His Infidelity Had Shaken Her Belief In Love And Made Her Doubt Herself…

The first few months of marriage seemed like a dream to Mia. Rakesh would pamper her, making sure that the responsibilities of the house were divided equally. But then things started changing.

Trigger warning: This deals with infidelity and loss, and may be triggering to survivors.

“Hold the lift, please!” a voice called out.

Mia blew out a sigh in irritation but pressed the open button. Politeness was too ingrained in her psyche to have pretended not to hear the request.

A moment later, a young woman hurried in. “Thanks,” the woman said breathlessly giving a wide smile.

Mia nodded in acknowledgement before going back to scrolling on her phone.

As the lift started its slow rise, the young woman spoke, “Today is Valentine’s Day na, so got late”. Mia ignored the young woman. She hated making eye contact in the lift, let alone engaging in a conversation with strangers.

Oblivious of Mia’s disinterest, the young woman continued chattering.

“It is our first Valentine’s Day after marriage, so I decided to pamper him by making his favourite breakfast. I even wrote a secret love note and put it in his lunch box!” she giggled.

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This time Mia gave the woman a pointed glare, hoping that she would take a hint and stop speaking.

But the glare seemed to spur the woman. Her red chooda jangling, she took out her phone. Pushing it closer to Mia, she said, “I brought this leather wallet for him as a gift. Nice, right?”

Mia had this insane urge to throw the woman’s phone away, but the ding of the lift signalled her floor had come.

Mia hastily exited the lift. But before walking away, she turned and asked the young woman who was still happily ginning at the photo on her phone, “ What special did your husband do for you? Did he even remember it is Valentine’s day?”

As the lift doors close on the young woman’s surprised face, Mia walked to her office, sure that her words had hit the nerve.


“Poor girl!” Priya hooted with laughter at lunch after Mia narrated the tale of the obnoxious lift mate to her.

“If anyone deserves to be called poor girl, it is me,” retorted Mia swallowing a mouthful of rice. “This Valentine’s day nonsense is getting on my nerves. Teddy bears, chocolates and heart cutouts are everywhere! Sometimes I feel as if I will throw up seeing all this sweetness around!”

Priya shrugged. “It is harmless. Let people celebrate their love.”

“Celebrating love or crass commercialization? And that girl had stars in her eyes. What will happen when she realizes that life is not a Yash Chopra romance?”Mia retorted.

“That is that girl’s fate. Why are you dampening her joy?”

“I hate it when people romanticize love!”

“How would you know what love is? You have closed yourself off to the world after Rakesh. You dress dowdily. You barely talk with anyone without snapping back. You are just living one day after another without taking pleasure or joy in life. Sometimes I feel as if you don’t like yourself also anymore,” Priya accused.

Priya’s words struck an arrow in Mia’s heart. Her eyes downcast, she closed her tiffin and rose from her seat.

Priya reached out and hugged her.

“I am sorry, Mia. I didn’t want to hurt you. It was thoughtless of me to speak so. I just want you to be happy! “

Mia gave a small smile.

“I have a lot of work pending, will catch you later,” she said, walking out, her spine straight, her eyes shiny with unshed tears.


Later that evening, Mia looked around in the ladies’ compartment of the metro. Most women were wearing red colour dresses. Quite a few also had red roses in their hands. There was a palpable excitement around them, especially the young women.

Mia chuckled wryly to herself. She thought of the young woman she had met in the lift. The woman belonged to the same sub-set of women who were happy because it was Valentine’s Day. The day of love, even if the rest of the days, love would have flown out of the window.

There was a time when Mia also belonged to the same group. The one’s who eagerly awaited the fourteenth of February. The excitement and the expectations would rise to a crescendo before crashing back.

Now, she mused, walking back to her apartment from the metro, she was wiser.

You have closed yourself off since Rakesh. Mia recalled Priya’s words as she unlocked the door to her apartment and slipped off her heels. Had she closed herself off, Mia wondered.

Rakesh, the one whom she had loved deeply, with all her heart.

Mia sank onto the couch and closed her eyes as memories of Rakesh engulfed her.

“May I borrow a pen?” a husky voice asked.

Mia’s eyes widened under her bangs as she realized Rakesh had uttered those words.

Turning a beet red, she wordlessly gave a pen to him, who nodded his thanks and turned back. Mia had no clue what the professor said in the rest of the Economics lecture. All she could see and focus on was the silky, wavy hair on the back of Rakesh’s head. Her ten rupees Reynolds, Mia mused, was lucky! It was being touched by the long, lean fingers of the college’s rockstar.

At the end of the class, when Rakesh returned the pen with a charming grin and Thanks buddy, Mia felt her heart would burst with excitement at his proximity.

From then, whenever Rakesh would see Mia around the college, he would come over to say hello. Slowly, Mia too grew comfortable enough to talk to him without blushing.

And then, Valentine’s Day came.

Rakesh accosted Mia on her way to the library. “Happy Valentine’s Day!” he said, handing her a card.

Mia looked at him, her mouth agape. Seeing her surprise, Rakesh chuckled. Closing her jaw with a tender finger, he said, “I have had a crush on you from the day I borrowed the pen. Talking to you makes me feel happy. I think I am slowly falling in love with you. So will you be my Valentine?”

Hearing the words Mia had longed to hear for so long made her happy.

”Oh! Yes!” she said breathlessly.

With a whoop, Rakesh hugged her hard. He twirled her around as they both laughed with abandon. It was one of the happiest days of Mia’s life.

Their college affair grew deeper more serious, as they stepped into professional lives. Marriage was the logical next step in their relationship.

The first few months of marriage seemed like a dream to Mia. Rakesh would pamper her, making sure that the responsibilities of the house were divided equally. But then things started changing. At first, it was the little things. Him expecting her to get the groceries or do laundry more often, but slowly, the weight of the household started falling more on Mia. In the haze of love, Mia was oblivious to the changes in Rakesh.

And then Valentine’s Day came, their first after marriage.

Like the young woman in the lift, she prepared his special meal and dressed carefully. Mia waited the whole day for a rose, a bar of chocolate, or some gesture from Rakesh. But was disappointed. Later that night, she hesitantly asked Rakesh why he had forgotten to even wish her when in the past he would make her feel like a queen.

“Sorry, babe! It totally skipped my mind. You know how my boss is creating problems for me! I will make it up to you, I promise!” he had replied, hugging her hard.

He would have seen the signs everywhere. Valentine’s Day posters are all over the city! Her mind questioned, but Mia silenced the doubts.

She loved Rakesh too much to doubt his words.

Things didn’t improve as the years passed. His workplace frustration started affecting their married life. Rakesh became more short-tempered, his words stripping Mia’s self-respect and pride. Mia continued to make excuses for him.

Finally, on the fifth Valentine’s Day after marriage, Mia discovered that Rakesh was having an affair with an office colleague.

Valentine’s Day marked the start and end of her love story.

Mia hated the day and the emotion called love, ever since.

The doorbell rang, jolting Mia out of her memories. She opened the door to see a delivery person with a bouquet of red roses.

“Delivery for Ms Mia, Happy Valentine’s day!” he said, handing her the roses.

Mia frowned.

Who could be sending her flowers on Valentine’s Day?

Suspiciously, she opened the attached card.

Dearest Mia, 

I know you hate Valentine’s Day, but who said you need another person to be your Valentine? You can be your own! Why don’t you give it a try? 


Mia looked at the roses thoughtfully.

Priya might have hurt her in the afternoon by mentioning Rakesh, but her words had struck a chord. Mia had closed herself and her feelings off from the world after Rakesh had broken her heart. Rakesh’s infidelity had not only shaken her belief in love, but it had also made her doubt herself.

Filling a vase with water, she arranged the roses before placing the vase on the centre of the dining table.

YesIt was time to take charge of her life again, she thought looking at the full-blown roses.

Picking up the phone, she ordered a cake for herself and set the table for one before going in to change. Half an hour later, she came out of the room wearing a dress. Subtle makeup made her skin glow, and her hair fell on her shoulders in soft waves. She lit candles bathing the room in a romantic glow.

When she opened the door for the cake delivery, the delivery boy’s eyes widened, seeing the romantic setting of the room.

“Sahab must be getting lucky tonight!” he commented, assuming that Mia’s efforts were for a man.

Mia raised a brow at his inappropriate boldness.

“It is the memsahib who is getting lucky tonight,” she said, before shutting the door to his surprised face.

She poured herself a glass of wine and took a selfie with the glass and the roses. Sending the picture to Priya she wrote, “Thank you for making me realise that love comes in different shades. It is time I started loving myself!”

Keeping the phone down, she picked up the fork to take a bite of the cake. It was time to love herself.

Editor’s Note: It’s the season of love, and especially romantic love. But what if you are not in a romantic relationship right now? We asked our readers to send in their #HappySolentine stories.

Image source: pixabay

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My Motto is you can learn anything from books! I am an engineer turned SAHM turned book blogger. I love to read, talk and write about books. I am passionate about instilling a love for read more...

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