Introducing me to his friend, my cousin Corey, 50, smiled.
‘This is Ryan, the guy I was telling you about,’ he said. Ryan and I got chatting and hit it off straight away.
He asked me out to dinner a few days later, and after that we quickly became a couple.
Within a few months, I fell pregnant with our first child.
I already had two kids – Terrance, now 12, and Rebecca, 10 – from a previous relationship.
‘I can’t wait to be a dad,’ Ryan beamed, as we shopped for nappies, clothes, and cute toys.
But our romance was shortlived, and eight months into the pregnancy, I realised just how unhappy I was with Ryan.
He was somewhat controlling and it wasn’t the way that I wanted myself or my kids to live our lives – so I ended things with him and we went our separate ways.
Our daughter Savannah, now nine, was born on 18 July 2010, and we agreed to co-parent her.
During my pregnancy, I had been playing a game on Facebook called ‘Café World’ which would distract me from my everyday life.
I got so addicted to the app, building up my café, and after a while, I got the option to join a closed group on Facebook which fans could be a part of.
All of the members would help each other out with their cafés, so when I got a friend request from someone in the group, it didn’t phase me.
Months passed, and out of the blue, I got a message.
I’m not playing Café World anymore, so you can remove me if you want, it read.
It was from Bryan Mappes – we’d both been mad about the game, but we’d never seen each other or spoken in real life before. Don’t be silly, I replied. We got talking, and I opened up to him about my kids and my past relationships.
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