I was undergoing fertility treatment, I needed my fiance – so where was he…
By Rachel Egley, 26, from Chesterfield
I flicked my towel free of sand and stretched out under the blistering Spanish sun. I drew in a deep breath of salty sea air and was about to drift off when I heard a deep voice.
A tall, dark, handsome stranger was towering above me.
My friend Ben, who was lying beside me, introduced us. ‘This is Sercan,’ he said. I sat up and said hi, hoping my suntan would conceal my red cheeks. I was blushing!
‘How long have you been here?’ He asked me. It was 2010 and I had moved to Malaga the previous year to work in a bar.
The last thing I was looking for was a serious relationship but there was something special about Sercan.
He explained that he was Dutch and worked in a hotel that just happened to be on the same street as my work.
‘I’ll see you soon,’ he said to me with a twinkle in his eye as walked away, but I didn’t expect to. I didn’t even have a mobile so there was no way I could give him my number.
But fate had different plans and later on that evening we bumped into each other again.
‘Why don’t you come out to a club with me?’ He smiled.
My tummy flipped. ‘Sure,’ I said, pretending to be calm. ‘I don’t have any other plans.’
We spent the rest of the night talking and laughing together. Time flew by. It felt like we’d known each other for years.
‘I will be taking you back to Holland with me,’ he joked at the end of the night.
I giggled nervously but was silenced when he leant over and kissed me passionately goodbye.
From that moment on we became inseparable. I’d not just found a lover I’d discovered a new best friend.
Sercan and I did everything together. This included partying and we would often spend a night dancing away at one of the glitzy, promenade clubs.
So I thought nothing of it when he asked me out to Club TMF one balmy night in June, 2010.
We were jumping around to some heavy beats when suddenly the DJ cut the tune.
I looked around, bewildered. ‘Was something wrong?’ I asked myself.
When I turned back, Sercan was down on one knee.
In his hand was a shiny, silver ring. The diamantes glistened underneath the discoballs.
‘Will you marry me?’ He asked with a Cheshire Cat grin.
I clasped my hands around my mouth in shock.
When the meaning of his words finally dawned on me, I wrapped my arms around him.
‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ I replied, three times, unable to stop myself. It seemed like the most important word I’d ever said.
The crowd around us erupted into cheers. It was like a scene from a movie and we were the romantic leads.
We were so happy and now that we were engaged, we began to discuss the future.
‘I’ve always wanted kids,’ Sercan told me one day. ‘I want a football team!’
I gasped. ‘Two is the maximum,’ I reasoned. ‘But we can start trying now.’
Sercan beamed. I knew he would make a great father and I couldn’t wait to start a family with him.
Our relationship grew from strength to strength but by 2012, I was pining for my home in England.
‘Why don’t we move back?’ he suggested.
‘Are you sure?’ I asked in disbelief. Sercan loved Spain and I knew it would be hard for him to readjust.
‘I’d do anything for you,’ he said. ‘I’ll find a job and we can look at settling down there.’
I was over-the-moon. I felt like the luckiest girl alive to have such an understanding man and in December 2012 we moved back to the UK.
Everything seemed to be falling into place – but there was still something missing.
We’d been trying for a baby for over two years and I still hadn’t fallen pregnant.
Doctors ran a series of tests and diagnosed me with endometriosis. I already knew I had polycystic ovarian syndrome so this was a double blow.
‘We’re going to have to remove the blockage,’ the consultant told me. ‘Your chances of conceiving depend on it.’
I was devastated. I didn’t want to go under the knife but I knew I had to if Sercan and I were to ever have a family of our own.
Our hopes of a baby hinged on the success of the procedure and we were beside ourselves with worry.
I was scheduled for the procedure in September 2013.
Sercan was, as ever, his usual supportive self.
‘You’re going to be fine,’ he soothed. ‘I’ll be there to hold your hand every step of the way.’
‘I’m terrified of needles,’ I told him. ‘They give me panic attacks.’
But Sercan wrapped me in a reassuring hug. ‘I’ll be there when you close your eyes and I’ll be there when you open them.’ he assured me. ‘We’ll get you better in no time.’
But in June of that year the manager of the restaurant where Sercan had worked in Spain got in touch, offering him a job over the summer.
‘What about my operation?’ I asked him.
‘It’s just for the summer season,’ he said.
I didn’t want him to go but I understood that it was a fantastic opportunity for him. We’d both lost our jobs the previous month and we really needed the money.
‘I’ll be back for your surgery,’ he whispered as he kissed me goodbye. ‘I promise.’
I cried when I waved Sercan off at the airport. ‘It’s not permanent,’ I told myself. But in reality I was miserable. I wasn’t going to see my fiance for three months.
We kept in touch but when the day of my operation finally arrived, my knight in shining armour was nowhere to be seen.
I was terrified.
I wept in the passenger street as my mum drove me to the hospital.
As I was wheeled into theatre alone, tears streamed down my face. I was going through surgery in a bid to start a family with him and he couldn’t even be bothered to show up!
This wasn’t the Sercan I knew. He’d always been my rock.
The day after my operation I finally had the strength to check Facebook. What I saw shocked me to the core.
My fiance was photographed smiling… with another girl!
When I confronted Sercan on the phone he didn’t even deny there was something going on.
‘I’ve been seeing her since I moved back,’ my groom-to-be confessed. ‘I love her.’
I slammed down the phone in a rage. How could he be so callous?
I’d been on the operating table having surgery in a bid to have a baby with him and he’d been falling in love with another girl in the sun! I was livid.
Not only did my scars need to heal, I had to mend my broken heart.
But a month later Sercan contacted me out of the blue begging me to take him back.
I was having none of it. That was until he returned to the UK over Christmas to save our engagement.
‘This is your last chance,’ I warned him.
He nodded sheepishly. I hoped he’d learned his lesson.
But when he came home from a night out in December last year smelling of perfume I knew it was over and dumped him for good.
‘This isn’t working,’ I bristled. ‘I want you to leave.’ He looked hurt. ‘But I love you,’ he protested.
He pleaded with me to let him stay but I’d had enough of his lies. Sercan’s apologies were as empty as his promises.
A leopard never changes its spots.
I wasn’t going to spend my life waiting for him to grow up. He may have broken my heart, but not my spirit.
I’m just glad Sercan showed his true colours before we started a family together.
Sercan says: “The story is unfortunately very true. I feel sorry for how things went between me and Rachel. I hope Rachel will be okay and happy.”