I cannot believe the things I’ve gone through in the past few months. Life really takes you places and shows you things you never imagined possible. I might be responsible for ruining my cousin’s life, who I love very much, because of my own cowardice and inability to speak up when it was needed.
Karan and I dated in college for two years. He was my senior and ours was kind of a forbidden romance. Initially, it had felt like we were soulmates but as time passed, I realized we were two very different people who would have a lot of issues adjusting with each other. Plus, I knew my parents would never agree to this marriage since we were from different castes and I come from an extremely conservative family. I’m very bad at confrontation and knew that I would not be able to fight with my parents so I gave up and broke up with him. I was heartbroken but I accepted it as fate and tried to move on.
The worst part was that after our breakup, I came to find that he had cheated on me once during the relationship. He had a fling with one of his friends and I found out from a common friend. That broke my heart but since we’d already separated, I did not confront him about it. In that moment, I really felt like a coward.
Cut to one year ago, three years after Karan and I broke up, I received news that my cousin, Kirti, had been engaged to some guy. They had met a few times and had really ended up liking each other and their parents were also happy with the match. It was a ‘match made in heaven’ according to the elders. I was so excited and happy for Kirti that I called her as soon as I heard. I was jumping up and down with excitement while talking to her and she sounded equally happy. She was completely smitten by the guy!
‘You didn’t tell me you were meeting any boys. Now at least send me his photo! And what’s his name?’ I asked without even stopping to breathe. She laughed and replied, ‘His name is Karan. He handles his dad’s business and I’ll send you a photo as soon as we disconnect.’ Hearing the name Karan made me nostalgic and miss Karan a little bit, but I tried to push him out of my mind and concentrate on my cousin’s happiness!
‘Listen, now disconnect the call and send me his picture RIGHT now!’ I almost screamed at her.
Soon after I got a WhatsApp message from her. It was the photo of her fiance and her. As soon as I downloaded the photo, I got the shock of my life. Her fiance was Karan, my ex-boyfriend, Karan. I could not believe my eyes. I was so shocked that I did not know how to react. Immediately, I got a message from her that said ‘He’s cute, na?’
I could not wrap my head around what was happening. Should I tell her I’ve dated her soon-to-be husband? How would she react if I told her he’d cheated on me? What if my parents found out? My brain couldn’t process any more information.
I was still lost in my thoughts when my mom came and told me, to my horror, that there was going to be a small party next week to celebrate Kirti and Karan’s engagement! The idea of facing him again reminded me of our moments together and his ultimate betrayal. I couldn’t do it.
For one whole week, I was dreading the event. At the party, I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible. But I couldn’t avoid facing him for long. I went with my parents to congratulate the couple and as soon as he saw me, he was shocked too. I shook his hand and congratulated him and turned to leave when Kirti asked me to get a photo clicked with them. Safe to say, it was one of the most awkward pictures I’ve ever been a part of.
A few days later, I got a message from him that said, ‘I was shocked to see you at the party. You looked good.’ ‘Thanks’ I replied. The next message was shocking. ‘I’ve missed you’ he had texted. I did not know what to say. So I just told him to stop texting me since he was marrying my cousin. He kept texting me for a long time, each text more desperate than the one before, but I ignored all his texts.
Five months later, my ex ended up marrying my cousin. I did not have the guts to tell her the truth during this time for it would ruin my relationship with her and my reputation and if my parents ever found out, they’d murder me. So, I kept quiet. Today, it’s been almost 6 months to their marriage. He still texts me sometimes but I never reply. She looks happy but I don’t really know the truth of her marriage considering how we drifted apart because of her fiance.
I really don’t know if I did the right thing by keeping quiet. Only time will tell and I genuinely hope and pray, that I’m proven wrong and he turns out to be a better husband than he was a boyfriend!
*Names changed to protect privacy
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