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That man


-Arati Gurung
 
I met an old high school friend at a party last week, and I was amazed to see he was still his usual ‘Casanova’ self. During the two years of high school, he had changed four different girls and now I meet him with a woman who doesn’t look anything like the one he had introduced me to a year back.

I rolled my eyes after he introduced me to his ‘baba’. ‘I can’t believe it either,’ he confessed, ‘I keep thinking this is it, she’s the one and then out of the blue, we end up saying goodbye.’
So I guess she is the one then, I ask. “Yes, she’s definitely for me, we’ve been going out for four months now.’ He says, his eyes wavering over a girl in a skimpy red halter top.

I can see where this is going. Five minutes later, I meet his baba at the snack counter and turn to find him busy flirting in a corner with the girl in the red top.

One of his ex girlfriends is an office colleague of my fiancé’s. He told me they had been pretty close, even talking of marriage. Almost two years down the line, she still hasn’t been able to come out of the shock or the embarrassment. She had even taken him to meet her family and relatives.

The latest girl must be his 209th one ever since he was born. My fiancé and I muse, what’s he got that convinces girls he’ll commit? He has an okay job; he is definitely not a looker – not with that beer belly and that balding head. The only thing he’s got is his father’s dough, plenty of it, which he makes sure he uses much to his advantage.
 
If you were single and he approached you, would you have fallen for him, asks my fiancé. I remember how I met the guy in the first place.

He had come to me to sell a dance party ticket which I politely refused. He insisted I buy one, following me through the college corridors. When he blocked my way and said he’d get me a free ticket, I lost my patience and quite harshly told him to get lost. The following day, I found out that I had ‘badmouthed him and pushed him off the stairs’. As furious as I was, I chose not to listen to my friends. I ignored the whole thing and resumed class. I met the guy only after high school was over, at a street festival. I returned the courtesy talk and moved on. I met him often after that at various places and he would always be with a new girl.
 
My fiancé says not every girl is as smart as I am. I know he’s just being sweet, but if I were to comment, I wouldn’t call it being smart, I would say I was just not attracted to someone who made a big deal about getting me a free ticket, or anything else about him for that matter. But getting back to the present, I was feeling bad for this girl. She’s so smitten. When she spoke to me about him, it was as if she were talking about a man who could do no wrong. She sat dreamy eyed beside him, laughing at his every joke, wiping the ketchup off his cheeks. He had his hands all over her and all she could do was blush in return.

My female instinct urged me to get up and tell her what I knew about him, but my experiences told me to keep shut and stay the hell out of the whole thing.
 
I wonder what keeps her from seeing the real him. Why are we women so devoted to love, so blind about commitment and so dedicated to relationships? Why do women like her encourage men like him to think they can get away with anything?

Should time be the only one to answer these questions, or is there anyone else who can solve this disgusting pattern. Maybe I should have listened to my friends that day and gave the guy a piece of my mind. Would anything have changed had I taken the step?

 
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