‘Drinks’ turned into movie dates and proper dinners. And this all meant that I had started lying to my girlfriend. I had to stay late at work because of this new engagement or that. I had to go for after work drinks with colleagues, dinners with existing clients, dinners with prospective clients. You name it, I said it. I felt terrible about it, but I was no longer thinking with my head. Rational thought had become a myth. My heart was now in the driver’s seat, doing about 160 at night, on a dimly lit road, with no seat belt.

She knew I had a girlfriend. She had known since the first night we met. But she had been suffering as I had been suffering. She had never done anything like this before. In fact, she despised women that did this sort of thing. But she knew, like I knew, that this was something that she couldn’t let pass by. I don’t know what it was about that first night, but we shared a connection that we both could not ignore.

I needed to talk to someone. Who better to talk to than the person that put me in this mess in the first place? I called my boy. He hadn’t even spoken to or heard from his date from that night. Imagine that. He was in the clear, but here I was in a pit of quicksand, with an anvil attached to my ankle. I explained everything to him. Broke it down, frame by frame. We spoke at length, but in the end, he didn’t succeed at swaying me one way or the other. All he ended up doing was agreeing with me that it was an ugly situation. What a waste of time. But really, what did I expect him to say? And even if he had tried to talk sense into me, I doubt I would have listened. I wasn’t in control of what I was feeling. After all, they say when you meet ‘the one’, you just know. This feeling… This feeling of helplessness and hopelessness… I hadn’t felt it before. Not with my girlfriend… Not with my ‘first love’…. This was brand new. My girlfriend and I started dating because we liked each other. After all, that was the logical and conventional thing to do. But this was different. I met Yasmin and knew on that first day that this was the person I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with. This was my soul mate.

My relationship had started to suffer again. Badly this time. We had started fighting about anything and everything. The more we argued and fought, the closer I got to Yasmin. We were arguing again. This was probably our most heated argument. I can’t remember what we were arguing about, but what I do remember was the rotten feeling in my stomach. I was putting her through so much. She didn’t deserve this. She was tabling all sorts of issues and hurling all sorts of accusations my way, as had now become the norm in our relationship. She was tired of it all, and who could blame her? She was so into what she was trying to get across to me, that she didn’t hear when I said it. Or if she heard, it didn’t register. At least not immediately. She continued her tirade and then paused suddenly. ‘What did you just say’? I steadied myself, drew a long breath and said it again. ‘There’s someone else’.