By Manjari Singh
Illustration by ExoticDirtbag
Something awful happened last year. A guy I truly loved broke my heart like I never mattered to him. I couldn’t get out of bed for ten days or so. I cried so much, my throat went sore and I couldn’t speak for two days. He blocked me seven months ago leaving me with tears in my eyes, unbearable pain in my heart and so many questions in my mind.
Y and I met via Bumble when he was traveling to my city for work from Mumbai. After chatting on Whatsapp about life and his dick for five months, we finally met in a hotel room in Lucknow. He told me he liked me and he had feelings for me. He also told me it was much more than casual sex. Then he ended it all by simply blocking me when I told him I had fallen in love with him. Putting my pride aside, I sent him SMSes which obviously went unanswered. I needed my closure and I needed it very badly.
My friends told me he was trash in a way men ( yes, all men) are and that should be my closure. But the heart wants what it wants. It needed the answers. I wanted to know why he told me he had feelings for me when he had none. There was a strong sexual tension, I won’t deny that and we both were very attracted to each other. But he told me we were much more than sex. And honestly, we did not even have sex but we did kiss like there was no tomorrow.
Why make a fuss about a few kisses, you would want to know. But let me tell you something about myself first. I am a late bloomer. By late bloomer, I mean very late bloomer. I am a woman in my early thirties and I have never really dated anyone. Yes, I have had crushes and one-sided love, but never a relationship. I was obviously not in a formal relationship with Y, but it felt a lot like that. Oh, there is a term for what we shared. It is called ‘situationship’ ( I told you, I was a late bloomer).
If Y had told me, he was only looking for something casual, that would have been disappointing, but fine. I would not have even met him. I might be casual about life but I am really serious about sex. Why else would I have stayed a virgin at this age? This is something about me I would not like to change. It’s how I feel comfortable, and I don’t think there’s any standard of ‘normalcy’ I need to meet.
And then happened Y and things escalated quickly with him. It felt like magic. He typed one thing, I typed another and soon I knew that I never wanted this to end. That’s why Y became the first ever guy I sent nudes to. It did not feel wrong because Y had already told me he liked me and I liked him too. Our first meeting was as good as it could be. In his words it was the ‘ second-best date ever’ ( Best was with his ex wife). We just cuddled and held hands. There was no need to rush. We were just okay.
A few more dates happened in the same hotel, and in one of them we just cuddled and slept in each other’s arms. I could see the morning rays from his hotel window falling on his face while he slept next to me. I think that was the moment when I fell in love with him, and then it was over. Never in my life I had felt that lonely. Friends did listen to me and offered comfort and support for some time and then they said things that made me wonder why they were my friends in the first place. Actually, they were not to be blamed for this. All of them were either married or were in serious relationships. ‘You are ten years late,’ said one of them.
Desperate for answers, I turned to my best friend Google. I typed ‘ why did he ghost me’ and I clicked the first video that turned up. A beautiful blond tarot card reader was sitting with her cards in front of her claiming to provide me answers dictated by her ‘guardian angel’. She asked me to choose one amongst the four decks that would tell me everything I wanted to know.
“Oh, maybe he was previously hurt by someone so bad he is afraid to commit again.” (Oh yes, he was a divorcee )
“Oh I can see he has blocked you” (Damn)
“I can see Leo energy being represented here along with Libra” (Bang on! That’s our sun signs)
“I can see long distances” ( Oh well…)
“Don’t worry, I can see an offer of love coming from him in a few weeks.” (Really ??).
I immediately clicked on the other videos by that tarot card reader with titles like, ‘What is the future of this connection’, ‘Will he call again’, ‘Will he commit’, No communication, what is he thinking’ and so on. All of them claimed to go deep in his heart and soul and let me know of things he left unsaid.
After two weeks, instead of binging on Netflix and Prime I found myself fully engrossed in those tarot videos. There were monthly and weekly readings by sun signs with titles I wanted to see ‘He is in love with you Libra, he is just not showing it,’ ‘No. It is not over yet. There is more to this story’ ‘He is all yours, Libra’ and what not. Well, who needed Netflix when I had these people sitting in some distant countries to help me?
By the end of two weeks, I knew what ‘Ace of Cups’ meant, what it meant when ‘Wheel of Fortune’ showed up in my reading. I also came to know ‘Six of Cups’ meant reconciliation while ‘Two of Cups’ depicted ‘eternal twin flame connection’. And most importantly I was fully convinced that he was coming back. To confirm it further I took a personal reading from someone living in their tiny apartment in Paris. Three days after I sent 40 dollars ( that was her discounted rate for her ‘most loyal fan’) via Paypal, I received a video in my mailbox in which the cute blond (with blue streaks) in her mid-twenties, said everything I wanted to hear. ‘I see loads of potential in this connection. Yes, you guys will be together soon’.
I watched that video God knows how many times, and one night, when I was watching it for perhaps the 67876th time, something hit me hard. Damn. Yes,I could be a tarot card reader too. I was well acquainted with all the 78 cards, I could colour my hair blue and green, and my tarot deck was just a click away.
I called my friends over to my home the moment my tarot deck was delivered to me. The girls shot their questions about their love life and job situation (but mostly love life) one by one, and all I had to do was to shuffle and pick cards to answer them. My friends were shocked to see how accurate my cards were about most of the questions and they beamed at the possibility of me picking tarot cards as a career.
I did not upload anything on my Instagram or Twitter but the word traveled and it traveled faster than I had imagined it would. Friends, and friends of friends, knew I was learning Tarot and doing readings for free. My phone would not stop ringing with the young women on the other side wanting to know whether ‘he’ will text again or not. Damsels in distress could not stop bombarding me with questions like ‘Will there be a second date?’ ‘Will he call back?’ ‘Will he leave her for me?’ ‘Does he even know he had hurt me?’ and my favorite — ‘Will Karma punish him for hurting me?’
I shuffled and I answered all the questions until my cards withered and those pretty colourful pictures faded. I shuffled till the time I realised ninety-five percent of my predictions were wrong. I shuffled and picked the cards till the time I came to understand, most of the girls were in abusive relationships with the men they were inquiring about.
While the cards showed deep love coupled with commitment phobia, the reality always remained something else. When men behave like they don’t care, we must believe them. I threw my cards away and told them what was true. ‘NO sister, he won’t call. Focus on yourself and just block him. You are too good for this shit.’ What surprised me was the fact that it was only women who were contacting me to get their readings done.
No offence to the tarot card readers. Maybe I was a bad reader. But what was really bad was the trauma those women were facing due to ghosting. Questions haunted them and some of them (including me) were so desperate for answers that they were ready to believe anything. It might get us through the worst part, but it’s not the final way of freeing yourself from pain.
And what about that guy who got me hooked to tarot in the first place? Well, I do have my answer now. The answer is he is an A**hole.
Manjari Singh is a writer from Lucknow. She was fuming with anger while writing this piece. All her life she dreamt of having that ‘Modern Love’ column kind of love story and all she could get was this!