The pair hit it off instantly and began dating long-distance after Rachel returned home to Sydney.
For six months, Rachel and Peter flew between the two cities, staying in a hotel when they were in Melbourne to avoid the four-hour round trip to Peter’s home in Bendigo.
‘We made it work best we could,’ Rachel says.
Eventually, Peter moved to Sydney.
Getting a flat together, Peter found work as a paramedic.
After three-months, Peter told Rachel’s parents he planned to propose on Christmas Day. Life couldn’t have been better.
Then, in the early hours one morning, the phone rang at their flat. When Rachel answered a female voice demanded to speak to her husband.
Rachel said she must have the wrong number.
'Peter Walton is my husband,' the woman said.
It turns out Peter had been married for 15 years and had two sons aged seven and 13. He’d told his family he was going to visit his sister and had never returned.
The next day a heart-broken Rachel made Peter pack his bags and she put him on a plane back to Melbourne.
‘I can’t believe he had this whole other life,’ Rachel says. ‘I never suspected a thing!'