Somebody else's living room at 3 AM. One of my oldest friends and a girl neither of us has seen in five years are passed out, shoulder-to-shoulder on the couch. There is an empty bottle of cheap white whine. In the background a TV is softly spilling out the Cinemax-standard story of a loyal ex-Marine who is a bodyguard for a wealthy CEO. I am the last person left awake in the house.
We had been reminiscing; in the fourth grade they had been "engaged" - and remember that class skit we all put on that they stopped after five minutes because it was getting too racy? She's an accounting major now, of all things - after everything, who'd have figured that?
When I sat on the front porch with her and we smoked our cigarettes, we talked about how she'd got religion now, sorta. There's a little chapel near her dorm, and she said that sometimes, way after midnight, when the place was completely deserted and she was stoned, she'd sit there for hours reading Camus or poetry. How picture-perfect.
So now it's 3 AM and I'm the only one left up. We all need to get home. I sit up on the stool by the TV for a long moment, just looking down on them. Unable to act. The loyal ex-Marine has just discovered some sort of plot concerning the CEO's wife. For one long moment, for some reason, everything's completely perfect.
When I move to break the spell, I shake them both awake, one hand on each shoulder. Get up. Get up. It's time to wake up.