May 6, 2011. 

I remember the date well. It was a rather pleasant evening and I had just returned to my room after a class. I remember the exact position I was sitting in when I received that text; the text that made me hate my message tone for the next few months. 

She had sent me pictures of them together, celebrating her birthday. She told me that they had been going around for more than six months now and she needed to tell me because she couldn’t bear the guilt any longer. 

After reading those long messages that she had written apologizing profusely, I pitied myself more than she did.

I knew her as his classmate in college who would often work together with him on projects. Or so I was told. ‘She’s just a friend’, he had said when I saw 5 missed calls from her on his phone. 

Maybe things were always right in front of my eyes but I chose to ignore them.

Did I put way too much trust in him? 

But isn’t that how it’s supposed to be in a relationship?  

The next two days felt like a long, dark night. I felt a burning sensation every time I looked at their selfies. I looked at her face and his hand placed gently around her arm, then her hair and his hand again. He was smiling from ear to ear.

For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel the innocence in his smile. He seemed cruel and heartless.

I couldn’t wrap my head around how fast my world was falling apart. 

Why didn’t he talk to me before? Would things have been any better if he did?

A part of me wanted him to deny everything. Just one word of love from him and the hopeless lover in me was ready to let go of every pain that I was going through and take him back. 

I had no idea of the jealousy and envy that I was capable of feeling towards the other woman. I was livid at her for carrying on an affair with him. I wished every possible ill for her. 

Even when I knew in my heart that it was him who had wronged me, I kept blaming her for not avoiding it.

Everything that he ever did or said seemed to be a lie. The whole relationship of 4 years was reduced to a farce.

I felt like a delusional fool. 

How could he? 

Why me?  

When and how did she become dearer than the promises we had made to each other?

Just when my mind was grappling with questions of self-doubt, his apology admitting to have developed feelings for her blew away every ounce of hope that this wasn’t real. Each day was a new low. 

Am I not good enough? What did I do wrong?

The failure of losing my love to someone else destroyed my confidence bit by bit.

Even after more than five years of this incident, I struggle to put my faith in someone. Whoever said “It’s better to be loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” might not have been at the receiving end of lies and deceits. 

“He isn’t worth your tears and time,” my friends would try to help me come out of the trauma. 

Everything said and done, I always felt that he was every bit worthy of my love and care. But the question that still haunts me is what did I to deserve to be lied to?

Betrayal in love cuts deeper than a dagger. I may have learned to live, but I haven’t forgotten the hurt. My heart cringes at the mere thought of love and warmth and the idea of forever seems too naive. 

I’m not the same person anymore, and maybe I’ll never be.