I had to do what I’ve been dreading. It was time to end my four plus year relationship with Sarika. There was no easy way to do it. She was going to be hurt and badly, something which I never wanted. Maybe that was why I stayed in the relationship even though I would have to end it eventually because I wasn’t in love with her. Sarika deserved to be with a man who would love her the way she wanted to be loved. I wasn’t the man for her and she wasn’t the woman for me. Somewhere out there was the right man for her. I’ve found the right woman for me.
I stood there in my flat, waiting. Waiting for what? I had called Sarika and told her that I was stopping by her flat because I needed to talk to her. She was curious to know what I wanted to talk to her about but I wouldn’t say what it was. “I’ll just have to wait until you get here to find out,” she said.
So, why was I hanging around here in my flat instead of heading over to her place? This was my first long-term relationship and my first break-up. What do I say? How do I break up with her without hurting her? Was that even possible? I thought of asking my co-worker or my cousin for their advice but decided not to. This morning, I Googled What do you say when you’re breaking up with someone? I came across an article on Oprah Daily. The tips were don’t drag it out, remember to be kind in the moment, in other words, treat the other person as you would want to be treated, be direct, avoid clichés and stay clear of false promises.
I was tempted to call Aunt Savitri and ask for advice and then, I decided that I have to do this on my own. I was an adult, not a child. I grabbed my keys off the table and strode out of the living-room. In the foyer, I slipped on my shoes and let myself out. I went down to the ground parking and I was soon driving out into the sunshine.
With dragging feet and a heavy heart, I made my way to Sarika’s flat. I rang the bell. She answered. As usual, she hugged and kissed me but her brow creased when she drew back and saw the expression on my face. “Come in,” she said quietly.
I went in, removed my shoes and followed her to the living-room. We both remained standing. Several minutes passed before I said, “Sarika, I have something very important to say to you.”
She returned my gaze but I could tell that she was anxious. Somehow, I don’t think that she was expecting me to propose and that’s why she appeared a little apprehensive. “What is it, Trishan?”
“First, I want you to know that I care very deeply for you and that the four plus years we have been together have been very special for me. You’re an amazing woman, Sarika and you have so much to offer.”
She blinked. “Are you breaking up with me?” she asked in a trembling voice.
“There’s no easy way to do this and it hurts me to know I’m hurting you, but I need to end this relationship.”
“Why? Why do you want to break up with me after all this time?”
“I’ve come to realize that I’m not the right guy for you.”
“But what if I think you are?”
“You deserve to be with a guy who loves you and wants to marry you. I’m not that guy.”
There was a brief silence as Sarika stood there, blinking back the tears. “I’m just trying to keep it together right now. I didn’t see this coming and—to be honest—it really, really hurts.”
“I’m sorry if this isn’t the way you wanted things to be.”
“I’d like to be alone now.”
“All right,” I said. I started to leave.
“Is there someone else?” Her voice trembled and the tears were visible now.
At first, I hesitated but I admitted, “Yes, there is.”
“Is-is it someone I know?”
“Your aunt’s neighbor?”
“When we ran into her at the train station, I-I sensed that there was something between you but I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to believe that you were attracted to her too. Have you and she…?”
“No. We haven’t…” I saw no point in telling her that Rehema and I had almost kissed. It would have been too much for her to bear. “Sarika, I’m so sorry…”
“I want to be alone now.”
“All right,” I said quietly. I walked past her. I paused in the doorway, turned and said, “Goodbye, Sarika.”
She didn’t answer or turn around. She just stood there, like a statue. I turned and walked slowly to the foyer and after putting on my shoes, I let myself out of the flat. As I closed the door quietly behind me, I knew that I would set foot here again.