We all have been there, dreamt of that perfect love...& so did Masaba.
Have you been in love with the idea of being in love so much that you ended up clutching on to it so much, that you surrender to being in an abusive relationship, sobbing in the corner of your room, wondering where did you go wrong? What happened?
All of us have either been in love or dreamt of it, a perfect relationship, finding your better half, the one. And so did Masaba, She was the eldest in her family, a younger sister and a little brother who was 5. Masaba was tall, deep dark eyes, peachy lips, and hip-long thick dark hair. Her beauty had no bounds; even a touch might stain her flawless beauty.
While her mom and dad worked their respective office hours, being the eldest, she did a lot of helping around the house and took care of her younger siblings. Among all these responsibilities Masaba took out some time for her friends every week and went to complete her studies at a community college. It was Friday night and she was meeting her friend Jenna, Sarat, Jane and Dave.
Jenna was masaba’s best friend, she was tall, short red hair and was the smartest person in the class. Masaba had known Jenna since they were in playschool. It was Jenna’s birthday next week; they had a lot of pre-party planning to do, the list of invites, college invitation posters, food, and most important the party dresses. They met at a nearby cafe and started the planning.
The day had arrived and most of her class started pouring in; Jenna was quite excited for a guest Reggie, the handsome young boy in their college, one of whom every girl dreams of tall, dark, handsome and a gentleman. Jenna had had a crazy crush on Reggie for a while since she met him first when attending her brother, Dave’s baseball game.
Jenna had kept it a little secret within her, even when Masaba inquired about who he was on the invite list, she waved it off by saying he was Dave’s friend. Reggie had arrived, and within minutes gained everyone’s attention by his charming personality. He waved his friend Dave and walked right up to Jenna, hugged her “Wish you a very happy birthday Jenna, you look beautiful.” And turned to acknowledge Masaba, with a firm friendly handshake and walked away. Jenna had butterflies in her stomach and helplessly kept blushing.
A week later, Jenna and Masaba took up an extra class for finance. They met Reggie again and started hanging out with each other. After a few common meetings, one day Jenna called Masaba, informing her that Reggie might be interested in going out with Masaba, Masaba had certain family restrictions and she had never thought of him in such a way. But, she gives in when Jenna insisted on at least to think about it. On one of their frequent gatherings, they planned a visit to the carnival on the outskirts of the town.
Masaba reached the subway station and waited for Jenna, it had been few minutes when she got a call, it was Jenna “Hey, a family matter has come up and I will be late. You go ahead; I will meet you at the carnival directly”. Masaba left for the carnival and when she came out of the station, she saw Reggie waiting in his car. He greeted her and they left for the carnival, they reached the carnival and started enjoying various items over there.
It was over an hour now and Jenna hadn’t messaged Masaba, she was about to call Jenna when Reggie took her hand and informed her that it’s a date and Jenna won’t be joining us. Masaba was taken aback a little, she never thought her friend would ditch her and that Reggie would trick her into this date, he could have asked her directly, she would have denied him but at least he should have asked her directly.
Masaba wanted to leave after gaining this information and knowing the intention of the whole evening, but Reggie insisted “We hang out so much, if not anything we are still friends, just stay for a while more.” Masaba knew he was right, she had been planning this carnival visit for a month and to be honest it was a good evening, a little awkward but a fun evening.
They walked, talked and ate a lot of candies. The night had come to an end and they were on their way back home, after a few miles Reggie stopped the car & got down, took out a bouquet of lilies and a chocolate box with him, walked towards Masaba’s side, opened her door and got down on his knees. He made a beautiful proposal and Masaba had no words, she wanted to say no thinking about her family but she had never had such a beautiful time, no one had done anything like this for her, she wanted to give it a chance, “Yes!”
Since then, everything around her was filled with romance. They started seeing each other more often, love was in the air. She had never been loved in such a way; it was too good to be true. It had been six months since they started going out, Reggie introduced her to his family but like every relationship, this one was also hitting its rough patch and Reggie became possessive of her, started doubting her, days passed and his circle of suspicion grew bigger and bigger.
All this suspicion and yet he could justify his acts of flirting and ignoring her. One fine day masaba’s instincts got control over her. She asked her cousin, Raina whom Reggie had never met, to befriend and seduce Reggie with a fake name and profile. By her luck, Reggie slipped and fell into her trap. They got a huge proof when Reggie started to flirt with raina, she sent Masaba all the dirty messages and things Reggie had said to her.
Masaba confronted Reggie one day, he was blindsided and couldn’t say much. Reggie cried and begged her to forgive him, Masaba was heartbroken and broke off with him, she went back to her friends and also started seeing other guys, but old habits die hard. She hadn’t called him once after that fateful day, yet she could get Reggie out of her head. The college had come to an end and they had their farewell, she went to the farewell with her friend Sarat. Reggie walked to her, asked her for a dance and if she could talk to him once. Masaba did not want to be rude and she did want some answers too so, she agreed. They danced silently; Reggie broke the silence between them “You look beautiful, I have not been able to take you out of my mind.”
“How do you explain those messages and calls, Reggie?”
“I am glad you asked, you never gave me a chance to explain. I started chatting with her but I stopped when I realized it was wrong. My roommate, however, interested in her insisted that he would chat with Raina for fun”, he paused and looked into her eyes. She still had her doubts, he continued “All the sex talk you saw was him and not me, but I couldn’t justify my mistake because I did talk to her at first.”
“Forgive me, Masaba. I love you; I have never loved anyone as much as I love you”
Masaba had bought the story, maybe not fully convinced but he said he loved her and she had missed him and so she agreed to give him a second chance. They spent the rest of the evening together, the party came to an end and it was late, Reggie insisted on dropping her home, Sarat hugged her and left.
It had been a few days Reggie had been very nice and more giving during this second chance period, after a month they went out for dinner & started discussing applying for jobs in other cities. Masaba had a good internship offer from New Jersey and she was excited to tell Reggie.
When Reggie got the news, he lost his cool and got very angry. “Why do you want to move so far away from me? Is it because Sarat is in New Jersey? You have been seeing him behind my back, haven’t you?” Masaba could understand his anger about moving away but was shocked to hear his suspicion about Sarat. He left the place and she was left alone, wondering what had just happened.
Next morning she got a call from Reggie, he was apologizing for last night justified that he was just angry, he loves her too much to let her go away, he said “I have invested and started my own firm, for our future. So that we both could live together and then I got angry about you moving out and said things I didn’t mean to.” He continued, “Why don’t you join the company that your father works in, they are taking interns and we will be in the same city.”
Masaba hadn’t thought of it, it would be easier to get an internship in the same company and they could give more time to this relationship. She got the internship & joined the same company her father was employed in, things were going fine until one day when Reggie lost his cool again and physically hurt Masaba. They had been together for a long time and Masaba had invested years in this relationship, she was a hopeless lover, who believed that no matter how Reggie was, he loved her and he had cried often when they fought, he was sorry when he realized his mistakes. She thought to herself, “ A guy wouldn’t just cry for anyone, he loves me and when he realizes his mistake he is guilty and tries to make up for the mistake, why would he do all this if he didn’t love me?”
Months later, they had a session in her office with a psychologist named Amy, as it was part of the company’s policy. All the employees had to spend few hours in a common session and talk about their feelings, the company did this so that, all the employees could relieve their tensions: be it work related or personal and could focus on improving their performance at work. Amy did a common session with random mind games and then she made every employee write about how they feel about work, love, and health. It was anonymous and so Masaba took this opportunity and wrote her upsetting love issues on the piece of paper. Little did she know Amy would call the employee personally for a one on one session later, her name was called and she entered the room. It was the office’s conference room, it had been emptied and two chairs were in front of each other. Amy was sitting on one, Masaba joined her. Amy asked Masaba to read what she had written on her paper, out loud.
Love: “I love my family & I love him, I think he loves me too. But something doesn’t feel right, I feel used. I feel empty sometimes. I feel I am cheating my parents, they don’t know about him and they won’t approve of him, I have been hurt mentally and physically, yet I love him, is it even love?
Career: “I believe I deserve more, this is not what I wanted. But this is what I have and this is what I know, what else would I do now, after 4 years?”
Health: “I have been unable to sleep for a while now & hide my dark circles with all the makeup to keep myself presentable for office”
Amy looked at Masaba and handed her a tissue, as a tear trickled down her cheeks while folding the paper. “It’s him, isn’t it? Masaba, you have known this for a while now, you are just afraid to give up” Masaba could hold her tears any longer, she let them flow.
“Tell me everything, from the start” Masaba started with how beautiful it was, and once she found out that Reggie was seeing Jenna behind her back for a while, she didn’t have enough evidence & she does not know what to do now. He doesn’t trust her and is always spying on her. She told Amy that Reggie had many times hit her in anger.
“Leave him. I know it is not easy, but it’s your life and your decision” Lifting Masaba’s face Amy continued, “You have sacrificed a lot for this guy and clearly he doesn’t love you, instead he is a psychopath, I have seen this behavior and work around it. He had been using your guilt and love for him; against you. He kept you from a good job to fulfill his ego of not landing a good job himself, he knows your family won’t approve of him and that you might finally be married to someone else and he uses that to make you guilty and sorry for a supposedly broken love story.”
“It’s not easy, he might rat me out to my family, I can’t.”
“One day or another, if you want to marry him you would have to tell your family, right? Tell them now and end it with him or else he will consume you. I have seen many cases Masaba, leave him & get out of it before it’s too late to leave”
“But what will I say, what reason do I give? It is wrong; I have made so many promises to him”
“He too made many promises, but he broke them. Stop seeing him altogether, block him and create a happy future for yourself”
Masaba was scared and frustrated, this lady doesn’t know her relationship that too well, she comes and says leave him “If I leave him, he would come to my house, we have been together for years to know where we live.” More than anything in this world, Masaba was scared and Amy sensed it. Amy gave Masaba her private number and asked her to try and stop talking to this guy and if she needed any help, she should call her.
Masaba walked out of the room, washed her face. She couldn’t work the rest of the day during lunch, she shared her thoughts with her good friend Sandy, also her senior colleague. She told him about what Amy had said; he had known Masaba and her problems for a while now and had been advising her, same. Sandy told Masaba to trust Amy and provided her moral strength; Masaba happens to meet Amy again on the subway back home. Reggie called and said crazy stuff about not picking up his phone in the morning, he started arguing and then kept the phone, Masaba was embarrassed & scared and tried calling Reggie but his phone was probably switched off now. Amy was watching all this and smiled at Masaba, “I told you to end it, for once stop calling him and don’t let him win”
Amy asked Masaba to off her ringer and to keep it inside her bag, “His phone is switched off what’s the point in calling?” Amy continued, “This might make you look crazier, Masaba” They had a random conversation and talked about work. They said goodbyes and left in their respective directions. Masaba couldn’t sleep that night after Amy had left, her mind was occupied with the if’s in her head, the mere thought of it made her smile. She had made her decision; she didn’t call him and switched off her phone, she needed peace, wanted it, period. Reggie and Masaba didn’t talk for a week, Reggie realized it had gone too far now, he was angrier than ever. Masaba had never done this before and she had never felt so free and liberated. If the thought could bring her so much positivity, what would happen when she is actually free of him? Living her dream, take a different job and be where she belongs and is valued.
Reggie showed up to her work next day, she knew it was better to go with him and talk one last time, she told him that she wanted to end it. Reggie was angry more than ever, he was furious and threatened her that he would tell her father. Masaba called Amy and got her support, but nothing happened. Masaba still hadn’t built up the courage to talk to her family.
It wasn’t over yet, Masaba reached home one night after work and her father was awake, and Reggie was in her house. He had told her father everything and also added some of his own perception about her.
Masaba agreed to all the accusations, there was no point in arguing about what was true or false. Reggie left; he had a smirk on his face. Masaba’s father was disappointed in her and she could see it in his eyes, she knew he needed some time alone and left her home, spent the night at a friend’s, met her father in office but he wouldn’t talk to her. It had gone out of her hand, Amy told Masaba to stay positive and persuasive. The same weekend Masaba went home and talked to her father, accepting that she had been wrong and that it was over and past her. She wanted to start a fresh and was sorry for her previous actions; her father asked her to come back home and that he loved her but for now he could not forgive her for breaking his trust.
Reggie was shocked that things were going smooth for Masaba and her family didn’t do anything grave, he had wanted to hurt her more but now her family supported her and he couldn’t do much. Masaba’s father told Reggie he would get a restraining order if he comes anywhere near his daughter. Reggie was a coward and left them alone.
Masaba had started applying for better job opportunities and finally got one, but in the same city; she left her past and welcomed a better future. According to Masaba’s sources, Reggie has started seeing Jenna, Dave, however, wasn’t happy with it. Masaba works at another firm now, at a good position. She is valued and looked up to at her current job, it’s still not what she had wanted but she is contented and her mind is at peace. She is still looking for better opportunities. Masaba is happy now, dating Sandy and has found love. They have not thought about a future yet, but she now understands what it feels like, to be loved & is living every moment she can.
If Masaba didn’t have the courage that day, she would have been in an abusive relationship and would have ended up depressed and miserable. People like Reggie are manipulators, they feed on the good person inside you, they make you believe you are at fault and get their way through it, clean and unscratched.
Are you are in such an abusive relationship, which hurts physically as well as mentally? Stop right now, turn back and leave. There is no good that follows in such a relationship; it consumes your soul, body, and mind.