When it's Convenient: The Prologue
I used to believe that Facebook ruined relationships. That it was intentionally designed to make our significant others jealous. That it was just a den of sluts enticing us to click that “Add Friend” button. That our newsfeeds gave us too much insight into each others’ lives, and that it was only a matter of time until a daunting truth was revealed. Technology is to blame, I thought, not the people involved. We were simply innocent bystanders in a society moving far too fast in a web-centric world. Those were my beliefs about social media. That was, until my views were severely challenged and I realized that Facebook didn’t ruin relationships at all. It just exposed your girlfriend for the true whore that she really was.
One early Monday morning, I woke up with a sense of naïve optimism and rainbow glitter scattered all over my body. I had a fight with my girlfriend a few nights before and went to a strip club over the weekend to relieve some stress. It’s funny how in order to get away from a damaged situation, you end up surrounding yourself with damaged people. Anyway, I was ready to begin my morning routine of searching for amusing Vines and making witty Facebook posts when I noticed my girlfriend, Ashley, had been tagged in a photo. It was from a party she had attended the night before with her new friend, Ivanna—a thick-bodied, hook-nosed blonde who hailed from one of the trashier parts of Eastern Europe.
I don’t remember Ashley telling me about any parties she went to over the weekend, I thought as I clicked on Ivanna’s Facebook page to investigate. Woah, who the fuck are these guys in the picture? Two, to be exact. They were both ugly as dog shit and old enough to qualify for Medicare. The one who had his hairy arm around Ashley wore a custom-made Gucci suit and a Rolex. He was creepy and decrepit-looking, like the Crypt Keeper from Tales from the Crypt. To Ashley’s credit, she wasn’t nestled close to his chest and looked very uncomfortable.
I continued to search through Ivanna’s photos in hopes of finding out more information. I was pretty shocked. The girl was actually a model. I couldn’t tell what kind of model at the time, but her photo gallery contained an abundance of pictures. Really slutty ones too... There was this one picture I recalled where she wore black lingerie and had her legs spread wide open like a field goal post! I couldn’t figure out why Ashley would have been hanging out with a girl like that.
Before my rage got the best of me, I decided to shoot Ashley a call for some more details about her night. You know, before I started jumping to conclusions.
“Hey, you didn’t tell me you were going out over the weekend,” I mentioned, trying to sound calm.
“Oh, that? It was nothing,” she replied, brushing it off. “One of my friends from way back called last minute and asked if I wanted to go out. It’s not a big deal.”
“How ‘way back’ are we talking here Ashley?” I was worried. “This better not be one of the girls you used to roll with back in the day.”
“Jason, stop it! I’m not getting into this now. I’m about to start cooking.”
“That’s fine, but… Who the fuck is she?”
“I already told you, just an old friend. I met her when I modeled.” She sounded sincere. “Why can’t you trust me?”
“Do you really want to get into this right now?”
“Please, just stop. You’re giving me anxiety!” All guilty people get anxiety.
See, I have a short fuse and bullshit’s pretty flammable. Normally I would have already exploded, but I was trying to do things differently. Ashley wanted me to become more trusting and forgiving of her past. A very fucked-up past, might I add. But my anger was one of the reasons why we had been fighting a lot for the past few weeks. I didn’t want to lose her, so I restrained my anger a bit.
“Alright. Calm down, beautiful.” That was the last time I ever referred to her as beautiful again. “I trust you.”
I hung up the phone and closed Ivanna’s Facebook page. Part of being in a healthy relationship is understanding your partner’s emotional boundaries. I knew Ashley drew the line at privacy and trust. If this relationship was going to work, I needed to respect those boundaries. But God dammit, I couldn’t get that picture out of my head. That fucking picture. I forced myself to step away from the computer and lay down on my bed before I broke the rules of our relationship any further. If Ashley wanted me to trust her, then I would. For our relationship’s sake. For our future family’s sake. For my sanity’s sake.
I stared at the ceiling with my fingers clasped around my head, buried in thought. I was just at a strip club yesterday. Who the fuck am I to judge? She went to a party. An innocent party with a friend. I had tits in my face and my crotch reeks of strawberry-scented lotion. Give her a break, won’t ya? Before she starts digging into your own weekend! Alright?
I tried loosening up a bit, distracting my mind with television, porn, and beer. BUT THAT GUY, WHO WAS THAT FUCKING GUY? I tried. I really did, but I just couldn’t let it go. I sprang from my bed and dashed for the computer. As soon as I sat down, I went back to Ivanna’s Facebook page to do some more investigating. I scrolled through all of her pictures from the previous night.
Click. A picture of Ivanna sitting on the lap of the Crypt Keeper.
Click. Ivanna kissing his slimy lips. Thank God, that must be her boyfriend.
Click. Ivanna still kissing the Crypt Keeper, but this time she had her hand over his crotch. Skanky. I like that.
Click. Ivanna and Ashley pretending to kiss. That’s cute.
Click. A video?
I watched it, and what a dreadful decision that was.
It started off normal enough. Music in the background. People dancing. A red light glowing over what appeared to look like a ballroom. Nothing out of the ordinary, just your typical party. Fuck, I couldn’t believe I was breaking Ashley’s trust for that. Then I squinted off at the corner of the screen and noticed something a bit unusual… When I moved my head closer, my mouth nearly dropped off its hinges.
Ten seconds in, the cameraman moved closer to where I was staring. My heart raced at a cocaine-induced pace.
Twenty seconds in, I was then staring at a close-up of something gut-wrenching. Tears welled up in my eyes. I was having trouble breathing and thinking rationally.
Thirty-seconds in, my face fell into my hands. I couldn’t look any longer... I randomly clicked the screen until I was able to hit the browser’s X button.
I was destroyed. I was emasculated. I was angered. I was beyond irrational. I called Ashley back. I yelled. I cursed. I hung up the phone. I threw my glass cup across the room. I flipped my coffee table upside down. I collapsed back onto my computer chair, and I was absolutely miserable. I did some more research and what I found made me go fucking psychotic. I began to lose touch with reality.
Solely virtual, was this all Facebook’s fault?
Then, moments later, something strange occurred…
I began to laugh. Hysterically and uncontrollably, I laughed, throwing up my arms in surrender and giving in. To my life’s circumstances. To all the embarrassing moments. To all the ex-girlfriends. To awful videos no one should see, especially me. To what became of my pathetic life…
I opened up my laptop and wrote. I wrote about it all. I wrote until it didn’t feel like I was drowning anymore. I wrote until I could breathe again. I wrote for me.
You need to be logged in to comment