Double the trouble
Double trouble:A few weeks after that, Jake came to visit me for the Australian Day long weekend. Now I had mentioned to Ben that he was coming but when Ben reacted extremely badly, I lied and said he had changed his mind. I had now known Ben for nearly two years and was completely and utterly in love with him, but at the end of the day, I knew that would never work long term. Once again, my mind and desire for freedom, forced me to exploreot her options. Now, I‘m not saying that what I did next was right or politically correct, but it‘s what I did all the same. So, I told Jake that he could not stay with me because I would feel too pressured (this was very true) and so he decided to stay in a hotel in the city for nine nights, and I agreed that I would show him around Sydney in-between working and feeding Coco. I also meant in-between seeing Ben, so he would not get suspicious , but I obviously did not say that to Jake. Although Jake knew there was certainly something going on with Ben, he did i n no way know the full extent of the situation and although I was definitely no ‗player‘ and was not used to juggling two m en, I thought it was for the best if I just told white lies to them bot h. I had a feeling that it was going to be an exhausting nine days!
Double trouble:My first worry was obviously Ben murdering both Jake and myself, and anyone else in the vicinity , to be honest, if he caught us together. So I had a plan that I could probably juggle both m en during the week while I was at work, and on the week end I would tell Ben I was going away for the long week end with Elly, which would leave me free to spend the weekend in the city with Jake. Looking back, that plan was totally insane, and I should have just been honest with both men as I didn‘t owe either of them anything. I wasn‘t in a committed relationship with either of them, but I didn‘t.
Double trouble:Jake arrived on a Tuesday, and I immediaely started to feel sick with nerves. I was terrified of what Ben would do if he found out, but more importantly, I was terrified I would hurt him. So on the first night, I told Ben I was very sick and was going home to bed straight after work. It was a Tuesday so I had planned on him not wanting to do anything anyway. Now, ever since I had known him, Ben had called me at least once a day, normally more than that, and would regularly turn up at my apartment unannounced, especially if he thought I was ill so that he could bring me soup and other such comforting food. This was a huge risk, but if I said I was going out with friends , I knew he would have want ed to pick me up and drive me home as he was so controlling. I could n‘t risk him driving somewhere and demanding I leave and me either not being there—or worse, me being there with Jake. So I decided to take the risk and just prayed he wouldn‘t go over to my apartment. If he called, I would deal with it at the time and try to find a quiet place to call him back and pretend I was in bed.
So, after work, I got a taxi to the city and met Jake in his hotel room. He was just as caring and loving as I remembered, and we headed up to the restaurant for some dinner, lots of wine and a very beautiful view of Sydney. I think mainly because of my nerves, both because of seeing Jake again and because of Ben, I ended up turning my phone on silent, just praying Ben had fall en asleep and would assume I had done the same. As luck had it, that was exactly what happened!
Double trouble:I had a fantastic night with Jake, and Ben was luckily none the wiser for it. Fate was on my side! I felt terrible, but because I had had such a lovely time, I tried not to think about it too much. The next morning, however, I woke up feeling pretty good, kind of excited about my continuing bravery, and we had a delicious break fast in the hotel before I headed to work. As soon as I was at work, Ben called me, and I told him I was thinking of going to the cinema with some girls from work that night, which he seemed ok with and thank fully didn‘t offer to pick me up. I ran with the freedom he had generously thrown my way, and once I had finished work, I met Jake for a film and dinner. I then made my excuses, as I need ed to go and feed Coco, and I headed home, anticipating that Ben would call me to make sure I got home ok. I had been in the door only seconds when he called. I was, of course, desperate not to hurt Ben, and that was always in the back of my mind, but I couldn‘t help but smile to myself that I was now the kind of person who could get away wit h that sort of thing. Oh how things have changed I thought to myself.
The next night after work was going to be a lot more difficult. It was a Thursday and so close to the week end, and before I went on my imaginary weekend away with Elly, I knew Ben would want to han g out. So I decided to cut my losses and tell Jake I had to work late and would meet him for lunch instead. That di d not go down very well at all. After all, he had sat through a sixteen-hour flight to come and see me, but I knew Ben would start to get suspicious , and I could not let that happen, as I was a terrible liar if put on the spot.
By Friday, I had a good feeling that I was home and dry ! When Ben had rung me that morning, I had reminded him I was goi ng away for the long week end and he told me to enjoy myself. Like with my Seeking Arrangement experience, although the guilt was overwhelming, it was also somewhat exciting. I had told Ben Elly and I were heading to a pl ace outside of Sydney that we had been to twice before and which had no phone signal. That was perfect, as I could turn my phone off and not have to worry. So, that night, Elly and her new boyfriend (in the previous few months she had got somewhat serious with a very lovely man she had meet at work ) joi ned Jake and myself for dinner. The venue was absolutely amazing, wit h spectacular views over the city, and the four of us got on amazingly well. I had so much fun that night, and it really made m e question my relationship with Ben. After all, that was something he would never do with anyone. He would never double date or even talk to another man outside of his friendship group, but Elly‘s boyfriend and Jake got on so well it really gave me something to think about.
I wok e up the next morning in the hotel in the city and turned my phone back on just to check any text messages. When my phone beeped, I felt a little nervous, but it was only from Elly and so my nerves disappeared immediately. However, when I read the message, my heart literally stopped, and I felt like I was going to throw up.
Ben had called Elly ten times and texted her, asking me to call him immediately. I had actually told him to call her if there were any problems , but I had never ever dream the would. He never had before, and that made me absolutely terrified.
Double trouble:Elly had once said to a mutual friend, who had been concerned about me ‗going off the rails,‘ that she had met Ben lots of times and knew he would never ever hurt me. However, worryingly, she ended the sentence with, ‗He wouldn‘t hurt her, but he would kill her.‘
I immediately texted Elly and demanded more information. She obviously was in on the whole lie and so hadn‘t picked up the phone. I told her not to call him or text him and I would try and deal with it. That was probably one of the worst feelings I ha d ever felt: regret. I recall thinking to myself, I hope this is how bad Guy felt when I discovered his lies . In fact, how he lived with the lies and guilt for a long period of time, lies told to someone he lived with and was going to marry, I will never know. The overwhelming feeling of wanting to vomit was too much for me, and I made it to the toilet just in time.
Double trouble:I was convinced there was only on e reason Ben would call that many times and that was because he knew I had lied. I was convinced he would kill not only me, but everyone involved, and I didn‘t think I had ever been so scared in my life. I obviously tried to call him straight away , but his phone was off. Although that was not unusual, as it was quite often switched off, it made m e feel even worse. I just want ed to talk to him and ex plain. By lunchtime, I could n‘t use a hangover as an excuse to Jake anymore, and I was forced to drag myself out of bed and get up and play tourist. I was constantly sneaking off to the toilet to call Ben, but his phone was off all day. Of course, the sensible thing would have been to have gone home and wait it out, as I was obviously going to be absolutely awful company, but the Englishness in me said I had to be a good host and show my guest around the city.
Double trouble:By 6pm that night, Ben had still not turned on his phone, and I was forced to sit though dinner while contemplating what Ben would do to m e when he found me. I told Jake I was tired, and he suggested we go back to the room and watch a film. At least I wouldn‘t have to make conversation, so I agreed. After the film, Jake fell asleep, but I lay there awake, constantly trying to call Ben. After thirty minutes, I gave up, got up, got dressed and went home. I gave my apologies to a very sleepy Jake, but I just needed to get out of there. The pressure and guilt were so much I felt like I couldn‘t breathe. I flagged down a taxi and just as I was getting into the car, my phone rang. It was Ben and my heart was in my mouth when I answered it.
Double trouble:At first, he didn‘t really say much, so I just started with ‗ I tried to call you today‘ and tried to sus out where he was and let him know that I was aware he had call ed Elly numerous times the night before. When he told me he has just been busy he seem ed distant and a bit flippant and I began to feel like I was going to be sick again. Just at that moment, though, I was given hope, as he asked if I was having a nice weekend away.
Double trouble:Now, norm ally, with most men, I would assume he was trying to trick me, trying to see if I would own up or keep lying to him. But not Ben. Ben, I knew, could not control his temper in the slightest . He could never remain that calm knowing, or even suspecting, that I was with another man. So, for the first time all day, I started to relax and sort of tell the truth. ‗I have been so worried about you all day . I couldn‘t relax so I came home early . I got a lift to the city and am just grabbing a taxi home.‘
Double trouble:When he answered with, ‗I‘ m sorry, baby. I was just really busy all day ,‘ I wanted to scream at him and mak e him understand the worry and dread I had been through that day. But instead , I played the ‗cool girl‘ and acted very causal about the entire thing, making out like it was no bi g deal. When he said he was tired, as he had been out the night before drinking and so was off to bed, I hung up the phone. Once again, I smiled to myself and thanked G od that I had not been found out.
Double trouble:Later that week, Ben told me why he tried to get hold of m e so many times that night, and boy did I start to feel even more guilty about what I was doing. Apparently, he had been drinking at a friend‘s house as part of a stag weekend and was extremely drunk when he started telling all his friends about this amazing English girl he knew who was so cool, and lovely, and kind, and funny, and sweet, and honest. The best girl in the world! Superficially, all the men had started to complain about their wives and girlfriends and so Ben had drunkenly told them all to get divorced or leave their girlfriends so that they could all move to England where there would be millions of girls just like his lovely English friend, waiting for them. He was so insistent that he had wanted me to go on loud speaker on the phone so they could all hear for themselves. When I heard that story, I obviously felt extremely guilty . The guilt was actually very overpowering to the point where I felt like I could n‘t breathe, but my heart could n‘t help and melt a tiny little bit and my inner goodness did a tiny, somewhat sad, victory dance.
But I had to remember that the relationship Ben and I had was like no other I had ever experienced. It was laid back, and I was funny and kind and sweet to him, but that was only because our relationship was ‗stress free‘ and ‗casual.‘ I‘m sure if we got married today , it would be a completely different description he would give his friends , using words such as Guy used like ‗bitch,‘ ‗ungrateful‘ and ‗crazy.‘
Although I felt extremely guilty , Jake was still in Sydney, and I did very much enjoy his company . He was the kind of man any girl would be lucky enough to marry. He was sensitive, sweet, caring and considerate. Although I found them both attractive, I knew things were going nowhere with Ben, and so despite the immense feelings of guilt , I carried on with the exhausting lies for another five days and continued to show Jake around Sydney.
Double trouble:By the Tuesday, everyone was back at work and so Ben, I assumed, just thought I had gone to work too. But, in reality, I was floating around Sydney Harbour, jumping on and off ferries, while playing tourist in the glorious sunshine. It was a beautiful day and as we sipped cocktails by the water, staring at a beautiful view of the harbour, I felt like a very lucky girl. Jake was definitely charming m e, although at times I still found him slightly annoying. He seem ed to think he knew everything about everything, and for a relatively shy, modest girl from a small town in the UK , that did not sit well with me. For the time being, though, I put up with it because I felt maybe he was just nervous and out to impress, so I gave him the benefit of the doubt . Let‘s face it; I was far from perfect.
Double trouble:We had dinner plans that night at 7pm, and at around 5pm we jumped on the ferry back to the city so we coul d go back to his hotel and get changed for dinner. As soon as we got on the ferry , my phone started ringing. It was Ben, and he rang three times before I typed a text lying that I was in a meeting
Double trouble:at work and wouldn‘t be finished until 6pm. I knew he would believe this as I worked in a hospital and things didn‘t always / never ran to plan. He knew that part of the deal of picking me up from work was knowing that he would often have to wait for me. But before I could send the message, he texted me with only the words ‗outside.‘ My heart sank, as I knew he meant outside my work to drive me home, like he had texted me so many times before. I began to feel sick again. The crushing sensation in my lungs was overwhelming, so I made an executive decision and text ed him, saying I was just talking to someone at work and I would be about thirty minutes, ending with, ‗You don‘t need to wait for me,‘ but deep down I knew he would.
Double trouble:As soon as we were off the ferry, I hurried Jake to the hotel and when I got there, I made up a story that ‗Oh my God, I have forgotten my hair straighteners and I can‘t possibly get ready without them .‘ That sentence did actually sound like something I would say and so Jake wasn‘t suspicious at all, agreeing that I would go home and get changed and we would meet at the restaurant at 7pm. I could only hope that Ben did not want to go for dinner or drinks or hang out at my apartment, as I hadn‘t seen him for days, and I did not want to upset him, but I was running short on excuses for both men.
Double trouble:Leaving the hotel, I quickly remembered I was dressed in beach attire and thankfully grab bed some work clothes (as well as my hair straighteners !) I had left at the hotel when Jake first arrived. I quickly jumped into a taxi, made my excuses and start ed to undress so I could at least look a little bit like I had been at work all day. The taxi driver insisted he wouldn‘t look, and seemed very excited about what my story could be, but he turned around at least every ten seconds to get a better view than the view through the rear view mirror.
Double trouble:At the time, though, a pervy taxi driver was the least of my problems . I needed to stay calm if I wanted to pull that off. I asked the taxi driver to drive behind the hospital to the staff entrance. I paid the taxi driver and then literally ran from one side of the hospital straight through to the public entrance at the other end, to Ben waiting in the car outside. He greeted m e normally and didn‘t seem suspicious at all that I was blatantly sun burnt, my work rucksack had been replaced by a large beach bag with beach clothes stuffed in it, and I had a see-through white shirt on with a black bikini top underneath. Or, at least if he was suspicious, he didn‘t let on at all. He did, however, say, ‗God, girl, you need to buy an iron! That shirt is so creased! How can you go to work like that?‘ I half cringed inside and half laughed at what I had done.
Double trouble:Thank fully, Ben did not want to do anything that night but had only wanted to pick me up from work , as he knew I would be tired aft er the long weekend. He really was such a sweet man sometimes and I felt like the world‘s biggest bitch, although I was in way too far to give up then. So, at 6.15pm, he dropped me home so I could ‗go straight to bed as I look exhausted.‘ Of course, in reality, I was exhausted, but I jumped into the shower, put on my best dress, did my hair and headed off to yet another very beautiful dinner wit h Jake.
We all do stupid things, but the best thing we can do is follow our heart and hope for the best.‘ — Unknown.