Time To Move On

"If you love me, you will forgive me," Raj said to me.

Raj was my boyfriend for 3 years. We started dating when we were in Secondary 4. Raj was in National Service now and I was working in a fast-food chain. We would meet whenever he booked out of camp.

I used to love Raj a lot. He was caring towards me and would buy me sweet gifts every now and then. But he was a possessive boyfriend. He would demand that I tell him my whereabouts. He gets jealous when I talk to other men, even if they were my colleagues.

There was once that he stormed into my workplace and created a scene. He started shouting at me for not answering his phone calls. The truth was, my phone's battery had died. He suspected that I was out with another guy. So, he came to find me. I felt so humiliated when he called me a "whore" in front of my colleagues and customers. The manager had to eventually call the police to get him to leave the premises.

I broke up with Raj that very day. But he pleaded with me to give him another chance. He loved me too much, he said. I fell for his sincerity and we were back together soon after. My friends kept telling me to leave him for good. But I could not. He was the first person I fell in love with. And he was the first person I had slept with. Deep down my heart, I believed that he would change. Love would change him, I kept telling myself. I was not ready to give up.

Yes, I must admit that he had done worse things than what happened at my workplace. There was once he slapped me after an intense quarrel. I was shocked and could only cry. But he quickly apologised and hugged me. I did not know what to do. Anyway, he said it won't happen again. He was truly sorry and said that he was possessed by his emotions. He told me not to answer him back whenever he's angry. I had provoked him, he told me. Perhaps, it was my mistake too, I thought. Soon, we were back together again as a couple.

Actually, Raj was not such a bad guy. He was charming and knew how to make me laugh. If I were to leave him, I would probably land with a worse guy than him. That was what he told me. I ought to be thankful for having him as my boyfriend. He promised that he will marry me one day. I knew he meant it. Why would he not marry me after we had been together for so long and felt so comfortable engaging in physical intimacy? Even my Mom and Dad had met him. They liked him. But I did not tell them about the stuff that he did to me. I was afraid my parents would tell me to leave him.

Just a month ago, Raj’s temper flared up again. He wanted me to spend a night in the hotel with him. But I could not. It was Grandma's birthday and my family had organised a celebration that night. Raj was upset and accused me of lying. He shouted at me and grabbed my arms so tight that I could feel pain. We were seated on a bench at a park near my home when this happened. I tried to leave but he would not let me. When I finally was able to pry my arms away from his grip, I ran as fast as I can. Raj did not chase me. But he did try to call me after that.

Until now, I had not answered any of his calls. I wanted some time to think about our relationship. I was feeling depressed. I do miss him. But I'm also scared of what he'll do to me whenever I caused him to be upset. I was confused.

Thankfully, I could share my story with my best friend, Lina. Lina told me to write it down, which is what you are reading now. I want others to listen to my story too. You may judge me for being too naive. But have you ever fallen in love with a man who loves you back but also hurts you at the same time?

After writing this down, I felt more confident. I knew what I should do: leave him. Raj is gone now. I sent him to the deep recesses of my mind. It's time to move on with my life without him.

Yours sincerely,

Natasha

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