It happened only twice, but when I would tell people my goofy stories of how Nick Holiday would unconsciously call me by a different girl’s name, they would be in absolute shock. Everyone was always more distraught about it than I was.
We’ve talked about Nick Holiday’s sleepwalking episodes before, and to continue that train of thought, here are two incidents of when he would refer to me by our friend Juniper’s name instead.
The first time it happened was when I was gravely ill, and spent most of the day napping in Nick Holiday’s bed. He had been sleeping with me one of those times when all of a sudden I felt him sit up on his mattress.
Being the lazy bum I am, I refused to acknowledge it. Nor did I choose to pay any mind when I heard him call out, “Juniper.”
I was half asleep, so part of me believed I had misheard. It was only until I heard him say it again and louder that I opened my eyes.
There were two ways I could have gone about this: I could have been upset and insisted I was not Juniper, or I could play along.
“Mhm? What is it Nick?” I ask smiling, pretending to be the girl he had called out for.
He was staring into my eyes, but his glare was far off; he was most definitely not awake.
“Luna is slightly sick right now, and you’re using the contagious bedsheets.”
I began to laugh. I was beyond just “slightly” sick, and I hadn’t thought about how contagious the bedsheets must be. It was funny what details about me his unconscious mind chose to weed out. The minute he finished that sentence he snapped out of his trance and I explained what had just happened.
He spent the next 24 hours apologizing.
“I don’t even talk to Juniper that much!”
I didn’t care; I found it rather funny. Which brings us to the shorter, but second time he called me Juniper.
This one is a lot more blurry, but it went about in one of two ways. Either I was trying to wake him up so he wouldn’t miss class, or I was trying to provoke him in his sleep to say something silly. Whatever my intentions were doesn’t change the fact that I had been tapping his face as he slept, pulling at his cheeks and poking at his skin.
He winced and crinkled his nose.
“Juniper! Juniper, stop it!” He turned around to face the other way, and I covered my mouth with my palm to not make a sound and wake him up laughing.
Now that I recount the story, I realize that I probably was just trying to provoke his unconscious mind. It worked.
I still think it’s funny how his mind automatically assumes Juniper is with him. I’m curious as to why, but considering Nick Holiday can barely look me in the eyes anymore, I doubt I’ll ever be able to pry into his subconscious enough to find out.
I sort of miss getting a good laugh out of silly things he’d say. When we would cozy up in the same bed together, I would often feel safer and more comfortable with him then than at any other time in our relationship. The whole day I’d spend in fear that he didn’t really want to be with me, that I wasn’t good enough for him, or that I couldn’t match up to the drugs, nicotine, and alcohol, but when we were under the same covers, and he put his arms around me, I’d for once feel like his first choice.
“Nick,” I said once, as we lied in bed together after a full day’s worth of not-feeling-good-enoughs and am-I-worth-its.
“Yeah?” He’d been hugging me in his arms as he spoke.
“I looked forward to this all day.” My heart was racing when I said that. I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be reciprocated; he’d always been candid when the feelings I had were only one sided. I knew he’d meet that comment with silence. At least I thought I did.
“I did, too.”
I went to sleep smiling that night.