Saksham and I had started dating back in high school when dating was considered quite a taboo. What started off as dating the cutest boy in class, actually turned into a serious, full-fledged relationship, and we continued dating each other through school, college and the starting phase of our careers.
Of course, during the 7 years of dating, we grew up together, got to know each other inside out, and yes, we had managed to fall in love. When we were in each other’s company, we were our absolute selves, with no qualms or quirks and that’s what I loved most about our relationship. After finishing college, Saksham decided to take a year off to figure out his life, whereas I had got placed at an investment banking company based out of Pune. This was the first time when we were going to be apart in all the years that we had been together. Everyone around us told us how long distance sucks, it never works out, it creates insecurities and problems and what not. But I was sure in my head that we would work it out. Although, every now and then, this sneaky little voice in my head warned me that things could go downhill. But I totally evaded that thought because Saksham and I decided to make it work, no matter what anyone said.
The first month of moving away was hard for me and for our relationship as well. In addition to dealing with the pain of apartment hunting, adjusting to the new people, new work and a new life, I was dealing with Saksham withdrawal symptoms as well. Getting familiar with Pune, which was so different from my good ol’ Delhi, seemed like a daunting task. Saksham and I used to get little time to talk in the day due to my long work hours, which were followed by household chores - cooking, cleaning, and washing, et al. I felt distant, lonely and scared, given I had never ever lived alone, and everyone and everything seemed so new and overwhelming.
Within a month, I began to feel more settled into my new routine. I created a fixed slot in my daily routine to video chat with my sweetheart. After all, communicating well is so important when it came to LDRs, I knew it.
While things seemed to be coming back to normal, I couldn't help but observe that every time we used to talk, Saksham was a bit distracted and his phone used to keep beeping with a stream of texts. He always told me, ‘It’s just a friend,’ and avoided discussing it any further. While I ignored that for a few days, thinking to myself that it’s probably a manifestation of my own insecurities and jealousy, one fine day, I lost my calm. I angrily confronted him, asking him who was texting him at 2:00 am and his response sent me into a state of shock. Frustrated and sad, he blurted out that she was a friend and he had gotten close to her since I had left. And by getting close, he meant that they had been talking a lot and had even hooked up once, but it meant ‘nothing,’ said Saksham. After hearing this, I started crying and everything came crashing down in my world. Saksham started crying too and begged for my forgiveness. He promised to end it all and said that he would do anything to make it up to me. Eventually, I wiped my tears and told him that I forgave him and told him to forget her altogether.
Now you all must be wondering, what a stupid girl I must be to have forgiven her guy so easily. Allow me to convince you otherwise? Rewind to my first week in Pune, when I had become exceptionally close to a colleague of mine, Sahil. He had helped me find an apartment, set it all up and had always been there for support. He was my sole source of support and friendship during those days of struggle. Not just that, I had even since felt a sexual attraction towards him and had been fearing that we both might slip on a drunken night. What I had with Sahil was just a temporary relationship of dependence and infatuation which made me understand Saksham’s position and what he had done. Had I had a weak moment with Sahil, I would be asking for forgiveness as well. However, I was mature enough to step back and realize that a momentary lapse from my end could jeopardize something super special that I shared with the love of my life, and hence, I forgave him for cheating on me. And just so you know, ever since that episode, our relationship has grown stronger and more transparent, which only makes me believe that sometimes, it is okay to forgive.
*Names changed to protect privacy
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