Sleeping around – when shift really happens. A true story.
It came as a shock. Out of blue. A phone call that took me out of a meeting. A phone call that completely changed everything I had thought about her. Completely out of the blue.
She had always been admired by all who came into contact with her. She was outgoing, friendly and affectionate. Perhaps even too affectionate, I often worried that she might get taken advantage of. I knew she had had relationships with others during our time together. While it would be wrong to say I was approving, I did kind of understand her reasons for doing it. Ultimately, she always came back to me and every time I was grateful that she did.
This, however, was very different. To say I never suspected isn’t enough. It just did not ever cross my mind. There were no signs at the time, though as always looking back, the signs were there if I’d cared to pay enough attention to them.
It was not usual for her to go out at night, nor for me to go to bed before she had returned. I never questioned this, even when she’d be gone all night. You might think this was crazy, and in a funny way, even perhaps neglectful. I just thought nothing of it.
Nothing seemed to change in our relationship, she was as affectionate as ever, perhaps even more so over the years, if that was possible. Then she got sick, and started to lose weight. She had difficulty maintaining her weight and at meal times her behaviour became a little erratic. Sometimes eating and sometimes not. Sometimes skipping meals entirely.
Then came that phone call out of the blue. She was in hospital. I immediately feared an accident, or a collapse. I didn’t expect what I was told next. She had been taken there by the man she’d been living a double life with for 8 years. A neighbour. She’d been sleeping there. She’d provided comfort through a bout of cancer by sleeping next to him until he’d recovered – every night. She’d eaten there every day over that time. No wonder she didn’t feel like doing that with me. She had her own things there – was even treated as one of the family. I could even see the house from my dining room.
The man said he was moving away, and he wanted her to go with him. Until the hospital visit, he had no idea of my existence. He thought he was the only person in her life. And she might well have gone too, simply disappeared from my life – just like that – gone.
It was the hospital staff who made the link – and discovered her “true” address. It was they that called me. It must have come as just as much of a shock for the other man to discover the existence of me. I realise now just how close I had come to losing her, because of the love of another man.
The moral of the story for me is that what we know we know can be completely changed by what we dont know we dont know and if you dont want to lose them, always make sure you microchip your cat!
To Missy our very own “Red Cat” like the “Red Dog” in the movie.