A gardener from Birmingham, England says he had no choice but to flee his wife of three years, forcing him to live in the woods for a decade.
That’s according to Emmaus Greenwich, a shelter in London, where Malcolm Applegate finally resurfaced. The 62-year-old man says “the more work I took on, the angrier my wife got – she didn’t like me being out of the house for long periods of time.”
While he says he tried to make things work, it just wasn’t meant to be: “Without a word to anyone, not even family, I packed up and left,” he says. “I went missing for ten years.” Applegate continued gardening for a community center while living in the woods.
He’s since contacted his sister, who he said “assumed [he] was dead.” Their reunion was emotional, he says:
“It had been a decade since I’d last seen her, and in that time she had been to all of the Salvation Army hostels in the South trying to find me … I wrote her a letter once I was settled in Greenwich and she phoned me up, in floods of tears. We now have a great relationship again.”
He loves his new life at the shelter, reports the Daily Mail.