It was November of 2018, My fiance had started having trouble breathing, his chest hurt and he had a bad cough. We thought it was bronchitis and at the worst, a broken rib. We went to the doctors with the thought that he will get antibiotics and be on our way. We couldn’t wait to get out of there and talked about what to do for dinner, made blowup hand balloons with the gloves and laughed. I met my fiance in middle school, when my parents divorced and I had no one. He was there for me. He never left my side and I knew no matter the situation, I wouldn’t leave his.
My ex from a fourteen year relationship occasionally worked odd hours, I’d call him at work to ask what he wanted for dinner and to cheer him up a bit. Then, over the course of three months, there would be ad hoc times when I’d call his desk phone but get no answer so I’d call his mobile, initially thinking he had probably finished earlier than anticipated and was on his way home (and to check that he wasn’t keeping me hanging while he went off to the pub without telling me).
So I’d call his mobile and ask ‘where are you?’. A few times he would indeed ‘be on his way home’ – yet things were off. I’d never told him that I could often tell when he was lying, he had a certain smugness about him when he did it, sometimes he would even have a particular smirk that he would do when he thought I wasn’t looking (and I can ‘hear’ someone’s facial expression when they are on the phone – probably due to many work hours and long distance boyfriends in the past). He would claim that he had just left the office yet there would be dead silence in the background, none of the usual urban sound of cars going by or his footsteps on the pavement etc.
Or he would be ‘walking to the train station’ but I could here someone in court shoes clearly keeping step beside him for the duration of the call. I began to chat even longer just so I could listen to what was going on around him. I didn’t let on and he grew ever bolder. He started telling me that he was still at his desk. Lol. He worked in an open plan cavernous office yet he was clearly in a small enclosed area when he answered the phone – even in silence the two sound distinctly different. Sometimes he even answered the phone and chatted to me whilst lying on his back.
I did eventually confront him (there were plenty of other clues too) and I used the fact that I had previously called his desk phone immediately before reaching him on the mobile for the last three months as one of the reasons I believed he was having an affair at work. What I didn’t tell him was the fact that I could also read the background noise so I knew he wasn’t where he claimed to be. Two weeks later he called from work one night to say that he had missed out on getting a pizza delivered to work for dinner (something he never did) and the pizza delivery guy had given up trying to call on his desk phone to get the front door opened – but the phone never rang.
We had no idea what was to come, they discovered a mass the size of a football in his chest. I couldn’t believe it or calm myself down enough to stop crying when we were told it could be cancerous. It got too real for me when I got to actually see the mass. I hoped for the best but we only got the worst. I felt like I was in a trance just frozen and speechless. He asked me to leave the room so he could privately call his mom. Its the first time I heard him cry out of fear. I will never forget it.