Niharika had been my best friend since Class 8. We were inseparable in school and after school, even though we went to different colleges, we were each other’s best friends and secret keepers. Nothing and no one could keep us apart.
In college, she started dating Palash. He really was the sweetest guy ever. He’d go out of his way to make her happy. He respected her opinion and was an ideal boyfriend. The three of us hung out very often and would go out for movies together. Somewhere down the line, I developed a crush on him too. I don’t know how it happened but I made sure that my feelings would never interfere with my friendship or their relationship.
After one year of dating, they broke up. It happened because they had very different expectations from life and their relationship and were finding it very difficult to keep up with each other. When they broke up, they were very sure of it and did not want to get back together. I was more upset than both of them put together about the breakup. I tried to persuade them to get back together but they did not want to reconcile.
Out of love and respect for my best friend, I did not keep any contact with Palash after that. We never talked and I did not even worry about running into him because we were in different colleges. But I still had a crush on him and that was something I couldn’t seem to do away with no matter what I did or how hard I tried. He was on my mind all the time.
After a few months, he texted me out of the blue. He wanted to know how I was doing and what was happening in my life. All the feelings I’d worked hard to suppress were back again and there was nothing I could do about it. We had a casual conversation and ended it pretty quickly because both of us did not know what to say.
The next day, he texted me again. This time our conversation flowed easily and we were able to talk about more things than yesterday. Within no time, we had made plans to meet within a day or two and catch up. Immediately after that, I called up Niharika and told her about this conversation. She did not seem to care at all. She told me to do whatever I wanted to.
Palash and I met for lunch two days after that incident and we had a blast. We were laughing the whole time and having so much fun, it was crazy. After I left for home, I received a text from him that said ‘Had a blast. Let’s do it again sometime, please!’ I cannot even tell you the butterflies I had in my stomach while reading the message.
Slowly, we started texting every day. Our conversations got longer and more intimate as time passed. We started discussing everything - our hopes, fears, dreams and all things private. It felt safe to tell him my secrets because I did not fear being judged or that he’ll spill my secrets. By this time, I was sure we both had feelings for each other but we were both hesitant because of his relationship with Niharika.
It was also high time that I came out to Niharika and told her the truth about Palash and I. I couldn’t hide it from my best friend anymore. So I did exactly that and told Niharika everything. To my surprise, she was calmer than I thought she’d be. She was absolutely fine with it and funnily enough, gave me her blessings as well. I did not understand her level of calm but I was happy about it nonetheless.
Now that I had her blessings, I decided to tell Palash about my feelings. I texted him that I wanted to talk to him. He immediately called me as soon as he read my text and asked me what happened. I told him exactly how I felt and what was going through my mind. He laughed very hard as soon as he heard it and told me that he was considering telling Niharika what he felt and asking for her permission to date me but I had beaten him to it. He told me that he genuinely loved me and wanted to be with me. This is how I ended up dating my best friend’s ex.
I have yet to hear of someone who dated her bestie’s ex and her bestie was supportive of it. I’m very thankful to Niharika for being so understanding of my feelings. She was an absolute sweetheart about the whole thing and never once made me feel guilty.
*Names changed to privacy
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