I’VE always loved having time to myself, but I’d had a bit too much of it lately.
My husband Matt, 28, worked in finance travelled frequently for business. I missed him, but he did try to make it up to me.
That morning, I’d arrived home to a huge bouquet of lilies sitting on the doorstep. Love Matt x the card read.
Instantly I gave Matt, who was in Singapore, a video call.
“Where did you get those from?” he asked when I showed him the bouquet.
“From you,” I laughed. “I love them, although you do normally buy roses for Rose.”
“Oh … yes, I forgot,” he said, with a confused expression.
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Laughing it off, I couldn’t wait for him to get home in a few days. But when he got home, he had bad news.
“They want me as a permanent consultant,” Matt said.
He explained that once a month he had to spend a week at the Singapore headquarters. It was hard to swallow, but I knew we could make it work.
“You’re so understanding, Rose,” he whispered as we snuggled.
For the next few months, I got used to spending every fourth week alone. One night, I was getting ready for bed when my phone buzzed — it was Matt. Answering the video chat, the screen came up black.
“Hello?” I said, staring at the blank screen. Realising he must have pocket called me, I laughed.
“Matt! Hello!” I yelled into the speaker. But it was no use. He couldn’t hear a thing.
“You’re hilarious,” a muffled woman’s voice said back through the speaker.
“Let’s go to my apartment,” I heard Matt say.
Then the phone went blank. The connection was lost. What do I do? I thought, feeling sick. My fingers hit redial. But it rang once and then went to voicemail. Working late in the office babe, will call you tomorrow, a message from Matt appeared on my screen.
Calling my friend Georgie, I told her everything I’d overheard.
“You need more facts, look on his computer,” she said.
I didn’t have to dig far to find out more. Scanning his phone bill, I found a number he called often. Putting the number into Facebook, I found a profile for a woman called Lily. Her page was filled with photos of them together.
Opening his emails, I also found receipts for flowers delivered in Singapore. My mind raced back to the day I received a bunch of lilies and Matt’s blank look.
“Lilies for Lily,” I sobbed. “They weren’t meant for me.”
Realising Matt was cheating, I knew I could never forgive him. With Georgie’s help, we packed up all my stuff and I moved into her flat. I ignored Matt’s calls for the rest of the week. I never wanted to face him again.
What’s wrong? he texted.
“Let’s put a stop to this,” Georgie said.
Jumping into her car we went to a local florist and bought out her entire stock of lilies and a single red rose. Back in my old apartment, we threw the lilies around the bedroom. Then I placed the rose on my old side of the bed with a note tucked underneath.
“From your old flower to your new.”
I haven’t heard from Matt since, except when we finalised our divorce. To this day, my now ex-husband has no idea how I discovered his cheating.
This story was originally published on whimn.com.au and is republished with permission.