Guys, it is Officially Christmas. To celebrate this joyous day, I wanted to share the best love story my little ears have ever heard. You lucky piggies.
For new readers, a quick history: over the last few months, I have undertaken a quest to share real-life love stories to bring cheer and fuzzy feelings after The Shittest Year Ever™. I’m not sure why I chose to do this, probably because I am a) nosy and b) thirsty for love.
I started with a Love Story series on Twitter couples, but this story is a little different. It doesn’t start online, but in good, old fashioned, Real Life. I know. It’s stars my precious friend Bethy. Bethy is one of those humans who come into your life once in a lifetime if you’re very lucky. Kind, caring, funny, honest, incredibly thoughtful, Bethy lets you exist in her presence without trying to change or judge you. She is walking sunshine and her love story with Mike is one of the most glorious, tense, dramatic and beautiful tales – that takes your breath away a little bit.
Okay I think it’s time to get into it. Just a heads up, they are a private pair, so instead of sharing photos, I shall be sharing my favourite Christmas decorations from my parents house. You’re very welcome. And Merry Christmas.
Hello Bethy and Mike! Now this is a story of two halves, so Bethy is up first… ❤
How did the two of you first meet & what was your first impression?
Beth – We met at university – we both studied English. Mike never used to go to lectures, but he did go to seminars every now and then and he was moved into mine a few weeks in. He sat next to me and I heard his stomach rumble so I bought a brownie with me the week afterwards and I offered it to him. Creepy? Who knows. But our friendship blossomed from there and I knew something would happen but I wasn’t sure what. He was so intelligent and unassuming in that class and I was drawn to him!
Giving him a brownie is so adorable and the most Beth thing ever. So, when did you realise it was more than Just Pals?
Beth – I was lying down on the floor in my bedroom at uni. We’d been friends for two years at this point and it was just before the end of term, and I know it sounds like I’m making it up, but I was just staring at the ceiling and suddenly realised I liked him. I called him straight away and asked if I could see him that evening and he completely blew me off… sheesh.
Ha! He should have magically known! So what happened when you both went home from uni for the summer?
Beth – I helped him pack up his things to go home (I say helped … I sat on his bed and talked to him while he did it). He felt really unwell, but I thought it was because he was hungover and I kept telling him to get over it (whoops). We’d finally kissed at this point and he promised we would stay in touch over the summer … that he might come to visit. He didn’t though – he wasn’t responding to any of my texts and I figured he’d changed his mind about me to be honest and felt really sad. And then I received a Facebook message from one of his best friends and my heart was already racing because I’d never met this guy so I couldn’t think why he would need to message me. (We’re now good friends and I thank GOD that he is such a good egg and that he took the time to get in touch). He told me that Mike was in intensive care and that they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him.
Oh my god that is so intense. What did you do?
Beth – I fell on the floor in a very dramatic way – you know how they do in films? I’m overly dramatic so I thought my parents would just tell me to pull myself together and that everything would be fine. But my dad helped me off the floor and my mum drove me straight to the hospital in Canterbury … We didn’t speak a word to each other the whole way, which – anyone who knows me would understand – is pretty crazy.
Oh poor Bethy! What happened when you got there?
Beth – Mike was in a coma so I switched between the hospital, Mike’s house and my aunt and uncle’s – they live near Canterbury hospital and were absolutely amazing for the whole three weeks. I would head to the hospital first thing in the morning and stay next to him all day long – only leaving to go to the toilet or greet his friends that came to visit. Then I would sleep for 4 hours and do it all again.
You must have felt so scared.
Beth – I didn’t stop feeling scared. I faked feeling fine, but deep down it was awful. I called my best friend during that time and she would say “he’s not going to die, there’s just no way”. But every now and then I would just break into tears and think that the last thing I had said to him was something stupid like “see you next spring!” Which doesn’t even make sense. None of it felt real. One friend, who I hadn’t told about Mike being ill yet, sent me a card in the post out of the blue and my mum opened it for me. She’d wanted to tell me how neither of us needed men in our lives – just each other. It said on the front “Not all Men are stupid, some of them are dead”. It was the first time I laughed out loud – hysterical laughing – because what the heck are the chances of that?
Hahaha oh my GOD! So what happened to Mike?
Beth – One day, he just woke up! And when I went in to see him, I just said ‘I’ve told your family I’m your girlfriend, I hope thats okay!’ and he just had a little tear in his eye and nodded!
Precious! So when Mike was feeling all better, what was the first date you went on?
Beth – It’s not really a date I guess, but Mike’s Mum put on a big celebration dinner a week or so after he’d come out of hospital. I absolutely hate fish and when I came into the kitchen she asked if I’d like salmon or haddock. I was so worried about making a good impression that I panicked and said salmon. Half way through the meal, Mike’s little nephew (about two years old at the time) started heaving which set me off … I threw up in my mouth right there at the table. That’s too much information isn’t it? What a way to celebrate Mike being alive!
Hahahahahaah! It’s the perfect amount of information in my book.
And lastly, What’s your favourite thing about Mike?
Cutting through everything – and there are a million things – my life is just better with Mike in it. He is so kind and funny and down to earth and – I still can’t quite believe it but – he knows everything about me, has seen me at my very worst, and he still loves me and wants to make me happy. He is the kind of guy who queues in the rain for hours to get a book signed by someone you love … and if you find someone like that you just want to cuddle them forever and never let them go.
Oh and I love how much he loves food – it’s made me appreciate it more. Oh and I love that he can only wear earphones in his left ear and that they just fall out of the right one … that just makes me laugh.
Oh Bethy. So many fuzzzzzy feels – you guys are adorable!
So Mike, I guess the story is kind of different from your eyes! What happened after you left uni for the summer?
Mike – The day I left uni I felt a bit dodgy, but put it down to being hungover. After that day I was fine for a while, until I went to gig with my friend and had to wait outside because I felt so awful – common flu symptoms, but worse. I was bed-bound but I didn’t think that anything could be really wrong. I was throwing up and had a high temperature and couldn’t really get out of bed, so my mum and dad got the GP to come over. He was instantly worried (thankfully) and made me go straight to hospital where I was checked over.
They couldn’t work out what was wrong with me as the symptoms were just those of a common flu, but – as I was told after the ordeal – at this point my kidneys were failing and people started to get really worried.
They decided to put me into a coma and send me to ICU, where I was under for a few weeks. I had Lemierre’s syndrome – which can be so dangerous – it seems like flu symptoms but all the time bacteria is attacking vital organs and causing pneumonia… bad times.
Then things turned around quite quickly and after a quick recovery I was back home and recovering, with Beth there with me most of the time.
What were you aware that was happening?
Mike – My memory of it ends when I walked into hospital with mum and dad and had what seemed like a pretty routine assessment. It must have been hell for everyone else but the whole coma period was okay for me – I had a really vivid dream about being in California with Beth’s uncle (who I’d seen a picture of on Facebook a couple of weeks earlier) and Don Draper’s niece from Mad Men.
When I woke up I was confused – I thought I was in Edinburgh hospital for some reason and I was hallucinating quite badly, but gradually understood what was going on and saw my family and had to get strong enough to be moved onto a ward.
And then I was told that Beth had been to see me a lot – which made me really happy – and just before I got moved onto the ward she visited for the first time after the coma. I was nervous, in part because my sister showed me my face for the first time in what seemed like forever, just before Beth arrived, and my eyes were bright red – like demon red. So obviously I was worried she’d be freaked out.
She probably was but she didn’t show it and it was amazing to have her there, after what must have been an absolutely horrendous few weeks for her.
She is such a gem, she must have just been thrilled to see you awake! So, what’s your favourite thing about Beth?
Mike – It’s hard to choose one thing. She’s kind-hearted, generous, beautiful, funny. This might sound strange, but I love how emotional she is, like compared to her I’m an empty vase. I have lots of layers of self-consciousness before you get to whether I’m happy or sad, but with Beth she feels all of her emotions under the thinnest layer, like the route to her emotional core is a lot shorter than mine – if she’s happy, she’s just infectiously happy. If she’s sad, you know about it and you want to make it better.
I love how much she invests in people. Her expectations of people are incredibly high, because she would give an unlimited amount of her time and would do anything possible to make most people happy. These high expectations can also mean that she’s quite often let down – not everyone in the world has the same expectations of each other, and that’s fine. But it means that if you’re lucky enough to be her friend or part of her life, you see every day how good she is as a person and how lucky you are to have her. There aren’t many people who would listen as intently to your conversations, take an interest in your life or do something for you at the drop of a hat – just because she genuinely wants to. And getting to be with someone like that makes me a lucky lucky man.
Oh my god I am balling my eyes out, what a beautiful thing to say. Thank you both so very much for sharing your lovely story, I feel extremely honoured ❤
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