I wasn’t really interested in helping Dan cope with the loss of Zack whatsoever. He and I had both sunk into a depression, and I had no energy or desire whatsoever to console him in his grief. He was sending me photos of Zack before he died, and from when he was a young child back in South Africa, and it was lovely to see how happy he was back then before everything went wrong in his life.
But beyond that, I had my own problems to deal with. The bailiffs were threatening to come to my home during Christmas, and so I signed up for a Scottish Trust Deed as soon as possible in the New Year. This gave me a total of three years to settle my debts, and I was committed to a monthly payment of £80 – this would effectively settle two-thirds of the total amount of debts that I had incurred 5000. It was either that or apply for bankruptcy, but what little pride I had left stopped me from going down that path.
Two weeks later, on the 17th February Dan posted photos on his public blog for all to see – he and the remaining children in the family were sitting in a train and they were travelling past Murray Stadium near Edinburgh. Apparently they had all been flown over from the States to Scotland for a week, so that he could sit for his FRCS examinations with the College of Surgeons. He sent me this lovely postcard with a card attached. When I contacted him by email he explained that he was not able to see me while he was in Scotland because he had contracted a form of septicaemia which had erupted in an all-over body rash, and had been admitted to hospital again. But he had managed to complete the examinations.
By this stage, the constant excuses had begun to fall upon deaf ears with me. I was so happy to get his postcard with the final confirmation of them moving back to the UK, but could not understand how he could visit Scotland without arranging to meet up with me. I didn’t bother arguing with him this time – obviously this man had no desire whatsoever to meet up with my family in person. It was a very bitter pill to swallow.
Two weeks later, he announced on his personal blog that he had been diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia, as the doctors had discovered lymphoblastic tumours in his leg and was scheduled to start Chemotherapy on the 14th March. I was devastated and didn’t had a chance to discuss the diagnosis with him at all in the days that immediately followed.
On the 18th March, I was at work with some of my colleagues and had told them the basics of this story. One of them in particular was very suspicious, and asked to see a copy of his photo and so I confided in her and showed her a copy of the only photo I had been sent of his face.
We all sat around the computer as she searched Google Images, and almost instantly we found multiple copies of the same image in the internet results. The image had been taken from a ‘Hot Priests Calendar’ called Calendario Romano, and the photo of ‘Dan’ was featured as MR MAGGIO (or Mr May) on page number five.
Even as I write this, tears are still rolling down my cheeks remembering that moment of utter humiliation. I was in a state of absolute shock and my heart was racing, my hands were numb – I couldn’t breathe as I stared at the screen and read the comments from people who had been lusting over the pictures of the man that I thought I was in love with. Everyone I worked with that day was there to see this – and took turns at coming over to look at the screen. I have never been so utterly humiliated in my entire life, and had discovered once again, that he had been lying to me for years about who he was, and had broken my trust yet again.
I copied and pasted the photo onto the blog that I had been sharing with him, and all I wrote was ‘Hello Mr Maggio’. By the time I had left work and driven home, then logged in to check his reply – an hour had passed and he had already deleted both of his blogs from the net, both his public one and his private one, and had also blocked me from sending any further emails to his email address. He is another photo of ‘Dan’ featured the following year. This photo has been repeated in many editions published since then.