Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Other Woman

For as long as she had known him, she had known only him -- that he was not single did not matter, that he was engaged to be married in a few months also did not matter. She liked being with him and he did too. They were happy to be together, even if it was for a little while and that is all that mattered.

Love was not something that she had in mind when she first met him; rejected in love and dejected in life, she had no intention of letting anybody close to her again but she was also determined to let go of her inhibitions and have fun -- something she had always been too afraid of. Therefore when she felt the mutual attraction pulling them closer, she did not resist.

Being with him was a wonderful feeling: he made her feel special and cared for, he made her feel beautiful and wanted, and more than anything else he made her love herself. All was well -- they had a silent understanding: this would end the day he decides to get married. She was aware that he had a woman to go back to and had no intent of playing the other woman -- not until she saw them together.

She could always feel her presence in their life -- her pictures on his desk, her stuff at his place and her calls when they were together. He would often leave their conversations abruptly to attend her calls, he did not take her calls and even ignored her messages if she was around. Sometimes it did affect her: at times felt a little envious, other times a bit jealous, but every time she reminded herself of the reality. That evening, however, she could not. 

She was waiting at the gate to see him off when she noticed him walk out of the door -- with her. They appeared to be in the midst of an important conversation -- the sort he never had with her. She noticed how comfortable they looked together: no sign of nervousness and no fear of being caught. Seeing them walk towards the gate she stepped back: she somehow expected him to introduce them -- the two women in his life. But he walked on -- past her, completely ignoring her. She was shocked. Never before had she been humiliated so, that too by a person she loved so much. 

She was in the car when she saw his number blink on the phone, the urge to disconnect the call was strong, but stronger was the need to get an answer. She took the call and heard him apologise and explain the reason for doing what he did. She swallowed the lump in her throat, held back the tears and said 'You have to decide today. It's either her or me, you can not have both.'

Ten years later, going through her wedding album, she's glad that she is no longer the other woman.

As published in Femina Fast Fiction: http://www.feminafastfiction.com/story/the-other-woman/345/

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