Running into trouble

Turned out that it wasn't only the pavement my fella was pounding...

Published by: Dawn Murden and Matthew Acton
Published on: 26 July 2012

Thing is, I couldn't help it. Whenever I watched the film
PS I Love You, I bawled my eyes out.
‘You daft thing,' chuckled my boyfriend Wayne, 30, pulling me in for a hug.
‘I can't help it,' I sniffed.
‘Well, actually it just makes me love you more,' he smiled.
I really couldn't have been happier. We'd met two years ago on a night out, after I'd just broken up with my ex. My pal Joanne, 27, had been on a mission to find me a new man - and she'd succeeded!
‘You need someone mature,' she'd announced, scanning the room for potential talent. ‘Let's see... Oooh, he's cute.' He'd have had to be blind not to spot her pointing at him. I'd felt mortified - especially when he'd sauntered over.
But once he'd bought me a drink and we'd got chatting, embarrassment had turned to interest. I was soon smitten. Eight years older than me, Wayne had a killer bod, thanks to his work as
a builder.
Now he'd moved into my flat. It felt like such a grown-up relationship, but we could still have a laugh with each other, too.
So when he got out of the shower and I noticed he had a bit of a beer belly, I couldn't resist having a joke.
‘That's what contentment does,' I teased, rubbing his tummy. I expected him to chase me into the bedroom and tickle me until I caved in - that's what he always did whenever I teased him. Instead, he looked horrified. I'd touched a nerve.
‘I'm only messing about,' I said quickly, hugging him.
‘Okay,' he sighed.
But the next day, he came home and ran straight upstairs.
‘Hello?' I called. Minutes later, he appeared in shorts, t-shirt and a shiny new pair of trainers.
‘You're going for a jog?' I asked. ‘You know I was only joking last night!'
‘I know, but I used to love running,' he smiled. ‘I do need to get fit again.'
Half an hour later, he came home all hot, red-faced and sweaty - but grinning from ear to ear. ‘That felt great,' he panted.
‘Well done, you,' I grinned, leaning in to give him a kiss. But he backed away.
‘Think I'm a bit sweaty,' he chuckled. ‘Let me jump in the shower first.'
‘Good idea!' I smiled, wrinkling up my nose. After that, he went running every night, building up from 30 minutes to 40, then 50.
After a fortnight, he was disappearing for more than an hour each night. I was hardly seeing him! So on the Friday night, I decided we should make up for lost time.
‘I've missed you,' I purred, rubbing his thigh.
But Wayne rolled away from me. ‘I'm too tired, love,' he yawned. A chill ran through me. We'd always had an amazing sex life. When he'd moved into my flat, I remembered Joanne teasing me that it'd all change. ‘It'll fizzle out now,' she'd joked. But she'd been wrong. Often, I'd be cooking dinner and he'd come up behind me and start kissing my neck.
‘Fancy dessert first?' he'd murmur. I'd lost count of the number of burnt dinners we'd ended up with!
So this just wasn't like him. Maybe he was still paranoid about his beer belly?
Still, next weekend was Joanne's barbecue. He'd have no time for jogging, and I'd get him all to myself!
Then at 11am, I caught him putting on his trainers. ‘Hold on, we're meant to be going out...'
I frowned.
‘Yep, I'll meet you there,' he said. He'd gone before I could respond. When he got to Joanne's, all he talked about was bloomin' running!
‘I love the freedom,' he rambled on. ‘I'm joining a running club, too.'
‘First I've heard of it,' I mumbled to Joanne.
‘Everything okay?' she worried.
‘Yeah,' I sighed. ‘I just wish he paid me as much attention as his running.'
In a month, his beer belly had turned into a six-pack - not that I was benefiting from it. He'd be pounding the pavements until 10pm, so he was always too tired for me.
Right, it was up to me to turn up the heat. One night while he was out running, I put on my sexiest black lingerie. When he got home, I was sprawled on the sofa and his face lit up.
‘Wow, you look gorgeous,' he beamed. ‘Let me shower first.'
I finished my wine, then went to the bedroom. ‘Boy, am I ready for this,' I purred. ‘It's been...'
Wayne was sprawled across the bed face down, snoring. Tears stinging my eyes, I put on my PJs and got into bed.
Next morning, he apologised - but said he was going to the running club! ‘Well, I'll join,' I said, desperate to spend time with him.
‘We're doing 10 miles now,' he said. ‘You won't keep up.'
So off he went.... again! A little while later, my mobile rang. Wayne! He must be feeling bad, calling to apologise!
‘Hello?' I replied. But all I heard was rustling. His phone must've been in his pocket, and he'd called me by accident.
As I went to hang up, the rustling got louder... ‘Wayne,' gasped a woman. ‘Let's go upstairs!' I felt sick. He was having sex with another woman!
No wonder he'd been too tired to have sex with me! He'd worked up a sweat in another woman's bed!
Well, I'd catch him red-handed - and make him pay. It was torture, though, having to act normally when he got home.
Next day, when he raced out, I followed on my bike. After five mi§nutes, he knocked on a door. I hid behind a bush. A brunette let him in, then a minute later the curtains closed upstairs.
‘Oh God,' I groaned. There was no denying it now. I fought back the tears.
Is this my fault? I thought. He only started running after I teased him about his weight. No, this wasn't my fault - he was the cheat!
After 30 minutes, Wayne came out, pausing only to snog his bit on the side. Then he poured his bottle of water over his head - to make himself look sweaty!
The conniving devil, he'd thought of everything! Furious,
I sprung out from my hiding place. ‘That for my benefit, is it?' I screamed. ‘Surely you worked up a sweat with your friend?!'
‘Hannah!' he gasped. ‘It's not what it looks like.' His face turned white. ‘She sprained her leg, I was just helping her home.'
Did he think I was an idiot? ‘We're over,' I spat.
I pedalled home as fast as I could, locking the door behind me. Wayne was soon hammering on it. ‘It didn't mean anything,' he begged. ‘I love you.'
‘So you admit it now?' I yelled through the open window. Then I grabbed an armful of his clothes - and dumped them out of the window! ‘Clear off!,' I yelled, then slammed the window shut.
It's been tough realising that the man of my dreams was a rat. But one day, I'll find true love. As for Wayne, he can jog on!

• Wayne Hodgson said: ‘I made a mistake. It was the rush of running with someone. She hurt herself one evening and I helped her back to her place, and it became physical.'

Hannah Reddyhough, 22, Chorley, Lancashire