STORY 62 - Trying to change
Things are pretty much back to normal. I’m no longer speaking to Brody, still hanging out with Matthew, and keeping myself busy with my clients. The other day, though, I received a call from Jon. That was definitely out of the blue.
So he told me he needed some advice on Mandy, and he asked whether he could come over and talk. Her birthday wasn’t coming up or anything, so I thought it was probably that he had pissed her off, and that he didn’t know how to make things right. It sounded serious, in any case, so I told him he could dropped by.
He came over bright and early on a Saturday morning, and he was pacing around my kitchen while I brewed a pot of coffee.
“Alright, spill. What’s up?”
He ran his fingers through his hair, and let out a huge sigh. “I don’t even know where to begin. Okay, first of all I want to apologize for everything that happened when we were seeing each other.”
“What?” I didn’t think I heard him right.
“In retrospect, I know I was a complete jerk, and I put you through a lot of unnecessary grief. So yeah… I’m sorry.”
That wasn’t what I was expecting, but fair enough. “Apology accepted. But this wasn’t what you wanted to talk to me about, was it?”
“Nah, it’s about Mandy. I guess you already know she was a stripper…”
“Well, she stripped for one year in college, I wouldn’t say that makes her a stripper,” I said.
“Yeah, the thing is, I just found out recently. I kind of overheard her on the phone talking about it. She doesn’t know I know.”
“And this is a problem because…?”
“Because I’m now getting irrational whenever she goes out dancing or goes out with her guy friends. I thought I put that all behind me after what happened with you, but I just can’t stop myself from having all these jealous thoughts. It’s driving me crazy.”
I was wondering about that previously – but I’d pushed it to the back of my mind after Mandy assured me that she and Jon were happy together. Man, this was going to be a huge roadblock in their relationship.
“Okay, what exactly are you upset about?”
He took another sip of coffee, and paused for a bit before answering.
“I know how guys are – the second they know that she’s stripped in college, they’ll be all over her. I’m afraid that one thing will lead to another, and they’ll hook up. Maybe she already has some sort of history with the guys she’s hanging out with.”
“Look, Mandy’s a grown woman. She’s not going to get pressurized into anything that she doesn’t want to do – you know that.”
“Yeah, but I also know that things can go from 0 to 100, real quick. I mean, look at what happened with me and her. We were practically strangers – then we hooked up, and we got together.”
Ahah. We had finally hit the jackpot.
“So you’re worried that she’ll have sex with another guy in the heat of the moment, and dump you?”
He winced. “That’s the gist of it, yes.”
“Well, that’s basically you being worried about how outgoing and extroverted she is, isn’t it? I don’t think this has anything to do with her stripping, really, it’s just an excuse that you’re using to explain how you’re feeling.”
He buried his face in his hands and groaned. “I guess you’re right. What should I do?”
“Just talk to her. Maybe she’ll agree to cut down on her nights out, or she’ll ask you along so you can get to meet her friends as well.”
“Sounds pretty simple, when you put it that way.”
“I’m telling you, Jon, there’s no need to overthink things. Mandy’s really into you, but if you start being all jealous and possessive, she’ll definitely take off.”
“Should I bring up the stripping at all?”
“I wouldn’t, if I were you. That was years ago, and it was a different chapter of her life – she’s moved on from that now. I know I’d be pissed if my boyfriend tried to pin his insecurities on something I did for a year back in college.”
“Nat, I don’t know what I’d do without you.” Jon exhaled loudly, and crushed his used coffee cup before tossing it into the bin.
“Okay, I’m going to bring it up with her tonight. Wish me luck.”