On Saturday morning when I asked him to come over early on Sunday, he was skeptical and asked why, questioning my motives. I said that since it was his party that he was throwing, at my house, it might be awkward to make extensive small talk with people I didn’t know. I didn’t mind the party at my house, I really didn’t, I was the one to offer it as a venue; I like having people over. But I minded his sudden attitude change; it was distant with a tint of entitlement. The skepticism threw me – was spending twenty minutes alone with me worth any suspicion?

My family had a family reunion this past weekend – one that I joined on Saturday morning in order to attend Friday’s wedding. The reunion was amazing, I love my family, and they had packed up the leftovers for party food, leaving one less task for party-prepping and more time for floor scrubbing and other random jobs around the house before guests showed.

During my cleaning episode, I remembered that I needed ice, so I called The Firefighter to ask to pick some up. On his side of the phone the background was loud, and he was distracted. I could hear a female voice, laughing flirtatiously, at his statements.

Finally, annoyed at the call, I asked what he was doing.

“At the bar. With [newly-single high-school friend*]. Ice? Yeah, cool. And hey, did you know liquor stores are closed in Minnesota on Sundays?”

Yes. I did. Was something that I had told him twice when I cautioned against a Sunday party. I also figured he wasn’t into details, so I bought two cases of beer earlier in the week. Party planning for his party.

I ended the phone call quickly because I could feel my stomach plummeting, and I wanted to avoid the foreboding reality. I knew then exactly how the evening would progress.

He and she showed up ten minutes after the scheduled start time. Buzzed and carefree. They had spent the past four hours together at the bar and now were ready to continue the party – only this time, at my house, with my booze.

*That’s a dumb name, but I don’t care enough to change it. I’ll change it later.