Let me just start by saying that I’ve always looked down on cheating and the people who cheat. I feel that infidelity is one of the biggest sins. If you cannot be loyal to your partner, you shouldn’t be in a relationship. Nobody should have the right to hurt or break someone, especially their partner, in this heartless way. The sad part is that, by a cruel twist of fate, I ended up in the sinners category too.
I’ll start at the beginning. We were a group of 8 friends in college and we hung out together all day, every day. Riya was with me in this group. While she and I were friends, we weren’t particularly close or best friends. We all knew that she was dating somebody from her school who was now studying in a different city. She had promised us that she would introduce us all to him whenever he came to visit. All this while, I knew her boyfriend’s name but I had never seen a picture of him and I never even asked to see it because I did not want to be intrusive.
One night, I went to a house party at my school friend, Rishabh’s place. His parents weren’t home and he had thrown this elaborate party with lots of booze and even more people. I desperately needed this break and wanted to party hard because my exams had just gotten over the day before. It had been a really stressful month. I was having a fun time, dancing and drinking, when this extremely cute guy walked in. I turned to my friend immediately and asked him who this guy was. He told me that he was a friend of a friend, Abhay. For the next hour, we kept glancing at each other and blushing. Finally, I mustered enough courage to walk over to him and introduce myself to him. Oh my god, was he charming or what! Usually, I don’t feel comfortable talking to or interacting with strangers but we just could not stop talking to each other. We danced together, played games and were inseparable throughout!
After some time, he asked me if I was okay going to a quieter place because he wanted some alone time with me. We went to my friend’s room and sat on the bed and started talking. I had already decided that if he decided to make a move, I’d go along with it and hook up with him. I was only 19 and the urge to experiment was strong!! He slowly inched closer and held my hand and before I knew it, we were kissing and making out. We were at it hot and heavy when there was a sudden knock on the door. That disturbance brought us both back to our senses and we ended up leaving things there (thankfully so). Suddenly, I was feeling very awkward and out of place. It was 1 in the morning but I insisted that my friend drop me home immediately, even though I had permission to stay over at his place for the night - all because I was so embarrassed by this random hookup with a stranger.
A couple of days passed and I told no one about this incident except Rishabh.Then, Riya came to college one Tuesday and said her boyfriend was in town and he was coming to meet us. We were all so excited to meet this amazing boyfriend of hers who she couldn’t shut up about. We walked into CCD outside our college and I saw Abhay sitting alone at one of the tables. I did not want him to see me so I hid behind one of my friends. But then the next thing he did was get up and hug Riya and kiss her on the forehead! I’m sure the look on my face must have been priceless because the expression on his face was worth a million dollar when he finally spotted me among Riya’s friends. We both sat through the lunch uncomfortably and I could not meet his or Riya’s eyes. Everyone asked me if I was fine and I said I wasn’t feeling well and wanted to leave. He offered to drop me to an auto since I was Riya’s friend and everyone started oohing and aahing at his chivalry. Only if they knew! While walking me out, he begged me not to tell Riya anything because he really loved her and what had happened between us was a mistake!
I was extremely angry at him and immediately called up Rishabh as soon as I was alone. He told me that I had only two options, either to shut up and live with it or tell Riya the truth. I decided to take the hard route because I couldn’t live a lie. The very next day, I pulled Riya aside and told her the whole story. By the end of it, both of us were crying and as soon as I finished, she slapped me across the face. I guess I deserved that slap... She had a long drawn out break up with Abhay and was mad at me for almost a year. He even called me a few times to scream at me for telling her the truth but I wasn’t sorry about it at all. However, the thing I’m most appreciative of is that Riya handled the situation very maturely and did not tell anybody about my indiscretion or bad mouth me to anyone. She could have easily made me the b*tch in the situation but she did not.
Today, we’re still friends (though not the closest, which I don’t think we’ll ever be) and I’m still sorry for whatever happened but I’ve come to realize now that I was as much a victim in this situation as Riya was. Sometimes, you ruin things without ever wanting to and you need to forgive yourself for that!
* Names changed to protect privacy
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Published on Apr 18, 2017