Written by Naomi Bedford
Pretty Naomi Bedford, 21, thought her dad Glynn’s young wife Teresa, 34, was her friend.. Until she ran off with her fiancée.
I’ll never forget my first love, Kevin O Connor. He was three years older than me and we got together when I was only 16. Kev was mates with my brother James.
‘So do you fancy going out?’ he asked me one night when James had nipped to the kitchen to get a drink. I nearly fainted. I was only 16 and he was 19. He was well fit and all my mates fancied him. ‘Er, yeah, that’d be great,’ I stammered. We went out to the pictures to watch Pearl Harbour. ‘That’s going to be our film,’ Kevin gushed afterwards. We’d loved it. Faith Hill sang There You’ll Be on the soundtrack. ‘That’s our song,’ I told Kevin. Two years later Kevin asked me to marry him. He’d planned to take me on a romantic holiday to Kenya in April 2003 and propose but the trip was cancelled because of the war in Iraq. ‘I’m sorry babes, I wanted it to be so special,’ he told me. I didn’t care. I was just happy to have Kev.
One night we went out for a Chinese. He asked me to get his phone out of his jeans pocket as we walked down the road. In there I found a little box with a ring in. Kev got down on one knee and said, ‘Will you marry me Naomi?’ I was so happy I cried. The ring was beautiful and a year later I moved in with him.
One thing he used to go mad about was my dad though. They didn’t really get on well because dad had left mum for another woman, Teresa. I’d grown to accept her. I’d even been bridesmaid at her wedding. By the time I’d met Kevin, Teresa and me were dead close. Like sisters more than step mum and daughter. When she first met dad it was hard. She was his bit on the side. But after a while I realised she was great. A real scream. We’d go shopping together and she’d always have the latest clothes, make up and hairstyles.
Kevin was frosty with my dad at times. ‘I just don’t agree with what he did to your mum,’ he’d tell me. But he got on great with Teresa. ‘It’s not her fault,’ he’d say. ‘It was your dad who was out of order.’ They were always having a laugh together. ‘You’re a lucky girl with that one,’ she told me when she first met him. ‘Keep hold of him.’
I remember finding a text on his phone once from her, saying, ‘By the way, you look good today.’ I thought she was just trying to make him feel welcome. I’d never in a million years have guessed she wanted to get her mitts on him herself.
Me and Kevin were planning our wedding. We were set to go to Mexico next year, with our closest friends and family. I was excitedly looking for my perfect dress for a wedding on the beach. Then he started acting strangely. He’d be dead secretive with his phone. It would never leave his side. He’d even take it when he went to the loo. One night we were sat watching Peter Kay on TV. We both loved him. I remember Kev’s phone kept beeping. For once he left it when he went to the loo. I sneaked a look. He’d texted Teresa, saying, ‘I’d love to see your face light up laughing at this too.’ I felt sick.
I didn’t want to confront him straight away, so the next day I went to Dad’s. ‘Did you see Peter Kay last night?’ I asked casually. ‘Yeah, me and Teresa love him. He’s brilliant,’ Dad replied. ‘Look Dad, I don’t know how to tell you this but something odd is going on with Kev and Teresa. He was texting her last night, I saw it on his phone.’ Dad went white. ‘Her phone was beeping all night. She told me it was one of her friends. Thinking about it she’s been funny with her phone for a while.’ Neither dad or me wanted to believe they would do anything to hurt us.
Teresa was hardly whiter than white. She’d fallen for Dad while she was seeing his brother Earnest. Poor Earnest had gone in hospital to have his foot amputated and she ran off with dad. ‘Teresa wouldn’t do that to me,’ Dad stammered. ‘It’s been ten years – I’ve stuck by her through thick and thin.’ Teresa didn’t work as she had acute endometriosis. Dad was always back and to to the hospital with her.
To keep her spirits up, he’d always get her treats, and tell her she could go and have her hair and nails done whenever she wanted. She had the lifestyle of a footballers wife. Dad is 47, but the 13 year age gap was never an issue. They were even trying for a baby and were looking for a surrogate mum so they could have a child together.
Why would she risk it all? Me and Dad tried to put it to the back of our minds. Then one afternoon I was doing the washing. I picked up Kev’s jeans and his wallet fell out and a ring landed on the floor. I picked it up. It was a gold one with diamonds and rubies in it. It had ‘I love you,’ engraved on the front. It was exactly the same ring that Dad had given Teresa for her birthday the year before. He’d got it as a treat from Argos and only a few were made. What the hell was Kev doing with it? I burst into tears and called Kevin at work. ‘I’ve found the ring,’ I told him. ‘Oh,’ he said. He didn’t try to defend himself. ‘It’s hers isn’t it. You’re seeing Teresa’ I said. ‘No, don’t be daft. I just found it at work,’ he said. I hung up. Did he really think I was that stupid? I called Dad. ‘I’ve found Teresa’s ring in Kevin’s wallet,’ I sobbed. ‘They’re having an affair.’
Dad was heartbroken. He called her and confronted her. ‘I don’t know what your on about,’ she told him. Kevin had clearly tipped her off. ‘I had to throw away the one you gave me as the shank had broken.’ Like a lunatic I believed her. Kevin was definitely seeing someone though. I decided to move back to Dad’s. I ran round in floods of tears, straight into Teresa.
‘There, there love,’ soothed my step mum Teresa. ‘You’ll be ok, if you and Kevin are meant to be you can sort this out.’ She put the kettle on and made me a cup of tea as I sat sobbing my heart out in my Dad’s kitchen. I stayed there for a while. I was in a right mess. Teresa was really sweet. She’d keep checking on me, and would come out on dog walks, listening to me rambling on.
One day I was texting Kev. ‘Should you really be texting him?’ she said to me. I figured she was right. It only ever ended in a slanging match. I was so upset she even told me to go to see the doctor because she thought I was depressed. I remember she had a few phone calls that seemed odd. One day I heard her chatting to a man, then she was off, out of the door. ‘I’m just off to see Claire,’ she said.
On Easter Sunday I decided to go to see Kevin to talk things over. We ended up in bed – I just wanted to give it one more go.
Afterwards he got up to go to the bathroom. I felt a sharp pain in my back. It was a false nail digging in me that must have fallen out in the bed. I couldn’t believe it. That was the final piece of evidence I needed. The nail was just like the ones dad was always treating Teresa to. I tried to put it out of my mind. I just had to get over Kev and move on.
Then, just five days later, on Friday April 13th Teresa left my dad. They’d been rowing too and I guess it was inevitable. She’d come home drunk in the early hours of the morning. Dad went to work on the Friday then when he got home she’d left him a note, saying, ‘I can’t be with you any more. I need someone who can help me with my dreams and goals.’ Dad was heartbroken. He’d spent ten years with her and loved her to bits. Then things just got worse.
A few days later I got a phone call from my brother James, 25. ‘You know Teresa is in hospital at the moment. Well I’ve just seen Kevin’s car parked outside,’ he told me. There were just too many coincidences. Then I got another call from my auntie Shirley Vanelli. ‘I’ve just spotted Teresa driving Kevin’s car on Springfield Road. She tried to hide but I knew it was her,’ she said. I felt like he’d ripped out my heart and stamped all over it. How could they do this to us? Then last weekend, dad got an e-mail on the address they shared. It was a receipt, thanking them for booking tickets to see Spiderman at the pictures. It had been sent to Teresa’s address and the name on the credit card was Kevin’s. It’s like they are laughing their heads off at us two mugs. I still love Kevin and dad still loves Teresa, but I wouldn’t have him back. He’d only ever bring me misery. All our friends hate him. They think he’s a disgrace.
I just hope the two of them can live with what they’ve done and are happy.