Sometimes, It’s Better to Say No

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The day she proposed me is supposed to be the best day of life. Instead, it was the worst day because I said NO, and I think it was the right thing to do and I feel content, as at times it’s better to say NO!!!

I am a student at the Indian Institute of Science,  Bangalore and she is a research assistant in my lab and a very good friend of mine. I knew she had feelings for me though I used to neglect all the signs. Deep inside of me, I knew responding to her signs was not correct, and that’s why I said “NO” to her.

We used to share our food, she used to cook food for me as I am fond of South Indian cuisine. Every day we would go to canteen and mess together. I loved to roam around Bangalore with her as she is from the city and knew many places. I enjoyed many night outs with her during our night explorations. I loved talking to her and really liked to be in her company. Many of our friends used to tease us and would ask about our future. She loved replying to all of them and sometimes blushed as well. But deep inside, I knew that we didn’t have a future together and so used to ignore all those questions. I would usually change the topic of marriage and our future together. Sometimes she felt strange about my behavior and we generally fought over that.

I wanted to tell her about myself and tried doing so many times, but I would develop cold feet thinking whether she would accept me or not. The thought of losing her scared me a lot. The question of what if “she will know about me” would sometimes put me in depression. I tried to consult many psychologists but failed. I tried many things to cure myself but I failed again. I really wanted to be hers at any cost but I guess nature did not want that. Finally, the day came when she proposed me.

I still remember that it was my birthday and she called me near the main building of IISc around 12 at night. She was wearing a green dress and had a red rose in her hand. I saw her and smiled and hugged her and said, “Thank you for making my birthday special,  you are and will be my best friend forever.” She took me to a secluded place and got down on her knees and proposed me.  That moment, which was supposed to be the happiest moment about which guys of my age dream about, turned out to be the most painful moment of my life because I had to say NO, even though I didn’t want to. She uttered the three words- I Love You, and I paused for a moment and said NO. All I could say was, “You would not understand.” But she persisted, and said, “I will convince your parents.”  I replied, “The problem is not with my parents, it’s with me, I am a homosexual and we don’t have future together.” That night was the painful one, even worse than the day I came to know about my sexual orientation. I was totally numbed and stood there for more than half an hour and cried like anything. But I knew what I did was correct and good for both of us.

She didn’t say even a single word and left. I knew she was in pain and I felt like killing myself that day. But deep inside, I felt proud at my decision. Sometimes it’s better to say NO instead of dragging a relationship with no future.

Why am I writing?

I am writing this to tell people like me that it’s totally okay to be homosexual but keeping someone in dark is not good in any relationship. It’s better to say NO. I know it needs a lot of will power and guts but you have to take the step to say NO as it’s good for both of you.

That day I was in pain and also proud of myself as I said NO.

Rahul Rana

Rahul Rana is a research scholar at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

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