You should never cheat in a relationship. Or should you? I’ve never tolerated the idea of cheating, but I’m slowly beginning to distinguish the different tints and shades of relationships and how people fall under its gradient.
“You’re like a kid asking for a bedtime story,” Jordan joked.
He quickly sobered after I asked for his opinion.
“Cheating, by its very definition and connotation, is bad. It implies deception, and communication, honesty and trust is very important in a relationship. If you’re bored, let the other party know… perhaps try some things out to spice things up again, maybe even an open relationship. But cheating isn’t good in my opinion. If you cheat, might as well end the relationship.”
“It was in the summer,” Jamie recalled. “When I went back to Taiwan. I met him through friends of friends and it turned out we both went to the same university.”
Her clothes hung loosely on her tiny frame.
“Even though you knew he had a girlfriend?” I said.
“Yes. I think it’s okay.”
I turned the idea in my head while sipping on a green tea frap. I couldn’t understand it.
“Because we liked each other. You know, life is so short.”
She saw the confused look on my face and explained, “We were two people in the world and, for a moment in time, our lives intertwined. I think there is something very beautiful about that,” she said as she nodded. “It’s a big world out there. What were the chances that we would meet?”
“I mean… Does his girlfriend know?”
“I don’t think so. She was in the States when he was in Taiwan. For an internship.”
I took a moment and then cautiously asked, “Don’t you feel a little bad?”
She looked at me unfazed.
“No, not at all. He chose to be with me for that summer, although it was short and brief. It was romantic. We made a lot of memories. Why would I feel bad?”
“Because you know that that person already has someone,” I urged. “I mean, if she’s married…”
“Well, this is how I look at it,” Jason leaned in and started motioning with his hands. “She came to me first. I didn’t ask for it. That ring don’t mean nothin’. She was wearing it when she asked me for my number, being all flirty. You know how it is, when girls get like that.”
I found myself trying to persuade Jason onto my side. Both Jamie and Jason sounded a bit defensive, and though I felt insecure about my perspective, I still vouched for it.
“I mean, if she’s with me, she’s cheating on her husband. That’s her baggage to carry, not mine. I’m the third party in the whole thing. I’m not the one who decided to cheat, you know what I mean? If the guy comes up to me with beef, I’d be like, ‘You should go talk to her cause…'” he scoffed. “It’s not my problem.”
My old crush was sour after being put on the back burner. After my boyfriend graduates, I’ll break up with him and date you. What a bunch of bullshit.
I met up with Jeremy after he finished his cigarette.
“I would never cheat on my girlfriend. That’s just wrong.”
Oh. You have a girlfriend, I thought.
“Really? So you don’t feel bad about meeting people like this?” I said.
“No. She trusts me. I want to be very honest with her; I tell her everything,” he said with a smile. “I like meeting new people. You know what my friend told me? It’s the best advice I’ve ever received on relationships. He told me, ‘Here’s a tip from a pimp to an aspiring pimp: if you always keep in mind what a girl wants the most, you’ll never have to worry about her being unhappy.'”
He gave me an expecting look.
“I guess that’s true,” I said half-heartedly.
It wasn’t the all-praising reaction he’d hoped for, you could tell by his bummed out expression. That made me laugh and he seemed happy with that.
I saw his silhouette at my bedroom door.
“You don’t think I’m cute at all?” he said.
“What?” I said.
Where’s the context? I thought. I had just gotten into bed.
“Why?” I said.
“I mean… you don’t find me attractive at all? You don’t think I’m cute?”
Huh? I was in a daze, half-awake and half-asleep.
“Why?” I repeated, my thoughts failing to formulate. “Why are you asking me this now?”
“It’s just…” he trailed off deep in thought.
His hand drifted from his lips to the middle of his forehead. Is he nervous? I couldn’t tell in the dark.
“It’s stupid, never mind. Forget about it.”