It was a summer of dreams and I was still in college and enjoying my youth. I had a large group of friends and we would dance the night away every Saturday. We’d drink cheap alcohol and play ‘Never Have I Ever’ and ‘Kings’ endlessly. Basically, most weekends were a blur and days were spent trying to recount the previous night in the college canteen. We’d hog on rajma chawal and maggi and gulp down copious amounts of coffee to get through lectures.
I was dating the basketball hunk of the college then. Siddharth was everything I had dreamed of. We would walk into college hand in hand, talk endlessly and basked in the feeling of being completely infatuated by each other. It had been a few months of being together when he told me that he wanted me to meet his best friend from school. I was obviously thrilled but also nervous because I knew this guy was important to Siddharth and I wanted to make a good first impression.
While Sid was the social king, both Karan and I were a tad bit quieter and reclusive. The three of us hung out the whole night and talked about everything under the sun. Both the boys had been inseparable since they were in fourth grade and kept yapping about their childhood days.
It turned out that Karan and I had a whole lot of common interests. We both loved books and exchanged a whole list of ‘must reads’. We also had a passion for music and connected over our mutual love for indie bands.
As we spent more time together, Karan, Sid and I realised that the three of us got along very well. We’d go out for long drives and movies and basically have a wonderful time together. However, due to basketball practice, Sid would mostly be away and that meant Karan and I spent a lot of time alone. I don’t know when it happened but I started looking for excuses to hang out with Karan and he reciprocated. I realised that I would think about Karan when I was alone and the little compliments he’d give me would run through my mind constantly. Slowly, I even started thinking about him when I was in bed with Sid and think about how he’d touch me differently.
A couple of months later, all of our friends took a trip to Pondicherry and Karan was invited too. Sid, unfortunately, had to back out at the last minute due to a family emergency. One particular night in Pondicherry, when we were all a little tipsy, Karan and I sneaked to the terrace of our rented apartment.
At first, it was a peck, with neither of us admitting to what was happening. But then the way he looked at me, I couldn’t hold myself away. We kissed, consequences could be dealt with later. That moment was ours and it felt perfect, finally.
We sat there for a long time without exchanging a word. None of our friends suspected anything and we tried our best to put on an act the next day. It was a beautiful bubble we both lived in for the few days we were out of Delhi but reality hit us on the plane back home. I told Karan that he was whom I wanted to be with but he was still processing his feelings for me and how he had betrayed his best friend. He even tried to convince me not to tell Sid anything but that was something I couldn’t live with.
I broke up with Sid the next day. I told him that I was just not in love with him anymore and that we had been growing distant for a while now and I didn’t want to lie to him and myself anymore. He told me was hurt but also appreciated me being honest about my feelings to him. Obviously, the guilt of cheating on him still ate me alive.
I barely met anyone from our friend circle because they only reminded me of everything I had done wrong. I had made a commitment to someone and broken it with his best friend. Weeks passed and I felt more alone than I had in a long time. My friends obviously knew something was wrong but thought it was because of the break up so they let me take my time. But more than anything else, I felt stupid for falling for Karan who clearly didn’t have the same feelings for me.
Almost a month after we returned, I got a call from Karan asking me to meet him. He apologised for the way things turned out and confessed that he liked me. He said he’d been miserable this last one month and that he’d come out with the truth to Sid. He’d been on a guilt trip all this while. Guilty for betraying his best friend and guilty for not being strong enough to admit to his feelings for me right in the beginning. Luckily for us, things turned out well and Sid too forgave both of us. In fact, he’s now dating a gorgeous girl and we four are pretty thick!
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