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Big night last night.  So big I had to cancel my planned gig.  To be fair, it was just doing some chancer's house party, but they're usually fun gigs and I get the most number of friend requests on Facebook after doing these shows.  Plus you can smoke on stage, which is a pleasant novelty for those of us who aren't Lily Allen or Ian Brown. 

Imogen accused me of having an affair.

I told her not to come to the gig because it wasn't going to be a classic, just so I could carry on reading on the bus there.  I printed off the next few sections so I didn't have to carry my laptop around everywhere.  

I was just getting my stuff together ready to head off to the party when she said it outright.

"Who is she, Jack?"

I played dumb.  I was dumb.  Cheating is something I got over a few years ago.  In fact, Katie was the last girl I cheated on.  Back then I was in a band and was enjoying the attention that just being on stage brought me.  I was twenty years old and didn't really think of the future then.  These girls, though, they loved that I was in a band, that I played guitar and seemed to be a sensitive sort.  It used to annoy the hell out of Katie when they'd approach at the gigs she was at.  She was always paranoid, and in the end she was right to be. 

I wasn't at the age where consequences seemed like a relevant concern.  I must have slept with at least seven of these people without Katy noticing.  I reckon Dan would have made me confess, or perhaps he would confessed for me, had he been around.  This was after he left.

When Katie and I split, it wasn't nice.  It was towards the end of third year and she caught me
in bed with a fresher who had been at a gig.  Katie was supposedly visiting her family that weekend but came back to our flat early.  I blamed the stress of third year for my transgression, and she didn't believe that it was the first.  Hours of screaming and crying followed and I ended up crashing on the sofa of my friend, David, until term ended.  I've been a much nicer person since then.
Imogen knew me back then, and I suppose she didn't think I was capable of change.  She's been suspicious before, but this was a direct accusation.

I can see why as well.  We sometimes meet for lunch on workdays, but I've been unusually busy for the last two weeks.  I've claimed lunchtime meetings, telephone calls to promoters and urgent shopping needs.  I've put her off at every opportunity just so I can carry on with Dan's bloody book. 

In the evenings I've been on the computer and she thinks I've chatting to seductresses on Facebook.  I showed her my account, my message history and my e-mail box, as well as my text messages and call log on my phone.  I promised her there is no-one else, and after an hour of protestations she finally believed me.  By this time, I'd missed the boat with the gig.

I didn't lie to her, but I didn't tell her that I was spenting every snatched private moment poring over the supposed life-story of her dead ex-boyfriend.  Is that cheating?

I guess I'm half way through now.  Things are happening that are starting to make sense.  I think I'm starting to get Dan for the first time.  I know all about his childhood and the things he got up to in primary school.  He's in high school and the point of what he's trying to explain is starting to become explicit.  I kind of understand it, but I need further clarification.  I need the next chapters, but now Imogen is watching me closely and I feel that I need to make things up to her.  We're having a quiet weekend together, so I'm not going to have a moment to myself.  Anything secretive from me is just going to antagonise her further and I'm, just not ready to talk about the book.  I at least want to get to the end so I know how I feel about it.       

I don't know, though, quite why I have to keep this secret so closely.  I'm harming my relationship, but not once have I questioned whether it's the right thing to do...