Now wasn’t that an interesting thought, she wondered. It would be so much easy if believing firmly in it she was able to demonstrate it to those looking at her with such misplaced sympathy now. Goodness, why did she ever think that this is what she wanted to do – attend Manoj’s wedding!

They’d broken up a year ago which had left her devastated. She wasn’t only heart broken but had lost her self confidence. She felt worthless, used and devoid of any self respect, especially when she repeatedly pursued him to make him change his mind. She couldn’t believe that after being together for two years he would walk out on her. He reasoned that it was the best thing to do, he wanted much more from life and she wasn’t able to offer him that. She always clung on to him. She was unable to support him the way he wanted to, she was always relying on him for everything. She wouldn’t take a step without him. She was suffocating him and he had to move on. He wanted a woman in his life and she still had a long way to grow up.

She enjoyed being taken care of, she felt comfortable with him taking the lead in everything. She basked in the thought that he had chosen her from amongst all the other girls he’d known. She was happy being in his shadow, of following in his footsteps, of being a part of him so that no one saw them as separate beings. But she was mistaken. What she thought was the ideal relationship was actually suffocating him.

It was a trying task to rebuild her self confidence. It wasn’t that she lacked self esteem when she was with him. She just felt this unsaid need to let him become his own person while she stood beside him, behind him every step of the way. His wants, needs mattered more than her own. She wasn’t doing it at the expense of ignoring her own feelings and emotions. She was truly happy to play second fiddle.

What was so wrong in that? Her quite presence and unrelentless support was which helped him thrive through difficulties.

Did he really think that she was a pile on? That she had no strength of character as she listened to him, venting while guiding his judgement with such subtlety, that he misread them as purely his own decisions. Didn’t he realise that she did that to make him comfortable with his decision? To make him feel empowered that it was his call and not one moulded by her thoughts. Was it so difficult to see?

Today she was at the cross road wondering where did it all go wrong. Or perhaps this was meant to be. She had to move on a step at a time. Attending the wedding would help snap that last tie. As she walked towards the stage holding a bouquet for him she knew that it was the right decision. Seeing him married was the ultimate moment of truth.

Manoj noticed her and so did his newly wedded wife. Noticing their discomfort suddenly made her smile! She extended the bouquet, handing it over to his wife. Then, she turned to Manoj. Looking deep into his eyes she hugged him tight. Manoj stood mute unsure if he should hug her back with equal intensity. Moments dragged on and then she just let him go.

Stepping back she turned to his wife and said, ‘good riddance to bad rubbish, he’s all yours now darling!’

Then leaving them, staring at her aghast, she walked away beaming from ear to ear.