If a bitch steals your man, the best revenge is to let her keep him. Real men can't be stolen, Nani. Sebab Tuhan sayang engkaulah, Dia pisahkan kau berdua. Sebab Tuhan kesian kat engkaulah Dia ambil lelaki macam itu dan campak kat perempuan lain yang selayaknya. Bersyukur, Nani. Tuhan sayang engkau. -A very good friend of mine
* * *
'You wanna tell me why you did it?' I asked. It's funny how my voice wasn't at all shaky despite the madness of the situation. In front of me was this person I had been in love with my entire life. A man I have shared my deepest and darkest secrets with, whose deepest and darkest desires are known to me because of the unspoken pledge of honesty between us. It had been years. And that's centuries in a woman's life. The man I had respected for his wisdom and affection, loved for his generosity and charm, adored for his patience and strength - was now sitting in front of me - guilty, but wasn't apologetic. Not the slightest. Son of a goddamn bloody bitch.
'I think you already know why,' he began, rather gently but still, not apologetic. Clearly he didn't realize just what kind of a pig he was.
'Your version, please,' I replied. This time I had a little smile on my face, for courage. I didn't soften the tone of my voice as I normally would when we have our heart-to-heart talk. I didn't want to. I was disgusted.
He looked at me. Brave enough. Hm. I would crush that soon. Wait for it. Now, when his mouth opened, I wished I hadn't asked him to tell me anything. But I wasn't that kind of girl, who regrets taking the step forward. And I also wasn't the kind of girl who can just walk away from something she cares about so much and pretends as if it was nothing. I was somewhere in the middle. I cared. But I also wanted to stop. And he said, 'I want to be with someone normal, Hana.'
Well, I guess I really should, then.
At that moment, everything I had ever known and loved in my whole life broke into a thousand pieces, with a silence that was so destructive I thought I'd let a part of me die with everything that was broken in the exact second. If I could, I really would've. I swear.
'Everything,' I demanded, even when I knew that I wasn't going to be ready for it.
'She lets me take her out. Dates, you know movies, or just walks and talks, I mean - I get to see her often. That's something we would never do because you have all these,' he hesitated, and proceeded with the dumbest shit any guy could ever come up with, 'rules about going out with a guy.'
I blinked. Unbelievable. Had he really sunken to that lev-
'I just want a normal girlfriend,' he added, stressing on the word normal.
Ah. He had. Right.
That would have made me laugh any day if that came from some other guy and the woman he was talking to was someone else. Seriously? But the problem was that I knew I was right, he did too, and I was going to let him get away with cheating because both of them deserve each other. Well, don't they?
'They aren't my rules, Lutfi. They are God's rules,' I said - stressing on the word God. 'Don't we both pray 5 times a day?'
He looked away. That is to be expected, my friends.
'You don't want a normal girlfriend. You just want someone you don't have to pay for with nikah,' I said, finally. Well, that's what this is all about. Basically.
He didn't say anything. Ah, what could he have said, anyway?
'She let you touch her?' I poked.
'Yeah,' he answered, after a moment of hesitation.
'I see,' I replied. I mean, yeah, I really did see the whole picture now.
'It's not what you think,' he added hastily. 'We didn't have s-
I laughed. Genuine.
'It doesn't matter what I think, Lutfi. I don't own both heaven and hell,' I mused. 'Someone else does. It's Him you need to worry about.'
Yeah, call me an impossible girlfriend. Why not? I practically am, in more ways than one. I refused every time he asked me out. I had always refused to be seen with him without a friend or a family member. I do not believe in holding hands, kisses in the car, pointless walks, empty talks and wild concerts that he believes would bring two people closer - we are Muslims, yeah? Let's live like we really are. Let's love like God teaches us to. But he didn't think it would be cool.
I guess I kind of grazed his massive ego so he decided to hit me back. 'She often looks pretty. She dresses up well.' He stared at me. Plain, pastel me. As if that would hurt. I can't believe that I was ever in love with someone so dumb. This isn't high school, genius. Mature women don't get hurt just because their boyfriend cheated with a prettier girl.
'You're joking, right?' I asked. It was getting ridiculous.
'I found someone better, Hana.'
'You think you found someone better.'
He didn't say anything to that.
'I have always had the choice to be with someone so much better than you, Lutfi, but I chose to be with you. And now you're telling me, you're leaving me for someone better just because you think you have a choice? Tak sedar diri.'
He was as still as a corpse.
'Kau mana ada choice, Lutfi. Kau pilih dia sebab dia percuma. Bukan sebab dia lebih baik dari aku. Face it,' I said, kindly. 'Dan perempuan percuma saja yang kau mampu afford.'
He couldn't believe I had said that. I was always the sweet one. The kind one. The forgiving one. The one with the most carefully chosen words. Well I've chosen perfectly this time, haven't I? A round of applause, if you please.
'I'm tired, Hana,' he said, after a fake sigh. 'I don't wanna fight.'
'I'm bored, Lutfi. You're just another disappointment.'
A few seconds went by. And he decided to do the stupidest thing in the universe.
'I'm sorry for everything.'
'Don't be. I'm not.'
'You don't have to apologize for being you.'
He looked at me - wondering just what the hell was I thinking. LOL. Can you get any stupider?
'Tell her I'm sorry. A cheater is the best gift I can sincerely offer to her, for your wedding. Both of you deserve each other.'
'I need to go now. I have a new life to live. You've wasted years of my life so I really hope you'll fuck up the rest of yours really bad you'd die early. Bye.'
That was rude, I know. That was beyond anything rude I had ever said to anybody, even the people I hate.
So I walked away.
I bet you're wondering about my broken heart. Heh. It'll mend itself eventually. It always does.
I bet you're also wondering if I cried. Yeah I did. I cried because God had chosen the best for me - a life without him. Because He was so close. Because His love was so obvious. Because He saved me.
And are you wondering if it was hard? It was. It really, really was. But I pulled through because I realized something - that at least two meaningless people would never make it into my future. Because I deserve so much more. So much more.
I didn't turn to take the final look at his sorry face because I already knew what I would see - the face of the person I should have high-fived with a truck.
But hey, that would be animal cruelty.
* * *
'Lutfi, if you can cheat behind me with her, apa jaminan kau takkan buat benda yang sama pada dia? Can you guarantee that you'd be loyal to her?' I asked, already knowing the answer.
'Saya pun tak tahulah, Hana,' was his reply.
Well, looks like he's really, the BEST gift for her, then.