“He was a saint,” she always said every time her deceased husband came up in a conversation. At this point, it was almost like a mantra that she repeated automatically.
It wasn’t insincere, though: he had been the love of her life, the best husband she could have asked for, and a great father to their children. However, she always had the nagging feeling that he had been hiding something for his entire life. Then she opened that closet and realized that her gut feeling had been trying to warn her about something throughout all those years.
She knew there was something about his husband that he kept concealed from everyone else. She never could put her finger on what it was exactly, and she always ended up trying to brush her suspicions off and carry on with their seemingly perfect family lives.
But those doubts kept creeping into the back of her mind. When she discovered what her husband used to hide in the closet, she realized the truth: he had been living a secret life that no one knew about.
Audrey and Glyndwr Phillips met at a bar in London, shortly after the end of WWII. The whole country was relieved that the conflict was finally over.
At that time, the city, especially its young people, bustled with excitement. Audrey and Glyndwr were in their early 20s, and they both shared the enthusiasm for enjoying the good things in life after some convulse and grim years. They fell in love on the spot, and that’s where their journey began.
What first attracted Audrey to Glyndwr was his mysterious air. He had the appearance of someone who had gone through a lot and gained a lot of experience despite his young age.
Besides, the man didn’t like to talk about himself that much. At first, this was enormously attractive to Audrey. Little did she know how Glyndwr’s secretiveness would impact her life later on.
Shortly after they met, Audrey and Glyndwr got married. Glyndwr was a civil engineer, while Audrey was a typist at that time. However, Audrey got pregnant just a few months after their wedding, and Glyndwr’s salary was more than enough to support a family.
So from then on, Audrey stayed home and devoted herself to being the best wife and mother she could be. But after some time, she started noticing strange patterns in her husband’s behavior.
Sometimes, Glyndwr would go on mysterious trips and not reveal anything about their destination or reason. Audrey didn’t want to be a nosy, controlling, and distrusting wife, so she didn’t push the issue.
But every time she tried to get some more transparency from her husband on the nature of those trips, he would just joke about it and brush Audrey’s questions off. And that wasn’t all.
One time, Glyndwr announced to the family that they would have to move to the opposite side of the country next week. He didn’t explain why or the reason for such short notice.
Naturally, Audrey kept asking questions, trying to get a better understanding of what was going on. But this time wasn’t like the others. Glyndwr’s reaction to her inquiries was unlike anything she had ever seen before. It was like he turned into a different man.
This time, Glyndwr didn’t joke around the issue. In a low yet stern tone, he just said, “Enough. I can’t tell you about it,” while he deeply stared at Audrey. In his eyes, Audrey saw that he actually meant it. His expression was vaguely menacing, but Audrey could see something else through it.
She saw that her man was scared; that even though he was determined not to say anything about what was going on, there was something he was afraid of. She could tell he was under a lot of stress. His tone, which had initially intimidated her, could also be read as a cry for help. That was when Audrey took a decision.
She decided to follow her husband no matter what, trust him, and not ask him any more questions again. Clearly, Glyndwr was involved in something serious, and he couldn’t help it, but he didn’t want his family to have any part in it.
For the following years, there were times when she regretted her decision. Was it love that made her put up with her husband’s behavior? Was it fear? Or both? She would only start understanding everything after Glyndwr passed away.
After that episode took place, Glyndwr’s trips lessened. He became more focused on their family life; Audrey had given birth to their second child, and Glyndwr seemed like he didn’t want any external forces to interfere with his seeing his son growing up.
From then on, the family’s life was considerably calmer and more harmonious. But after some years of joy and happiness, something unexpected happened.
Glyndwr became ill with Parkinson’s disease. The news were absolutely heartbreaking for his wife and kids, who had to endure seeing the head of the family lose his faculties and sharpness day by day.
After two years of struggle, Glyndwr passed away in bed, surrounded by his family and friends. Days after, still in the middle of mourning, Audrey began going through his documents, which he kept under key in a closet. That was when she found out her husband’s true identity.
Among other papers related to his job as an engineer, Glyndwr kept a few notebooks in his closet where he had written his life story. Audrey started reading those, still missing her husband’s voice and way of telling things.
However, what she found there showed her a different side of Glyndwr that she had never really seen by herself. Her husband had been leading a double life.
Glyndwr had been working as a spy since he was young! When he first met Audrey, he was already working as a double agent for the British government. He had kept being an undercover agent for years after that.
It all started when he was a university student; apparently, the government had recognized his extraordinary skills and abilities and pulled him out of school during WWII. He had been a spy in Germany during that time, giving the British government information about the enemy’s plans. But that wasn’t all.
Glyndwr’s service to the British government didn’t finish after the conflict came to an end. He kept having to travel to foreign countries on special missions, which was the reason for his mysterious trips and his secretiveness about them.
As a result of his activities, he had actually feared for his life at some point; that was why the family had to move to the other side of the country that day.
“He kept the papers in a drawer at home, and occasionally would get them out to top up his writing, but he never invited me to read them, so I never did,” Audrey told the media about her discovery.
“I was completely oblivious. I have so many questions now that will probably never get answered. Why did I not know?” In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead are entirely coincidental.