I believed I loved him enough to forgive the injustice he had done to me all those years ago. I can still see the naive teenage me being so happy in love; it was my very first time, and I had wanted to hold onto that feeling forever.
I was so in love with his cute smile, and I adored everything about him. We had been friends for 2 years before I decided he was the one. I was only 16, and he was 19. He promised me that he had never been with another girl, and when we finally did it, we both laughed at our own clumsiness. We promised to stay together for life.
We used to be together almost every day and talk on the phone all night. Soon I had to go to college, and he started working at a friend's place. He worried he might lose me to someone at college, but I reassured him. I made so many new friends at college, but he was always on my mind. All my friends knew how much I was into him.
I used to skip classes to be with him. We never talked about it, but we both knew we wished to get married one day. Well, my wish didn't last long.
He had gone on a week-long fishing trip with his buddies. I wanted to surprise him on his return by cleaning and decorating his room. I talked to his mother and got the keys. I remember being so excited rearranging stuff in his room.
He had a messy habit of piling up his dirty laundry in the closet. I thought of taking it all home and washing it for him. I sorted his casual clothes, sports stuff, and underwear. I thought maybe I should leave the heavy bed linens for his mother to do. But on second thought, I just grabbed them.
Smiling to myself, I laid a wide sheet on the floor so that it would be easy for me to fold them. As I spread the second sheet, a pastel blue plain sheet, my eyes caught some stains.
On closer inspection, I found out they were clotted up bloodstains. I just threw it down on the floor, and my heart raced. I told myself it couldn't be. It wasn't mine - we never made love during my period.
I stayed inside his room for hours crying. When I had cried myself a river, I got up to leave his life forever. But, in the end, against all my will, I took all his laundry, including the damned sheet, to wash at home.
I never told him about it for years, but it never went away. And my feelings were never the same again. We had problems and fights because I could never trust him anymore.
Years went by, and things turned from sour to bitter between us. But I just couldn't leave him even when I tried to. We even moved in together. And that's when I decided to go for therapy.
I never told him about it, and it was during a group therapy session for victims of infidelity that I met someone new. He gave me hope and support to leave my meaningless relationship.
But before I said goodbye to my old life for good, I just wanted him to experience his own medicine. It might have been the wrong thing to do, but I did it anyway!
We hadn’t had sex for ages because I was seeing the other guy.
After a long day of passionate intimacy with the new guy, I came home, hoping he would be there. Unfortunately, he wasn't. So, instead, to spite him, I dropped my g-string at the bottom of the closet, where he wouldn't miss it! The lace was heavily soiled with dried-up caked discharge on the crotch. We both knew that only happened once I put my panties back on after sex.
I was dead sure he would ask me about it! But instead, he kept giving me the cold shoulder for over a week. He never bothered to ask me about it, so I just threw the damn thing into the laundry bin.
We both had busy full-time jobs, and I was working on shifts. After we moved in, things changed, but not for the better.
I still remember reading about cheating while I got cheated on. They say you will get all these weird vibes and disturbing cues - I have heard most people call it gut instincts! Well, when he cheated on me, I never had any of those things.
But I made sure he felt all that stuff - I built walls around us, gave him the silent treatment, bought a new phone and password-protected it, changed all my passwords on all social platforms, shopped for new lingerie and perfume that I never wore with him!
On my morning shift days, I knew he would be looking forward to going out together after work or spending a cozy evening in bed watching movies and making love, like we used to.
So I just started to come home really late from work, to spite him and to avoid him.
One night I came home really late, just before 11 pm, and I acted more exhausted than I really was!
He said he had waited and waited for me to come home. He usually gets off work latest by 6 pm. He had texted earlier, and I replied, saying that a staff meeting was going on and that I would come home a bit later.
He was out on the balcony, chain smoking.
He avoided looking at me, so I went inside, washed up, and went straight to bed.
I turned in without saying goodnight - something I had never ever done before.
After like 2 hours later, he finally came into the room. I was half-asleep and pretended to sleep while he sat down and stayed there looking at my face.
I thought he was going to check my phone as soon as he felt I was asleep.
But he has never checked up on my calls, ever. And whenever he asked who it was on the phone, I lied to him, saying it was my sister or mom.
I opened my eyes and knew he had been crying.
I don't know if I felt triumphant or defeated. Maybe I felt nothing. It saddened me too to see his innocent face but it contradicted me too - how that same innocent face had fooled me and cheated on me.
He reached for my hand and put them inside his hand and rubbed my fingers, like he always did when he needed to talk. He asked me about the soiled lacy thong!
And boy was he in for a surprise!
I calmly reminded him about the time I came across the blood-stained sheets among his dirty laundry, when I had visited his place, while he had been away.
He went mute and numb. He pulled his hands away and looked the other way.
“I’ve never asked you about it - obviously it wasn’t mine” I turned his face towards mine and looked him straight in the eye.
He looked away in guilt.
It felt like a huge boulder off my chest, and I found that I was smiling. It was finally all out, after all those years.
He thought I had never found out about it. It was early on in our relationship, years and years ago.
It took him an eternity to mutter "I-I wasn’t sure about us then, and an ex-girlfriend had dropped in, and it j-just happened".
“Well, I’ve been meaning to tell you this, but I have been cheating on you!” I said it ever so calmly,
I saw the loathe, disgust, and utter rage burning in his eyes.
He didn’t know what to say, he just stood there licking his lips in agitation. I saw his jaws twitch and his fists grip.
I got off the bed, walked over to him.
I finally broke the silence “Don’t you want to know why I did it?”.
“All these years, I 've never forgiven you for what you had done to me…” my voice cracked. “I was so innocent and my love was so pure for you” I was talking to myself, crying “I gave my everything to you and you betrayed me”.
He looked so defeated, like as if his world had drowned, he had to sit down, but he just kind of fell onto the cold floor.
He laid there looking up at the ceiling and then lit a cigarette and dragged on it!
I had stopped crying long ago and now the anger that had consumed me all those years ago had left me with nothing but calmness.
I didn’t want to fight nor justify my reckless behaviour. I thought he would hit me even though he had never laid a finger on me in the past.
He sat in silence fighting a lost battle. He kept on smoking. I went over to the closet and pulled out my luggage and started packing.
I heard him walk past me and go down to the garage.
When I came down with my bags to leave, he had packed my remaining stuff and had called me a taxi. And when it arrived he helped me get everything inside.
It was time for goodbye.
But all he said was “Do you feel better now that you have cheated on a cheater?”
I didn't say a word, its all been said and done.
The taxi drove me home.
I had already had a talk earlier with my Mom and sister.
I fell onto the bed and went into total hibernation.
After weeks of pain I decided to go on living my normal routine with work, gym and friends.
I stopped seeing the new guy. He was not the reason why I did what I did.
And the one I had truly loved and then left behind never even bothered to call - not even once.
Common friends asked, “So what went wrong?”
To which I just shrug and change the topic.
What am I supposed to say?
#findinnerpeace #PioneeringMaldivesWellness #pamperinmaldives