Seeing the presents piled high, party food covering the table, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself. This year, I’d pulled out all the stops, spared no expense. But to me, every penny was worth it. Neal is going to love it,
My partner Neal, then 46, and I had met on Christmas Eve 2005.
By far the best-looking lad in the pub, I swanned over to him and flashed a cheeky smile.
We hit it off, exchanged numbers.
Three weeks later, Neal got a cab to mine late at night. He didn’t leave for a week. I knew then that what we had was special. Our relationship went from strength to strength.
Neal took my lad from a previous relationship – Ryan, 18 – under his wing.
And not long after, I fell pregnant with our son Josh.
He arrived in March 2007, and five years later, we had a little girl, Grace.
I loved family life and adored Neal.
We lived in the most picturesque cottage, made each other laugh every day.
Even our birthdays were close, one day after the other in October.
As each year rolled on, I always made a fuss over Neal’s birthday.
I loved getting the house decorated with bunting, putting out a spread of his favorite food.
‘You know he’d never go to this much trouble for you,’ Ryan groaned, spying the mountain of grub.
And I had to admit, it was true.
Neal would never make a big deal over my birthday.
But, actually, I didn’t need any fuss.
‘I don’t really care about my birthday,’ I laughed.
Instead, I loved that Neal and I had our own little tradition.
Every year on my birthday, he would treat me to a bottle of expensive perfume.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Had I Lost Everything?
I was alive... but what was left for me?
One Hell Of Surprise
I was never big on birthdays, but I didn’t expect to unwrap a bundle of lies
She rescued me
When life felt hopeless, a very special saviour gave me something to live for
My parting gift
No matter what the future holds, my ex will always have a part of me…
Murderer on the streets
I live in fear of bumping into the man who killed my dad
Man or BEAST?
If you go down to the woods today, you might get a big surprise...
Holding on to hope
In labour, I was meant to be shopping for cots – not coffins
Finally fab at 30
I wasn’t prepared to start another decade being fat
We help you make savvy choices, so your hard-earned goes that bit further
A callous carer?
Could this man really be so evil as to kill his disabled wife?