I thought I’d found a friend for life but the discovery of a DVD was to turn it upside down…
By Kellie Denton, 37, from Lowestoft
I was gently pushing the buggy down the front door steps, when I spotted my neighbour Amanda. It was the first time I’d noticed she was pregnant.
‘How far along are you?’ I asked, pointing to her bump.
‘Seven months,’ Amanda replied. ‘And how old is your little one?’
‘Three weeks,’ I gushed. ‘Well if you need any tips or anything or just fancy a cup of tea, you’re welcome to pop around any time.’ I added. From that moment on we were firm friends.
My long-term partner Colin, 53, and I had not long moved into the area. I’d just given birth to my first child – a girl – and I hardly knew anyone. Amanda was a godsend. I felt incredibly lucky to have met another woman in my situation.
We would spend our afternoons wandering around the shops together and pick out tiny outfits for our babies. We’d chat about the latest prams, breastfeeding techniques and discuss her ideas for baby names.
When she gave birth to her son in March 2001, we became each other’s crutch.
We would often babysit for each other, or just be there at the end of an exhausting day for a catch up over a cuppa, our little bundles asleep beside us.
‘Sometimes I wonder who you prefer, Amanda or me,’ Colin, 53, would joke.
‘That’s easy – Amanda,’ I would giggle.
So when Amanda announced that she was leaving Sittingbourne to move to Margate, I was gutted.
‘What am I going to do without you next door?’ I said.
‘Don’t worry – we’ll stay in touch,’ Amanda promised.
‘You better come and visit!’ I added. I tried to be happy for her but secretly I was devastated to be losing my best friend.
Over the next few years, it became harder and harder to see each other but we kept in touch over the phone. So when Amanda accepted my invitation to come to stay with us for a week in the summer of 2003, I was delighted.
‘I’ve got to put up with you pair again!’ Colin said, when I told him she’d said yes.
‘You’re just jealous,’ I said, leaning in for a kiss. ‘We’ll try not to leave you out.’
I’d been counting down the days until Amanda arrived and was ready to burst with excitement by the time she rang the doorbell.
‘You’re here!’ I screamed, wrapping my arms around her. There was so much to catch up on.
But it didn’t take long for me to pick up that something was wrong.
Amanda and Colin seemed to be very chummy and when I noticed her being over familiar with Colin, it just didn’t add up.
‘What are you two giggling at?’ I asked one day when I found the pair in fits of laughter in the kitchen.
‘Oh it’s nothing,’ Colin replied, as the two of them left the room together.
It happened multiple times. I felt like I was constantly not in on the joke. I felt like a third wheel in our own home and it was very odd.
Unable to dismiss my concerns, I finally confronted Colin,
‘What’s going on with you two?’ I asked.
‘What?’ Replied Colin, bursting out with laughter. ‘Amanda? You’re acting like a crazy woman.’
I said: ‘I know it’s weird but I feel like you’re both leaving me out.’
Colin gave me a big hug. ‘This is all in your head,’ he said.
I told him how I was having trouble understanding how close they’d apparently become.
‘I actually find her annoying and I’m looking forward to her leaving,’ he said. ‘Perhaps I’ve been overcompensating?’
From their behaviour towards one another, what Colin said didn’t ring true – but I had to admit, I felt like I was going mad and I tried to push my niggling doubts to the back of my mind. Amanda was my best friend and Colin was the love of my life.
After that Amanda gradually went off the radar. She stopped replying to my texts and would never return my calls.
As the years rolled by, Amanda and I lost touch completely. I didn’t hold it against her. I was now a busy mother of four and so was she.
We both had other priorities and lived an hour’s drive apart. Not an easy journey to make with a car-full of kids.
Then in 2014, I was having a spring clean and clearing out some old boxes in the attic when I came across a blank DVD. I knew instantly something was up.
Colin and I kept all our DVDs in the living room so I couldn’t understand why this one was up here. Whoever it belonged to, didn’t want it to be found.
Grabbing the disc, I rushed to the bedroom and slotted it into our DVD player. I felt a nervous knot tighten in my stomach as the screen flickered into life and the film started to play.
My mouth fell open in shock as the footage showed Amanda, stark naked, touching herself, saying things that I knew Colin loved to hear.
As I watched the camera zoom in on certain parts of her body, I realised someone had to be filming it… was it Colin? I called him straight away. I was fuming.
‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ he said. ‘It’s some porn I downloaded off the internet. I didn’t even realise the girl looked like Amanda!’
I wasn’t born yesterday – I knew that Colin was feeding me a pack of lies. He wasn’t even man enough to admit it. I’d been right all those years ago and I was right now.
I contacted Amanda over Facebook.
I wrote: ‘I know something happened between you two.’
‘He started texting me when I was pregnant,’ she replied. ‘I didn’t know who it was.’
It was time to drop the bombshell. ‘I found the DVD,’ I typed. ‘He’s being very vague so I need to hear it from you.’
When Amanda described to me how she’d been drunk when Colin had suggested he come over to her house and they’d made their disgusting film, I felt sick.
But I had to know what happened. After being lied to for years all I wanted was the truth, no matter how unpalatable it was.
Now I knew why we’d grown apart. She’d been too guilty to continue our friendship. She didn’t want to look me in the eye.
‘I’m sorry for what I have done,’ she added.
I was mad, but unlike Colin, at least Amanda had been straight with me. Colin’s inability to confess to me was like another betrayal.
The fact that he had kept the DVD meant that he was most likely still using it for his own pleasure. They might have got together years ago but the thought of him still watching their homemade film made it all the worse. Amanda may have been out my life but she was blatantly still in Colin’s fantasies.
I knew the relationship was over after that. Every time I looked at his face I felt nothing but hatred.
I wasn’t just nursing a broken heart, I’d been made a fool of. A spring clean had dished the dirt on my Colin and our naughty neighbour.
I promptly dumped him. I’d waited over a decade for the truth but the camera never lies and now I finally had it – in full motion picture.
Colin says: “(Amanda’s) not her best friend, it’s just a friend of both of ours – and that happened in 2002. (Amanda) came over to stay and obviously something happened between me and her which I’m not proud of. Kellie found this thing later on that I told her had nothing to do with me. That (the DVD) hasn’t got anything to do with why we split up. I cheated on her, yes, but the video thing I don’t understand what that’s all about in all honesty.”
Amanda’s message to Kellie: “I had just broke up with Mark (her then partner) and he (Colin) was texting me again and I think I was a bit drunk when he suggested coming over and then it happened – the DVD. I told him if you (Kellie) ever asked me I would tell. I understand if you hate me and don’t want to know me. I am sorry for what I’ve done. ”
Kellie was shocked when her spring clean uncovered her Colin’s dirty DVD and she decided to name and shame him in Take a Break magazine. If you have a cheating story to tell like Kellie, fill in the form on the right and we’ll give you a call and help you get the best price for it.