for myself to get some sleep. I answer all of his nonsense with a simple, “Rodney, go to bed.”
“But Becca, I don’t want to go to bed. I want to talk to you,” he says carefully, trying to convince me he’s sobering up, and failing miserably.
“I’ll see you in the morning. I’ll come over as soon as I wake up, and we can talk as much as you want then.” I know he won’t be in any mood to talk in the morning. I just want to go back to sleep. I sink back into my bed so that the second I hang up I can go ahead and do just that.
“Fine,” he sighs, defeated. “I’ll see you in the morning, then” he paused for a few seconds before giggling, “Love you, Becca.”
I shake my head, though I know he can’t see it. “Love you too, Rod,” I say with all the finality I can muster.
A few seconds of silence before, “No, I really love you though.”
Not again, I think. Rodney loves to profess his love to me while intoxicated. Sometimes I like to wish he means it, but I know better. He’s my best friend; nothing more. I don’t reply to his statement, and with a final goodnight, I press the end key before he has a chance to take the nonsense any further.
I’m taken aback when I hear the line click off as Becca hangs up on me. She just thinks I’m drunk, so what? I wish I had had the guts to tell her I love her sober. Then, she might at least believe I’m telling the truth.