You've bin framed!

Was my finance squeaky clean or just a rubbish liar?

Published by: Paul Carter and Sarah Veness
Published on: 20 October 2011

The smile on my face said it all. It was Sunday morning and I was laying in bed, feeling like Snow White who'd just been kissed.
And my Prince Charming was right beside me.
‘Morning, beautiful,' my fiance Mike, 21, smiled, pulling me towards him.
‘Mmm,' I sighed happily.
We'd met a year and a half earlier through friends and, seven months into our relationship,
he'd proposed to me.
Yes it was quick, but there was no doubt in my mind. I'd never met a man like Mike before.
Loud and outgoing, he had a tender side and treated me like a princess. ‘You're so lucky,' my colleagues would drool when bouquets of flowers turned up at the beauty salon where I worked.
‘I know,' I'd smile. In fact, it seemed a smile was permanently plastered on my face these days.
‘So, what shall we do today?' I said now, snuggling up to Mike.
‘I think I'll go for a run.'
‘A run!' I snorted.
He climbed out of bed, looking hurt, and patted his tummy.
‘I need to get fit,' he said. ‘I've started to put on weight.'
Okay, he'd put on a couple of pounds since we'd been together, but didn't everyone in a happy relationship?
‘Well, I love your jelly belly,'
I joked to him, pinching an inch of his stomach.
Still, later that day, I watched bemused as Mike slipped on his trainers. ‘I'm off now, wish
me luck,' he said.
To Mike's credit, though, he was soon pounding the pavements four nights a week.
In five months, he'd lost a stone and a half.
Friday nights became his big running night when he'd do 10 miles, so I'd meet up with
my friend Helen.
‘I saw Mike running the other day,' she mentioned casually one evening.
‘Oh yeah, where?' I asked, sipping my wine.
‘Through the woods in the park, with a girl,' she continued.
‘A girl?' I asked.
‘Yeah, I think she's called Emma. I'm sure you were mates as kids,' she said.
‘Emma... Emma... you're right, we were school friends,' I nodded.
Despite the fact she lived close by, I hadn't seen her for years, though. ‘I wonder how Mike knows her,' I pondered. ‘Perhaps she's part of a running group?‘
I didn't think much of it, but a couple of days later, as Mike was about to go running, I suddenly had a thought.
‘I know where you should go,'
I started to say casually.
‘Where?' he asked as he was tying his laces.
‘The woods in the park,' I added. ‘Have you ever run there?'
‘Nope,' he shrugged. ‘Not since I was a kid.'
My heart began to race.
But Helen had seen him there. Was he lying to me?
As my mind whirred, Mike kissed me goodbye. ‘See you later, gorgeous,' he grinned.
But, seeing his loving smile, my worries melted away.
Maybe he'd forgotten about it. After all, he was doing 10 miles some nights, and that was a lot of ground to cover.
Or maybe Helen mistook him for someone else - he'd have been moving pretty fast!
‘They all look the same in shorts and trainers,' I sniggered to myself.
Although, there was no mistaking my eyes two weeks later. Mike was out running and, going to make a cuppa, I realised we'd run out of milk.
Grabbing my coat, I nipped out for a pint of semi.
I was just leaving the shop, when Mike ran past.
‘Mike...' I started.
Then I stopped.
He was with a woman who looked just like Emma.
What was going on?
I decided to ask Mike about it when he got home.
‘You look tired,' I said. ‘Been running with anyone tonight?'
‘Nope, the other lads backed out,' he said, heading for a shower.
Why was he lying to me about running with...?
A sickening thought crept into my mind. Was there more going on than just running?
Worried, I confided in Helen.
‘I'm sure it's nothing,' she soothed. ‘But, I heard Emma split from her bloke a few months ago.'
‘Really?' I sighed. ‘Perhaps it's time to turn detective? If Mike's having an affair, I need proof.'
Me and Helen hatched a plan.
So, that Friday, she came round and, as Mike pulled on his running gear, I shouted upstairs.
‘Just popping out, love,' I told him.
In the car, I turned to Helen.
‘Let's go to Emma's, and see if Mike turns up,' I suggested. ‘I've got my camera to catch him in the act.'
Helen knew where she lived, and gave me directions.
But there was nowhere to park outside once we got to the house.
‘What the hell are we going to do now?' I panicked.
Helen nodded to a wheelie bin outside Emma's house, running over to it.
‘It's empty, go on, get in it,'she encouraged.
‘Get in it?!' I hissed. ‘I'm not getting in there, it stinks.'
‘What else are you going to do?' she said. ‘Quick, I'll help you.'
Panicking, I looked down at my high heels. Could I really climb into Emma's bin?
But I was desperate to discover the truth.
‘Here goes nothing,' I gulped, scrabbling in as Helen tipped the bin towards me.
‘I'll park around the block,' Helen whispered.
As the lid shut, the foul whiff of rotting veg made me gag.
Lifting the lid slightly, I looked at my watch. It was 8.45pm.
If Mike was going to turn up, he'd be here soon.
But it was a smelly, claustrophobic 20 minutes before I heard someone knocking on Emma's front door.
Shaking, I peeked out. Sure enough, there was Mike.
Lifting my camera, I snapped away as she opened the door,
letting him in.
Furious, I watched as a light pinged on upstairs in what I guessed was her bedroom. Were they... having sex?!
Twenty minutes later, I got my answer when Mike appeared at the window naked!
‘You cheating...!' I gasped.
When the coast was clear, I clambered out of the bin, tipping it up against the garden wall.
Back home, I uploaded the photos on to Mike's laptop and left it open on the kitchen table.
Forty minutes later, he came home, red-faced and sweaty.
‘Look,' I said, pointing at the screen. The colour soon drained from his face.
‘I can explain,' he blurted. ‘I was calling on her to go jogging... hold on, how did you get those?'
‘Never mind that,' I snapped. ‘What were you doing in her bedroom with your clothes off?'
‘Erm, I was, erm,' he stammered. With that, he mumbled something about giving me space to calm down and ran out through the front door.
I haven't seen him since, although he rang to say sorry and ask me to take him back. As if!
I'm just glad I discovered his true colours before I married him. He's definitely one to leave out with the trash!

• Mike Goff, 21, says: ‘Me and Emma became close when we bumped into each other running.
‘I've been stupid, but I didn't have sex with her every time I went round. I really want to get back with Chloe, but she doesn't want to know.'

Chloe Cooke, 24, Bristol