I thought Michael was my one true love but fate had other plans…
By Lisa Manso, 28, from Hyde, Cheshire
I made my way from the kitchen to the lounge, edging my way past merry family members, with a wineglass in my hand.
I’d perched on the end of a make-do party stool when Michael, 33, walked into the room. His eyes immediately met mine.
‘Lisa!’ He exclaimed.
I pounced off my seat and ran into his arms.
As he hugged me tight, all the memories of our time together came flooding back.
‘How long has it been since we last saw each other?’ I asked, trying to calculate just how many years had passed since we’d dated as childhood sweethearts.
‘I make it eight years,’ he said. ‘You were my first love,’ he laughed.
‘Mine too,’ I blushed, as I thought back to Michael asking me out when I was just 13-years-old.
We’d been as thick as thieves for seven months before he moved away with his family and we lost touch.
I’d been devastated at the time, but so much had happened since then. I was now a single mum to three gorgeous girls, Ashley, now eight, Jade, nine and Leah, 11.
Thankfully his family had still kept in touch with mine and here he was, my past being served up as my present.
We spent the rest of the evening side-by-side and when he asked me for my number at the end of the night, I felt like a silly schoolgirl again.
He took me out for a drink a few days later and from then on we were as hooked on each other as we had been when we were loved-up teenagers.
I couldn’t believe my luck. Some people wait a lifetime to meet their soul mate, yet fate had given me another chance with mine.
As someone who believed in destiny and frequently visited psychics, there was no doubt about it, Mike walking back into my life was a sign that we were meant to be.
So when he popped the question the following year in December 2010, I immediately said yes. Fate had delivered Michael back to me.
I picked out a gorgeous white gown and the beautiful bridesmaids’ dresses as well as paying for the venue at a grand five star hotel. No expense was spared and all the wheels were set in motion.
‘I can’t wait to tie the knot,’ I gushed to my mate Kathryn, 35, in July 2013, one month before my dream wedding. ‘But I wouldn’t mind visiting to a psychic to have one last reading as a single woman, just to put my mind at ease.’
Kathryn smiled. ‘I have just the lady for you,’ she said, handing me a card with a number on it. ‘Her name is Mrs Ray and she’s fantastic.’
Eager for some last-minute spiritual guidance, I called her up and arranged an appointment a few weeks before the big day.
Although I had dragged Kathryn along for some moral support, I was still nervous and my heart raced as I knocked on the fortune teller’s door.
Not that anyone could have prepared me for the first words on her lips.
‘The wedding won’t go ahead,’ she said as soon as I walked into the room. My mouth fell open in shock. How did she even know I was engaged? I’d purposefully taken my engagement ring off so as not to give away any clues!
‘I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news but this isn’t for you,’ she went on.
I was stunned but listened intently as she explained that fate had different plans for me.
‘Your real wedding will be small and intimate,’ she added.
I left her house in shock. The psychic couldn’t be right… could she?
I tried to put her reading to the back of my mind – after all, our £6,000 wedding was booked for just a few weeks’ time – but soon, it became impossible to ignore.
Michael and I had been arguing a lot, our flat was falling apart and I was stuck in a dead end job.
I thought: Was my big white wedding masking a deeper set of problems?
With my psychic’s words still ringing in my ears, I sat Michael down.
‘I think we should delay our wedding,’ I confessed.
My would-be groom looked crestfallen. ‘Why?’ He asked, the colour draining from his face.
I said: ‘Because I take marriage seriously and I only want to get married once.’ My voice broke but there was no turning back. ‘I’m scared that if we marry now we won’t make it,’ I continued.
Michael was devastated and reluctantly agreed to wait until I was completely ready.
But it wasn’t a case of timing. I simply couldn’t shake what the fortune teller told me that day: Fate has other plans for me.
I tried my best to make it work with Michael but as our argueing spiralled, I became less convinced that we were destined to be together.
Unable to paper over the cracks, I split with Michael for good four months later. I had to follow my heart – and the stars.
Then in July 2015 I visited my psychic for a reading when she dropped a bombshell.
She said: ‘I see a man arriving in your life.’
I let out a nervous laugh.
‘I like this one, Lisa,’ she smiled. ‘I’m getting very warm feelings from him.’
I left with a fuzzy feeling in my stomach but took it all with a pinch of salt. I was a busy mother of three and didn’t have the time to meet my soulmate.
However just four months later in November I was out with my friends celebrating my birthday when I noticed a tall, dark, handsome man behind the bar.
He was gorgeous but I couldn’t muster the courage to speak to him that night and left without so much as giving him a ‘hi’.
I tossed and turned in bed that night. I couldn’t get him out of my head. I thought: my psychic had been right before, could she be right again?
So when he happened to be working the next time my friends and I were in the bar I seized my opportunity and asked him for his number.
His name was Bruno, 41, and he was Portuguese.
We arranged to go for dinner soon after and as we talked over drinks, I felt a spark with him unlike I’d ever experienced before. I felt like I had known him all my life.
We soon became an item and in April this year, we were sitting at the bar where he worked when I spun around on my stool to see Bruno, down on one knee.
‘What are you doing?’ I asked, convinced he was fooling around.
‘Sod it,’ he said, getting down on both knees and staring up at me with his wide brown eyes.
‘What?’ I asked again, I had no idea what was going on.
‘Will you marry me, Lisa Manso?’ he asked. In his hand was a ring made from a black straw.
I couldn’t believe I was hearing these beautiful words from him. ‘Yes!’ I screamed! He sprang up from the ground and kissed me.
I thought: This is what Mrs Ray was talking about.
I spent the rest of the night showing off my black plastic ring to all the punters in the bar. I didn’t care it was makeshift. It was the most romantic gesture I’d ever had.
The ring didn’t matter and neither did the wedding dress or the size of the venue. All that mattered was that Bruno and I were together for the rest of our lives.
We’re set to tie the knot in a small ceremony in Portugal in 2018. This time it feels right. I feel ready to say I do.
As I prepare to marry the man I am certain is my true love, I’m so glad I listened to my psychic’s advice.
It may have cost me £6,000 but I’m convinced I’d be divorced by now if I’d gone through with the wedding. You can’t put a price on meeting your soulmate.
This time, my love with Bruno is written in the stars.