I studied at an all girls’ school, so when I met Sumit in college – he was technically the first guy friend I’d had in nineteen years of my life. I loved spending time with him, and so did he - we just had so much fun together, talking and laughing to no end. He had been in a relationship with a girl for the past 7 years, and that never bothered me or our friendship.
With college and assignments, he found it difficult to spend as much time with his girlfriend, as he did before – and I guess that was affecting his relationship, for he used to fight so often with her now. He used to discuss his relationship issues with me, and I tried to give him the best possible advice, even though I often wondered why he came to me, since I practically had no experience in the love department.
Time passed and we became even closer friends – my bestie, Neeti, often warned me about getting too close to him, but I just shut her up every time. I knew it was a plain, sweet friendship and nothing more. But one day, while coming back home from college, Sumit told me in a casual way that he loved me. For a minute, I was taken aback, I thought, “How can he love me, he already is in love with another woman?!” But then I assumed he probably meant it in a friendly way, and so I told him that I loved him back too, as the best friend he had become to me. Trust me, I was quite assertive in getting the point across that this love was a friendly one, and so didn’t think much about it after that. However, the next day, I woke up to the sound of my phone going crazy, early in the morning, with a slew of texts from Sumit’s girlfriend. She had sent long messages abusing and blaming me for her “breakup”. Boy, was I shocked and out of bed in a second and making frantic calls to Sumit.
When I asked him to explain what was going on, he said he had broken up with his girlfriend because he knew I had feelings for him, just like he did for me. I didn’t know what to say to him or to do, so I cut the call in a mad rush and called my bestie for rescue. Neeti picked up the phone only to tell me that Sumit’s girlfriend had already told her everything, and she too I thought I had done the wrong thing by breaking up a couple in love like that and confessing my love for Sumit! I tried to tell her that I never did any such thing, but it seemed like she had made up her mind, and Sumit’s girlfriend’s heartbroken story had gotten to her. I could not believe what was happening...
I went out for a jog to clear my head and process all the changes that had happened in that one hour. When I came back, I had made my decision. I called Sumit and told him that maybe I did have feelings for him, for when he said that he liked me, it made me happy and not mad like it should have – but that didn’t mean that I would want to hurt his girlfriend, or be the reason he broke up with her. He assured me that he’d take care of everything, and it was all going to be okay. He made me believe that his relationship with his girlfriend was over, and it wasn’t because of me, it was because he didn’t feel compatible with her. I still wasn’t satisfied, but Sumit kept trying to convince me even weeks after, and his persuasion slowly made me feel like maybe I was overreacting about it all, and maybe he had fallen in love with me truly.
We kept going to college together, doing all those things we normally did, but something between us changed. His presence in my life, our closeness was magnified.
One of these days, while coming back from college, he stopped his car in a secluded spot, and got down on his knees and confessed his love to me once again - and this time I gave in and excitedly hugged him. He held me close while I was shivering and kissed me. It was my first romantic kiss!
Life suddenly felt beautiful to me. For the first time, I had a boyfriend. I was happier than I could possibly imagine, and so didn’t see what was coming next.
The fact that Sumit and I had gotten together didn’t go down well with either his friends or his girlfriend’s friends. And one day, they actually ganged up on Sumit and me in college. They asked us to meet them at one of Sumit’s friends’ flat - and there they shouted at him like crazy, with his ex crying in the background. I had never seen such drama in all my life! Everybody was blaming me, looking at me like I was the mean bitch who had stolen another woman’s man and trapped him into a relationship. What was worse was how Neeti too didn’t support me. But as long as Sumit told me he was by my side and would handle it all – I stood strong.
A few days later however, he called me, sounding hoarse and upset. When I asked him what was the matter, he said he missed his ex-girlfriend and told me how that day when he had gotten down on his knees and told me he loved me, he was just high! I couldn’t find the words to convey my disbelief, to voice the uproar that was swirling inside me - why had he ever told me he loved me, why had he ever gotten down on his knees, kissed me, convinced me of his love - oh, why had I ever believed him? How could he do this to me? Why, just why? Had he been fooling with me all along, when I had only been a great friend to him? I even lost Neeti’s trust because of him. But on the phone, while he waited for me react, after being silent for five minutes - I just asked him to go back to the woman he loved.
All his friends were happy with his decision. Sumit was the hero who came back for love, his ex-girlfriend was the victim who never gave up on him. And me? I was the bitch who tried to come in between, but couldn’t. I never gave any clarifications to anyone about anything, and neither did he. Even though he was the one who messed up, I was the one ostracized and judged and convicted.Today, he is no longer a part of my life, but how I wish I could go back in time and punch him for hurting me, and all his stupid friends for insulting me.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Oct 09, 2015