The final goodbye
My biggest secret was the letter written by my former husband, that now sat in my nightstand’s bottom drawer. The letter that had come along with my divorce papers. The letter that was my guilt, my regret. Even if I tried, I couldn’t ignore the fact that we had been dishonest.
Salaar had always been a good person – kind and considerate. The biggest proof of this was probably the fact that despite my many shortcomings and mistakes, my husband had chosen to divorce cordially. But he had also chosen to lie to our parents about what happened rather than tell them the truth behind the end of our marriage. Once again, not because he cared too much about his own reputation, but because he knew it would hurt me more than anything else.
Tonight, as I lay in my bed with the letter in my hand, and thought of my wedding which was to come tomorrow, I decided to read it one last time and then burn it, along with all the memories it carried for me. I opened it and began to read with a heavy heart.
I guess I still have the privilege to call you that because I haven’t signed the papers yet. I figured if I wrote this letter first, maybe I would be able to forget the scars you have left upon me. If you are reading this, then, of course, I have failed to do so.
I wonder if you are wondering why you have received these papers. Of course, I am stupid for wondering so when it was established long ago that you never loved me. Think no wrong, I blame you by no means. I only wish to tell you how long I have known and what I have felt. I only wish to ask you what wrong I had done to you.
The night our parents read our nikkah, you sat with me and told me you never wanted to commit to marriage with me. And although I told you our marriage was solely on the wishes of our parents, I lied to you. In all truth, I loved you more than anyone has loved anything ever before. But to love is to destroy, and that was what you did, Mahrukh – you destroyed.
The first night you stopped sitting on our bed side by side when you worked on your laptop was when I understood. You stopped coming by for lunch; you stopped sending in my dinner when I was too busy to remember to eat. You started to disappear – almost as if preparing me for the fact that you would leave. You thought I didn’t know, but I did. I knew when you sneaked out every night to talk to your lover. I knew. I’d already moved on – your cheating was simply a key left in the mailbox.
Betrayal was what I felt, having been betrayed not only by my wife, but also by someone who once was a true friend. Being cheated on felt like death; a death by constant paper cuts, slow but sure.
When people cheat in any arena of life, they diminish themselves. They threaten their relationships with others by undermining the trust people have in their ability to be true. And that is what you did.
But like I said, I do not blame you. All I want to say is that you were my air; the drug I depended on for my life. Now that you have left, I know not how much longer I will live. I assume myself dead already, and if this doesn’t kill me, then I’m only half-alive. On the verge of leaving.
If you ever feel sorry, you have my forgiveness. If you ever get married to the man you cheated on me with, you have my blessing.
As I closed the letter and folded the piece of paper, I wondered if he was sitting in his room, thinking of us like I was. I wondered if I should bid him farewell one last time before I leave him forever, as I got to my feet. I wondered if he would still want to talk to me years after I had wronged him, as I entered the kitchen. I wondered if he had truly forgiven me, as I lit the fire on the stove. I wondered if God ever would, as I threw the letter into the fire I had made with my own hands; just like the one I had made years ago. The only difference was, this time I had really made up my mind. This was the final goodbye.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.