We’ve seen million kinds of relationships, some serious, some edging on commitment and others as fragile as can be. Some believe in flings, while some believe in commitment, but to both, long distance is a step beyond possible. It’s not that love is absent, it’s just that someone’s physical and emotional presence in real time is important and more often than not, we end up losing sight of who our partner really is.
Either way, the struggle is very real.
It had been a really long time, almost a year since I’d broken up with the boy who I’d shifted to New York for. If you think getting over a 10-year relationship with a ring involved wasn’t easy, then you have no idea how tough it is to settle in this amazing city.
I was standing in the check-in line at JFK, contemplating how I’d meet our mutual friends without him. I didn’t realize when the line moved ahead, until a guy tapped on my shoulder, I turned around to bump into his tall frame. He smiled at me and raised his eyebrows towards the now-clear counter, I sheepishly smiled and moved ahead. I kept thinking about his adorable brown, curly hair and I tried to spot it on the plane but I couldn’t.
When I landed in Mumbai, he walked upto me, handed me a card and said,
‘Incase you need to be led anywhere else’.
It took me a week to call him, I kept thinking about my ex, about everything he meant to me, how no-one would come close to being as important to me, but a little voice inside told me to just go for it.
So I did.
Those 2 months at home, were the best days of my life. We were so different, he saw things in grey, while I saw them in black and white. We loved and laughed like there was no expiration date.
We did what no-one would do, we committed to a long distance relationship, based on a two-month encounter
It lasted one year. There were a lot of things I didn’t know about him, things I wouldn’t have liked, things I wasn’t okay with. There was a time I had snorted out my soft drink because of a joke he cracked, then he started using his humor to avoid serious conversations. He loved me for the carefree, jovial and happy person I was, but in reality, I was still going through a breakup.
He wasn’t my soulmate, but he helped me be the person I am today. He made me realize I wasn’t ready to settle for someone who didn’t call me for days together because he was hanging with his friends, I wasn’t ready to be with someone who didn’t include me in his future plans. And he helped me see that my ex, was my ex for a reason.
He spared me a lot of pain and hurt and for that, I will forever be grateful to this almost stranger.
The clock seems stuck on 11 since forever, so I’m sitting out here in the hallway and going through my emails. Since I’m currently jobless, you can’t call me a workaholic. Atleast not anymore. I was always one of the girls who’d put their career before everything. I was so involved in my job, that I didn’t notice when my recent call logs went from having 10 different friends to just 2. I’ve lost relationships, distanced myself from family matters and I’d even stopped paying attention to myself.
Until I had a life-changing meeting with a client I’d never seen.
In my 9 to infinity job, I met this man, who showed me that the world was bigger than just my cabin. He didn’t sign my company, so I wasn’t breaking any laws, but we did exchange emails. From then on till date, we’ve exchanged over 5000 emails. He became my confidant, my source of entertainment. Every day this man would send me pictures of the places he’d want me to visit, wine tasting in Nappa, Spaghetti crawl in Rome and Beaching it up in Greece.
He’d write me emails which could see into my soul, capture my spirit and show me the person I was missing. His emails described a person I used to be before I got sucked into the corporate world, a happy person.
Yesterday he told me he loved me for the very first time. I didn’t reply, I didn’t even open the whole email, I just saw those 3 words staring at me from my screen. I finally opened the email on my way to work. Those three words were followed by a picture, of two 7 or 8-year-olds, with the girl kissing the boy on the cheek.
Suddenly I heard the words, ‘Sir, please turn the car and take it to the airport’, coming out of my mouth’.
My mind was racing a mile a minute, the picture was of me in school at age 6, he was the guy with me. He was the little boy who’d pull my pigtails, who’d shown me how to twirl a play with Tazos, the guy who’d made my school year unforgettable, until he moved.
So I did the only sensible thing I could think of, I flew to Bangalore and now I’m sitting here waiting for the clock to strike 12, because then it would be exactly 1 year since we since we started chatting and it would be the perfect time to say ‘You too’.
I was 18 when I asked her out. She was so witty, she could give comedians a run for their money. With her wavy black hair that never seemed to end, her passion for people around her and let’s just say her infinite level of sarcasm, everyone was surprised she chose the boy next door, me.
I wanted to date her, I couldn’t say she was the one or I had deep feelings for her but I wanted to date her. I didn’t fall in love in an instant, I feel in love with her over a million fights, a thousand private jokes, our first time in bed, the night she told me I was ‘The One’.
I loved everything about her.
So when she told me she was moving to Delhi for a job, I was as supportive as I could try to be and waved her off with a smile, knowing that this was a tiny blip and we’d be okay. I went to work, feeling lost and alone. She wasn’t just my girlfriend, she was my best friend. A month into the long distance I went to Delhi, we spend the weekend together, it was tough. It was really tough to see that she’d settled in just fine, she had a group of friends and she was enjoying.
When I came back, our phone calls were shorter, our messages were longer, complaining about one thing or another. She’d shut herself completely to me, I’d see a post she was tagged in and I knew she was out, I’d see someone sharing a picture or a joke about something she’d mentioned earlier to them and I’d get jealous.
Over time, she erased me from her life.
We broke up after dating for 4 years, she blocked me on social media and she pretended like our relationship was one big mistake. I never really got over her. I kept waiting for the phone to ring, I waited for a flash of the black wavy hair, but nothing.
Today I found out that she’s been dating someone for 3 years, even though it’s been only 2 and a half since we’ve broken up. She was cheating on me and this whole time I blamed myself, wondering if it would have worked out if I had given her some space.
She broke my heart and now I’m going to break hers.
It isn’t impossible, but ask yourself, ‘Do you want to go the distance?’.