Carolyn was over the moon.
She had just moved in with Paul, her boyfriend of six months and she was ecstatically happy. "Everything is going to be just perfect, this is how it's always going to be! ", she thought. A year passed however, and Carolyn began to have doubts.Paul had changed. He was different somehow. He would come home from work and barely say two words to her. He had become distant, edgy, and no matter how hard Carolyn tried, she could not get Paul to open up. But she knew there was something wrong. Something was very wrong. But what?? Had he fallen out of love? Is there someone else? Someone else?? Alarm bells started ringing in her head. That would explain all the times he's been late home from work recently. He always had a lame excuse and she had never quite believed him. Could he have been meeting someone that he didn't want her to know about? Within a matter of minutes, Carolyn had convinced herself that Paul was being unfaithful, and suddenly she felt incensed, mad with rage, anger and humiliation. She decided she was going to find out. She was going to get real proof that Paul was being unfaithful and then she was going to confront him.
Carolyn spent the next week playing the dutiful girlfriend, pretending that everything was normal while all the time keeping her ears and eyes peeled for any sign of Paul's infidelity. That sign came on Saturday when Paul suddenly announced that he had to go into the office to finish some work. " But it's Saturday! ", Carolyn protested.
" I've just remembered a few things I have to get finished. I shouldn't be too long love ", and off he went.
Carolyn didn't believe him and she cursed herself for not having a car to follow him. She waited for an hour and then picked up the phone. She dialled the number of Paul's office, ready with a reason as to why she's calling just in case Paul was actually there. She twiddled nervously with the phone cord when suddenly, " Hello? "
" Hello, could I speak to Paul Bryan please? "
" Paul Bryan? I'm sorry but there's no-one here today love. I'm the Saturday cleaner and I've been here since 10.30 this morning. I havn't seen hide nor hair of anyone all day. "
" Oh, okay, thanks anyway". Carolyn hung up the phone with a shaking hand.She was purple with fury. How dare he lie to her! While this was enough proof for Carolyn to believe that Paul was cheating, she knew it wasn't enough to confront him with. She would wait until she had more ammunition. One evening, a couple of days later, Paul came home from work and went to have a shower almost immediately. To avoid the guilt he feels when he looks at me, Carolyn thought. As she was cleaning up, she noticed his briefcase propped against the side of the armchair. She literally pounced on it, then glanced around half expecting Paul to walk in the door, then hearing the shower, decided he wouldn't. Within two seconds she had it opened and was going through its contents. Business letters, corporate meeting schedules, presentation notes, his daily planner. His daily planner! She grabbed it and thumbed through the pages hurriedly, her heart pounding. Just as she was about to close the book something caught her eye. " Emma, 11.30, Penneys Cafe " It was dated August 30th, a week ago. She slammed the briefcase shut. So his floozies' name was Emma! Her emotions in turmoil, she decided she would catch them in the act. Oh yes! She would catch them both red-handed and then there would be hell to pay! But until then, she would remain playing the game.
The day of reckoning came a week later when Paul, as usual, rushed out the door, late for work. Carolyn waved him off at the front door and then went upstairs for a long leisurely shower. An hour later, feeling relaxed and refreshed, she came down to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. She sat down at the table, her hands clasped loosely around her cup, and then she saw it. Paul's phone. In his rush to get to work he had forgotten his phone. Would there be anything incriminating on it?? She picked it up uneasily, knowing deep down in her heart of hearts, that what she had been dreading for weeks, would become a reality. She couldn't explain it, but she knew that if she looked through his phone, she would find something which would spell trouble for their relationship.
She couldn't put it off any longer. She clicked on the messages icon. There was one from the service provider.She opened it. You have one new voicemail. She pushed the dial button and listened. It was dated the previos day.
" Paul it's Emma, We need to talk urgently. Can you meet me say, 1.30 at The Ark?".
That was all the proof she needed. At 1.15 she jumped into a taxi prepared for the confrontation that was about to take place. At 1.30, while she sat in the taxi, she saw Paul enter the garden cafe.She watched him greet Emma with a kiss on the cheek, watched as they spoke and when she seen Emma take Paul's hand in hers she got out of the taxi and crossed the road. All of a sudden she was standing right in front of them.
" Carolyn! What are you doing here?," Paul gasped.
" How could you? I thought you loved me and all the while you're carrying on with this...this.. tart!"
" I just came to tell you that it's over Paul. You're a lying, cheating, toe-rag and you're both welcome to...."
" CAROLYN! Will you be quiet for just a bloomin' second! Carolyn this is Emma. She's a close family friend . We grew up together. She's also my doctor. I went to see her a few weeks ago and she arranged for me to have some tests done. I didn't tell you because I didn't want to worry you. She's just told me I have Cancer...".