#CosmoAfterhours: Confession about a forbidden romance and an outrageous lie

Have you ever told a lie so big that you felt like you had to vanish to keep it up?

#CosmoAfterhours: Confession about a forbidden romance and an outrageous lie

I am the ultimate pick-me-up pro. I’ve jumped through hoops to grab male attention. But gosh! Admitting it to someone you know? That’s a whole other challenge. I spent three years in a relationship realising that my boyfriend was emotionally draining. Each day felt like a broken record and I could not help but daydream about breaking free from the monotony. As the universe gives you what you wish for, I got an opportunity to break free. I met Rahil* at a wedding. He checked all the boxes: tall, handsome, mature—and a decade older than me. The only hiccup? He was married. But you know what they say about the forbidden fruit right!? It’s always irresistible. Here’s the thing you have to understand about Rahil*, he wasn’t a prick of an asshole husband, the arrogant ‘alpha male’ type who barks at his wife. Instead, he was kind, warm, and flattering. There they were, all the signs to make me weak in the knees. As we sat chatting at the wedding, the maybe-not-so-accidental-brush of his hand against my arm felt f*ucking electric; suddenly the forbidden didn’t feel so bad.

Naturally, I played the ‘I’m just an old soul trapped in this hot and young body’ bit very well and thus began our pretty little affair. The first few months were a breeze, but as time passed, things started getting tricky. Whenever we’d plan to hang out, something would come up—his wife, work, or some truly bizarre, out-of-Aladdin’s-magic-lamp-excuse. I couldn’t tell if he was dodging me on purpose or if life was just that chaotic for him.

Illustrations by Tanya Chaturvedi

Him not paying attention to me was driving me up the wall, so I resorted to a sneaky tactic—I started lying. I’d fib about being sick, and like clockwork, he’d drop everything to come see me. I craved that attention. But when that stopped working, I decided that it was time to call it quits. How could I give space to yet another incompetent man in my life? This moment is precisely when I pulled out the big guns. I told him the most outrageous lie ever...I said that I was diagnosed with cancer and needed time to spend my final days with my family, and so it was imperative to cut off contact with him. I went all out and blocked him on every social media platform, making it seem like I vanished from the face of the Earth. As far as I know, he still believes that I’m battling cancer and undergoing treatment.

—Preeti Malik*

As told to Ria Singh

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