Arjun was the best boyfriend. No, really. The textbook definition of the perfect boyfriend. And I was really glad to be with him. School was almost over, everyone's life was changing… But I was still, always, the center of his universe. He would spoil me in little ways that he could, get in trouble with his teachers just so he could spend time with me, send me the sweetest messages when we weren't together… Like I said, he was the perfect boyfriend.
Towards the last month of 12th grade though, something shifted. Arjun had failed a pre-board exam and his parents were being really strict. His phone had been confiscated, he was attending classes more often but acting out during them a lot more… It was probably just the pressure but I was really worried about him. That's when I started talking to Manav, my boyfriends best friend in the world. They had been in the same class since 3rd grade and were more like brothers than friends. They played horrible pranks on each other, they studied and made notes for each other, they sneaked out at night for kicks together and got caught together. They were crazy but the bestest of friends. Our whole batch knew that. And since I had started dating Arjun, of course I had gotten to Manav a bit better too. So when I got worried about Arjun, he's the one I turned to.It started with just SMSs and Facebook messages. I would ask him what I should do for Arjun to make him feel better and more like himself. I would ask about how Arjun was and what he said about me, when Arjun started spending less and less time with me. Then the calls started. I would call him when Arjun wouldn't answer my calls all day. I would call him when Arjun would totally lash out when I would offer to help him study. Till a certain point I used to think that I was just bugging him with all of my boyfriend drama. But then something shifted. He would go by my bus occasionally just to talk. And the things we would talk about started to vary. We were talking less and less about Arjun and I and more and more about everything else. And because of that, I started to feel much happier. So even though you might think we were doing something wrong, I'll still think that he was the best thing that happened to me. He gave me to strength to leave Arjun behind and not care about all the rumours about him and me, when people started to put two and two together. Arjun was the first one to realize. And even though Manav and I were just friends at that point, even he realized that soon, we would be more than that. Everyone saw it coming. Maybe I did too, but kept ignoring the feeling.
It's been six years since the day Arjun and I broke up and he punched Manav. Five years since Manav and I have been together. Three years since the last time Manav and Arjun saw each other and the reunion. Two years since Manav and I started living together. And one year since he proposed. Yeah, we didn't get together in the most ideal way but Manav and I were meant to happen and that's all there is to it. I know he sometimes wishes he could call Arjun up and ask to meet him for a football match. But I also know he's never, even once, regretted getting punched in the face for me.*Names changed to protect privacy.Image: Shutterstock