We met outside of her work place. I was nervous as hell and wasn’t sure how this was going to go. She looked nonchalant and confident. I must admit she was pretty and her smile was warm. I don’t quite recall how our conversation started but we spoke for over an hour.
The reason I was there was because, I needed to hear her version of the events and what was going on. So I asked her, are you still seeing Raj? Her answer was yes. I then asked her how could she continue to see him without feeling guilty. Her answer, “Simple, because he was mine before you came into the picture, in fact you are the one that should be letting go not me.”
I hadn’t even thought of it from her point of view until that moment. She was right! He was hers before I came into the picture; he was hers for the last 4 years, I just recently was added to his life. I was brought into his life by his parents and next thing you know, we were married.
She told me their plans for their wedding. Her parents loved him and they were happy to have him as a son in law, they had been devastated by the news of his arranged marriage. She had been devastated because of his arranged marriage. She told me all about birthdays, mother’s day, father’s day, weddings etc. that his family had included her in for the last few years. When he had broken the news to her, she too had been shattered to the core. A girl imagines her wedding day, especially if there is a groom in mind, and then to have your dreams stomped is not easy to get over.
Me: “Why did he marry me and not you if you two were so happy together?”
Her: “He didn’t tell you???” She laughs in my face. “I’m not from the right caste!!! His parents didn’t know up until recently that I’m from a different caste then them. Once they figured that part out, I was basically taken out of the equation for their household. They forbade him to see me or continue a relationship with me, hence his arranged marriage to you. I wasn’t good enough for their son or their family anymore because of my caste. We still love each, always will, no one is going to stop us from being together.”
Me: “But if he loves you so much, why did he go through with our marriage? He could have said no, in fact I had asked him to say no so I could have more time being single. I wasn’t quite ready to be married but my dad felt burdened by me so he pushed me out the door. But, he had insisted on going through with the marriage.”
Her: “I asked him the same thing. He said you were a nice girl, doesn’t seem to mean and feisty exactly Indian wife material. The next arranged girl may not be a nice as you and you were much younger, meaning mouldable. I was super pissed at him, but he told me he wasn’t letting go of me, he was just getting a daughter in law for his parents. You were for the family not him. He promised it would always be him and I and you were going to fill in the daughter in law and wife responsibilities, that’s it. He even told he would have sex with you once in a while, that was not an easy one to swallow but I knew it was inevitable.”
Me: “Could you stop seeing him, so I have a chance in that house. His mom is not very nice and he too is very mean to me. If you were to step aside maybe I can win them over? Do you not understand how hard this is for me? I had no idea that this is what I had signed up for! As a fellow woman please let him go and let me start my marriage with him, I’m stuck as well.”
Her: “I told you the truth at the restaurant, why did you marry him? Maybe you should be the one to walk away? He was mine before you came and will always be mine, no matter what. You knowing he had me decided to carry through with the wedding. How do you think I felt? Do you think it was easy for me? You took away my place in his family. You took any chance I had of creating a life with him. Now he will continue to visit me here and there but our future has been altered and that’s your fault. We had a our own place, I even told you about it, we had our life planned out! You should be the one to let him go, not me. Maybe you should come over and see our place and then it will make sense to you. He has bought everything in that place for me. He pays the rent for me, we have a bed together, we have anniversaries and birthdays together. He washes MY car, gases it up, and takes ME out for dinner and movies. What does he do for you? Nothing, right? His closet is full of clothes that I either picked with him or bought for him. The colognes are of my choice. We have life together and you have what, a piece of paper?”
Me: “To be honest, I tried to stop the wedding but my parents wouldn’t let me back out of the already planned wedding. To keep the face of the family, I had to go through with it. No part of me wanted to marry him; I was forced to do so by my parents. On top of it, when my parents asked his parents about you, they said I was lying and trying to make their son look bad. My dad wouldn’t listen to me and still won’t let me come home. I really would love to give up my spot as his wife to you but honestly I don’t know how, I’m 20 and unsupported by my parents. Every time I bring it up my dad swears he’s gong to die of embarrassment.”
We went back and forth in a very civil manner, no hair was pulled or loud voices used. We were both trying to explain our selves to the other while listening. The hour ran out quickly. It was decided that we still had so much more too discussed and exchanged numbers. I walked away feeling bad for her. She really had planned her life with him; it wasn’t fair to her either as a woman. She was just fighting for what was rightfully hers. I was the one who ruined her marriage to be. I was the roadblock for her. The guilt was washing over me; I had screwed her up without even knowing it.
Why god, why were you putting me through this??? What had I ever done to be in this kind of circumstance? What kind of sick joke was this? 20 years old, naïve, playful and no real life experience, only book smart, loves everyone, would never hurt anyone – not a malicious person at all!
On the ride home I was angry at my parents for making me marry him. Angry with him for doing this to me. Angry at his parents for being lying assholes! I was angry at her to for not stopping the marriage. At the same time I was sad for her, felt sorry for my parents for being so backwards but, mostly I was sad for me. In this entire mess why didn’t anyone care or think about me? Why did my parents give me up to this fuck head of a man, throw me to my in laws so they can feast on my soul and then make me the laughing stock of all his friends and family who knew about HER. To this day, I still would like to know why me? I sat in the car with all these thoughts running through my head. I didn’t say much, just repeated the conversation in my head with her like a record player.
She didn’t seem like a bad person, and I’m not a bad person, so how did we end up here in this love triangle??? The rage was igniting within me against Raj, time to create a fire.