Jamie Foxx is teaming up with the crew behind John Wick for a new Netflix vampire movie, Day Shift. John Wick stunt coordinator JJ Perry is set to make…
On March 7 2017, I woke up at 3am to a phone call telling me to rush to Kings College Hospital because my ex had tried to take his own life.
I’d been with him the night before. Jack and I had been separated for around six-months but bumped into one another at a karaoke night in London, did a duet of Kate Nash’s Foundations, shared a drunken kiss and then had a row because I didn’t want to rekindle our relationship.
I travelled to the hospital in a hellish state of panic, worrying about the state I’d find him in and the way we’d left things just hours before.
I expected to find a woozy Jack in A&E; instead he was brought in on a stretcher with a police escort and was rushed into emergency surgery. My panic intensified as the weight of the situation hit me.
All of my anger about the previous evening’s argument immediately lifted and my mind ran frantically through all of the happy memories we’d accumulated over the past five years.
After what felt like hours alone in the family room, I was taken to the ICU to sit beside him. Jack was in a medically induced coma, a state in which he would stay for the following 12 days.
I sat in a plastic hospital chair, by his bedside, awash with guilt and grief.
His family arrived in the late afternoon and we were told that the likelihood of Jack waking up was slim, and if he did there was a severe chance that he’d lack significant brain functionality.
We all sobbed as if we’d already lost him and I desperately wished away the past six-months of a hellish break-up, imagining that we could go back to when everything was OK.
Jack and I met at college in 2013 and were initially just friends. But as we got closer romantically, we considered ourselves love’s young dream.
We’d listen to The 1975 together, writing ‘You’re So Cool’ on cigarette packets and watch True Romance and 500 Days of Summer whilst bunking off.
In September 2015, I was set to move to London for university and Jack dropped everything to follow me, bagging a last minute place to study music journalism.
The cracks started to show in our first year. Jack became sullen, miserable around my new friends and an impossible person to be with on a night out. He drank to excess and developed what he now considers a cocaine addiction.
He refused to invite me out with his new friends, lying about who he was with and coming home sheepish and tight-lipped about the previous evenings’ activities. On one occasion, he took me to a party with his friends and cheated on me while I was asleep in an upstairs bedroom.
I broke up with him soon after knowing I deserved better but we both became petty and unreasonable in the aftermath, acting with malice in an attempt to hurt each other.
He’d message me to tell me he’d slept with a friend of mine, I’d turn up at an event I knew he’d be at and flirt with his friends. We were both childish and hurt, missing the inseparable friendship we’d lost.
As I sat with him in the hospital, the lines between romantic love and friendship blurred. My reaction to the situation assured me I loved him, and as the happy moments in our relationship continued to play on a loop in my head, I forgot the ways he mistreated me.
He eventually woke up, confused and bewildered, but happy to see me. Neither of us mentioned the break up – we were just happy to be back in each other’s company.
Each day Jack made small steps towards a miraculous recovery, slowly getting facets of his personality back.
Against all the odds, he was discharged almost a month later but he had sustained a permanent hypoxic brain injury that meant he struggled with reduced cognitive functions, had a terrible memory and developed a form of epilepsy. He was forced to abandon his life goal of becoming a music journalist.
Back at home, having spent so much time together, we settled back into old habits as boyfriend and girlfriend without addressing the fact that we were technically exes. Jack was learning to live with this whole new element to his life and I was too nervous to bring up something that would cause us both pain.
But the cracks that had previously existed between us became apparent almost instantly and put too much of a strain on our relationship – both romantically and as friends.
We stopped speaking again and moved on with our lives. I got a new boyfriend and Jack settled into his new way of life.
It wasn’t until we saw one another at a birthday party a few months later that we were able to put the bad blood and conflict behind us. It was an instinctive choice; we were both so eager to catch up on the lives we knew inside and out, and fundamentally missed each other’s friendship.
For the first time ever, we were both open about discussing our history and could be truly honest with each other about our emotions.
Today I consider Jack one of my closest friends. I often go to Leeds to see him and he regularly makes trips to London to spend time with me and my new boyfriend.
As a person, Jack has changed. Previously, his bad mental health manifested as an attitude of ‘I don’t need anybody’, and it inevitably drew a wedge between us.
His time in hospital taught him that he needed the love of his friends and family in order to thrive, and he became kinder and more caring as a result.
But it was the time we spent together during Jack’s recuperation that reminded us there was a reason we’d bonded so well as teenagers. When we first split up, Jack’s mum told me that some people thrive as best friends and make truly horrific partners – this was us through and through.
Today, Jack is re-evaluating not just what he wants to do with his life, but what he will realistically be able to do. He goes to the gym, volunteers at his local Oxfam and loves local gigs in Leeds. His mental health has come on leaps and bounds and he attributes regular exercise, getting clean and antidepressants to getting him out of that dark place.
Our relationship has taught me – taught both of us – that love is ever-evolving. The way I felt for Jack has changed and adapted over time, just as we’ve both changed too. We’ve yo-yoed from being best friends to people in love and back to best friends again.
People often think it’s strange to be friends with an ex, but I feel it’s more unusual to go from being so intensely close to someone to not knowing them at all.
We’ve both made plenty of mistakes throughout the course of our seven year relationship, and have, in turn, reached a close bond that’s entirely devoid of romantic connection.
It’s probably the closest bond we’ve had since the day we met.
Last week on Love, Or Something Like It: My dog was one of the loves of my life, and now he’s gone
SHARE YOUR LOVE STORY
Love, Or Something Like It is a regular series for Metro.co.uk, covering everything from mating and dating to lust and loss, to find out what love is and how to find it in the present day. If you have a love story to share, email [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article