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Real Life

REAL LIFE: I fell in love with my son's best friend

I was only trying to help, but I couldn’t ignore how I felt.

By As told to Take 5

Mandy, 48, Perth, WA, shares her true confession;

My son Blake, 14, walked through the door followed by a strange kid I hadn't seen before.
"This is Tyson," he said. "He needs a place to stay."
Tyson, whose greasy, long chocolate hair fell over his face, shook my hand and introduced himself politely.
Hearing his full name jolted my memory.
I'd met Tyson's mum, Debra, before at a school sports carnival and knew she was a real piece of work.
She claimed to have broken her leg at her job as a cleaner, but that didn't stop her from getting blotto at the club every night and blowing all her Centrelink payment on booze.
My husband, Ian, agreed Tyson needed our help.
Taking one look at him, who was skin and bones, I wondered if the poor little bugger had ever had a proper feed in his life.
"Make yourself at home, love," I told him.
Over the next few weeks, Blake started bringing Tyson home more often.
"His mum's got a new bloke and they're always getting wasted," Blake told me.
That didn't surprise me.
I became a second mother to him.
I cleaned out the spare room so Tyson could crash there whenever he liked.
He was so grateful, he even mowed the lawn and pitched in with the cooking.
"You're a great helper," I encouraged.
"It's my pleasure, Mum," Tyson smiled.
Mum? I thought.
His words nearly brought me to tears, while another part of me wanted to strangle Debra for having so little concern for her child.
Ian didn't mind.
Tyson and Blake were good mates, and while Blake stayed at school, Tyson went to TAFE and became a mechanic.
By now, he was muscly and really popular with the ladies.
He dated a few girls before getting serious with one and moving out in his twenties.
"I want you to know how much I appreciate what you've done for me," he said.
I threw my arms around him.
"You've become like a second son to me," I said. "You're always welcome here."
Tyson was so helpful around the house.
Tyson flashed me a smile. "Thanks Mum."
Not long after Ian and I separated.
He claimed the marriage had gone stale, and moved into Tyson's room while the divorce settlement was underway.
Tyson still popped over once a week, even if Blake was out with his girlfriend.
I looked forward to Tyson's visits – his absence made me realise how much I missed having him around.
One night while Blake was on holidays and Ian was on a date, he turned up unannounced looking frazzled.
"What's wrong?" I asked, certain I could smell booze.
Tyson explained how his girlfriend had dumped him for another guy who she reckoned was rich and could give her a better life.
We sat together for hours while I listened to him pour his heart out.
"I wish I could find someone I like as much as I do you," he mumbled.
What?!
"No other woman's ever treated me like you," he continued before I could reply.
Staring into his gorgeous eyes, I felt butterflies in my tummy.
I've never felt this loved before.
In a split-second, we started kissing before going into the bedroom.
Since then, we've been meeting up regularly but keeping our liaisons secret.
Tyson, now 30, insists I'm the one for him and, if I'm honest, the feeling's mutual, even if there's nearly 20 years between us.
Although we're both adults and not at all related, we're worried what other people are going to say.
I just hope Blake doesn't hate me if he ever finds out, because I've never felt this loved before.

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