A Stupid Thing Called Jealousy

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Jealousy is a funny yet stupid thing. Believe it or not, that time was the first time I had ever felt jealous in my whole life. To be true, I’m not proud and I’m ashamed of it.

My Saturday nights is always my quality time with Aislinn. Every Saturday nights, we put aside our works and have a couple time inside the apartment. We usually cuddle on the couch while watching How I Met Your Mother, the sitcom that brought us together.

But for whatever reason, that saturday night was different. I arrived at the apartment from my workplace around 5 pm. Usually, when I arrived from my workplace, I smell the scent of an overcooked popcorn Aislinn made and hear Aislinn’s high-pitched shriek welcoming me. But that evening was so different. I came to an empty apartment. There were no overcooked popcorn nor Aislinn’s voice.

At first, I thought Aislinn was stuck in the traffic. I took a long hot shower to relax my tense body for sitting in front of the computer the whole day. After I felt like I was boiled, I got out, put a sweatshirt and a baggy short, and then tidy the apartment. I also cooked popcorn for our How I Met Your Mother marathon that night. Just as I poured the apple virgin mojito to a pitcher, my phone rang. I immediately picked my phone up. It’s Aislinn!

“Hey, honey. Where are you?” I asked.

“I’m in the cafe right now.”

“Are you buying truffles for us?” When we run out of popcorn, we eat a box of assorted truffles and eat them like playing Russian Roulette.

“Well, I was, Peter. But guess who I bumped into?” Aislinn’s voice sounded full of made-up neutrality with a hint of love and disgust.

A few names flashed on my head as I tried to connect the dots between Aislinn’s tone and the name the person she bumped into. “Drawing blank.”

Shortly, she said “Tanner Creek.”

Tanner Creek, Aislinn’s former boyfriend who was still trying to get her attention. Tanner, the one who nearly ruined our wedding. I tensed and I felt I’m about to choke.

“Peter, are you still there? Or did you passed out?”

I gulped, cleared my throat, and went, “I’m here. Why?”

“Umm, would you do me a favor? Postpone our HIMYM marathon for 30 minutes, 45 mins tops. Tanner said he have something to talk to me.”

Postpone our quality time for someone who nearly ruined my wedding day? For God’s sake!

“Well.. the popcorn will be cold and the virgin mojitos will be warm.”

“I know, babe, but please? I know you and I hate him for what he have done but I think he deserves a chance.”

I felt something cold in me and I guess that’s climbing up to my tongue. “Well, he never asked one.”

“He did, he just did. Please? I’ll be straight home after that and it’s not like we’re going somewhere private. We’re hanging here. Pleaseee?” she begged. And yeah, she held that ‘please’ for ten seconds. I don’t know why she always do that -holding the vocals in a word long enough- when she’s begging. While men have that three day rule to call a woman, do women have a ten seconds rule to bribe a man? If yes, I’ve never heard of it.

I was considering it for a while. My brain told me that it’s okay to let my wife clean the mess she made with her former boyfriend but my heart told me to be selfish and make her go straight home so that there will be no possibilities for Tanner to steal my wife.

“Well, yeah okay sure, at least you asked so I won’t caught you there then scowl at you this whole night. But 45 minutes tops, okay? See you, Aislinn.”

“Okay, thanks. See you, over-protective and jealous husband.”

And then she hung up the phone. Just like that.

“What was that supposed to mean?!” I shouted to the void. Nothing answered my disappointment except the buzz of the coffee brewer. And acknowledging that I was alone there when I supposed to be with her made me more disappointed. So, I flounced my self to the sofa, grab the remote, turned on the TV, and watched an action movie.

Have you ever heard Einstein’s theory of relativity? My professor in college once told me about that in the simplest way. He told me a story about two different people and a train. The first person was on the station, waiting the second person who was in his way in a train. On the other side, the second person was on the train rushing to the station where the first person was waiting. My professor asked us whether the time they both spent to reach each other were the same or not. We answered yes but then he said that it depends.

“You all see it in a way that copes all of it. Yes, it is true that they spent the same time. But have all of you ever heard the quarrel of two people insisting their belief? ‘I have waited for you for 30 minutes!’ replied with ‘No, you don’t, I was on my way for 20 minutes!’ while the fact is they both have spent the exact 25 minutes to met each other. I present you the theory of relativity,” he said proudly. “Well, it actually depends on the point of view. The person who was waiting tend to feel that the time that has passed is longer than the person who was rushing.”

And that was what I really feel when I was waiting for Aislinn to come home. I was lying on the couch like a big old sheriff on his day off. I wrapped my self with a blanket and had my eyes glued on the screen. I also started snacking the popcorn and crumbs were all over the blanket. I sipped my apple virgin mojito little by little till I realized that I had drank the half. Waiting Aislinn to come felt like ages and then all I know was that I was awaken by the sunlight.

“G’morning, honey,” called out a sleepy voice I reckoned as Aislinn’s. Yeah, I mean who else would be there?

“Aislinn? Where are you?” I looked around. The TV was no longer on, the table was already cleaned.

“Umm, look below here.”

I rolled my self to see the floor and saw Aislinn was lying there, bared to the air only with her shirt and knee-long shorts. “Oh my God, what are you doing? Why don’t you sleep on the bed? I could have stepped on you!”

“I’m sorry, last night I thought you’d be awaken and watch HIMYM with me. So, I decided to lay here in case you want find me easily.”

“Well at least you can bring some blankets to prevent cold, Aislinn.”

There was a short awkward silence between us then. She was just lying there staring at me with her warm hazel eyes and I was staring at her back from the sofa.

Out of nowhere, she accused me, “You’re disappointed at me last night, aren’t you?”

“How could you say that?”

“I know. I just know.”

“Ha, such a good excuse, Aislinn. You’ll be a good lawyer,” I said more sarcastic that I should have.

Hearing my answer, she instantly sat straight. Her eyes were on mine and it was no longer warm. It was cold and fierce. Uh oh.

“I have been your wife for 3 years, Peter, of course I know! Wanna know why I know? Your voice tone. Your choice of words. Last night, you suddenly changed into a sarcastic jealous husband!” she scolded at me.

“Oh, I’m a sarcastic jealous husband?! Yeah, tell me, what should I do when my dearest wife choose to spent her Saturday night with her ex-boyfriend who nearly ruined her wedding day over a quality time with her husband?”

Aislinn shocked in disbelief. “I have asked for your permission and you said it’s okay!” she said a few octaves higher.

“Yeah, 45 minutes tops! But what time did you take, two hours?”

“I only talked to him for 30 minutes, Peter, and I walked home for 5 minutes. Thirty-five minutes and I found you  asleep on the couch. Ask Tanner if you don’t believe me,” she lowered her tone and voice.

“Sorry,” I said, “Sit here.” I sat and make a room for two on the couch. Aislinn climbed up and sat next to me.

“What happened last night? Did I…?”

“I don’t know, Aislinn. Maybe I was disappointed because I came home to an empty apartment to find you spending 30 minutes of the night with someone who nearly ruined our wedding. Because from the deepest part of my soul, I hate him,” I said. “Well, anyway, tell me what happened last night so I won’t be mad anymore.”

She looked at me in the eye and then raised her body from the couch. She headed the kitchen and then showed with two recently brewed coffee and the truffle box. She put it in the table in front of the couch, gave me a cup, took a cup for her, and then sat again next to me. I always know this girl could never speak properly with an empty stomach.

“So?”

“So, I was at that cafe, buying that box,” she pointed the box,”Suddenly, a man who was behind me on the paying row tapped my shoulder and went ‘Hey, Aislinn, can we have a talk?’. When I turned around, I started to scream internally. I mean, what does he want? It was like he once made me madly in love then the next day he dumped me in such a humiliating way. He also tried to sabotage my wedding with someone I truly love, yeah that’s you. All I can say was ‘Don’t talk to me unless it’s 8 or higher,’, you know, quoting Lily and Marshall when baby Marvin was out.”

“You’re awesome. Go on,” I said. I mean, quoting a line from HIMYM to a person you hate? That’s awesome.

“And then he said that it was an eight so I phoned you to ask for your permission,” she pouted. “We sat and he had a coffee. He told me that he was finally over me. He met a girl a year ago, a nice one and he thought that she was the one. Well, they decided to get married. Apparently, his girl does have a crazy ex-boyfriend who apparently isn’t over her just like how he used to, karma huh? So, he asked for my –our, actually- forgiveness so that he won’t be jinxed on his own wedding. And I did forgive him. He said thanks and sorry again, then I headed home.”

“That’s all?”

“That’s all.”

“Whoa, thank’s God I thought he was trying to steal you again,” I sighed as my worries remained as delusion.

“Now you know what happened. Can you forgive me for postponing our HIMYM marathon?” she sulked. She leaned closer and widened her eyes, hoping I’d be tempted to easily forgive her like that. But as a matter of fact, I was easily tempted.

I was wrong for being mad but I wasn’t wrong for being jealous. If I’m not jealous then I no longer care to what happen to her. But I guess my first ever jealousy was unreasonable because I didn’t trust my own wife’s sayings and I’m ashamed of that.

“Now I know what happened. Can you forgive me for being mad at you last night?” I asked for her forgiveness.

She nodded. She took my coffee off my hand. “Okay, HIMYM marathon right now?”

“Yes please!”

She turned on the TV and picked the DVD. When the movie had been rolling, she leaned to me and said, “We have just had a fight because we postponed our HIMYM marathon.”

“I guess we love each other too much that we can’t stand the idea of not being together.”

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