Trust is what binds one in every relation. But what do you do when that trust is broken over and over again? What if the closest to you was your foe? What if everything you believed all this while was just a lie?
Rohan and Archita met 7 years back online on Facebook. Now the meeting was an interesting and unusual one. Archita had a friend back in high school days called Paromita. A friendship, a rather pure friendship – at least that is what Archita assumed. After high school, all went their way for further sides, but the friendship stayed. It was back in 2013, when suddenly one morning, there were vulgar messages posted on Paromita’s facebook timeline. Archita immediately messaged on her timeline and inbox presuming that her friend has lost her mind. While she was desperately trying to get in touch with Paromita, two new messages popped in her inbox. The messages stated that Paromita’s account has been hacked and that the account should be blocked immediately. The messages were from Rohan. Archita and Rohan chatted for a while and that is when she came to know that the latter were already good friends. Paromita had mentioned Archita and therefore he thought that he should inform her about the incidence. She thanked Rohan and logged off saying she would connect later, as she was getting late for college.
Archita was pursuing her B.Tech during that time. She was perturbed all through the day in the college wondering about her friend’s whereabouts and if she is fine. Since she had blocked the account, she had no idea of the activities that followed suit. During recess hours, she again tried to contact Paromita, but her number was not reachable. She messaged Rohan to check if he would know something and the details that followed in were harrowing. The hacker had uploaded her photoshopped nude pictures all over the internet and her entire family was in distress. After multiple efforts, Archita was finally able to speak to Paromita. She broke down.
Archu..my life is spoiled..everything is over..people stare at me like I am some cheap trash. I am not able to go out, I am not able to face anyone. I tried to commit suicide, but couldn’t gather the courage. I don’t know what I will do now. My family thinks it is my fault and that I had a relationship with the person who did this.
Archita pacified her, talked her out of that state. She spoke to her regularly multiple times a day, messaged her just to ensure that her friend is safe and fine and that she would not do any stupidity. But who knew that destiny had some bitter truths in store for her in the coming time.
Rohan and Archita grew pretty close by that time. The chats turned to calls and the calls to late night calls. Rohan had all these stories to share of how life has always been unfair to me, how he was an adopted child to his parents, how he found some agreement at home that had these details, how his parents treat him with neglect and hatred and more. Archita felt really bad for him and wanted to be his support. Rohan after a point of time confessed that he had feelings for her and that he found solace in her. Archita already felt bad for him and when he expressed his feelings, she accepted. She had developed feelings for him by then and wanted to be there for him.
“And remember, as it was written, to love another person is to see the face of God.” – Les Miserables”
What Archita did not know all this time was that all these emotions and stories were part of a big conspiracy. With time, Rohan realized that Archita was really serious about him. It is hard to say if it was guilt or realization that made him speak the truth to her.
It was one December evening in 2013. Archita received a call from Rohan. Rohan had a routine time when he used to call her. But that day, he called her out of the blue in the evening suddenly.
Archita: Hi Rohan, is everything alright? You never call me at this time.
Rohan: Yes, all good. Can we speak if you are not busy? I got to tell you something.
The revelations that followed suit, took Archita into a state of shock. There were multiple emotions raging through her- shock, sadness, betrayal, disbelief. She was finding it hard to process what she heard. Apparently till now, for Rohan, Archita was just an egoistic playgirl who used to date multiple boys and dump them. Per him, she played with the feelings of multiple boys since school days and she even hurt one among them so deep that he still suffers from depression. Upon asking, he said that he was assigned a task of teaching Archita a lesson about feelings and heart-break by Paromita (yeah, her best friend!). Paromita wanted to correct Archita’s behavior and teach her to respect the emotions of other people. Rohan came to her life to fiddle with her emotions, make her fall in love and then leave her stranded so that she could feel what the other folks might have felt. But in the journey, Rohan actually started loving Archita and felt that what he was told was a lie. He did his research, reaching out to Archita’s common friends to validate about her character before he gave her a clean character certificate. And now that he had said the truth, he wanted to rectify his actions and that meant going away leaving her all of a sudden.
Archita just couldn’t believe that Paromita could have ever said that. During school days, she barely had male friends, let alone a relationship. She could not believe that right from the story of being adopted to being treated badly just to gain her trust, everything was a lie. It was like she was floating in a pool of lies. She could not understand whom to believe and if at all, whatever has been said now is a truth. During the entire conversation, all she could utter was a ‘Why?’.
She had coiled inside a shell after that, barely speaking with the outside world or making friends. She had big time trust issues and kept to herself. All this while she never said a word to Paromita or confronted her. She did not need to do that as an angry Paromita after some days spilled the beans herself. It appears that Rohan had stopped responding to her calls and texts and Paromita believed that it was because Archita influenced him to do so.
Over the years, Rohan kept making entries and exits into her life. Sometimes he was sure and ready to take a step while the other times he was not sure of what he wanted. It is 7 years now and although he claims to have changed and being a better person, he is still unsure of what he wants. He is scared of commitment. He wants to be with her, wants every bit of her, but is not up to take responsibility. He would not reach out for ages and then all of a sudden be omnipresent in her life. What do we call it? Love/Fear/Cowardice- you name it !!
Archita today is a changed person. In these 7 years, she could not trust a single soul. She is scarred and broken. She needs love but is scared to embrace it again fearing someone would again leave her stranded. She still did not get an answer of where she went wrong for her best friend to conspire against her and for someone she loved so dearly to have that heart to break her to pieces. She has those twinkling eyes and the brightest smile, but if you look closer, maybe you could see the emptiness there. She is established in her career but not at peace. Two persons closest to her changed her forever. She is just a dejected soul today. She is right there shining in the crowd yet distant, awaiting to fade into oblivion.
“It was a mistake,” you said. But the cruel thing was, it felt like the mistake was mine, for trusting you.”― David Levithan