“I’m getting married. Tomorrow”
Her sharp intake of breath was the only thing he heard and then, the silence, one so loud that he could hear the pain beneath. The one he couldn’t bear.
“I’ve b-been meaning to tell you but I was.. I was scared”, He stuttered while fiddling with the buttons on his shirt.
And indeed, he had. It was why his fiancée stormed out of his house the previous day. She couldn’t bear that he was keeping secrets from her.
At the moment, he didn’t feel ready but he knew he had to. She deserved better than to know of his wedding online – him in the suit he had described to her so many times while reiterating his desire to build a home with her.
He couldn’t tell her to her face because he knew she was a proud person and wouldn’t want him to see her hurt especially when he was the cause. Doing it via text wasn’t it either, that was cruel. So, he resolved to call
Still, she said nothing. Her soft breaths made his heart ache.
“Please say something, please”
It would be a lie if he said her screaming at him wouldn’t hurt, it was what he deserved for putting her through pain but this silence, this acceptance makes him feel more guilty.
“Darn it, say something! Scream at me! Shoot me, anything. Just say something”
“What do you want me to say? That I didn’t see it coming?”, she asked. “Sure, I’m hurt but will I waste my time telling you what you know? Definitely not. I am not your wife and it’s not like I promised to marry you.”
It became harder to breathe.
“May Allah bless your home”, she said in a subdued voice and then, he heard a beep.
The sick feeling in his gut increased exponentially. In all their years of friendship, all 3 years, the past year of him trying to get her in a relationship included, she had never dropped the call on him. Ever. He knew then that whatever it was they had was over.
Heartbreak could kill.
If she didn’t think so before, she believed it at that moment. There were invisible hands clutching her chest something in her throat bent on choking her. She wanted to take a seat or get water or something but she couldn’t settle on what. It was as if everyone of her memory had been wiped away, except the pain.
Through it all, she somehow managed to keep the tears at bay. Maybe she believed, deep down, that if she didn’t cry, she wasn’t that invested in the pseudo relationship.
He had made his intention known a year before. She felt drawn to him and him to her but she knew she wasn’t in the right state of mind to get married and it wouldn’t be fair to string him along.
That was what she did though. Despite her dismissal of his proposal, they still spent an inordinate amount of time together – online and offline. He was the first person she informed about her wins and struggles. There was even one time she ignored the alarms in her head when the chats shifted towards the obscene. She knew what she was doing was wrong but she felt too weak to cut it off.
As much as she would want to say “men are scum”, she would acknowledge her part in the situation and would be glad that the decision was taken out of her hands. When the pain recedes, she would genuinely wish him a happy home and swear off love but before then, she would have to sit with it.