“Damn, I am going to be late on the first day of my college,” I told myself and rushed out of the bathroom. I had picked out my favourite pink kurti for the orientation day. Struggling to comb my hair, eating that apple and booking a cab, all at once, I showed myself out of the house. Yes, living away from home is tough but it’s also exciting.
Being in a new city, with new people, at a new place - I had butterflies in my stomach all through my way to the college. I finally reached and we were supposed to sit in groups of ten people and that’s when I met Rudra. If I say I fell for him the first time I saw him, I’d be lying. But there was something about his personality that impressed me for sure. He was confident, he cracked funny jokes and became my first friend in the city.
He was living ten minutes away from my place, with his sister, Rohini, who was also a student in our class. So all three of us started going to classes together. There were times when Rudra would come to pick me up without his sister too. We were together ALL the time. We sat next to each other during every session, we would partner up on all assignments. We had unending conversations and I genuinely enjoyed his company.
Then one day, after our class got over, Rudra asked me if I wanted to go the beach for a while, you know, just to chill. And I agreed. We were bare feet, standing on the warm beach sand, with waves washing the mud off our feet when he said, “I need to tell you something.” “Okay, what is it?” I asked, “I think I want a little more than friendship with you. I really like you,” he said. My heart skipped a beat and I stood there, surprised. He was still talking. “The first time I saw you, I fell for you and ever since, I wanted to ask you this - Riya, will you please be my girlfriend?”
Tears rolled down my cheeks and I said “Yes, of course.” And he hugged me tight. He dropped me off and we chatted all night. We wanted to keep our relationship under wraps because we were in the same class and things get awkward once your classmates find out about who you are dating. He suggested we don’t tell anyone about us and I agreed.
Months passed and love was definitely in the air for us. One night, he stayed over at my place. We were watching a movie, when he started kissing my neck, tightly holding onto my waist, he pulled me towards himself and we started making out. He asked me if I wanted to take things to the next level and I just nodded. We had sex and it was amazing. That was the first of the many times to come.
A few more months passed and still, no one had found out about us. We were into the last month of our 10 months PG Diploma when I realized my periods were late. Our course was more or less done and Rudra had gone to his hometown. I messaged him about my situation but he didn’t reply. I tried calling him but he didn’t answer. This kept happening and no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t reach him. I was freaking out and it was the day of our graduation in two days.
Even after two days, he didn’t respond. I went to the college and there, I saw him standing, giggling with a group of friends. I was furious and so I went up to him and shouted, “Where the hell have you been?” He shrugged off and said, “Can you not create a scene here?” I stormed out and didn’t even attend my own graduation ceremony.
After it all got over, I still hadn’t got my period and so I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. And I felt dead inside when I saw the results. I couldn’t breathe. I cried endless rivers of tears. I had to do something. I had to tell someone and so I called Rudra, but again, he ignored me. So I called my sister and told her everything. She immediately asked me to take the next flight home and I did. We went to a gynaecologist and got the process of abortion done.
I was so devastated that I called Rudra just so I could take out all my frustration to tell him what a jerk he had been. He answered and before he could say anything, I started yelling at him and he said, “Listen, just listen to me, once.” And I did. “I am sorry, Riya. I know I was an a**hole to you but I am married, I am married to Rohini and I can’t have a relationship with you.” My brain went blank, my body went numb. I couldn’t think, I couldn’t speak. But he continued, “She is not my sister, she never was. All this while, Rohini and I were hiding our marriage because we wanted to keep it that way. We wanted to be in an open marriage for a while, both of us were so young when we got married. And I don’t know how and when I was attracted to you…”
I couldn’t hear his voice anymore. My eyes went blurry and I hung up on him. It took me months to actually wrap my mind around what had happened. And even then it feels surreal. Nevertheless, it happened leaving me with a betrayal I will try forgetting for life.
*Names changed to protect privacy
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