Tell us about the last time you were really, truly jealous of someone. Did you act on it? Did it hurt your relationship?
Carl walked into a crowded bar. He looked around and saw, Andrea, his wife sitting at a booth with another man. The table separated them. Drinks were brought to the table by a waitress. Andrea and the man chatted and smiled at one another.
Carl walked up to the booth. “I thought you said you were working late.”
Surprise flashed on Andrea’s face, but she quickly smiled it away. “A report I was waiting for didn’t arrive so Frank invited me for a drink. Frank, Mr. Dixon,” she said nodding to Carl. “This is my husband Carl and Carl this is my supervisor Frank Dixon.”
“Have a nice evening, Frank,” Carl said. “Andrea, let’s go.”
“This isn’t what it looks like,” Frank said smiling uncomfortably. “We were just having a drink.”
“Andrea said she would be at the office working,” Carl said. “If it was just a drink she would have called me.”
“You’re taking this all wrong,” Andrea said. “This is embarrassing.”
“Carl, Andrea is one of my best workers,” Frank said. “I even take my male workers out for a drink. It’s all the same to me.”
“But it’s not the same,” Carl said. “And you know it isn’t.”
“Look we just wanted to have an innocent drink,” Carl said.
“Are you thirsty?” Carl said.
“As a matter of fact I am,” Frank smiled.
“Than drink some water from the fountain before you leave work,” Carl said. He looked at Andrea. “Let’s go home.”
Andrea slid from the booth. She was nearly in tears from embarrassment. “We are going to talk,” she said. “Never do this to me again.”
As they left the table Carl turned to Frank. “Never do this again.”
It was a cold and quiet ride home in separate cars. The dinner was just as cold and quiet.
The distance between them in bed might as well have been a continent apart.
“I’ve never seen you so jealous,” Andrea said.
“I’ve never had you not tell me you were going to do one thing and instead do another, especially something like that,” Carl said. “That was a gin and tonic in front of you not a club soda.”
“Jealousy can destroy a marriage,” Andrea said.
“Not nearly as much and quickly as deceit and gin,” Carl said.
“I can’t live with jealousy,” Andrea said.
“Than try sleeping with it,” Carl said.
The next morning nothing was said.
Andrea slung on her coat to leave for work. She gave Carl a quick kiss on the lips she smiled. “I think jealousy may have protected me. Not last night, but a month or two from now. Dixon broke company rules. I‘m reporting him.”
“Won’t that mean your job too?” Carl said.
“Likely,” Andrea said. “But I broke them too.”
“You don’t have to do this,” Carl said.
“It’s not for you,” Andrea said. “It’s for me. And I know what you did last night was more for me than you. You would have forgiven, but I would have remembered.”