Over the last week I have been extremely unwell. I was invited to an event on Friday and a group of Girls and I went along to schmooze for work…because I knew the company that was hosting the event I arranged for Invitations for Hugh and his clients to go along….Being at that event was probably one of the most painful experiences of my life, I was just recovering from being unwell and to top it off…It was the day that was going to change Hugh and I forever….It was the day that I thought I would NEVER see him again!

As I am sitting here right now I have flashbacks from the night that will haunt me for the rest of my life, tears fill my eyes but never touch my cheeks and I have “All My Life by KC & JoJo” playing on repeat….that night I saw exactly how much I had fallen in love with Hugh and exactly how he felt about me….but what happened that night will shock you all to the core…but I will get to that soon.

After that night with Hugh I felt nothing but sheer happiness. It wasn’t until the next time I saw him that I realised just how much I had begun to fall for him!

I sit here listening to “I won’t give up” by Jason Mraz on the way into work and memories of the last few years flood my mind. After everything that has ever happened with Hugh I sometimes wonder to myself if life would be less painful and what shape my heart would be in now if I hadn’t met Hugh….but then I remember that if I hadn’t met him, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, I wouldn’t have had the life experiences I have had to date and I wouldn’t know what love feels like…..

As my spotify slips into the next song “I Will Wait” by Mumford and Sons it gives me the perfect excuse to introduce you to one of the most incredible people in my life…..James.

I have known James for almost 8 years now. This is the best friend that I have previously introduced you to that I have said that he is the kind of guy I know I should be with but the problem is….I never make the decision that I know is right for me…..I always go for the complicated men and I can’t quite figure out why.

James and I met through a friend years ago, we didn’t go to the same school and our friendship grew via text, email and MSN. We hung out a few times when we were younger but our friendship has always been something that we have never needed to work at….it’s just something that has always been there.

Neither James or I are in contact with the mutual friend that introduced us all those years ago anymore as she ended up making some really bad decisions and became hooked on drugs. I don’t know where she is anymore but I honestly wish her all the very best and as a former best friend I really do hope she is ok….I wouldn’t even know how to get in contact with her anymore if I wanted to.

James and I have this incredible friendship that certainly has stood the test of time.

When we were younger we used to talk pretty much every day but our conversations would last for hours about the weirdest things….I can’t even remember what we used to talk about but I can tell you right now that they were not normal conversation…..we used to just talk sh*t but it always managed to make me laugh so hard and it still does.

Although a lot of our conversations are extremely stupid, funny and witty we can still talk to each other about anything and everything. We have a very open and honest friendship…..which is why I find it weird that I am writing about him and about to start sharing our journey which ends up colliding with what I feel is a massive explosion of confusion.

One night during my teenage destructive years James drove over to my estate and picked up myself and two friends aka “The Twins” to head over to our mutual friends birthday party. As usual drinking took place but what happened next I never expected.

A few other guys turned up and we were all out the front. I honestly can’t remember how it all got to the stage it did but it scared me beyond all belief.

I was leaving up against the fence having a cigarette by the tree at 11 pm. James, The Twins and the rest of the partygoers were on the opposite side of the road when this guy came over to me asking for a cigarette. I pulled one out and have it to him, something about the hungry look in his eyes left me feeling uneasy in his presence. I shook off the bad thoughts and told myself not to be stupid…..ALWAYS trust your gut instinct. The guy walked towards me, out his arms around my stomach pinning my hands behind me. I couldn’t move and he pressed his body against me. I yelled at him to let me go and he laughed in my face. I struggled to gain control and a wave on nausea washed over my entire body. My mind started going blank and If I felt the one thing that I never wanted to feel again in a situation with a man…..fear and loss of free will.

I yelled out again “Stop It” and he continued laughing until someone had seen what was happening from across the road and yelled out “Hey”. He immediately dropped my hands and made out that we were just playing around. I was lost for words and luckily the person who had seen what was happening was not playing around and they came over to help me….I must have the words “Vulnerable” and “Easy Target” tattooed on my forehead because I honestly couldn’t believe it was happening AGAIN. Another man who thinks they can take advantage of me and not care what the consequences were for me at the end of the day when I had clearly said no.

The next set of arms around me were ones that were so soothing and warm….they were James’s…..even now when he hugs me I feel safe and there honestly are only a handful of people who I can handle hugging me for more than 3.5 seconds before my breathing becomes restricted and I start feeling uncomfortable.

I honestly cannot tell you what happened after that. I remember little bits of us all talking but I really don’t remember much….I don’t even remember getting home.

After that night James and I lost touch and I don’t think that it was because of any reason it was simply that we both got so caught up in our own lives that we didn’t stop to think….

After 3 years we finally fell back in touch…..it was the weirdest thing. I woke up one morning and went on Facebook to see a friends request from James.

I don’t know why but it actually ended up taking me almost a week to accept his friend’s request. I don’t know why but a lot went through my head and if I am really honest the first thing was “why is he adding me after all these years?”.

After I accepted I received a message from him and instantly we fell back into our old routine. It really was like no time had passed at all!

We exchanged numbers again and that night we ended up speaking until 3 am. We pretty much caught up on the 3 years that had passed in 8 hours of non-stop conversation. I told him about Hugh and everything that went along with it….with James I never felt the need to hold back on anything. He is a TRUE friend.

It took us another 12 months before we actually ended up catching up and by this point we were both single (I’ll explain that little teaser soon! :P) we went for coffee and ended up going for a drive down to the river near my house.

When we got there it was so comfortable, I never flinch with his touch, I never have to worry….I trust him with my life….and that trust does not come easily with me.

As we say by the water watching the jet skiers fall off and started talking sh*t to each other again I started to realize that I had feeling for him and I realized that I always had even though I never realized it….he was always just the best friend!

It became super comfortable between us and even I was a little nervous as this was a whole new territory and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go down the road that could lead to a ruined friendship….but I wouldn’t need to be the one to make that decision. I don’t think I have seen a guy make that quick an exit that it’s not funny….he dropped me at home and took off like the speed of light.

What happened next was something I never expected…..James broke our friendship. Something that I wasn’t sure would ever be repaired.

A girl he had been involved with had seen a stupid comment I made on his facebook about something we had been talking about and she went Psychobabble on his ass. She was 50 shades of fu*ked in the head!

Because of that we didn’t talk to each other for 6 months….and I had absolutely NO idea why he acted like such a di*khead.

Out of the blue he contacted me again and I told him I didn’t understand why he was contacting me when he had so obviously run away and left me standing there with my head spinning violently. His excuse was that he was dealing with a head case, she had seen the message and went crazy and then to top it all off he ran scared because during all the chaos in his life he was scared at how easy and comfortable it was between us. That broke me….I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

He tried so hard to repair our friendship and apologized profusely. We finally got back on the right track and I forgave him when another bombshell hit…..he was going to do another runner! And he did just that…because he was back with Psychobabble and she was convinced that he was cheating on her….anyone who knows James knows there is no chance he would ever do that.

So he did the disappearing act again and I made it very clear that if he did that not to contact me again….as he had promised me he would never hurt me again and here he was breaking that promise to me. I knew I could never forgive him for that!

It was one of the hardest things I had ever done. I cut every thought of him from my life and swore I would never let myself have such an open and honest friendship with another guy because they always end up breaking your trust and hurting you.

8 months later he contacted me again….this time I protected myself and in the time that we had stopped talking I had got back with Hugh. When James got back in touch I told him I wasn’t sure we could be friends again and I told him that he had really hurt me.

It took him another 6 months to gain my trust again and in the time that we had stopped talking he had started dating another girl. She seemed to have done wonders on him because he was the same person that I had once know….he was back to himself and not the mess that I had last encountered.

James and I have the kind of friendship that we don’t need to speak every day or even every month to maintain a strong friendship.

In the last few months we have become closer than ever but last night was something that I was not expecting. When I landed back home the first person I wanted to see was James. I had a horrible time away and I just needed to see him so I message him and he called me.

He came over to my house and once again that level of comfortability came flooding back. It’s something that scares because I’m obviously developing feelings for him and yet he is the one person I do not want to lose as a friend. His friendship means more to me than anything else. There is so much I want to say but I think that part of me is scared to say anything in case I ruin things or he doesn’t feel the same way….I would never want to lose him as a friend and there are so many reasons why I shouldn’t say anything but I also think that I will regret it if I don’t say anything…..

So I pose the question to you all…..should I say something or should I let it all go and not risk it?

xx Ava