My name is Preeti. I’m from a middle-class family in Karnataka. I was living with my parents, older brother and a younger sister. There was a guy, near our house, Vinay, who was also a classmate of mine. He became a good friend of mine within just a few days of college.
On Ethnic Day, he asked me out and while at first, I was too nervous to say yes, my best friend, Rashmi helped me make a decision that I’ll always be thankful for.
Rashmi was my best friend. She used to have the best advice for me and always helped me, in my personal life and with my studies. She was dating an extremely handsome boy in our college and she told me that I should accept Vinay’s proposal because he was a genuine guy.
Vinay loved me a lot. He used to take care of me and even though we never got physical, we were crazy about each other. We both agreed not to talk to our families about each other, it just seemed that things would be tough for us to manage if we involved them in this too. At least, at such an early stage.
Our love never interrupted our studies and in fact, we helped each other, a lot. Vinay got selected in campus placement and he helped me plan for my future studies. We had planned five years of our future together and we were excited. Every day was just like the first time we met and five years of our lives were simply magical.
Meanwhile, I found out that Rashmi had spoken to her parents about marrying her boyfriend. I was shocked but was extremely happy when they said yes. But before things could go ahead, Rashmi’s boyfriend cheated on her and he suddenly decided that he didn’t want to marry her.
Rashmi sank into depression. When I asked her what happened, she told me that the two of them had crossed their limits and she was pregnant. I was shocked. She told me she’d lost all hope in life. I tried to assure her that things would get better and we would figure it out, but she didn’t give me much time to help her.
That night, as I slept, I received a text message from Rashmi, “Preeti, this is my last message to you. Don’t make the same mistake I did. Be aware of Vinay. Your virginity is your most prized possession. Don’t make the same mistake I did. I love you. I’m with you always.”
I didn’t quite understand her message until her mother called me to let me know that Rashmi was dead.
She had hung herself just a few minutes after sending me that text. I was in shock.
My best friend, who was with me every step of the way, wasn’t. I never imagined this could happen to us. If she hadn’t met this boyfriend of hers, she would have been alive.
I couldn’t help but believe that I should break up with Vinay. He couldn’t believe I was doing something like this. He told me again and again that he wouldn’t ever cheat on me, but I knew that I had to make Rashmi’s memories count.
I loved him a lot, everyone knew this, including my sister. She advised me to change cities to keep myself away from Vinay but that didn’t stop me from loving him. Or from him to love me.
When I came back, two years later, I found out that my parents were ready to find a guy for me to marry.
I agreed to whatever they had chosen for me, but with one single condition. I didn’t want any ceremonies, or parties, I just wanted to go a court marriage and meet their selected groom for me on that day.
I did this only because I couldn’t imagine standing next to someone else and stay happy while my heart ached for Vinay. On the day of my marriage, my sister helped me get ready and I followed her and whatever my mom asked me to do.
When I reached the registry, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was him. Vinay! He was standing, all dressed up, standing with his parents and mine.
Turns out, his parents came to mine and spoke to them about our love. They told them that it wouldn’t be right if we the two of us couldn’t get a life together. And my parents agreed. All I could do was hug him, and cry. This was the most unexpected and best moment of my life.
This is how the happiest days of my life began. I hate it that my best friend Rashmi didn’t get this chance, or couldn’t be there to stand by me during this occasion. She will always be in my heart. I love you Rashu. May your soul rest in peace.