(As told to Mehul Vora)
I was a loner in my college days, with not many friends, no college group, nobody. And then one day I spotted Meeta, a new student. I noticed her the moment she entered the classroom, and immediately knew that I wanted to be close to her. Thereon, I always found a seat close to hers.
Soon enough we were assigned to work together on a science project. This assignment came as a blessing and we befriended each other. We met often and chatted on the phone. Soon we were chatting the entire day. Then one day Meeta told me that she wanted me to meet someone special. I was puzzled, curious, and partly jealous, a potpourri of emotions.
She’s my best friend
Meeta then introduced me to Shreya, her best friend. They were really close. Soon Meeta, Shreya, and I became a trio. We would talk the whole day, hang out, party and do everything together. But I felt a little insecure whenever Shreya was around, as Meeta and she were extremely close, often to the point of making me feel left out. I ignored it on the advice of a friend, who said it was a girl thing, and I must not overthink.
It was Meeta’s birthday, and we were celebrating her birthday at a local pub. I confessed my love to her and asked her to be my girlfriend – she accepted without hesitation. Shreya joined in later and we partied extra. We overindulged in alcohol, as a double celebration, and Meeta suggested we spend the night in a hotel. I woke up the next morning to find Meeta cuddling Shreya in her sleep. I felt a twinge of suspicion but ignored it, telling myself that anyone sleeping with an arm over another needn’t mean anything adverse; one is not really conscious of what one does in one’s sleep.
We’d been dating for a few months when Meeta called me one morning, in tears. I panicked and rushed over to her place. There she said that Shreya had fought with her, saying that Meeta had new priorities. I told her to do what made her happy, and I wouldn’t begrudge her about the time she spent with her friend. Meeta cheered up immediately, and gave me a huge tight hug and then we spent the day together.
We grew apart
Little did I know that that was my last day with her. After that I barely saw her, and we’d meet over the weekend, while she devoted the rest of her time to Shreya. I kept my word and for 2 months I didn’t say anything. But I slowly slipped into a really low and sad place. Then one day I met my old friend Priya, and she forced me to go out for a drink, in a bid to cheer me up. There I spotted Meeta and Shreya, engrossed in each other, close dancing, drinking and having fun. I was a little surprised and discussed it with my friend, who once again suggested that I ignore it.
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Then I decided to give Meeta a surprise. I booked a room in a resort near Karjat, on the outskirts of Mumbai, and we drove out. Meeta was fine until I tried to get intimate and then she refused. She said she didn’t want physical relations until we were married. So I took advantage of the opportunity and asked her to marry me. She paled at first and then tried to laugh it off. She said that we were too young, it was too early, and we should focus on our careers.
In through the window
We got back from the trip and from the next day onwards, I felt that Meeta was ignoring me. The insecurity drove me to keep a watch on her. Her daily routine was very simple; college, home, parents, a morning jog, gym in the evening, and phone call. Then one day when I was watching her, I saw her parents going out and Meeta alone at home. I was about to go over but saw Shreya entering the building. I took a vantage point on a tree and got a good view into Meeta’s room. The view I got was unbelievable. Meeta and Shreya were doing the dirty. They were making out!
I somehow got home, and waited for the next morning, when I decided to confront Meeta. I asked her what was wrong. She wasn’t spending time with me, wasn’t ready to be intimate, and we were not sharing much more than just friends. As we were talking, Shreya called Meeta, who stepped out to take the call. The call just wouldn’t end, so I snatched the phone and was about to tell Shreya that Meeta would call her back, when I heard Shreya telling Meeta to tell me the truth.
The truth emerges
I asked her what truth she wanted me to know. I told Meeta that she needed to forget Shreya. It was Shreya that was creating a rift between us. I lied to her that Shreya was enjoying herself with her boyfriend, that I had seen them at a pub. The guy and Shreya were making out. Meeta was getting furious and after a few more comments about her friend, Meeta burst out that Shreya could not cheat on her. I grabbed hold of that line and asked her how Shreya could possibly cheat on her.
She then broke down and confessed that they were a couple. I was shocked into silence. I had hoped until then that I had misunderstood the situation, even though I’d seen them together in bed. But this left no doubt in my mind and I felt my heart shatter.
Meeta then offered to continue to be on my girlfriend, and continue the farce we’d been living.
Related reading: When I got married to a gay man
Why would you do that?
That offer traumatised me further, and I asked Meeta why she was dating me when she was clearly interested in another. Meeta said that it was their arrangement so that they could keep their relationship a secret.
I asked her she would want to hurt me so. Had she told me in the beginning itself, I wouldn’t have pursued her. I said I didn’t judge her for her sexuality, but I couldn’t forgive her for making a fool of me. I had dreamed of a future together and would rather be alone than continue this mockery.
It’s been five years and I’m still single. The trauma of what I went through is hard to shake off and I don’t know if I will ever get over it.