By the seaside

Do you know betrayal can physically hurt? The pain of knowing that someone has betrayed you, can spread through your body and cause physical pain in your ribs and stomach. Oh, wait, not just someone, but the person who is the center of your world. The one who holds your world together for you. The person you depend on to make decisions, to whom you say even the tiniest things that happens to you, the one you text as soon as you wake up. The one who is sometimes the wallpaper of your phone because, you miss that person so much and he isn’t around! The one you blindly trust. When his friends asked, “How much do you trust this man?” I said, “If he takes me to the top most floor of a building and asks me to jump, I would jump. No questions asked, because, I know he would have made arrangements for my safe landing” Ha-Ha! The joke is on me. A word of advice, never trust anyone with your life. Never trust anyone. So, basically, I realized that you can know a person for a lifetime and he could still be hiding a part of his life from you. But, in my case, I was being an idiot. I knew that my boyfriend was cheating on me and yet, I decided to ignore it. And what happens when you realize that this person dumped you and went on a trip that you two planned together and swore that you wouldn’t go without the other person? You feel betrayed. And it hurt physically. You could have a panic attack. Your breath could become shallow, your vision can blur, you would want to scream. But your voice, you cannot find your voice. Your throat could close off and you could feel like you are being choked. What’s worse? You will have to go through with it alone because, you were the one who found out that you were being betrayed. And you are not ready to tell your friends about it, because that way, you will have to relive it. And just the thought will make your body ache. The bouts of realization that he has left me for another girl kept hitting me in waves.

So, here I am crying in the corner of my room, trying to escape reality. My parents are in the living room thinking I have gone to take a nap. I could have gone to them. I could have cried and told them that the love of my life has cheated on me and they would have been supportive. But they would have cried after I had left the place or gone to sleep. My pain is their pain. They will do anything to fix it for me and I won’t put them through that. I could have called my best friend, but that would mean picking up the phone and dialing his number. Just getting up from the place I am sitting made it seem like a herculean effort. If I pick up the phone, it will all come back at me. I might have to see the pics of my boyfriend on social media. Where he posts selfies or pics from the exact same place of where his colleague has taken those pics too. You know what’s worse than being cheated on? Thinking that the other person will not find it, underestimating the other person to not find out that you are being a sneaky…, well, now that hit my ego. I am not dumb! I am just in love. I don’t know for how long I was lying in the corner of the room, fearing that the panic attack would come back again, reminiscing the past, thinking why we came to the point where he would cheat on me, felt the need to lie to me about this trip with his colleague. Of course, he had been dating her for a while. That’s the thing about long distance, you have to just blindly trust your partner. I mean, I am not saying that it’s a bad thing and maybe “blind” is not the right word to use. I don’t know. But don’t you think that a part of it is true? You have to blindly trust the other person in a relationship. And I mean, any kind! You have to trust that person because you love him/her and they love you too. You trust that person and hope that they don’t misuse it.

When he spoke about her to me, she was a girl who’s hitting on him, he expected me to believe that he wasn’t even a least bit interested in her. Now, the truth is, we all know when our partner is lying to us. Unless you are also interested in a person, you wouldn’t be talking about her at least once everyday. I wanted to travel to where he lived. I wanted to go and see him and show him why we fell in love with each other to begin with. Maybe I should have and she wouldn’t have taken over. She wouldn’t have taken him away from me. But let me tell you something, it is not about the girl. We always blame the person our partners went with. But shouldn’t we be blaming the partner? They dumped you. They replaced you with someone else. They thought that you couldn’t give them something that the other person gave, or, they just simply grew bored of you! They broke everything the two of you built together for years. But when I finally spoke to my best friend and told him about everything, after choking on my tears for nearly half an hour, I wanted to kill my boyfriend’s colleague. That’s a twisted logic! And my best friend, inspite of being the rational person that he is, did not reason with me.

I spent days being bitter and sad. I drove myself into the hands of depression. I cried about what happened to me. I pitied myself. I was angry with myself for giving my everything to him and that relationship. But how else are you supposed to be in love? I wanted revenge. I waited for him to suffer. I wanted them to cry, fight and have their hearts ripped out. “But would you want that for someone you really love?” asked my wise friend. “How is it love if you want him to suffer?” He asked. Tears filled my eyes. It’s true though, isn’t it? I mean, of course, you cannot be saintly about it. But if you try to think with your rational mind, revenge will affect you. Anger affects you. Any negative emotion will first affect you and then, maybe, the next person. What after the person’s got his heart broken just the way he broke yours? How will it make you feel better? But when your heart’s broken, logic flies out of the window and everything that stays is anger and hatred which could destroy you. Nobody cares about what you think! Somehow we think what we want matters to the person who abandoned us. It doesn’t! If it did, why would they leave you in the first place?

Months passed and I was slowly getting over it. I had pangs of depression hitting me on a happy day. I would spend days just curling up on my bed watching movies on serial killers. Other days, I would forget about the relationship and about the person who made me who I am now. I surrounded myself with friends and my best friend was my therapist. We spent most of the nights talking about how one feeling could hurt and make you happy at various points of time in life and how ridiculous it is to let our happiness depend on a person. On one such night, my friend said, “Bubba, don’t you think if happiness were a person, we would never be happy because, a person, any person can never be 100% happy. I mean, think about it. You are not 100% happy. And if I depend my happiness on you, I give you the power to hurt me, because, when you are angry, you could yell at me and that would make me sad. If you are happy, you will pamper me and that will make me happy. So happiness, I think, is a state of being and only you can decide if you want to be happy or not.’

‘So, you are saying that we decide if we can be happy. It’s ultimately our decision?’ I asked.

‘That’s exactly what I am saying’ He said.

I don’t know if it was my sleepy state of mind and the beer, but it made a lot of sense to me.

‘I am going to go on a solo trip. Out of this city. Far, far away from everything that is pinning me down and giving me excruciating pain and numbness at the same time’ I told him.

‘Have you chosen the place?’ He asked.

It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my entire life. I was standing alone by the shores of the Indian Ocean and if I turn to the left I could see the Bay of Bengal. The white sand slipping between my toes. The sun shining warmly on my face. The crisp sea breeze and the beautiful sound of the ocean. The varying colours of the water and the characteristics of the two different oceans that are on the east and south of my country was astounding. I let go of the scarf around my head and let the breeze caress my hair. I closed my eyes and inhaled the smell of the sea. When I opened my eyes, I saw the seagulls hawking and flying around the air. It was the first time I saw seagulls. I truly thought that I should go to Australia or somewhere in the UK to see them. Well, my knowledge about birds and their origination is limited, actually, none. I cannot tell a seagull from a pigeon. BUT! I know I was seeing the seagulls. It was my first time on a lonely island. It was just me, the two oceans and the seagulls. I was told that I could see Sri Lanka from where I stand. I was also told that it is a lie, and some said that I can see it only in summer. I walked along the seashore collecting various shells and listening to the sound of the ocean. The rough waves touching my feet, grabbing me by my ankles. I felt peace and calm after months. Collecting seashells and the sound of the ocean was my therapy. When I observed the place around me, I found the ruins. The ruins that were left behind by the storm that hit the place decades ago. And yet, amongst the ruins was this place that stood with pride. I don’t know if I will see a more beautiful place than this, but right now, I know that this place is the epitome of ruined beauty. And I was another ruin standing there observing how simple our life could be. That, sometimes, collecting seashells along one of the most beautiful oceans in the world could be your only biggest ambition in the world, and walking along the seashore is all you need to heal a broken heart. I was happy. I was happy because the shells were pricking my palms and a crab was running towards me and I was running away from it. I cried happy tears because we all get so caught up in the drama we create for ourselves, we fail to stand still for a while and observe nature. We fail to appreciate nature and the universe. We hold on to the worldly pleasures and our wishes so hard that we don’t see that nature is teaching you to let go every step of the way. When the sun rises and sets, it teaches you that everything has to end. When the sea grabs you by your ankles and retreats it is teaching you to let go. We turn a blind eye to these lessons and refuse to understand that happiness is a state of mind, it’s a state of being.

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