Irish Daily Mail

I HID IN A CAFE TO SPY ON HIM WITH LOVER

- By Marion McGilvary

MY EX used to say I was a loss to the Stasi because I had an uncanny knack for knowing when something was off.

So one day, a note on his blotter with train times jotted down raised a red flag — he was supposed to be in meetings all weekend.

And then I was on it . . . I went through his bin and opened all the scrunched-up paper, seeing ‘Air France’ scribbled next to more numbers on a discarded scrap.

My stomach turned to concrete. Our relationsh­ip was flounderin­g

and, while neither of us was innocent, this was like being hit by a truck. I tried calling him. His phone was switched off. In any case, he would have denied it and accused me of snooping, which I was. So I kept looking. I needed proof. On another scrap, I found the initial ‘N’ written beside 8pm, which I assumed was a dinner reservatio­n — and made the leap to Nobu, the only restaurant I knew that began with that letter. So I rang them and they confirmed the booking.

I checked the flight and saw that the train times directly followed the flight arrival at Heathrow. Then, feeling sick, I put on my daughter’s coat and my son’s hat and took the bus to the tarin station, where I hid in the cafe. And there he was. Waiting for her on the platform.

It was like walking into an abyss. I was wild with jealousy, anger and fear. I have thought of that day often since and wonder what would have happened if I’d confronted him.

But I didn’t. I was afraid to make it real — that this was the end. Instead I went home, got into bed and curled up in a ball, contemplat­ing my life.

But it wasn’t so much the idea of sex that bothered me. It was the intimacy. The shared emails I’d previously found. The fact that he was spending the day with her.

I wanted to be wined and dined at Nobu. I wanted to be met off a train. He had never once been on time for any train he had met me from.

He was a lovely man but his focus was always on his work. He never really engaged with me. And it was this that killed me.

The attention, the focus, the time this other woman was stealing from me, so freely given, while I was at home with the kids like a sap. All alone.

I waited up for him. When he came back, I asked how his dinner at Nobu was . . . it was one of the worst days of my life.

Years later, I saw the woman tagged in a picture on Facebook. ‘I always wondered what you looked like,’ I commented. She replied with a smiley face. She had no idea who I was. ‘Nice to put a face to the woman who slept with my man,’ I said. ‘Hope you’re proud.’

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland