A window of opportunity

Why was my fella looking so red-faced - and where was that chilly breeze coming from?

Published by: Jemma Gillard and Matthew Acton
Published on: 21 February 2013

Putting my key in the door, I breathed a sigh of relief. It had been a long, tiring day cutting clients' hair and I couldn't wait to put my feet up. As I limped into the house, a gorgeous smell was wafting from the kitchen.
‘Mmm, that smells amazing,' I said, as I found my partner Shane, 23, stirring a pot on the cooker. ‘And the view from here isn't too bad either.'
With his rippling muscles bulging through his tight t-shirt, he was a sight for sore eyes. ‘It's your favourite,' he grinned. ‘Spag bol.'
‘Can I do anything to help?' I asked.
‘No, get out of the kitchen,' he ordered, pointing to the door.
‘But...' I protested.
‘I've run you a bath,' he smiled, passing me a bottle of beer. ‘Dinner should be ready when you come back down.'
‘Oh, honey,' I gushed, kissing him. ‘I'm so lucky to have you.'
Upstairs, the bath was filled with bubbles and he'd even put tea lights around the edge for a touch of romance.
Shane worked hard on a building site all day, but he still found time to treat me like a special princess.
We'd first met two years earlier at a friend's house party.
‘Hey, beautiful,' he'd smiled.
‘I haven't seen you around before.' I was instantly drawn to his sense of humour and cheeky smile. The rest of the night was spent talking to each other about our love of dance music and horror films.
‘Do you fancy meeting up again?' Shane asked.
‘I'd love to,' I giggled.
After exchanging numbers, we arranged to go on our first date to the cinema to see Paranormal Activity. We soon became closer, me clinging onto him during the really spooky bits!
From then on, we were inseparable. Just four months later, we decided to find our own place.
‘Don't you think you're rushing into things?' my friend Kirsty asked, over a cup of coffee.
‘I know he's the one for me,' I smiled. ‘He's perfect.'
Blissful months went by. I expected Shane to be down the pub drinking with his mates most nights like other lads his age, but he preferred cuddling up on the sofa with me watching a film.
After a year living together, we rescued a three-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier called Benson and it felt like we were a little family.
‘I'd rather be walking the dog with you than going on lads' nights out,' Shane told me one day. Everything seemed perfect. Then, a couple of months after Benson's arrival, I suddenly noticed a change in Shane. It was like one morning he'd woken up as a completely different person.
‘I'm working late tonight,' he snapped. ‘Oh, okay,' I replied. ‘I'll cook something for when you get back.'
‘No, don't bother,' he grumbled. ‘I'll just grab a takeaway instead.'
As well as his home cooked dinners, the romantic baths and the compliments stopped. Worse, our sex life ground to a halt.
I told myself he was probably tired from working late. But even when he was at home, he hardly bothered with me. He was suddenly obsessed with Facebook and spent hours tapping away on his laptop.
If I suggested an early night, he'd just grunt in reply.
‘I remember when you would have been chasing me up the stairs two at a time,' I sighed.
One night, I decided to dress up in my best saucy lingerie and try to ignite that spark again.
I strutted downstairs and pulled the laptop from Shane's hand. ‘Wait,' he shouted. ‘You have to shut it down properly. Give it here.'
Humiliated, I ran upstairs, stripped off and dived under the covers. What had happened to the bloke who couldn't keep his hands off me?
A few weeks later, my friends invited me on a girls' night out and I decided to go to cheer myself up. I'd been battling flu and was still feeling under the weather, but I needed a bit of fun.
‘I still don't feel great,' I moaned to Shane, as I put my make-up on. ‘Take these and you'll be fine,' he reassured me, passing over some flu tablets. ‘You deserve a night out.'
It was the first nice thing he'd said to me in ages.
‘Don't wait up for me, I'll probably stay with one of the girls,' I said, giving him a kiss before I left. ‘Love you.'
‘Love you too,' he smiled.
I headed into town to meet my friends. But after just a few drinks, my head was pounding.
‘I shouldn't have come out,' I told my mates. ‘I'm going to call it a night.'
By 9.30pm, I was home.
At the back door, I put my key in the lock but it didn't open. It was locked from the inside. That was strange...
Peering through the blinds in the kitchen, I could make out candles flickering in the living room. I started banging on the window. ‘Shane, let me in,'I shouted. ‘It's freezing out here.'
Minutes later, he finally opened the door. Immediately,
I noticed his dark hair was sticking up and his blue shirt was buttoned up wrong. It looked like he'd got dressed in the dark.
My heart started pounding. What on earth had he been up to? Pushing past him into the living room, I discovered two empty wine glasses. Soft music was also playing in
the background.
‘I had John over for a catch up,' he explained, blushing. ‘We decided to share some wine.'
‘And that really explains the romantic music and candles,' I snapped.
Suddenly, I felt chilly and turning around, I realised the living room window was wide open. Shane shot me a panicked glance. ‘John was smoking in the house and
I know how much you hate that. So he made a sharp exit before you started going on at him,' he explained.
‘Yes, I hate smoking,' I spluttered. ‘But he didn't have to leg it out of the window.'
It just didn't add up. I went over to close the window and then something caught my eye.
There it was on the floor beside the sofa - the proof that my suspicions were correct. I picked the black lacy bra up and waved it under Shane's nose.
‘How can you explain this?' I shouted. ‘It's certainly too small to be mine.'
‘I, I...' he stuttered, the colour draining from his face.
‘Who is she?' I demanded.
Shane's eyes darted around the room and the next thing I knew, he was barging past me.
He leapt up on the window-sill, out of the window and disappeared off into the night.
I stood there dumbfounded.
He'd taken the same escape route as his bit on the side.
He couldn't even stick around to explain himself.
That night, I ran over our life together, wondering if it had all been a lie. When I woke up the next morning, I started stuffing his clothes into bin bags. He might have been the love of my life, but there was no way I could forgive him. Later that day, Shane eventually crawled back, looking very sorry for himself.
‘I'm so sorry,' he pleaded. ‘It was just a girl I met through work.' Apparently, he'd been working at the block of flats she lived in.
‘I don't want to hear it,' I said, quietly. ‘I just want you to leave.'
I wasn't interested in how long it had been going on or what the other woman was like, I just wanted him out of my life.
Nine months later, Shane still texts and calls me, but I have no intention of taking him back.
I'm glad I found out what Shane was like before wasting any more time on him. His other woman may have leapt out the window, but I think I'm the one that's made a great escape.

• Shane Wilson, 23, says: ‘I've hurt Gemma, but I really want to get back with her. It was a daft mistake going with that lass. She's with someone else and doesn't want to know me after Gemma caught us together.'

*Some names have been changed.

Gemma Weston, 20, Leeds, West Yorkshire