I first knew something was going on two weeks ago when my boyfriend brought home a brand-new Xbox 360. He never buys anything, so this was a major purchase, especially as he already owned an Xbox that was in fairly good working condition. He just wanted an upgrade, he said. I let it go, and pretended to marvel at its sleek new design.
As time went on, I noticed he was playing more and more with his new toy, especially a certain game called Halo. Now, I wasn’t oblivious. I had even played the game. It wasn’t bad, but I much preferred Star Wars Battlefront, since I was a fan of that sci-fi series.
And then came the doozy. One day, a 36″ high definition TV appeared in his apartment. It looked nice, but I wanted to know what was up. Two high-cost purchases in two weeks? Was he having a mid-twenties crisis? Was he feeling like he had to impress me with his money? Seriously, buying me ice cream and paying for my beer at pub trivia would be more than enough of a show of wealth. He insisted nothing was up, he had just finally decided to enjoy his money. Fine. That’s great.
And now, as I write this on September 25th, I ask, where has my boyfriend gone? I got a voice mail from him this afternoon telling me that I probably shouldn’t come over tonight. I was pissed.
“What’s going on? Is there somebody else?” I demanded, knowing it would be a complete shock and completely out of character if this was true.
“Not exactly,” was his evasive reply.
“Not exactly? Tell me. Now.”
He knew I was mad. “Never mind,”he said, covering his tracks. “I’ll come by you tonight. We can watch The Biggest Loser together. It’ll be great!”
But it wasn’t going to be that easy. “What’s her name?”
A long silence.
“Halo 3?” he asked, in that sort of apologetic questioning way, as if asking if this was enough to send me over the edge.
“A game? You’re ditching me for a game?”
“I said I’d come over,” he replied. But I knew that wouldn’t work. He’d be daydreaming about Master Chief the entire time, picturing Floods and Covenant heads exploding, slashed apart by energy swords and whatever else the game has dreamed up. He wouldn’t even see me. Knowing my luck, he’d try to kill me in my sleep. That just wouldn’t work.
“No, no. Get it out of your system,” I said. Then added the good girlfriend line. “I totally understand.”
“Just for tonight,” he insisted. “You can come by tomorrow. I’ll teach you how to play!”
And while I’m not sure I care all that much about Halo 3, I know his offer of a lesson means a lot, as it A) takes time away from him playing; B) will frustrate the hell out of him because I’m pretty bad at video games; and C) will mean we’re together, and that I haven’t lost him to a video game.
Yet. This fight isn’t over. I know Guitar Hero 3 is coming out soon enough…
Parts of this story have been fictionalized for entertainment value. My real boyfriend told me I could still come over, but would have to watch him play because nothing was coming between him and Master Chief.