Simon Macbeth was living in a house that I’d moved into a couple of months before my 18th birthday and stayed there for about a year.
I’d taken Lee’s entire portfolio of work that he’d left at college, home for him. He’d not asked me to do this, but because he’d gone to Germany I knew he wouldn’t get it back if I didn’t.
I went to work at Butlin’s in Skegness and when I got back to Leeds in mid October I was at home one night cooking tea and there was a knock on the door. Lee had tracked me down. I’d gone to college and I’d been a little bit naughty. I’d got some nice lady in administration to give me Lee’s Mum and Dad’s address, which she wasn’t supposed to do, and I’d written to him at his parent’s house to let him know where I was living and to tell him to get back in touch when he got back. So Lee appeared on my doorstep that evening with his girlfriend, which was a really nice surprise.
We kept in touch after that and had a few nights out on the beer together, which were always fun. By the time Lee was preparing to go back to Germany for the following summer, the tenancy on the house where I was living was coming to an end. I was struggling to find somewhere to live and Lee made me the really generous offer that I could look after his house in Castleford while he was away over the summer. I was really chuffed that he’d thought about me. He knew I was having a bad time and he went out of his way to help me out. I was really grateful to both Lee and his girlfriends for that.
I’d started seeing a girl called Andrea and she lived in Leeds. I was stopping with her quite often and then staying at Lee’s house for the rest of the time. He’d set me three ground rules before he’d handed me the keys to his house. These were that I should not have parties there, not have too many people over, and that I should look after the place. He had a couple of cats they’d sent to his parents to look after, so I had the full run of the place.
After I’d been staying there a short time, I noticed that some fleas had moved in, too. I was stopping at Andrea’s place in Leeds often and the fleas seemed to take over while my back was turned. It got to the point where walking a couple of steps across the living room floor resulted in white trousers turning black with fleas.
It was that bad. It had got to the point where it was not possible to stop there anymore. He’d left me a contact number in Germany and I managed to get hold of him by shouting the name Lee repeatedly down the line in a pseudo German accent. Fortunately, it was Lee’s girlfriend who answered the phone so she recognised my voice (somehow) and gave Lee a shout. Lee got his brother to sort out all the fleas.
I’d evacuated the house the moment my trousers had changed colour and it was in a complete mess. There were piles of unwashed dishes littering the worktops, the plates were green with mould because they’d been left a while, and the bedroom was a mess. I’d not had a party, but I had a few friends ‘round who had stopped over. Lee’s stereo, which was his pride and joy, had got broken. I’d not looked after his tropical fish as well as I should have and there were problems with them. Some of Lee and his girlfriend’s personal things had been rooted through when people had stayed over.
So when Lee came back to Yorkshire in September, he opened his front door at five o’clock in the morning to a couple of month’s worth of washing up, fish that were floating on top of the tank, and a complete stinking mess. They’d been travelling for hours, they were stressed, shattered, and just wanted to go to bed, but their bedroom was a mess. Lee’s girlfriend in particular was devastated. She was angry with him for trusting me.
Understandably, I was not in their good books. They felt that their privacy had been violated. It wasn’t Lee being angry that hurt, but that he was so obviously disappointed with me. He had thought better of me and I’d let him down. When someone you like and respect uses the word disappointed above angry or upset, it hurts even more, especially when you know that they are right.
Lee had no idea where I was until he got the telephone bill a couple of weeks later. There were only about £10 worth of phone calls. I’d had permission to use the telephone, but Lee had seen the numbers I had been ringing. He started phoning around to see if he could locate me. He called my Mum and my Gran, both of whom weren’t quite sure of the address where I was staying. Lee was a really nice guy and was polite to my family when he called, but then it wasn’t them who had trashed his house. Another number he tried was Andrea’s and when he called I answered the phone.
The time had gone so quickly over the summer that I had no idea Lee was back in the country. When I heard his voice on the other end of the line it surprised me and I asked him where he was. As soon as he said that he was at home, I realised what I’d done. I really had planned to go back and sort everything out and making the house nice. I would have stopped short of putting freshly cut flowers in a vase on the mantelpiece, but I had meant to give his fish tank a clean and buy some aquatic plants for it. I had thought that I had another week to do all of that. There was no way I would not have tidied up before they had got back, had I not got my dates mixed up. Lee didn’t see it like that. He just knew he’d come back on the date he said he was returning and the house was in a disgusting state.
Lee and I arranged to meet up in a pub I was working in so I could give him some money for the phone. He just said, “Give me 20 quid, don’t worry about the rest, there’s nothing that can be done about that now.” He expressed his disappointment in what had happened. Apparently his brother had wanted to come and beat me up. I had wanted to give him more money, but a combination of him refusing to take more and me not really having any extra stopped that from happening. Maybe I’d thrown too much in the fruit machines that day.
Lee had a drink with me, but was quiet and distant. I gave him the money and he said that it was probably for the best if we didn’t keep in touch anymore. I didn’t like that, but I understood Lee’s decision. I’d let him down and there was no way back. I felt embarrassed and completely ashamed of myself for letting the situation and our friendship get so out of hand. I felt a sense of loss even before Lee had turned up that day, as I knew it would be the last time I’d ever see him. I’d lost a really good friend because of my own stupidity. After half an hour, Lee left and I’ve never seen him since.
Learn More About Simon Macbeth Leeds
You can find out more about Simon Macbeths life, from being a child and growing up in Leeds, to where he is now. A successful, award winning, business owner and web designer that owns high ranking websites. He is active on Google+ and Facebook where he creates interesting content.
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