It was never meant to work out. But I lacked the foresight to realize that, till it was over. I was too young and naïve.
Like all affairs, it was all mushy at the beginning. All day at school we held hands and shyly smiled at each other. Apart from a few girl-talks and giggles with my girlfriends, we were inseparable. Most of my classmates were jealous, considering we were doing so well together. At lunch break alone, we parted…only to be together again.
I returned home from school…to catch a glimpse of him again. He visited me every day. My parents were quite supportive of the relationship. Though sometimes they told me I was too small, and should also engage in singing, swimming, watching T.V, playing with my friends etc. I did all that…but none with the passion with which I spent time with him.
It was an obsession. As I grew older, the obsession grew worse. And I knew it would take every bit of my waking hours to keep the fire alive. I tried. I did have a life beyond him as well…my friends, relatives, music, college fests etc. But he was the possessive, jealous kinds. If I spent too much time away from him, he would punish me…and the results were never good. On such days, I cried till my eyes were swollen, pillows drenched. Sometimes I would hate him so much that I felt like breaking up. But he wouldn’t let me do that. And I, for some reason, couldn’t do it either. I kept on with him just to prove to my jealous friends that we were destined to be together. And I knew they said behind my back ‘What does he see in her?’
Before every ‘date’, I would panic…as if it was our first date. ‘How will it go?’, ‘Would I make a good impression?’, ‘Would I be good enough for him?’, ‘What if I make a mistake?’, ‘Will he leave me for someone else?’ Questions…and more questions.
I kept on…as if it was a habit hard to get rid of…like a drug addiction. My relatives knew about him too. Some aunts loved him so much that I would think they liked him more than they liked me. Everyone thought we had a bright future together. They held parties to celebrate our relationship, toasting for us to be happy and together always.
But my parents had had enough. They had supported me all through this relationship, right from the very start. But knowing how much he tortured me, they wished I would give him up. They said ‘There’s more to life than him. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone.’ But deep within, I knew it was not ‘others’ I was concerned about…it was ME. I couldn’t bear the thought of giving up…having done so well all these years…having made ‘news’, and ‘gossip’…having carved this ‘image’ of two of us happy together. The world still thought we were happy lovers. Even in their wildest dreams, no one imagined that it was such a torture ‘within’…such a storm.
Sleepless nights…headaches…early mornings…pain killers …and sometimes even sedatives. It was a vicious loop I had got into. I got so sick of him after certain special ‘dates’, that I could have almost killed myself. The only way out…was to move away. But we continued posing to be happy lovers…for the world’s sake.
It was as if we had been together all our lives. On our 19th anniversary…one of those special ‘dates’, I finally had the courage to look him in the eye, and say ‘Darling, let’s call it quits.’
In memory of my torturous relationship with Academics. I quit after my Masters. That made it 19 years, if I am to count ‘nursery’, where I learned to identify numbers and colours.