Here, Illy, tells the story in her own words.
W￼alking into the cafe, I felt nervous about starting my first day as a waitress.
But one of the workers, Kayla, 20, immediately offered to show me
And chatting throughout the shift, I just knew we were going to be good friends. We both loved the same music and were obsessed with Disney.
After work, I excitedly told my boyfriend Will, 18, about my new friend.
We’d been dating for seven months and I was so in love. ‘That’s great!’ he said.
Four months later, Will started working at the cafe, too.
But Kayla and Will’s personalities clashed and they bickered like brother and sister.
‘She gets on my nerves,’ he’d moan.
Luckily, they’d put their differences aside when we all hung out. And when I fell pregnant, she threw her arms around us both. As my bump grew, Kayla would surprise us with tiny, adorable outfits. ‘I couldn’t resist,’ she’d grin.
In May 2014, I gave birth to a girl, Merliah.
‘She’s beautiful,’ Will gushed, besotted.
We only had one car, so when Will went back to work, Kayla would give me lifts to baby check-ups.
‘I couldn’t have done this without you,’ I said one day.
Looking across at her, I suddenly wondered if I saw her as more than a mate.
I’d always identified as bisexual and Will knew this. I’d spoken with Kayla, who was also bi, about it, too.
No-one had caught my eye since I’d met him, but after that I couldn’t get Kayla off my mind.
Whenever she came over, I’d get butterflies, excited to spend time with her. I still loved Will though – it was so confusing!
When Merliah was eight months old, Will and I threw a 1920s costume party.
I dressed up as a flapper girl. When Kayla turned up,
I couldn’t help thinking how pretty she looked in her maid’s outfit. It was such a fun night and as the evening wore on, Kayla said she felt tired.
‘Do you mind if I sleep in the spare bed?’ she asked.
Lying down next to her, we were laughing and chatting.
Just then, Kayla leaned in and softly kissed me on the lips. Sparks flying, I kissed her back.
We didn’t say anything but I knew there’d been a major shift in our relationship.
I like you, she messaged me the next day.
I feel the same, I replied, bursting with excitement.
I didn’t want to deceive Will, so I told him I was seeing a girl.
‘It’s fine with me, as long it’s not another guy and you still love me,’ he said.
Kayla and I agreed not to tell Will who the girl was, as we worried he’d say we couldn’t be friends.
Luckily he didn’t pick up on anything when the three of us were together. I soon realised I was in love with Kayla. I didn’t know it was possible to love two people, but I did some research online and discovered there’s a word for it – polyamory. That’s me! I realised.
I told Will about it and he understood.
Then one night, a few months after Kayla and I had got together, the three of us were at home.
‘I’m the girl Illy’s seeing,’ Kayla confessed after a few drinks.
At that, Will admitted he was attracted to Kayla.
‘We’re like a big family, why don’t we all be together?’ he said.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing – this was my dream situation!
‘I’m not sure,’ Kayla said, a bit apprehensive. ‘I need to think about it.’
I encouraged them to start going on their own dates, but we didn’t do anything as a three.
In 2015, Will and I got married, with Kayla there along with 20 guests.
Then, a year after our chat, the three of us dated together.
Lying in bed between them, I felt blissfully happy.
By January 2017, Kayla moved in with us and officially joined our relationship.
At this point, I was pregnant again.
Kayla was already like a second mum to Merliah, so we agreed the bub would have three parents.
She also wanted to have her own baby and we were all overjoyed when she fell pregnant.
Now, the three of us are parents to Merliah, five, Willow, two, and Xander, one. Merliah has chosen to call Kayla, ‘Mummy’, me, ‘Mummy-o’ and Will, ‘Daddy-o’.
Luckily, our families have been very supportive of our set-up.
In the next year, we plan to have a ceremony where Kayla will take our surname and we’ll celebrate our love.
Some people might find our situation strange, but it’s exactly the same as any other relationship, just with an extra person.
We’re all incredibly happy and that’s all that matters.
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