Being as I'm an observer throughout this whole situation that involves my roommate, his friend of six years, my roommate's ex, and I guess me to an extent, I'll try to keep a subjective opinion as possible until the end and explain the facts, at least the facts that I know, starting from the beginning.
So, my roommate, Robert, and I have only been roommates for a short time; since April to be exact. We met through our mutual friend, also the friend of six years in this story, Brian. Robert and I have never really had issues with one another accept for two times. Both times we were intoxicated and both times we were arguing about something that didn't necessarily pertain to the both of us and our relationship as roommates. The second and most recent incident is what I'll be talking about in the next section; but for now, let's focus on the the love or the calm before the storm. Robert and his boyfriend, Jeff, broke up about a year ago. I remember seeing them happy together, or seemingly happy, probably a total of two times before the dreaded conversation that I was somehow a part of where Jeff confided in Brian about how he was thinking of breaking up with Robert. He looked completely distressed over the whole ordeal and I immediately felt sympathy for him. Robert was his first real relationship. He loved him, he made that abundantly clear, but it was also clear that he was no longer in love with him. Anyone who's been in love at least once probably know the difference between the two. I remember how Jeff felt really hesitant over ending things because he didn't want to hurt Robert (admirable, but dishonest) and because he didn't want to lose all of the mutual friends they had together, knowing that they would probably take Robert's side over him. I don't really remember what piece of advice Brian offered, but I do remember having Jeff listen to this song by Bebe Rexha called "Grace." Her debut album Expectations dropped recently and that was the song I was most obsessed with at the time. If you haven't heard the song (I recommend you do, it's great!), it's basically about being in a relationship with a really good person whom you just happen to fall out of love with and trying to find a way to break it to them gently without hurting them. Impossible, but moving on. I let him listen to that song and basically told him to just do what was right for him. Forcing yourself to stay in a relationship where you're not happy isn't good for either party, so I felt that I was not only looking out for Jeff, but in the long run, Robert, too. At the end of the day thought, I'm not Robert. I don't know how Robert feels or processes his feelings, but things were already set in motion, whether we liked it or not.
They eventually did break up like a few weeks later after that night Jeff told us how he was feeling, and I didn't know it then, but an invisible line was drawn between us and Jeff. One that was, I guess, expected of me not to cross. Fast forward to when Robert and I became roommates, and I guess it would be beneficial to mention who Robert's previous roommate was. Yep, Jeff. So all those months, Summer of 2018 to Spring 2019, when they were broken up slash possibly on, possibly off, they were still living in the same space. Luckily they had separate rooms, but still a toxic environment nonetheless. With Jeff moving out and me moving in, it allowed me to get closer to Robert; and no, I don't mean in that way. Robert was always a mutual friend to me since he was Brian's friend, and he introduced us, but I never really knew him that well and moving in with him seemed like the perfect opportunity. I remember a conversation I had with Robert not long after I moved in about Jeff and it sort of rubbed me the wrong way and I expressed discontent about it, but not to the level that my blood pressure probably reached at that moment in time; which, luckily, I didn't. What he said was that he thought he couldn't be friends with anyone who was friends with his ex. It was a statement that seemed very childish and petty and it was brought up because Brian apparently went out with Jeff one night to club. Personally, knowing Brian and the type of guys he likes to go for, I knew that it couldn't have been anything more than a platonic hang out, which it was, but Robert was still mad anyway. In order for me to understand and gain perspective on someone else's mindset, I always try to put myself in their shoes and imagine what I personally would do if it were me. In this case, our viewpoints didn't align, but I kept my mouth shut and disagreed vehemently in silence. The conversation should have been a red flag, because it was definitely a prelude to hurricane Robert, Category 8.
Fast forwarding to now and the events that happened recently between the three us; Robert, Brian and I; it was the biggest blow up I've ever had with a friend. I'm the kind of person that tries at all cost to avoid confrontation, but this time it was kind of unavoidable.
All three of us went out to one of our usual places to get drinks. Everything seemed fine, though Robert was already hyped up from a happy hour he went to earlier, so his engine was already revved. While at the bar, I ran into a friend of mine, Anthony.
A little background before we go further. The previous weekend, Brian and I went out, our usual spots, and then after hours and got completely hammered; like patchy memory hammered. We bumped into Robert's ex at the bar unexpectedly, along with some of his friends. We talked for a bit, and while we were catching up, my friend Anthony showed up and said hello. I introduced him to Jeff because Anthony has only ever met Robert and Brian. I feel like a mistake that I made here was that I introduced Jeff to Anthony as Robert's ex. That kind of set the events of the next weekend into motion.
So picking back up from before, Anthony ran into us again. I walked away to chit chat with another friend of mine while I left Anthony talking with Robert and Brian; by the time I came back, all Hell had already broken loose. I wasn't sure how it was brought up in conversation, but Anthony mentioned to Robert that he met his ex the previous weekend and of course the spotlight shined on Brian and myself because we were obviously present when this happened, physically anyway, because I have no idea where I was mentally. Brian already seemed distraught by the time I reached them, but Robert immediately asked whether or not I ran into Jeff the past weekend and I had no choice but to tell the truth. Robert was completely pissed after that, and called us disloyal. I explained my position in it all. I told him that I literally just remembered that I ran into Jeff the day before when Robert unexpectedly brought Jeff home after work to get something to eat together. Which was very random to me. I was in the kitchen making dinner at the time, so when I turned around when I heard him walk in and saw Jeff, my memory immediately sparked to life after that because I had completely forgot that I ran into Jeff at all. It was a weird situation and I wasn't 100% sure how Robert would have taken it if I randomly brought it up, so while he went to the bathroom, I asked Jeff personally for clarification and he confirmed it. My explanation didn't lessen his anger any, though he did seem more pissed off at Brian instead of me since they've known each other for years and they've talked about it on numerous occasions. The rest of the night was a bit tense and weird after that, more so because I ended up comforting Brian during the Uber ride to our next location, which was an after hours place. Robert was so pissed that he said some things, that quite honestly got under my skin, to Brian. He wished Brian's boyfriend would break up with him or cheat on him, basically trying to doom this brand new relationship Brian had entered in recently and one that Robert has been constantly trying to put his own two cents in about everything.
Things eventually calmed down a bit towards the end of the night and I ended up comforting Robert back at home by listening to some sad music in the dark with him as he cried a bit. It was the least I could do. The whole experience was messy, but I learned a lot. As mad as I was at Robert for my own personal reasons and how he treated Brian, he was still hurting. I didn't even realize it or take it into consideration at the time, but even though they broke up like a year ago, they continued to live with each other up until the point when I moved in. So, to Robert, the break up was probably more recent in his mind's eye due to that fact; and even though a couple friends bumping into your ex at the bar seems a bit absurd to go crazy about, he was also intoxicated, a fact that I took note of before we even left the apartment to go out. So I understand both sides. If Robert wants me to tell him every time I run into his ex at the bar or club, then fine, I'll respect his wishes and oblige him, no matter how silly it may seem to me; but I'll always defend what is right, and the hateful things he said to Brian were clearly wrong. I probably felt such a strong desire to be protective of Brian's relationship because we were sort of in the same ship or were on the same ship. I have yet to have a real relationship with someone yet, and seeing Robert act the way he did towards Brian kind of made me wonder if he'd ever act like that when it finally happened to me. If so, I don't think I could be friends with someone who wasn't supportive of me or my relationships; regardless if the relationship is flawed or toxic, a first relationship, no matter the age it happens, is a precious milestone. At the end of the day though, it wasn't really about my feelings. Robert's wounds are still raw, and if either him or Jeff take my advice and spend less time together, then maybe they'll grow to be okay with not being with one another, or maybe they'll find their way back, who knows. They just need to be happy being by themselves first before any of that can happen.