As I led the man I'd just met into the coffee shop , I couldn't quite believe what I was doing.
I'd only got chatting to David a few minutes earlier in a nearby clothing store, but there had been a real spark between us.
"I'm only in town for work," he said. "I don't suppose you know a good place for coffee, do you?"
Grinning, I'd told him I did.
I'd never done anything like this before. Now, looking across the table into his twinkling blue eyes, I felt nervous.
Luckily, David soon put me at ease. Like me, he was divorced and had grown up kids who were his world.
This guy is too good to be true, I thought.
We exchanged numbers and during long phone calls we got to know each other better.
David told me he'd been in the army and now owned shares in a factory that sold top secret components to the Ministry of Defence.
As well as all the excitement, he'd experienced sadness in his life too: he'd lost his second wife, a professional ballerina, in a car accident a few years earlier.
My heart went out to him. I thought David was one of the kindest men I'd ever met.
Our romance wasn't easy because we lived hundreds of kilometres away from each other, but he visited when he could and spoke on the phone all the time. I knew I was falling for him.
Annoyingly, on my first ever visit to David's house, I came down with a terrible tummy bug .
Talk about a romance killer, I thought.
"I'm so sorry," I said to David, as he cleaned up after me.
"We're supposed to be in the honeymoon stage."
"Don't you worry about it," he said, smiling.
I knew then he was a keeper.
Unfortunately, I couldn't seem to shake my tummy bug, and I started losing weight.
David was so great through it all. He'd visit me most weekends armed with plenty of home-cooked soups and spag bol to help keep my strength up.
Thankfully, when my 60th birthday came around, I was feeling better. I couldn't believe it when David whisked me to Mexico and proposed.
We had a small wedding when we got back and made plans to move in together. Before we could do that, David needed to sell his shares in the factory so we could buy a place.
At that time, my health started to deteriorate again. After one particularly bad bout of sickness, I woke up naked on the bathroom floor, covered in my own mess, with David hovering over me in tears.
"Liz, I thought I'd lost you," he cried.
He held me in his arms and helped me to wash off in the bath tub.
In the end, I was so sick, I had to be admitted to hospital. One doctor there was convinced I had motor neurone disease, but despite test after test, I never received a diagnosis.
One day when I was well enough to walk into town, I went to get some cash out and while I was there, I printed off a mini statement.
"What on earth....?" I panicked when I read it.
Since I'd been sick, I'd not paid much attention to my finances. But looking over the transactions at home, I noticed a pattern. The big withdrawals that had been made were always on the weekends and coincided with the dates when David had visited.
Shaking, I phoned David and told him about the missing money.
"Are you accusing me of stealing from you?" he asked angrily.
"Of course not," I said. "But if it wasn't you, who was it?"
Baffled, I rang the bank and told them my card had been cloned. While they investigated, I withdrew my remaining $5000 and locked it in a safe at home.
Over the coming weeks, my health got worse. David even turned up unannounced because he was so worried about me. He took me for a drive to get me out of the house, but when we returned home, I was shocked to find my front door was wide open.
"I'll go and investigate," he said, parking and running in.
When David walked back over to the car, his face was white. "There's been a break in," he said.
The safe was empty and my money was gone.
We called the police who came to take statements.
The next day, one of the officers knocked on the door and asked to speak to me privately.
"Liz, your whole world is about to come crashing down," he said.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Your husband staged the break in," he said. "We found the $5000 in the boot of his car."
My legs buckled and I fell to floor.
David was the love of my life. How could he have done this to me?
I wanted to talk to him but by then he'd already been arrested and taken away.
After that, I did some digging and found out everything David had told me was a lie. He'd never been in the army and he was a toolmaker at the factory, not a shareholder.
What's more, his first wife was alive and well!
He was nothing but a thief and a fantasist.
But while I was an emotional wreck, something unexpected happened - my health recovered. My family had always been concerned that David's rich food was not good for my sensitive stomach as my bouts of sickness always seemed to coincide with his visits.
Now I wondered if there was more to it.
Desperate to find out, I rang David who was out on bail. I made up a story, saying doctors were doing toxicology tests on some old blood samples of mine. Then I started to record the conversation.
"It's funny because since you left I've been feeling like my old self again," I said.
"Please don't go to the police," he said, flustered.
He admitted lacing my food with laxatives. So my illness really wasn't a mystery at all.
David had been poisoning me for three years, since right at the beginning of our relationship.
My shock turned to anger.
"You could have killed me!" I screamed.
"It was only laxatives," he said. "Please don't take me away from my children."
I was furious. I guessed he'd wanted me weak and vulnerable so I wouldn't notice the money going missing from my account.
I took our recorded conversation straight to the police.
Afterwards, David sent me a photo of himself with a tube up his nose, claiming he had cancer. I no longer knew what to believe.
In time he appeared in court where he admitted administering laxatives, and was sentenced to jail for three-and-a-half years for poisoning me.
Separately, David was also convicted of theft and ordered to serve 150 hours of community service.
I want everyone to know what a cruel, callous man David Smith is.
My heart may be smashed to pieces but, after everything I've been through, I know I'm lucky to be alive.