I am not what I would call a jealous person. I always joke that I don’t have the time and energy to invest in being jealous. I always figured if someone was going to cheat, they would cheat regardless of whether or not I worried about it. I still think I’m right and I’ve been cheated on enough to know.
This is not to say that I have never felt jealousy. I’ve felt it – like an all consuming green wave of rage and frustration and sub-conscious realization that I’m being foolish. But I no longer think jealousy is just about cheating. In high school I was so jealous I couldn’t see straight of a friend who was more talented, more beautiful, more popular, kinder, smarter, and funnier than I ever could be. I’ve been jealous of people who have traveled more, of people who could write. I’ve envied other relationships, other careers, other families.
I never thought I’d be jealous of what came before me but I’m learning that I am. When you talk of the places you’ve been, of the places you want to take me to, I’m jealous that you’ve already been there, already have memories of these places with her. I feel like it makes me common, makes us common, that somewhere in your mind there are memories of that place in which both she and I appear.
The first time we went to the coast for the weekend… You took me to a B&B, we had dinner, I met some of your college friends. I wondered the whole night how many of your friends were comparing me to her, how many times you had sat in those same bars, with these same friends only it was her by your side. At dinner the waiter thought you looked familiar, you said that you had eaten there before. Before – with her. It took away some of the magic of that night for me.
I hate jealousy. I hate the way it makes me feel. I hate the person that I become when it takes over and all I can see is what I want. What I need. I can almost taste it. I know that all that matters is that you chose me. But it wasn’t a clear black and white choice. And that makes me not want to be with you. Because I hate feeling like I come second.
Let’s get out of here. Get away where there are no memories of past loves. No past. Just you and just me, forging a future of just us. I want to discover things for the first time with you by my side and know that you’re experiencing them the same way. I want to make this work, make us work, and I’m struggling within the confines of what you will allow. To find a place for me. A place for just us. Alone.
Just for the record, I realize that I am being irrational. I don’t care.