Sorry I haven’t been posting for ages, its been a bit of a nightmare:( Last week my husband found out that I had been having an affair for the last two years. The dust hasn't settled and we are in mediation, my mother hates me, my brother called me a "Harlot" and Jeff is devastated. As you know we have no kids, but nonetheless, eight years in its looking all over.
I am angry. Jeff is angry. We are angry with different things.
Readers of this blog will know that four months ago Jeff had a mass noted in his left lung during a routine work medcheck. It was small, about the size of an almond, but there where it shouldn't be. He went for some more tests, all paid for by his private insurance, and they found that is was cancerous. They would need to operate and give him some reparative stem therapy for the damage. We were assured that everything would be OK, and on the cancer front it was. A month later it was gone and the damage close to being repaired.
We both felt very lucky.
The day Jeff got the final all clear he also got a paper letter from his private insurance. It started off talking about the success of his recent treatment, etc etc. Then, on the next paragraph it was stated that:
We have evidence that you have been undertaking in activities that contravene your insurance declaration and, under agreed terms of your policy, we will be investigating this evidence further.
It went on with a load of legal talk and recommendations that seemed helpful and friendly. Jeff and I were shocked and couldn't think what they could be talking about. He called his lawyer, who liaised with the insurance company and, a few days later, gave us the low-down. Once the claim was made the insurance company went into "automated refutation" mode. Bots and engines owned by the company tried all they could to disprove the claim. Its how it is nowadays, I guess.
They found a face that looked 93.3% matched to Jeff in someone’s public Goggle album. It was a picture taken on Cay Caulker two years ago. The lawyer got us a copy of the photo in question. The man in the photo, that they said was Jeff, was hidden away in the background on a trestle table in a dimply lit bar or restaurant. The photo was just in an album of some German holiday makers.
In the photo the man was smoking, like people do from time to time on holiday. That was all they needed. The bot sent out the paper letter and the ball started rolling. It transpired that because the facial match was below the required 98% threshold (stipulated by the insurance company) they needed to do more investigation. Jeff’s lawyer said that even if it was 99% match a digital photo couldn’t be evidence without a locked watermark.
The insurance company needed to prove with close to certainty that Jeff had been smoking within the last 5 years, and they were like a pack of hyenas in pursuit of this. They got subpoenas from wimax providers, google, yahoo, ISPs. Even from his work; things like the cams that overlook the outside foyer. We were pretty sure no humans were involved in this. The various bots and engines sent messages and requests to each other. And as it all rolled out, we were kept constantly updated with emails. Trust me, until you have been involved with this kind of process you have no idea how clever and frenzied it all is.
Jeff was in such a panic. He talked about having to mortgage the house, sell the car, downgrade this and that. All in all it was a time filled with as much, though not the same calibre, tension as the cancer scare.
They must have looked through zillions of images and cams, checked millions of store records for a purchase of cigarettes. They found nothing and the claim remained intact. We were ecstatic and feeling the luckiest people two times in as many months.
A fortnight ago I was watching "Deal or No Deal" on my specs and he came in with a frown like I hadn't seen. He was holding a printout.
"What do you make of this?" he asked, handing me the paper.
I took the specs off and started to read the paper. It was from "Cavendish Detection". I looked at it for a moment, confused. Then I read it. I couldn't believe it. I read it again. I don't have a copy of it but it in essence it said
"Dear Mr Sills, we have found evidence that suggest with a high degree of reliability that a person or persons close to you have been partaking in actions that we feel you would think are dishonest... bla bla bla.... If you would like to see this evidence please contact us....bla bla bla.... and pay $5,000...."
My world melted right then, but, after lying to him for two years, I lied some more and just said something like, "Its spam or 414". I don't know why I lied but it was too late, really.
That night I went to their website, Cavendish Detection. This despicable company is one of the new pre-emptive detective agencies. I didn't really know about them until that point, but, my god, I hate them. So should you!
Employee fraud, adultery, child illegality. These bastards it seems would analyze publicly available information and find "dishonesty" wherever it could be found. They then go to the parties concerned and sell them the evidence they have found. Despicable. You should go read the news on these companies, they should be illegal. I may be an adulterer, and I will carry that guilt with me for ever, but these bastards have no right to cause the trouble they do.
Jeff couldn't sleep and my lie became bigger, day by day. I’m so sorry. For a week he would say thing like "Maybe its Kalvin and the club money?" or whatever. All the while I was pretty sure that it was me and my affair that the bastards had the evidence on. I tried to play it down, and I’m sorry for that too, but after week of sleepless nights, Jeff decided that he would pay. Jeff always equates cost with clothes and for him this was just "a couple of pairs of shoes".
I didn’t know he was going to pay right then, but on this Saturday night, he got out of bed and paid the bastards. They obviously sent him a media file. This was all the evidence he needed. He didn’t wake me, he forwarded me the mail and, when I woke up on the Sunday, he was gone. I’m sorry Jeff.
I didn’t open his mail until lunch time. He wasn’t answering my calls, his GPS and messenger was off. I was in a panic. I opened the media file and went through the professional presentation. I was thinking there might be a photo of Mark and I checking into a hotel, or holding hands as we walked down the street in
I met Mark at a my cousins barbecue about two years ago when Jeff was away on business. We clicked though nothing happened for, like, four months. I met him a few more times that summer. We started private messaging each other (Which the bastards couldn’t read) and it grew from that. We were in it for the excitement, for the illicitness. It was that illicit buzz that kept it lasting so long, I guess. (Mark is also married).
Together we took all the precautions we felt we would need to keep our affair secret. But it wasn’t so. Our private messages remained private, but the bastards presented Jeff with a chart of the timings of these messages down to the second. You could see nothing what was said but that so much was said. The same with email timings and access points, did you know they keep all this?
It was shocking the detail they went to. I will never forget there was a gvideo of a cat falling into a sink that was pretty funny, I saw it and private messaged it to Mark. It was there in the bastard’s report, that this video had been watched by both parties within eight minutes.
The evidence never named Mark (I don’t even know if they knew who he was) but they did show that whoever it was wore size 12 shoes, aftershave and liked to watch lez porn vidcasts… and so on.. and on.
As the presentation rolled on and my dignity slipped away there was hope that I could pass this off as an “online fling”. An indiscretion, nothing more. But then there started to be the real world connections, and these were my final damnation.
When we met we always were very cautious not to get caught. We would never share bills, taxis, flights or anything that might leave some kind of evidence that either of our partners might stumble upon. But these precautions didn’t matter to the bastards, they just went around them.
There were three dozen occasions when myself and whoever had the size 12 shoes accessed the net from the same town. A not improbable coincidence. But looking at the map in the presentation, it was pretty clear that these “connection windows” were not coincidences. I’m sorry Jeff.
Even more incriminating; there were sixteen pairs of payments over two years that were from the same vending point in a range places (hotels, restaurants, even swimming pools). These payments were separated by seconds. As a sinister knife in my side, Cavendish Detection even offered Jeff the chance for “further investigation” including the “procurement of supporting video and other evidence”. The bastards. But I guess Jeff didn’t need that. There was more evidence… so much of it, but after half an hour I just turned it off and sobbed till I slept.
Looking back now over this week in hell what I can’t get out of my mind is that all of this was possible because of the insurance claim. Once Jeff's insurance company had "investigated" his smoking all of that data was available under Freedom of Information. Someone has since told me, in another blog, that these pre-emptive detective agencies wait at the sidelines for cases like Jeff’s to be made public, then they start picking through. If those German Holiday makers had taken a picture five minutes later, my marriage would still be intact.
The real gutting thing is that the affair with Mark was a mistake and I knew this way before any of this trouble. In my head and heart Mark and I were over the moment I thought I might lose Jeff to the big C.
I don't know what will happen with Jeff and I. I’m going to go away for a few weeks so won’t be posting. I love Jeff so much, I have been a fool and I have been caught out in ways I didn't imagine possible.
Who was that twentieth century author, she said "Our actions are like ships that we send out to sea, and we don't know when or with what cargo they will return"? She was right here.
I’m sorry Jeff. So sorry.
Draft One (Unproofed)
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