I noticed Akhil on the first day of college itself. I was attracted to his tall physique and unkempt stubble. An overtly social guy from Mumbai, he was the blued-eyed boy of our class. The more I came to know him, the more I started liking him; his confident demeanor appealed to me - an introvert to the core.
Apparently, it was not just me who felt the attraction, and soon we started dating. The transition from friends to best friends to boyfriend-girlfriend went rather quickly for us. Not that I regretted it. Though we had different personalities, we were compatible. Ours was a happy relationship; he was the funny one, always annoying me and then doing the cutest things to make me smile. I was happier than ever.
Three years of college flew by too quickly. We had planned out our life in those three years. After working for two years, we would pursue MBA in the same college, and if not that, then definitely in colleges in the same city. And after completing our MBA we would get married. We were certain that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together.
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After college, he got a job in Mumbai while I got one in Delhi itself. So, before he left for Mumbai I took him to meet my parents. As apprehensive as I was, the meeting went pretty well. My parents loved him, especially because they saw how happy he made me.
Our long distance relationship went rather smoothly for a year. I told myself that all the problems that people talk about in a long distance relationship were just myths. Of course, you don’t get to meet that often and there are days when you don’t even get to speak to each other, and frustrations arise, but you learn to deal with them. If you are with the right person, you two figure out a way around it. Akhil and I would often fly down to meet each other. And during our time apart, we had frequent candlelight dinners on Skype and would send cute gifts to each other.
And finally came April, Akhil’s birthday month. I had been saving up for this day for a long time and I wanted to make it special for him. And what better way to do so than by celebrating it together? So, I planned a surprise visit to Mumbai on the eve of his birthday. To make sure that it remained an absolute secret, I didn’t even tell his flatmates that I was coming.
My plan was that I would show up at his doorstep with balloons, a pineapple cake (his favourite) and gifts. I would wear the blue dress that he said looked really good on me. I could literally imagine the look of surprise he would have on his face. And then, we would have a nice cozy night, followed by birthday celebrations the next day. Just thinking about all this made me super excited.
Once I landed in Mumbai, I took a cab to his place. I was grinning from ear to ear, unable to control my excitement. Instead of ringing the bell, I decided to use the secret key hidden under the flower pot. I tip-toed into the apartment, which seemed empty. I crossed my fingers, hoping they all hadn’t gone out partying, when, to my relief, I noticed that the light in Akhil’s room was on.
Holding balloons in one hand and the cake in the other, I opened the door and yelled, “Surprise.” What I saw that moment gave me the greatest shock of my life. Akhil was in bed with his friend from work, Kanika. The love of my life was in the arms of another woman. Instead of that surprised look I had imagined, he had the “what are you doing here?” look on his face. There was no sign of remorse or guilt in his eyes.
This was the last thing I had imagined I’d have to witness in my life. In a flash, all my dreams, my trust, my love, and the life that I had imagined with this man, came shattering to the ground.
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The whole episode left me in a terrible state; it took me months to actually accept what had happened. I had to consciously make an effort to move on in life, without him. Had it not been for my close friends and family, it would not have been possible. I am relieved that I came to know about his true nature before we got married.
Akhil broke my heart in the worst way possible but I have not lost my faith in love. I believe that there is someone out there who will be my true love.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
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Published on Jul 27, 2016