I’ve tried to trace the roots, or at least the history, of my retroactive jealousy. Clearly, I experienced it in my relationship with TL. I clearly recall experiencing it with my long-time girlfriend prior to TL. What about before that? Perhaps the first, albeit brief, time was an incident during my senior or junior year of high school. I’ll try to recount the story here. Tell me what you think.
Here’s the story, from my writer’s sketchbook of ideas. This is a true story. The names are changed.
Mindless focused on his work, carefully counting items on the grocery store shelves, rearranging cans that were out of place, and noting items that were running low in stock.
“Mindless,” a woman’s voice called sweetly from behind him. By the time he raised his eyes, she was standing before him.
“Mindless,” she said, looking at him temptingly. She actually looked more attractive than when he had last seen her. Something was different. She was older. Yes. But, there was something more.
“Lynn,” he said, not even trying to conceal his surprise. He stood to greet her. Suddenly, she was right up next to him, gently touching his upper arm and looking flirtatiously into his eyes. Her perfume smelled of musk and spice.
“How have you been?” she asked.
“Okay,” he said, wondering why she asked. “You?”
“I’m wonderful,” Lynn cooed.
“Why her? Why now?” Mindless asked himself. “I left her long ago because she was not ready. She was not willing to give herself to me.”
“We should get together,” she said, as though that year, when they were both sophomores, was only yesterday.
“Maybe.” Mindless was suddenly suspicious. He didn’t know why.
“I have a secret to tell you.”
He took the bait. “What secret?”
“I’m different now,” she said. “Remember that thing I wouldn’t do?”
“Well, I did it,” she said, as though he should be happy.
“What in the hell is she talking about?” he asked himself. “Is she saying she gave herself to someone else?” He stood there, a bit dumbfounded.
“Do you want to know who it was?” she whispered, seemingly excited to share the news.
“Okay,” Mindless lied.
“It’s one of your friends,” she said.
Mindless paused, “I really have no idea.”
“Think about it,” she teased him. “He’s the brother of one of my good friends.”
Mindless thought, “That actually shows how little I know this girl. Who are her friends? I really don’t know.”
“I don’t know,” he said out loud.
“Jay Johnston,” she announced, as if he should have guessed by now.
“Huh?”Mindless asked himself. “How should I have guessed that? Who the hell is Jay Johnston? Sure, we went to school together. We know the same people. Beyond that, he is nothing to me. And, why would she tell me that? Why should I want to know that?”
“Oh,” he said aloud. “I see.”
“So,” Lynn said, seductively, “why don’t you meet me tonight when you finish here?”
“Maybe.” He knew as he said it that he would not meet her. She could go to hell.
“What a stupid girl?,” he thought. “Why would she think I would want her after another man had her? Why did she give herself to him before giving herself to me? I don’t need her. She’s not worth it.”
So, that’s the “Lynn” incident. I’ve never really understood it. Why did she think I would want sex with her after she had denied it to me, given it to someone else, and then forced me to confront the fact? Why didn’t I just cast off my pride and enjoy the chance for sex? In any case, that may be the first time in my life that I experienced that retroactive jealousy. Is it normal? Did I never recover from it? Am I missing something else here?