Let’s just say I wasn’t having the best of luck in the love department. Two years ago, I was in two back-to-back relationships, which collapsed within weeks. I was heartbroken, yes, and strangely averse to the idea of love altogether. It’s not that I had not been in a long-term relationship before, but this time, the quick succession of failures made me overwhelmingly cynical. I stopped trying. No Tinder, OKCupid or the good ol’ friends setting you up on blind dates. No, thank you, I was done.
But then I moved to a different city for work. Leaving old friends behind and starting from scratch felt painful, and like quite a task. But it had to be done. Within weeks of joining my new workplace, I realized that my wavelength did not match with that of my colleagues, who were mostly women. I found their discussions to be contrived, silly and quite patronizing. I could not relate to them at all, which made me feel all the more lonely in a big city.
I was almost desperate to just make a new friend at work. Sameer, who worked in the sales department and sat in front of me, felt like a good place to start. He was well-dressed, smart and spoke well. I started chatting with him once, but with the other girls almost jeering in the background, I retraced my steps. It felt so juvenile, why does talking to a colleague, who just happens to be a man, warrant so much attention?
So we started going for smoke breaks together, catching up on the staircase; he even dropped me home on some days (after everyone left, of course). One day, after work, he invited me to meet his friends at a nearby pub. We had a great time together. I followed up his invitation by asking him to come for a house party at my place with a bunch of my friends.
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As luck would have it, my other two friends, who were supposed to join us, got stuck in other prior commitments and were unable to make it. But Sameer was here so I couldn’t call the whole thing off. We ended up having a great time together, which inevitably, was sealed by a great kiss. It would be a lie if I told you that I wasn’t hoping for it. In a short span of time, I had begun to like him. It helped that he was a really good kisser and could also hold a conversation.
Soon, we had ‘the talk’. We decided that we didn’t like each other enough to get into a full blown relationship, so we would date each other casually, but exclusively. After that encounter, several others followed, we would be messaging each other every waking moment, we went for dates and had a lot of fun together. Until a dreadful Sunday a few weeks later, when everything fell apart.
He wasn’t responding properly to my messages since the previous night, I messaged him on Sunday afternoon to check up on him, but I couldn’t see his profile picture, last seen or whether or not he had seen my message. I asked my flatmate to add him in her contacts just to see if he had blocked me. And as I had expected, his face appeared as a thumbnail in the corner of the chat.
A split-second of numbness was only followed by maddening rage. How could this happen to me again? I called him up immediately, demanding an explanation. He spoke to me in a hushed tone and said he’d call me later.
I waited all day fuming and cursing him. He called me that night to confirm my worst nightmares. He had a girlfriend. They were going through a complicated stage and I was his distraction. They had met again and reconciled. He blocked me only so that my messages didn’t pop up while he was talking to her.
I had never felt so offended in my life. It has been a few weeks since the incident and I am still unable to process it. Seeing him at work, pleading to be my friend again definitely doesn’t help either. I am just hoping that things sort themselves out because I am tired of trying over and over again.
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