The very first time I met Howard was when I was 10 years old and he was 12. He and my elder sister went to the same secondary school, and so he was always around our house.
Howard was one of the only friends of my sister that I would actually talk to and we did get on like a house on fire. A few years later, him and my sister started dating. I was happy for her because he was a really great guy.
Howard and I probably got on better than him and my sister at times, because whenever he would come over to the house, we would spend hours talking, which really annoyed my sister!
After they broke up they remained friends and so I still saw him quite a bit. But after they left school, they went their separate ways and I would only see Howard if he drove passed me in the street. Whenever he did he would always stop to talk to me.
In August 1999, I received my GCSE results. The second person I phoned up was Howard, because we had always been close friends. He wasn’t in, but phoned me back and we got talking. He was going out the following Friday and so was I, so we said we would meet up and celebrate.
He had also had a dream that he was going to die that night, and I, being superstitious, wanted to be with him anyway in case something did happen. We met up and went to, what is now our favourite club. We both got quite drunk and ended up talking about old times.
We both shared with each other that we had always felt a spark between us and how we secretly liked on another. Next thing I knew I had turned round and started kissing him. Maybe it was the alcohol, I don’t know, but something made me kiss him.
A year later, we were still going out and we were back in our favorite club, in the same stop. When he turned to me and said, “Will you marry me?” I actually started screaming with happiness – and of course, I said yes straightaway.
We have now been together for 19 months and are planning a long engagement so I can finish getting my A-Levels and my degree. But one thing he always tells me, if I hadn’t come that night, he would have died without ever sharing his feelings.