It all started with an innocent “hello” during one of our many company meetings. I spotted this handsome, well-mannered man from across the room who immediately drew me in. I’ll admit it – I made the first move. Feminism, right? Besides, you would too if he looked as good as Raj did. His voice made me fall for him even more. Before I knew it, I had a full on crush on him.
We spoke every day since then about everything and nothing. However, most of our conversations were over the phone since I worked during the night shift. It didn’t seem like much of an inconvenience until I noticed how little I knew about him. However, he was quite the romantic. He didn’t let our conflicting schedules get in the way of him showering me with gifts and making time from me.
“Let’s meet for coffee after your shift.” He texted me.
“Sure. Where do you want to go?”
“I know this nice café near the office.”
I was always down for our random coffee dates. We even became Instagram official after he followed me and started sending me flowers. Though he was reluctant to take selfies with me, he always expressed his affection and we did most relationship things.
The crush got so intense that he switched from day shift to night shift so that he could hang out with me more. This didn’t happen without incident. He couldn’t wait for an open slot so he went directly to the line manager. Just like that, he was part of the night shift. We met at the station and picked up from where we left off.
This time around, we had more time to get to know each other since the night shift meant less work. It was a bit awkward at first because I had to report to him but he always invited me to his office.
“This was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.” He told me one day as we snack on frozen yogurt.
He made me giddy inside. Normally, I had a very tough exterior. Working in a male-dominated field made me quick to put up my defenses. But Raj knew exactly how to bring them down. Not even I could resist his charm. I wasn’t surprised that I had a crush on him. We worked for the remaining three weeks in nightshift, mostly making conversation all through the night.
I learned more about him during that period than I did in all the months I had known him. He thought it was a good idea to finally disclose to me that he was in a relationship but it wasn’t serious. He even had the audacity to tell me that corny line that men love so much.
“I just wish I met you earlier.”
Right! I wasn’t about to fall for that trap again so I got in another relationship to help me forget about my insane crush on Raj. It didn’t work and my boyfriend tuned out to be as toxic as a nuclear power plant.
As expected, the relationship didn’t last very long. We broke up, and surprise, surprise! Raj broke up with his girlfriend around the same time. I told him about my relationship experience and we both laughed it off. We became exclusive shortly after that and my crush was now my boyfriend. I was ecstatic.
He introduced me to his family and our relationship kept flourishing. His mom was very affectionate towards me. She asked me to call her “mum”. I got along with his siblings and I seemed to fit right in. We carried on with our casual dates and everything was blissful. By that time, I had met most of his friends. So, it didn’t surprise me that they invited us over for lunch.
We prepared and left for their place. Raj drove as I scrolled through my phone. However, I noticed that we had never been to those sides of town. It was somehow luxurious, at least better than my apartment. We went all the way up and got to this “friend’s” place. I was already suspicious but didn’t want to ruin the moment by asking too many questions.
A fine looking man opened the door and I could sense the tension but I couldn’t quite place my finger on what was happening. We went in and Raj followed the man closely, leaving me behind to find a place to sit. Eventually, I settled on a lone chair by a nightstand. I admired the décor while I waited to meet the girl behind the beautiful home.
Raj’s friend came from the kitchen then Raj followed and sat next to him. I thought he’d be romantic as he always was and sit next to me but I was wrong. What happened next put me in shock that I blacked out temporarily. Raj kissed his friend then turned to me and told me he’s been in a relationship with him for nearly two years.
It was hard to take in all that information at once. However, his supposed boyfriend deescalated the situation and explained how much Raj was fond of me.
“You’re just as beautiful as he described you.” He said. “I’d love for you to walk me down the aisle.”
“I know, right? She’s such a doll. If I wasn’t gay…” Raj continued
The aisle? Gay? I still couldn’t believe that my crush was gay. All those months we spent together, he had a whole other relationship on the side. Nowadays, you have to worry about both side chicks and side dudes. I guess in my case, I was the side chick, beard or whatever you want to call it.
I felt cheated and used but I understood why he didn’t want to come out – not even for me. We both come from a conservative background where being gay is worse than murder. We talked all through the night like the good old days until we all fell asleep on the carpet.
The next day, I went back to my apartment but promised to keep in touch with Raj and his boyfriend. I should have known that the hot ones are either gay or taken. Oh well, that’s how life is.
The singlehood series is a collection of real-life stories and opinions from different people. It looks at the current world of dating around the world and the experiences that people have gone through.