Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Snake bite and slushes - a love story part 9 - the final installment
So Mr Jones and I loved each other. But uni days were coming to an end. We’d both be going home and although we didn’t live very far away, we’d only see each other and weekends. And of course Miss B lived where Mr Jones did.
The only thing we ever argued about was Miss B. I hated the fact that she didn’t know that Mr Jones and I were together. But he didn’t think she could handle the truth. I begged him time and again to tell her and get it over a done with. He steadfastly refused.
Uni ended in a whirl of exams, balls and street parties. Mr Jones and I stayed until the very end, eeking out our time together. The union put on a music festival and we sat in a damp field eating weird veggie curry, drinking snake bite and black (Mr Jones) and vodka slush (me) and watched the Dum Dums play their penultimate gig. We danced to Army of Two – completely unaware that eight and a half years later we’d be dancing to it on our wedding day.
Then we went home. I got a temping job and Mr Jones planned a trip around Europe with his friends. He was leaving on a Sunday in August and I was due to spend the Saturday night with him and wave him off the next day.
I woke up early that morning and switched on my mobile phone. Text after text started to arrive. Each one was full of expletives, accusations and vitriol. They were all from Miss B.
In a panic I tried to call Mr Jones – but it was about 6am and he didn’t answer. Some how Miss B knew about me and Mr Jones. I felt sick.
I finally got hold of him about two hours later. He’d been out with his friends the night before to say goodbye before his travels – he’d had a few drinks. Miss B had been out too and had been causing her usual trouble – asking him why they weren’t together and begging him to take her back. She’d insisted that she was coming to see him the next day to say goodbye before he left for Europe.
Mr Jones went to send me a text – it said something like this:
Can’t wait to see you tomorrow. Miss B might be coming over at some point, but we’ll sort it. Love you lots xxx
The thing is, I never received it. Miss B’s name was next to mine in his address book – and he sent it to her.
Of course it did not go down well. What followed was by all accounts an almighty row. Mr Jones was screamed at until he told her everything. And I was sent a score of text messages and voicemails all of which blamed me for bewitching him.
Feeling utterly terrified I made my way to Mr Jones’ house. He was still going away and I still wanted to say goodbye. We were both bombarded with texts all day long until eventually his mum made us turn off our phones.
The next morning we were woken by a knock on the bedroom door. It was Mr Jones’ mum. “Um, Miss B is downstairs and she wants to speak to you,” she said to me.
I’d just woken up, my hair was all over the place and I looked a state. “I need a shower first,” I said. “I’ll be down in a minute.” I washed my hair and got dressed and made my way to the kitchen.
There she sat dressed in jeans and a baby pink hoodie. I was wearing black – the colour of all things evil. She glared at me.
“How could you? I can’t believe you lied to me. I can’t believe you stole my boyfriend. We’re supposed to be friends,” she spat.
“I wanted to tell you from the very beginning. I don’t like lying,” I said. “I didn’t steal him, we didn’t get together until after you’d split up. I never wanted to hurt you.”
“I don’t understand how you’ve done it, how have you turned him against me, just because your relationship was over it didn’t mean you had to ruin mine. I always worried that you two got on to well, but I never thought you’d do this to me…..”
“I haven’t turned him against you – you can’t help who you fall in love with. If he still loved you he’d still be with you.”
“Oh he still loves me. This is my family and you’ll never be part of it. We’re going to get married and be together forever. He doesn’t really want you he wants me,” she insisted.
“I’m not with him for his family, I love him for him, but ok, whatever you think – far be it from me to stand in the way – if he wants to go back to you that’s fine,” I said, realising that it was pointless to argue with her.
For the next 10 minutes we covered the same topics over and over again – how evil I was, the fact that Mr Jones still loved her, that I’d never take his family away from her, that they would get married one day and that I’d be left by the wayside. Mr Jones’ dad was stationed in the garden keeping an eye on us through the kitchen window in case things got nasty.
Once she’d had enough of shouting at me she sent me away and demanded that I send Mr Jones in to speak with her. I hated that she seemed to have all the power. I found Mr Jones with his mum and Miss B’s sister who had discovered her gone and followed her. She’d parked her car at the end of the drive to stop Miss B driving off in a rage. I thought this was all getting a bit too dramatic.
Mr Jones suffered a similar grilling in which he repeatedly told her that they wouldn’t be getting back together and that he loved me. Eventually she gave up. Mr Jones’ mum was dispatched to get me. Apparently Miss B wanted Mr M’s number. Reluctantly I sent him a text and asked him if it was ok if I gave it to her. He said it was. Handing that number over was one of my biggest mistakes.
You’ll remember that Mr M was rather apt at lying? He knew exactly what had happened and when between me and Mr Jones. He’d pretty much watched it all unfold. But when he spoke to Miss B that all seemed to slip his mind.
He told her that as far as he was concerned Mr Jones and I had been having an affair for months before that fateful New Year’s Eve kiss. That we’d cheated on them both time and again, making them look like fools. Of course this was what Miss B was desperate to hear – so she believed him – and to this day she still thinks that that is the truth.
Mr Jones left for Europe the next day – escaping the country for a month. I was left behind to deal with text after vitriolic text. I didn’t reply. To Miss B (and weirdly, to a lot of our "friends" and plenty of outsiders) this whole thing was my fault. Mr Jones was a seemingly innocent bystander. By some form of witch craft I had conjured him away and made him mine.
I was the adulteress who should have known better. I was the friend who had committed the ultimate betrayal. I was the other woman that you read about in books and magazines and hate because she’s ruined a relationship that to everyone on the outside seemed perfectly happy.
I will hold my hand up and say that I never thought I would betray a friend. I always thought friends would come first – but in truth, a friendship will never be a match for true love.
It is my firm belief that if your relationship is strong, and you truly love each other, you will never look anywhere else for love. It’s only when the relationship is broken and crumbling at the edges that eyes start to wander.
Miss B – if you ever read this please know that Mr Jones and I didn’t become a couple until we’d already decided that our previous relationships were over. We didn’t have an affair. I didn’t steal him and I never set out to hurt you. I can’t help that I fell in love with him and he fell in love with me.
None of our closest friends were shocked when we got together. Most people said it was about time. They’d seen for years what Mr Jones and I – and clearly Mr M and Miss B – had not seen. Two people who were meant to be together.
We’ve had our ups and downs. We lived apart for years – me in London, Mr Jones up here. I used to get mad at him for not calling me enough and he’d shout at me for being too clingy. But we knew we couldn’t be without each other.
All of this happened over nine years ago now and we’re still together and still in love. Mr Jones didn’t marry Miss B as she predicted, he married me instead. And now we’re awaiting the very imminent arrival of our first baby.
I cannot imagine my life without him in it. That New Year’s Eve kiss – although naughty – was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. If it hadn’t happened who knows where we’d be right now? I’m guessing we wouldn’t be as happy.