She left him.
Like a cold gust of winter wind, she left him, drowning in his own pool of self pity and grief. He had always wanted to spend the rest of his life with her, growing old together and naming their grand children. She loved him back, he thought. All those whispers of sweet nothings and gentle caresses had been nothing but a sham. The day he lost his inheritance, he lost more than he ever imagined.
She walked out, neither uttering a word nor shedding a tear.
She convinced herself that she did the right thing. Like many young women in her town, she wanted a future. She wanted stability and security. He was the most eligible bachelor in her town, coming from the most affluent family. And she thought she had it all when he proposed to her – They made love that night, even though their community was vehemently opposed to premarital sex. She said yes against her will and closed her eyes.
She knew they were committing a grave sin and breaking a sanctimonious traditional law. But she didn’t care because the future blinded her and muddled her judgment. She thought she loved him, until a week later his father discovered he was not really his son and in a fit of rage cut him off from his will. He threw him out, along with his mother, banished, never to return.
It was then that she suddenly realized she had never loved him. With the riches and glory gone, there was now suddenly a large eerie void. She couldn’t believe how foolish and naïve she had been. She felt sorry for leading him on. She regretted sleeping with him. She contemplated and felt dirty. Extremely dirty.
She moved to the city the next day. She couldn’t take the gossips and whispers anymore. The venomous stares that seemed to follow her everywhere she went. Deep inside she knew they were right and that she deserved to be judged harshly. But she also knew she made a mistake and that she could not ruin her life just for the sake of “being true to her lover”. A lover that she didn’t even genuinely love. Life is cruel. And the only way to rebuild her life was to go on an exile from the maddening town.
City life was definitely different.
She stayed with her uncle and aunt. They didn’t question her or mention anything about “the” incident. They knew.
Her uncle was a pastor and she found renewed faith in God. She prayed every night and asked God for forgiveness for that one night of sin.
She found a job as a librarian through her uncle’s influence, and in a month she was back on her feet, cheerful and happier, but more importantly, wiser.
She worked devotedly every day in that library, catering to University students and professors. Very soon, all the regular library visitors knew her on a first name basis. Some of the students even had a crush on her. She dismissed their advances sportingly because they were not what she’s looking for. Being wiser, all she wanted was true love. A perfect match.
And then one day, a new He stepped into her life. He was a research assistant. Working on his thesis. Handsome. Smart. Polite. Suave.
After a few days and many smile exchanges later, he asked her out. She nodded with a blush. Their first date was at the University canteen. Tea and momos. They connected immediately. He wasn’t rich, but he came from a respectable family. 42 cousins and a sister who was a renowned gospel singer.
Within a month, she got to know all 42 cousins. His parents absolutely adored her and she was on cloud nine. She imagined what her life would have been like had she remained with the other person. No love. No money. No family. Just plain misery.
She thanked the good Lord that night. Three months passed by. She had never felt this strong and passionate about anyone before. Neither had he. They went to Church together. They went to picnic spots with his family on weekends. Everybody around them could feel the aura of love surrounding them.
Like most men, he of course made his advances when they were alone. A hand gently slipped below or a quick grope. She politely declined and he smiled. He was not persistent. He respected her. She whispered to him that she was a virgin. That she was saving herself. That she was a good Christian afraid of God. He beamed with pride and whispered back that he too was a virgin. And then, he proposed.
As they hugged in joy, she cried. Not tears of joy. She was overwhelmed with shame for lying.
She brushed aside her shame. She convinced herself that some things were best left unsaid. She didn’t want to throw this away. It was too perfect.
One week before the marriage, when all the invitation cards had been sent, her uncle and aunt left the city to attend a pastoral conference. They promised to be back before the wedding. She enjoyed the blissful solitude and dreamt about the wedding once again. Then the phone rang.
She answered. It was her cousin. Two minutes later, her whole world came crashing down. She slapped herself to see if it was all a nightmare. One horrible nightmare she wanted to wake up from.
Alas. It was real.
She sat down. The bedroom spun forever. She ran to the bathroom and vomited. The past came haunting back, with horrendous fangs and fiery breath ready to devour her. In those two minutes of phone call, her cousin told her everything. The guy she left, turned to drugs and led a wasteful life. And then a few days ago, when he heard about her upcoming marriage, he quietly tied a rope on the ceiling and ended his perpetual misery.
But not before releasing a few photographs on the internet. Scandalous photos of the two of them. Taken from his mobile phone camera. Of that one fateful night she regretted. Just five photos, but enough to defile any reputation. Bare bodied. Intimate. Provocative. Straight out of a tacky porn film. A minute after sharing the files online, he took the extreme step.
She felt both anger and pain. Angry for what he did, and pain for what he did a minute after that. She was confused. And most of all, she dreaded how her fiancé was going to react. She had lied to him about her sexual past. The ultimate lie according to any guy - Where male egos frequently clashed.
She called him a hundred times. He didn’t answer. News spread fast, especially in their small community. Internet. MMS. Pen drive. All the fires of Hell burnt slower than that.
She couldn’t eat. And being all alone in her house made things worse. She forgot God. Time ticked slowly. She cried over and over again until she felt dizzy. She didn’t have the courage to go to his house.
And then, just around midnight, her doorbell rang.
With a weakened effort, she meekly opened the door. It was him. Eyes bloodshot with a stench of cheap alcohol. He staggered in and sat on the chair. No words spoken. A deafening silence.
She sat beside him and cried. He looked at her and broke down too. He hugged her and she reciprocated. No matter what the bitterness had been, the chemistry between them soon exploded and he kissed her with strong emotions and fervent desire. She returned the passion in multifold. From there, it was one oiled mechanism smoothly operating one after the other. The shirt. The blouse. The pants. The undergarments. One by one they fell to the ground, all inhibitions shed.
Still no words spoken.
She had never felt such heightened ecstasy before. Mixed with fear and anticipation. She moaned as he entered. It felt like a hot steaming nuclear explosion of pleasure one after the other. Minutes turned to hours. Hours turned to endless waves of ceaseless satisfaction. She felt genuinely complete throughout. She could feel the tears roll down his cheeks and realized how much she meant to him. The past was just the past. He wanted to move on. They had a fantastic future ahead. She held him tight and dug her nails deep into his back as she felt an orgasm brewing one more time.
The next day, he left her.