“Sometimes we portray ourselves as the bad person in order to make others happy, most importantly in order to make our loved ones happy because that’s the least we can offer them in return for their unconditional love.”
“Yaaz? Don’t you have work today?” Mamma entered my room asking me as I was sitting on my bed awake at that hour. It was 6 am, Wednesday morning. I just got done deleting thousands of pictures of me and Reem. Reem was my girlfriend of 5 years. Well, that’s an understatement, honestly. She was my first-love, the proper definition of Love in my life for that entire 5 years of life I spent together with her, since the day I met and made her mine, with pride.
Reem and I spent 2 years together and the remaining was just an on-and-off thing. I let her go assuming she deserved better. Well, things do get tough in the long run with endless arguments, possessiveness, and also since the younger me was a coward who didn’t really bother fighting for what I loved, gave up too soon instead. Thought that was the only solution. Nevertheless, Reem was such a sweet-heart who stuck by my side, supporting me even when I least deserved it. Somehow with little texts and arguments we made it to 5 years. That’s when it hit me that I needed to get back to her and tell her how much I really loved her. There came a point I realised she thought I was dating somebody else behind her back, it simply hit me how hard she was forcing a smile on her gorgeous face and moving on little by little after she sent me that “Good-luck!” text message and flagged our conversation.
I sent her multiple texts to talk to me so that I can lift some things off my chest. Some ugly things that were unusually keeping me up at night, well, a number of nights. And one day, one sweet morning I got the reply – “Hey, Yaaz. Tell me” and that’s when it all begun. Once again, fresh and sweet. Can you imagine how kindly and sweetly she replied even though I didn’t deserve a bit of those? Anyway I grabbed the golden chance I got to text my angel, I explained and she listened. I told her how much I loved her. And she told me she knew it, but deep inside I knew she was already half over me for the things that I put her through and the last lie I told her about how I was dating somebody else in order to make her hate me. You know, it is really true that even an always understanding heart gets tired at some point. I realised and felt it through her sugarcoated replies. Yet, she was still so kind and loving, texting me with that same excitement. However, I got her BACK. I did. She was mine, could have been for a short time-span, but at least, she was mine for those two sweet days. Which felt like 2 years. Or even more.
Then came the major issue. Unexpectedly. I’m sure most of you all wouldn’t understand this if you haven’t hit 23 yet. The marriage-factor. Reem and I, well, it was her who started talking about getting married. I come from a strict and religious family background who hated love-marriages, they never believed in one. They wanted a pure significant other for each of us and by the term ‘Pure’, they meant somebody who is not the date, was dating or is dating type of person. Yes, I was one. All my cousins were one of those cunning guys who dated, but everyone gave up at some point in life because who had the courage to stand up and say “I love HER and want to marry her, Just her”? Nobody. Not even me. Besides, Reem’s family were the cool, understanding type who wanted happiness for their children. Somehow I also doubt they, Reem’s parents would accept me for they, themselves had an arranged marriage. What was admirable was about how Reem had hope and that courage most of us, men lacked. She was that “I’ll speak for me, I won’t give up unless you do” type of person.
This was one hell of a tough decision I had to make, especially after getting back with the love of my life whom I didn’t ever deserve, somebody who was supposed to let go of me a long, very long time ago. I had to think about marrying her and talking about it and confronting my parents who raised me with unconditional love. I had sleepless nights again. I really had no other options but to lie to Reem about how I lost feelings for her. I weighed the pros and cons of talking about it to my parents. But that would only make me their eldest son somebody who wasn’t religious and worse, Reem the immodest girl who apparently wasn’t raised well. Reem would rather kill herself than live with such a tarnished reputation, which is why I always protected it no matter how long we never spoke or had the romantic relationship. I was dependent on my parents for a long time, the least I could do was live and marry according to their choice. Yes, I told Reem I was giving up. Not the actual reason behind it, because I didn’t want her hating my parents whom she dearly loved like her very own. I decided to tell her one last lie, that I lost feelings for her.
I still remember how I had tears running down my cheeks while texting her
“You should move on; we both deserve something better than this..”
She on the other hand, was that strong woman who for once, for the first time in 5 years agreed to that stupid text of mine. Without any second thoughts or arguments to why we should try again and not give up. She didn’t even ask me if why are we giving up now and why did we came so far. I expected that from her, and maybe that expectation is what still hurts me somewhere deep inside every time I come across the name ‘Reem’. A name that will forever be buried deep in my heart, a name I won’t ever let go off from my heart and thoughts no matter how long I go without seeing her or hearing her. That smile and cheerful laughter, those motivation and inside jokes.
We had one last, heartbreaking conversation in which I still am not sure If I was actually convincing her or myself about how I lost all feelings for her a long time ago, and for which she agreed she understood. And unbelievably I asked her if she needed a break for which she said no. She is such a strong woman, indeed. But hey, we, men aren’t that emotionally strong, especially when it is we who screwed up, I believe. I had to block her from all my social media accounts because I couldn’t handle that much of a pain of seeing her happy. When I am the one she was supposed to be happy with, paying-back by making her the happiest woman in this entire world. Selfish that I am, once again, I cared a little too much about myself in order to let her go, erase all our memories and block her. How long am I supposed to grieve anyway, I have a future too, I told myself.
“No, maa. I took a day off” I told mamma, brushing off all the emotions that popped into my head about last night’s conversation with my ex. A relationship none would ever know I had. An ex. That’s what she now is. Mamma looked into my eyes and gave me the usual “I understand” smile and walked downstairs. You see, this is why I had to take that decision. Letting go of someone I loved so much dearly, because I simply couldn’t stand the thought of seeing those eyes with tears, my mamma’s face dusted because of some disgraceful things I had been doing in the name of love. And before you slap me with “Why’d you date her then? why’d you get back with her otherwise? Or why’d you even fall in love in the first place if you can’t work for it?” sort of questions. let me tell you all:
Sometimes you fall in love unexpectedly. You never fall in love by choice; and you don’t necessarily have to live with the person you love. Sometimes love is a sacrifice. Love is letting go ‘cause you realise the other person deserves better. Love is an action, a pain you’re willing to endure for the other person’s eternal happiness! Sometimes, letting go means, you love them even more..
I hate myself for some of the mistakes I did, but again, mistakes are lessons for me. If I had told my parents about Reem, they’d be disappointed about me and also hated her for something she wasn’t responsible for. After all which of parents would blame and accuse their own kids, right? But now, Reem is happy and so am I, I suppose. We will be, may be? And so are our parents
We broke our hearts for nothing, but to secretly make our parents happy. Reem and Yaaz weren’t meant to be, and there are more of us. Not everybody is going to understand our choices and decisions, but that doesn’t really matter as long as you know why and it makes you feel good and not guilty. I love Reem. I really do, and that’s exactly why I let her go. She deserves a man that’ll treat her like the Queen she is, and a family that loved her like her very own.
“I believe there’s one great love in everyone’s life, but I don’t necessarily believe they all have a happily ever after. I believe you can fall in love multiple times.”