And I Broke My Heart

My best friends find it hard to believe that I have never been in a relationship long enough to even call it that – a relationship. They’ve always told me that I’m a catch.

My best friends find it hard to believe that I have never been in a relationship long enough to even call it that – a relationship. They’ve always told me that I’m a catch. I used to think so too. It was difficult not to believe them. After all, I’ve obtained an education from one of the best schools in the country, I’ve worked with companies that a lot of people aspire to be part of, I’m always termed as the life of any party that I’ve been to, I have an awesome family who would be so accepting of my boyfriend (if I ever had one) and I am an above-average looker. I know at least 5 of my women friends who are willing to marry me, despite me being openly gay. It’s now been forever since I carried the single status and over a decade since I’ve been active on the gay dating scene. It’s hard to believe my best friends anymore. Now, when they tell me that I’m still a catch, all I say in response is “Ha!” with a little pinch of sarcasm evident in my tone. I’ve grown up with a lot of insecurities but I learnt to let go of them once I came to terms with my sexuality. But now those very insecurities are coming back, giving me high fives and pinching my bottom just before slithering into my mind and earning the title of “the demons in my head”.
Ever since the demons have occupied their space, I have consciously begun looking forward when it comes to potential relationships. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Wrong! A quick sneak peek into my head whenever I meet a potential boyfriend is as follows: How long is this one going to last? How soon is he going to lose interest? Will he run away before he sees me naked or after? What do you think his excuse for the break-up is going to be? Maybe I should break up with him before he breaks up with me? How will I deal with this heart-break? Now you must be wondering, what happens next? Simple, the demons turn me into a clingy needy bitch that would force any person in the right frame of mind to run away.
A few weeks ago, I met Shubh. He was everything I wanted in a man. Funny, career oriented, caring, tall, good looking lad. Just hearing him say “hello” on the phone made me smile. I knew that this was so much more than just a potential boyfriend. For the first time in many years, I was fighting the demons in my head and genuinely felt like the guy was reciprocating my feelings. I think it was in the 5th week of being with Shubh when I felt that familiar pinch on the bottom followed by a high five. “He hasn’t seen you naked yet, that’s the time he is going to dump you! How come he isn’t messaging as frequently as he used to? How come he decided to take off for a whole month in the initial phases of getting to know you? You do know he’s going to end this after he returns! He is going to break your heart!” These demons were bloody strong. That was all it took for me to distance myself from one of the most awesome guys I have ever met. I pacified myself knowing that he was going to break my heart sooner or later.
A few weeks later, I received the opportunity to move to New York in a new role with my firm. I was still not over Shubh, but knew that the decision of distancing myself from him was in my best interest. I would not have to deal with him breaking my heart and walking away. And this move to New York could not have been timed better. This was definitely going to be a welcome distraction. While I bid goodbye to my friends and family at the airport, I noticed a familiar face at a distance. It was Shubh, quietly standing in a corner. Our eyes met, I immediately turned around and looked away. And that is when I realized that it was not him who was going to break my heart but me who broke his. I could feel the demons in my head doing a little celebratory dance because they achieved what they had to. I broke my own heart.

About the guest author

Arun Mirchandani

Arun Mirchandani is the author of the gay fiction novel "You Are Not Alone" published by Leadstart Publishing in 2010. His short story "The Choice" is part of the queer anthology "Out! Stories from the new queer India" published by Queer Ink in 2012. An alumnus of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Arun currently lives and works in Hong Kong.