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An Ode to 10 Years of Friendship, which Turned into a Tragedy

( words)
*For representational purpose only.
It all started a couple of years ago, just after a relationship failure. Things didn't end up as they were supposed to be, but surprisingly, she taught me more than anyone could.

Going through breakups is always painful, and I didn't want to cope with it like other guys who would turn to additives for support. Instead, I chose chess. 

I became a full-fledged chess player in the blink of an eye, and it became an integral part of my daily routine. I could play for hours, analysing my games until my battery gave up. I was rewarded for my dedication when I won a couple of tournaments, but my ambition led me to aim for something even greater.
During one of my biggest tournaments, I encountered a crucial endgame involving a bishop, a knight, and a lone king. It was a complicated situation until she came to my aid. She looked stunning while explaining killer combinations and tactics. Although I found her attractive, it didn't affect my heart or my eyes; it was more about her exceptional theoretical knowledge. 

Our conversation shifted to random personal talks, but unfortunately, it didn't last long, and our final pairing was displayed. Luckily, I was paired with her, the game girl, but it didn't go as deep as I had hoped. She made a blunder, and the game came to an end.

We were in a casual relationship, not a romantic one, but we were not intimate either. I won't lie; I loved being with her. We rarely discussed our personal problems, and I was determined not to let this addition turn into love. 

Some relationships lead you to discover new places, cafes, and enjoy small coffee dates.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention, we had kissed each other, but I decided to distance myself. My focus was on my national chess preparations and upcoming tournaments. I loved spending time on the chessboard, admiring the moves of my opponents' queens.

Then came the day that changed everything. I received a call; she was my best friend. 
I sensed that she was having a weird day and needed someone to talk to. However, my attention was diverted when the next round was declared in the tournament. It was time to trade-off, and I had already prepared for the sacrifice. 

The game started with a King's Gambit, and perhaps I was in a hurry to finish it as quickly as possible. I sacrificed my queen to win a tempo and solidify my position. The other participants were amazed by the combination, but they didn't know the real reason behind it - yes, it was for someone special.

But then, another sacrifice was on the way. I had already resigned from the tournament because I had loved her for the past seven years. She was always there for me when I needed her, but there was a complication–my ex was her best friend. 

She didn't want to complicate things, and although we had strong feelings for each other, she chose to remain just friends. She stood by my side as a friend, philosopher, and guide, even though we hadn't met in years, her essence was still present in my memories. 

To me, friends are as important as family because we choose them ourselves. 

So, I had no time to dress up, but it didn't matter because I knew she wouldn't judge me based on my external appearance. That was one of the things I loved most about her.
I rushed to the location, feeling like a pawn on d2 eagerly waiting for the queen on d8 to be promoted. 

Although I knew I would be late, some life hacks saved me as I managed to use a few clicks while stuck in traffic, buying me an extra 15 minutes. Still, it wasn't enough, and I ended up being nearly an hour late. I knew she would be upset, but I had a counter-play ready: "You're always late." It reminded me of my 5-year-old relationship, and my experience in handling such situations paid off. On my way, I requested a song on 98.3FM and offered a small apology. 

Luckily, the song "root na jana hum sai kabhi to" played at the right time. I was just driving when, in the next second, I received a tight slap on my face. This time it wasn't for being late but for not wearing a seatbelt - "wear your seatbelt first," she said. "Female best friend, matlab aadhi ma."

The date was going pretty awesome until it was time to leave. Deep inside, I wanted to say, "Ahbi na jao chhodkar," but I held it back. 

Finally, all my sacrifices seemed to be paying off, and we decided to move in together. 

I was on cloud nine, but it didn't take much time for the cloud to burst. Before moving in, I decided to tell her everything about my past, including my casual relationship that had ended long ago. I wanted to be honest with her, but soon I realised that my analysis of the situation was wrong, and it all ended in a blunder.

Just like in a game of chess, our relationship had its complications from the start to the end. 

It involved one of the most aggressive openings, an extremely complicated middle game, and a stumble at the end. Our late-night chats reduced, and our long texts became shorter. I had no idea what was going on in her mind, so I decided to meet her at her workplace. 

Unfortunately, she had already made up her mind. Her birthday was approaching, and I planned a surprise date, hoping it would be my first date where I could be on time. However, she declined, and I took a deep breath before saying, "Okay." I always believed what she told me, but this time, I was proved wrong. 

I saw her post, and around 10:00 PM, she was in a cafeteria with her best friend. I didn't know how to react to it, but with deep concern, I replied, "It's too late, where are you, and how are you going to go?" She replied that her dad was coming to pick her up. I said, "Text me once you reach home." From that point on, we didn't talk like those golden days of our friendship, but I still missed her.

I often asked myself, "What was the point of being so faithful to her if she didn't reciprocate the love?"

Every relationship needs time, so I decided to give it space and blocked her. Even though I blocked her, she always remained pinned at the top of my chat list. We had been together for 10 years, and it was all over in the blink of an eye. 

Since I had no friends like she did to fall back on, it felt like my world revolved around her. I knew we couldn't end up together, but I wished we could find closure to our friendship or a new beginning for something else. I never cheated on her, and she didn't even give me a chance before cutting all ties.

I never expected such a drastic change, but it taught me one of the most important lessons in life: forever is a myth.
The world is round, and somewhere or other, I know I'll meet her again. When that happens, she'll have to answer my question: "Where did I go wrong?" 

I won't take much time, and I'm writing this with the intention that I might never get a chance to say it to her directly. So, I hope she reads this someday. I want her to know that I'm only one text away. I'm still the same person she can share her burdens with, and I'm here with open doors, ready to welcome her back.

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