'Do you have a light?': Woman furious when husband's smirking ex-girlfriend asks him to light her cigarette

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

I've always been a jealous person. So when a woman I'd never seen before stopped my husband on the street to ask him to light her cigarette, I felt my stomach clench.

"Do you have a light?" she asked him. She held out her hand and waved a cigarette in his face like it was her job.

He did have a light. He always had a light. Without a word, he lit her cigarette and turned away.

My emotions were boiling as I watched him light the cigarette for her with the lighter I had bought him for Christmas the previous year.

I could tell from his expression that he knew her. When I asked him who she was, he told me she was an ex-girlfriend of his.

When I learned the woman was my husband's last girlfriend, I felt furious.

Why would my husband's ex-girlfriend walk up to him boldly when he was clearly with me? Did she think I was a joke? Was she smirking at my expense? How dare she speak to him?

My husband and I never spoke about this incident once I learned the woman was his ex. But I'll never forget it. It felt like a slap in the face, a reminder that my husband had relationships with other people before me, and that he could easily be drawn back into those relationships if I wasn't careful.

Jealousy isn't healthy, but in this case, I couldn't help it. The nerve of his ex asking him for a light? I was furious. It definitely wasn't the way I wanted to be introduced to my husband's past.

The incident made me realize how quickly my husband and I could be pulled apart, despite being married for years. We are responsible for our own happiness, and it's important to remember that no one else can give us happiness or take it away, not even an old flame who thinks they can just walk up to your partner and ask them for a light.

I'll never forget the way his ex-girlfriend asked him for a light that day, and how it made me feel. It was a reminder of my own insecurities, and a warning to never let myself be taken for granted.

I don't know whether my husband harbored any lingering feelings for his ex-girlfriend. In the end, it didn't matter. We split up for reasons having nothing to do with his ex asking him for a light and everything to do with his wooing other women.

So maybe I was right to be jealous. What do you think? Comments are welcome.

Why would you want to Buy Me a Coffee? I am a full-time writer and a full-time unpaid caregiver to my 82-year-old father, who lives with Parkinson's. Your tip or donation allows me to provide for his care and comfort around the clock while working from home. Thank you.

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Ordained Minister, Universal Life Church

Massachusetts State

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