Jealousy is the ugliest color in the book and it can ruin a relationship faster than any other sort of domestic issue can. He maintained that his behavior on Saturday night was completely warranted, while she sided with her coworker and former flame who in her eyes had been nothing but nice to her boyfriend.
-“When he’s good he’s great, but when he’s bad… he’s really bad.”
She sat inside a coffee shop on an unusually warm Saturday morning in February. She sported a crewneck and leggings, hair in a messy bun as she alternated between two tabs: a Facebook chat with her little sister and a Pinterest board labeled “Fitness.”
Six months into her now very serious relationship they had finally had their first fight at a party thrown by a coworker of hers. He had left her apartment on bad terms one day earlier, and they were now 24 hours into a communication ban which had been her idea.
Her black coffee was getting cold. She stared blankly at her computer screen waiting for her sister to respond. They spoke often through Facebook, her sister still in college and preferring this method to texting.
She wasn’t really sure who she was mad at anymore. The whole thing was so juvenile and all she wanted was for her boyfriend, whom she was very much in love with, to have the wherewithal to realize that he had won.
He had her hook, line, and sinker. She was head over heels, but his irrational jealousy had finally come out in a fit of drunken, childish rage. He had embarrassed her in front of coworkers but two days after the fact she had concluded that this was normal behavior for a guy who had never had a girlfriend before.
-“Well are you going to break up with him?”
-”No! I don’t want that at all. But he can’t keep acting like this around my friends. He has to know that what he did was wrong and the only way I can think to make him see that is to cut him off for a week.”
The Saturday night that they had just endured was an unmitigated disaster. He knew they were headed to a party later that night, but whose party he had no real idea.
It was either a coworker or a friend of hers, but after six months of dating, he still didn’t have a firm grasp on coworker versus friend. He got the idea that she mostly went out with people from work (which bothered him more than it should) but in this moment he was only really worried about one guy.
They took shot after shot of vodka or gin at her kitchen table (he honestly couldn’t remember) before finally figuring out that as a couple, they were headed to a spot where a prior fling of hers was said to be in attendance.
“Oh, I don’t care,” he said, trying to sound nonchalant.
“Good, because we’re going.”
He knew this guy was going to be there, and as they got closer and closer to the party he could feel his blood pressure rising.
“Chill the fuck out,” he said to himself internally. “Nothing is going on between these two.”
He took the handshake which had been extended to him as a sign of disrespect. Five minutes into mingling at this party and his temper had already gotten the best of him. This handshake was a faux peace offering and one that he would not be accepting under any circumstances.
The gritty details of his girlfriend’s fling with this other guy (which had happened just before they began dating) from work were unknown to him, but the smirk on this guy’s face when he extended his hand for a friendly shake did not seem genuine.
With blood boiling inside of him, he emptied three-quarters of a can of beer on top of the guys head and left the party quickly in a drunken stupor. He called her phone four times to no avail. She had stayed at the party, and he was now crawling into her bed back at her apartment drunk, alone, and silently cursing himself for what he had just done..