So, in my early college years I met this guy. He was from a different department but we had a mutual friend and the two of us were introduced to each other in the first few days of college. At that point, we didn’t know a lot of people in college and since both of us were in first year, it wasn’t tough to hit it off. We’d hitch a ride to the metro station after classes. Sometimes he’d wait for me and sometimes I would wait for him. It cut down on expenses and also gave us someone to talk to. And it didn’t hurt that we weren’t dating anyone at that time.
Within a few months, we actually started hanging out alone apart from just in the metro. We would grab a cup of coffee between classes or if we walked past each other, we’d just hang out for no reason. Needless to say, two young freshers, who’d hang out a lot started developing feelings for each other. I’ll admit, I developed feelings for him way before he did. I mean, he was smart and super sweet and had a great dressing sense (yup, that’s kind of important for me!). So when I finally found out that he also kind of liked me, I was overwhelmed with joy.
Could it get any better?! We were in the same college so we’d see each other everyday. It appeared to me like a beginning to all those college romances they show in movies. However, after he told me how he felt and asked me out on a date, he added, “I don’t want anyone to know yet, you know? Let’s give it some time and see how it goes.”
A secret relationship sounded weird to me but I agreed anyway. In that moment, he seemed right. We hadn’t known each other long enough to be in a relationship so what was the harm in getting to know each other more and then making it official if we wanted to. We went on a couple of dates and it was really nice but...he stopped talking to me in college, altogether.
Earlier we used to say hi to each other if we met in between classes and even hang out with our friends but now he just completely stopped talking to me in college. Outside college, he was quite the friendly guy but in college it was almost as if he didn’t know me. This irked me, I remember sitting in the canteen with my friends and looking at him sitting in the opposite end with his friends and just waiting...waiting for him to look up and give me a smile of recognition. But he never did.
It was quite a surprising turn of events. Suddenly we went from being friends to being strangers in front of people. Out of desperation I discussed it with my friends who suggested me to have a proper conversation with him. So that night, I messaged him asking what was up, “Nothing, it’s not like what you are thinking…” he replied. “I just don’t want the rest of the college to know about us and make it a big deal.”
“But why do we need to hide it? Why do we need to act as if we don’t know each other? We were friends before too, right?” I questioned.
“I don’t know. I have just made new friends in my class and I don’t want to share all this with them so quickly. Men take time to open up about their personal life.” he answered.
If he would have said anything remotely sensible, I would have agreed with him but the fact that he wanted to keep me as his “secret” girlfriend while he had fun with his friends was not just annoying but also a huge reality check for me.
After consulting my friends again, I decided it was time to call this “secret” affair off. When I told him that this won’t work out like this, he replied, “I knew you’d say this.” It was like he was waiting for me to say it. I spent months trying to understand what was going on his mind, why did our perfectly happy dating life turn into this disaster?
One day I tried talking to him in college but he said he needed to rush for class so he couldn’t and walked off. That was a huge blow for me and my self-respect. I could handle him wanting to take time before we told people about us but I could not handle being treated with such indifference. So I swore I would never talk to him again, at least until I was sure I was completely over this.
Funny thing was, six months down the line when I started dating someone else and the whole college knew about it, he came back to me - apologizing for not making this work and being such a bad boyfriend and an even worse friend. But, of course, it was too late by then.
It’s been awhile since that little affair happened. When I think about it sometimes or see his updates pop-up on Facebook feed, I’m glad. I am happy I decided not to give him a second chance because some people don’t need a second chance to prove they are not worth it.