Caught in the vice

Jay had gone from geek to god. But underneath there was an ugly side...

Published by: Louisa Gregson & Amy Thompson
Published on: 11th February 2010

Everyone knows the story about the ugly duckling that turned into a beautiful swan. I'd never seen anyone who matched that description better than Jay Anderson.
At school, he'd been so scrawny and spotty. But bumping into him in my local eight years later, I had to do a double take.
He was gorgeous!
'I'm a builder now,' he told me.
So that's where the bulging biceps and tan had come from. 'I can't even remember the last time we spoke,' I said as we caught up.
'I can,' he chuckled. 'I walked you home after school one day, and asked you for a kiss, but you turned me down.'
This time, though, when Jay, 24, leaned in for a kiss at the end of the night, I didn't resist. And as we got to know each other over the following weeks, I found out we had loads in common.
We both liked the same R&B music and cuddling up on the sofa to watch a good action film.
After three months of dating, I asked him to move in with me.
Living together was great. Far from feeling like we were in each other's pockets in my tiny flat, we relished being together. Jay even gave me a hand cooking dinner.
But when I got a call from my dad six months later asking me to visit him in Thailand, I felt like someone had pulled the rug from under me.
It was so out of the blue, we barely even spoke on the phone.
'I haven't seen him in years,' I told Jay.
He knew how I felt. His dad had left when he was little, too.
'I'll come with you,' he offered, squeezing my hand. 'You can get to know your dad better, and we can have a nice holiday.'
Relief washed over me. It would be so much easier having him there to talk to if things became a bit rocky.
The problem was, our romantic getaway wasn't quite what we'd imagined. My dad was the old-fashioned type, insisting me and Jay sleep in separate hotel rooms.
'But we live together,' Jay mumbled, as we picked up our room keys.
'I know,' I said. 'But I haven't seen Dad in ages. Let's just humour him. It's only for two weeks.'
'Okay,' Jay sighed, disappointed. The first few days with Dad were awkward, though. He took an instant dislike to Jay.
'Maybe you and me can go out for dinner tonight,' he said, ignoring Jay.
'He hates me!' Jay fumed, as we walked back to our hotel.
'No,' I insisted. 'He just wants time to get to know me, that's all.'
I felt like I was stuck between a rock and a hard place, trying to keep both men in my life happy. As the week wore on, I could see Jay was getting more and more frustrated.
He spent most of the holiday going off to bars by himself. As for me and Dad rebuilding our relationship, my father didn't seem interested in getting to know me at all. It felt I was the only one making the effort, and spent every minute I could with him in a bid to make the holiday a success. After all, I'd travelled so far.
Feeling low, I wandered over to Jay's hotel room, and plonked myself on the bed beside him, fighting back tears.
'Sorry for leaving you on your own,' I croaked. 'This was supposed to be a happy reunion, but nothing's gone to plan...'
Jay nodded quietly.
'We've hardly spent any time together and...' I started to sob.
'Hang on, need a tissue,' I gulped, getting up and going into his bathroom. Shutting the door behind me, something on the floor caught my eye ? a small white box.
'What's this...?' I murmured, picking it up and turning it round. My hand flew to my mouth as I realised what the diamond-shaped blue pills inside were... Viagra!
What the hell was this doing in my boyfriend's hotel room? We hadn't slept together the whole holiday, and he certainly didn't normally need this kind of help...
Slumping on to the lid of the toilet, I leaned against the bath, confused. And noticed long black hairs curled up by the tap. I picked them up at arm's length ? a cheap, nasty, clip-on hair extension unravelled in front of me.
In one hand a box of Viagra, in the other, the ratty hair extensions... this was like the yucky remnants of
a brothel.
Were these Jay's? Who else could they belong to? It was his hotel room. Bursting with anger, I stormed out of the bathroom, and threw the pills at Jay.
'What the hell is going on?' I screamed. 'Are these yours? Who've you been sleeping with?'
'No one,' he protested. 'I just took them to see what it was like!'
'Really?' I fumed. 'So where did the woman's hair come from?'
'I was lonely,' Jay blurted. 'You were so caught up in your dad, I felt like you'd left me.'
'So you slept with someone else?' I cried. Suddenly, another thought hit me. The part of Thailand we were staying in was renowned for being a hotspot for prostitutes. My heart lurched.
'Oh, God!' I said, swallowing the bile in my throat. 'She wasn't a...'
I couldn't bring myself to say it, but Jay knew what I meant. And by the guilty look on his face, the answer wasn't the one I'd been hoping for. I felt sick.
'You slept with a prostitute!'
'I'm sorry,' he said, desperately. 'It was a mistake, I love you.'
So that made it okay, did it?
Tears spilling over my cheeks, I pushed past him, out of the room.
We'd had the perfect relationship but he'd ruined it, paying a prostitute for sex while on holiday with me! I didn't speak to him for the rest of the trip and, back home, I sent him packing. But he wasn't giving up without a fight, bombarding me with apologetic calls and texts.
Against every logical bone in my body, I decided to give him another chance. It was difficult to shake the image of him with another girl but, as time passed, I slowly started to put it behind me.
After all, we'd had two years together and maybe I had neglected him on holiday. I'd expected him to travel out there, be a shoulder to cry on ? I hadn't really been an attentive girlfriend.
It soon became clear that things would never be the same, though.
The tiniest problems seemed to spiral into arguments. Jay was constantly going to stay at his sister's to calm down. Then, answering his mobile one day, I found out why... 'Who's this?' a woman's voice asked.
'I'm Jay's girlfriend,' I said.
'Are you his psycho ex?' she asked. 'I met Jay in a pub the other day. He asked me out.'
The lying, stinking...! After all he'd done, I'd given Jay a second chance. Forgave him for sleeping with a prostitute. And this was how he'd repaid me.
Humiliated, I packed his bags.
'Babe, I love you!' he begged.
'I'd hate to see how you'd treat me if you didn't!' I snorted, slamming the door in his face.
Twice he'd made a fool of me. I'd be damned if it'd happen again.
For a while, I couldn't stop going over everything. What had I done to deserve this? Then I realised it had nothing to do with me. Jay might not look like an ugly duckling on the outside any more, but he's ugly on the inside.
I'm just lucky it didn't take me another eight years to figure that out.

? Jay Anderson, 26, says: 'I cheated on Sonya and slept with a sex worker in Thailand. Sonya was too clingy. I wanted to be free. I'm in an open relationship now, which suits me much better.'
Sonya Roseman, 27, Rochester, Kent