Here, Sally, tells the story in her own words.
￼Taking a sip of my champagne, I smiled at my handsome date. How lucky am I to have a job I love? I thought.
We looked like just another couple enjoying a meal, but it was really a business transaction.
See, men paid me to be their date.
A single mum-of-two, with bills piling up, I’d advertised my services. And it was amazing how many blokes were looking for someone to simply kiss and cuddle, enjoy a drink out or just talk.
‘Do you mind watching the kids tonight?’ I’d ask my neighbour, Debbie. ‘Of course!’ she’d say.
Over the years we’d lived next door to each other, we’d become firm friends. And since Debbie couldn’t have kids of her own, she loved time with mine.
Still, I’d kept my work a secret – I didn’t want anyone to judge me.
One day, my phone buzzed with a strange number. New client, I thought.
‘Are you free for a drink tonight?’ he asked, suggesting a fancy restaurant in the next town over.
It was late notice, but Debbie was thrilled to look after the kids.
‘Mick’s working late tonight anyway – you two will keep me company won’t you?’ she grinned, wrapping my bubs in a hug.
Debbie’s hubby spent lots of late nights at the office.
Walking in to the restaurant, I scanned the room for my date who said he’d be wearing a bright red button-up shirt.
You’ve got to be kidding, I thought, spotting him at a candlelit table in the corner. It was Mick - Debbie’s husband.
Catching my eye, he looked as startled as me.
As I turned to leave, Mick strode towards me, putting a hand on my shoulder. ‘Sally,’ he said. ‘I’d love to just talk.’
Drinks turned into dinner and the hours slipped away.
‘My marriage is falling apart,’ he said, sharing that he and Debbie hadn’t been intimate in two years.
As he leaned in for a kiss, my friend’s face flashed in my mind. His wife is looking after my kids! I thought. But the hunger in Mick’s eyes was intoxicating and I let him put his lips on mine.
Infatuated, we began spending several nights a week together – while Debbie babysat. Quickly, we fell deeply in love.
Promising to leave Debbie, Mick even proposed to me. ‘I think Mick’s cheating on me,’ Debbie confided one day.
Consoling her, I felt sick with guilt. She had no idea I was betraying her. And after all she’d done for me.
After taking the kids away one weekend, I knocked on Debbie’s door to give her a pressie the kids had bought her. But no one answered and the house looked empty. Phoning Mick repeatedly, each call went to voicemail.
We’d been seeing each other for three years. All of a sudden, he was just gone...
I was too ashamed to dial Debbie’s number to find out where he was. What if she knows? I thought, disgusted with myself.
Two years on, I haven’t heard a peep from either of them, but I learnt my lesson. Now, I work as a beautician. And it’s all well and good to love thy neighbour – but I took it way too far.
Read more in this week's issue of that's life, on sale now.