By Bunmi Sofola
How do you handle betrayal? When the ‘love of your life’ is discovered to be the heart-throb of another, how do you handle the two-faced partner that means so much to you? Lesley, a mother of two divorcee was more or less over the trauma of her divorce and was making appreciable progress in her profession when she got chatting with one of their regular suppliers of drugs at a party. “Mike was 11 years older and as we chatted we discovered we had a lot in common. We had the same taste in music and loved good food and wine,” said Lesley. When I told him about the trauma of my divorce, he told me: ‘I know just how you’re feeling. My own marriage is a very unfortunate situation. My wife and I live in the same house but we’re separated. There’s no sex involved. We stay together because of our two teenage children.”
“It turned out that Mike was getting divorced too. I was rather pleased to hear it and it seemed he intended to make the most of being single again. After a few dates, we saw each other two or three times a week and sometimes, he slept over at weekend. We even had a couple of weekends away and I continued to fall in love with him. Hard. There was just one thing worrying me. Mike was getting divorced from his wife but showed no sign of either sending her packing or moving out of their house. But he assured me I was the only one for him. He continued to be very affectionate whilst showering me with presents. “As soon as my divorce is through,” he told me, ‘I’ll move out and we’ll be together all the time.’
“I was still basking in this loving relationship the afternoon I came home and a neighbour handed me a handwritten note a woman had left for me. As I read it, my hands began to tremble. It read … ‘I thought you should know that Mike, who you have been seeing, has been my partner for the past six years. So back off.’ The note was signed by a woman who called herself, Tessy. I felt sick. I rang Mike right away at his office and read the note to him. ‘Who is this Tessy?’ I asked. He was silent for a while. Eventually he said: ‘I was seeing her a long time ago. It’s all over but she can’t seem to let go.’
“I wasn’t sure what to think about it all. But a few days later, Mike came round with a CD by my favourite singer. ‘Every time I play it, I think of you,’ he said. I was touched and we picked up from where we left off. A few months later, I was discussing Mike with a
close friend and I mentioned Tessy. She was sure she was the same woman that lived on the same estate as she did. She described Tessy’s residence. That weekend, I was listening to the CD Mike had brought when this powerful urge overcame me. I got into my car and drove to the estate this Tessy lived. I didn’t know what I was expecting to find
until I saw it. As I cruised down the road, I saw Mike’s shiny SUV parked outside a house. I pulled over, stormed up to the door and started knocking. It opened to reveal a pretty oman.
“I didn’t wait for an invitation. I pushed past her and marched straight into the living room. Loverboy was sitting on the sofa and when he saw me his jaw dropped open in surprise. ‘You rotten lying two-timming scumbag,’ I shouted at him. He sprang to his feet as I turned to leave. ‘It’s not what you think,’ he whined. I drew back my hand but before I could slap him, I felt this pain suddenly explode on one of my cheeks. Tessy had punched me and I fell out of the front door. She slammed the door in my face. I was deeply hurt. I felt humiliated, but more than anything, I was angry. Tessy was obviously not a figure from the past.
“When I got home, my humiliating experience still haunted me. I opened a bottle of red wine to calm my nerves. As I polished off the bottle, an image of Mike and Tessy kept popping into my head. I wondered if he had left her house. I decided to find out. It was foolish of me but I wasn’t thinking rationally. That late at night, I drove back to Tessy’s
house. Mike’s SUV was still there. I got out of my car and hammered on the front door. Eventually, there was a noise overhead and a window flew open. A head popped out. It was Tessy’s. “Go .away, he doesn’t want to see you,” she hissed, she ducked back in and slammed the window shut. I wasn’t having that. I climbed on the roof of my car and shouted for Mike to be a man and come out. All along the street houses lit up and puzzled faces appeared at the windows, Mike too peeped to see what was going on.
“After a while, fierce-looking security guards came round and threatened to deal with me if I didn’t leave the premises. My humiliation was complete. I was sure I:d heard the end of Mike but I was wrong. One day, I answered my phone to a familiar voice. ‘Look,’ Mike said, ‘I think we should become an item again.’ I switched off the phone.
“Not long after, I was reading one of the soft-sells when I saw a photograph of Mike, coming out of another woman’s house. I shook my head in disbelief. Just how many women is he capable of stringing along at one go? Now I’m getting on with my life. I’ve had enough of the rat!”