(Names changed to protect identities)
I was in a relationship for four years with Kamran. We were the poster couple in college and had to move to different cities to pursue our careers. Because I was so much in love, I kept visiting Delhi to spend a few days with him every three months. During one such visit, we were relaxing in the hotel room, when suddenly his phone rang. I leaned over to see who it was and saw ‘Baby’ flashing on the screen. He quickly snatched the phone off the bed and went out of the room to whisper into his phone. I became determined to find out who the mysterious ‘Baby’ was.
I got my chance when he was in the washroom the next day. I quickly noted down ‘Baby’s’ number and made a mental note to call her when Kamran wasn’t there. I called the number in the evening and a familiar voice picked up.
“Hi, I am calling from Makemytrip. You have won a voucher. May I know your name?” I asked.
“It’s Sharmani, and what voucher?”
Sharmani was my best friend from college and had landed a job in New Delhi as well. Almost broken inside, I somehow managed to continue talking.
“It’s a trip to Seychelles for a couple. Can I please know your boyfriend/husband’s name for our records?”
“It’s Kamran Akhtar.”
“What the hell Sharmani! You are dating Kamran? Since when have you two been sleeping together, you whore?”
A dial tone indicated that she had cut the call.
Maddened with fury and shock, I didn’t know what to do. The fifteen minutes I waited for Kamran to come back were the hardest, with a million unanswered questions which seemed to slaughter my sense of reasoning. When I confronted him, he simply said, without an ounce of guilt or shame in his voice, that they had been meeting up for three months after coming to Delhi and had hooked up a couple of times, after which they started dating.
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Without wasting another second, I booked my tickets back to Chennai. The next week was horrible, as every day memories involving Kamran replayed in my head. I took leave from office only to cry my eyes out. Every night I lay awake. However, what hurt me the most was knowing that Kamran didn’t tell me the entire truth.
Almost unhinged, I decided to ask my school friend Ronit for help. He was an ethical hacker by profession, so we hacked into Kamran’s Facebook profile. What unfolded once I opened the messages section was beyond disquieting. With immense control over my tears, I read every chat between the two to find out that he was telling the truth. However, there were chats with other women who he had slept with after moving to Delhi as well. The chats unravelled a series of flings that he had shamelessly indulged in over the past two years. I didn’t know how to react. A wave of numbness crept over me and sucked out every minim of self-composure and for some unexplained reason, I reached out to my phone to call the pervert.
“WHY DID YOU CHEAT ON ME WITH 17 OTHER WOMEN?” I screamed.
Related reading: My husband had an affair, but it’s me who can’t forget
“If you want to know the reasons, I’ll be happy to give them to you. First, it was a long distance relationship and I believe that regular sex is important for my existence. Second, I was caught up with too many things and you were never there to listen to my problems any more. Third, people move on, I just wanted to but didn’t have the heart to tell you that.”
I disconnected and flung my phone from the third floor balcony. For a split second, I considered tossing myself off the balcony as well.
Then I remembered that I had my whole life ahead of me, and didn’t want to throw it away. That held me back and I decided that he wasn’t worth it. Amidst a whirlpool of feelings, I was determined to forget that bastard and move on.
The process of moving on wasn’t a cakewalk; it took every iota of strength to forget someone I’d been completely in love with. I broke all my personal taboos when I sought the services of a psychiatrist, as moving on by myself didn’t seem possible. I’d been hooked on anti-depressants for the first few weeks; she introduced me to meditation.
It’s been a year since I started Reiki and meditation and the void inside me which was full of ill feelings has been refilled with an urge to discover life and love once again.
As told to Niharika Nandi