Nikhil Joshi, M.D.

What is love?

You know how people say that love makes you do stupid things? Well, they are right. When I was in my last year of high school, so about 2 1/2 years ago, I thought that I had finally found the fish that would swim in my heart forever. We laughed together, cried together, had Friday night ice cream dates, and cuddled in bed watching movies and playing Xbox. It wasn’t until 6 months into our relationship that I saw the coward behind the face of the man I was dating.

The night before I had received some messages from his ex girlfriend that made me feel suspicious and uncomfortable, so while he was taking a shower, I wrongly went through his phone, and saw that he had been cheating on me with her. I was upset, so I called a cab to come and get me, and waited by the window that over looked the front entrance. I heard the shower shut off, and my name being shouted from the upstairs “Taylor, where did you go?” “I’m right here,” I said, “I called a cab, I’m going to head home.” Stomping feet came quickly down the stairs, he looked at me, and I watched his eyes become red with furry and his fists clench up to his side.

“Why are you leaving?” His voice sounding like someone else, somebody filled with rage. I explained myself, but it seemed like every word I said he would just get more furious. He picked me up and threw me onto the couch, pinning me down and telling me that I am not to go anywhere. “Just let me go home and when we calm down we can talk!” He pulled my arm backwards, trying so forcefully to break it. He gives up, and then puts his hands around my neck, slamming my back into the wall, now he’s yelling even louder, begging me not to go because he needs me, as he punches my arms and kicks my legs. “Please! Just let go of me!” Tears are finally starting to rush down my face.

He lets me go. I run to the door, and he runs into the kitchen. I hear a drawer open, just as I turn the door knob “if you leave me, I will slit my own throat” I turn my head and see that he has a butcher knife up to his neck. I just stare at him, not knowing what the hell to do, so I stare. Suddenly there’s blooding running out of the side of his neck “did you fucking hear me? I’ll kill myself if I can’t have you!”

And that’s when I made the biggest regret of my life. I ran to him. I took the knife from his hands, and took his body and cuddled it into mine. I combed my fingers through his hair, and promised that I wasn’t going to go anywhere without him.

That was only the first time he hit me. By the end of the year that we were together, he had me convinced that I was actually the one who was bipolar, and I was the one who needed help and medication. So I that’s what I did. For three months I was taking an anti depressant that I did not need, therefore it made me actually extremely depressed (not that my current situation was depressing enough), to the point where all I could think about was how much I wish I could just drop dead.

On Valentine’s day, he proposed to me. Told me that now that I was taking this medication, we could finally be happier together because I would not be “crazy” anymore. I thought that this was it. That we could finally be happy together, and he wasn’t going to hurt me anymore. It was the first day in those three months that I didn’t feel like I wanted to die.

It didn’t take very long for that happiness to end; a week later to no surprise, I caught him cheating on me. Again. I don’t know exactly what happened, but this time, I finally gathered up some courage and decided that this would be the last time that he ever hurt me. I stood up for myself, and I knew he didn’t like it. Because that night, he didn’t care where he hit me. He didn’t try to grab my arms in places that I could easily cover, no, not this time. This time, he head butted me so hard in my eye that my cheeks swelled passed my vision, unbuckled my seat belt, opened the car door, pushed me out and abandoned me 10km from where I lived.

As sore and hurt as I was, I was right. That was the last time he ever hurt me. Because the next day I went to the police station, and finally did something brave.

Maybe this is more of a story than a letter, but what I want the world to know is that no matter how much you think you love someone, if they hurt you physically or emotionally, then you need to get out of it. Because this world is a beautiful place to be, but you will never see the beauty in it, if you’re trapped in a nightmare. Nothing can stay bad forever, unless you let it stay that way.

Love is one of the most joyful thing about life, so don’t let anyone ruin it for you.

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