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пятница, 13 января 2017 г.

Love story: "I ran off with my best friend's dad"

 Charlene Cuthbertson, 18, risked everything to be with the man she Loved
Me and my best friend Aggie were inseparable. Every day after school we'd go back to her place to talk about the latest boys we fancied and practise dance routines to Destiny's Child CDs.
I got on well with her parents, particularly her dad, Stuart. He'd have me in stitches with his cheesy jokes, and I found him really good-looking, too.
I started sending him texts.
I was 15 and had a bit of a teenage crush.
But he was married to Aggie's mum, and was careful not to respond to my flirting.
Still, I knew what I was doing - and it was exciting. I didn't think of the consequences because I didn't think I'd get found out. It was just a bit of fun. I didn't consider how it would affect anyone.
Finally, when I was 16, Stuart admitted he had feelings for me and we shared our first kiss. He was 43 and I was flattered to have an older man interested in me.
Before long, our relationship became physical. I didn't feel guilty about having an affair with him because his marriage was already on the rocks. But I did feel guilty about not telling Aggie the truth.
Up until now, we'd always shared everything. But how could I tell her that I was having a fling with her dad?
It didn't take long for me to fall in love with Stuart. He was so worldly and I was learning new things with him all the time.
But in June 2004, Aggie's sister found my text messages on his mobile phone and realised what had been happening. Immediately, she told her mum, who then emailed me and asked if there was anything I had to tell her.
I said no, but it didn't help. Aggie stopped talking to me. I wanted to explain that this was more than just a crush - I was in love with her dad.
But I didn't want to push it and risk losing her forever. So I gave her some space.
I continued seeing Stuart,
and eventually he split up with his wife. By now, I was living the high life - from being a penniless student, I was being taken out to dinner and treated like a princess.
At the time, I was supposed to be doing a beauty therapy course in Lincoln, but I kept bunking off to see Stuart. By October, I'd quit college so we could spend more time together. It was around about then that I also got back in touch with Aggie.
We had dinner and I finally got a chance to explain myself. She felt hurt and betrayed, but eventually she agreed to patch things up.
Then Stuart had the idea of me and him going travelling in France. It was a dream come true and a chance to get away from the pressures that were being placed on our relationship.
The following February, we packed our bags and had a fantastic time seeing the sights together.
Stuart and I were bitten by the travel bug, and in April 2005, we headed off to Australia for two months.
When we got home to Lincoln, we made plans to move in together - with Aggie and her sister. By now, my parents knew about us, and of course they weren't happy. ŒJust be careful,' my mum warned.
For the first few weeks, everything was great, and I easily slipped into the role of Œmum'.
But it was strange going from being Aggie's best friend to suddenly running her family.
I'd do everything, from her laundry to her dinner. I'd even have to nag her to clean her room when it got messy.
It didn't take long for our relationship to become strained again, and I gradually began to notice that Stuart's loyalties lay with his daughter rather than me.
After my 18th birthday, we began rowing a lot about money. We started sleeping in separate bedrooms and eventually I packed my bags and went to stay in my parents' home in Cyprus.
There are no hard feelings between me and Stuart. He's got a new woman now and I accept that. What I do regret is losing my best friend. Aggie and I haven't spoken since my relationship with her dad ended. I've tried to get in touch, but haven't heard back yet.
I hope one day I'll get my best friend back. One thing's for sure - I'll never put a man before mates again. This experience has taught me that.

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