I knew my life was heading towards the right direction - I was going to pursue my Masters degree in the US and had got scholarship as well. Every year only 150 people get selected for the program out of thousands of applicants, from all over the world; my hard work had paid off.
However, my parents had a totally different concern…my marriage. They were afraid that I would fall for a foreigner and settle down there with him. Since I'm their only child, they didn't want to take any chances. So, they asked me to meet Mohit, son of my father’s closest friend.
He was moving to Canada for a job and his parents had the same concern as my parents. Therefore, our parents wanted us to get engaged before we moved out of India. I had known Mohit since childhood, but he was always more of an acquaintance than a friend. We started knowing each other more a year back, after his father got posted to the city we were in.
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Mohit was good looking, smart and intelligent and I was okay with our parents’ plan. However, I was a bit apprehensive about being engaged in just two months. I was just 23 and I thought we need time to know each other more. Engagement meant commitment and announcing it to all our friends and family.
Mohit and I spent as much time as possible with each other - during that time we were busy running around together for visa and other official work. And then, as our parents wished, we got engaged before we both flew out of India for our respective destinations.
We both got busy with our lives in new countries. I was having a great time meeting new people and exploring an independent life in a different country. Then came the semester project, our group was designing a water rover under the guidance of a PhD scholar who was an Indian. We would often stay till late at his house while working on the project. He was a young and chilled out person, so often he would go for party with us. Though he was friendly with all the students in our group, he and I shared a stronger bond as we both came from the same country. We would talk about our families in India and things we missed about our country.
With time I started having feelings for him, his simplicity and reserved nature made him very attractive. He somehow got the hint that I liked him, so he started keeping a distance. He knew dating a student wasn’t a good idea, but I was falling for him. But the truth was he had also started liking me and it was being difficult for him to ignore that.
We started hanging out together even after the project was over. We had not told each other about our feelings but we both knew there was something between us. One day, I decided to tell him about my feelings. We were out for lunch and before I could say anything he said, "Your ring is beautiful!" pointing towards my engagement ring.
My fist tightened and my heart shattered as the reality of my life struck me. What on earth was I doing? I felt the ground beneath me slipped away. “I'm engaged, my parents must me dreaming about my wedding, Mohit must be planning our life together and here I was about to confess my love for another man?" So many thoughts ran through my mind.
I gave an awkward smile and ran away without saying a word. I couldn't take it anymore and started crying as I ran back to my room. I booked a ticket to California for the next day, to go and see Mohit.
I knew he was there for a conference and I thought I would give him a surprise so I booked a ticket in the hotel where he was staying. After settling in my room I went to the lobby to wait for Mohit to come out of the party hall - it was the last day of their conference and he had told me about the party they would have before everyone went back.
The door opened and a couple came out, it seemed they were a little drunk and had enjoyed the party to their fullest. They were laughing as they passed by me, the women had one of her hands on the guy’s chest while his hands held her waist. They didn’t notice me at all but I saw that it was Mohit.
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I followed them to their room in the shocked state that I was. I hid myself near the elevator as we reached their floor, they started kissing in the corridor itself. I saw him opening the door while he was still busy making out with her. They went inside the room and didn’t close the door, so I stood there outside the door and saw them making out. They both were too drunk to notice what was happening around them.
There, I could see my fiance making out with another woman and I couldn't help but smile. I was free now. I closed the door of their room and walked away as I removed my engagement ring. I left them in their world and moved on with my life.
* Names changed to protect privacy
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Published on Aug 24, 2016