Slamming my locker shut, I stuffed my school books in rucksack and headed for the door.
The end of the secondary school was coming up which meant our exams were in sight.
‘What’re you up to this weekend?’ asked my friend Jonny, then 16.
‘Probably revising,’ I replied.
Jonathan Youthed – or Jonny – and I had known each other since we were five years old.
All through primary and secondary school were practically inseparable.
We met in reception and we’d been friends ever since.
Although as we got older I noticed myself wanting to me more than friends.
I was pretty such he felt the same way.
‘Want to study together?’ he suggested anxiously.
‘It’s a date,’ I grinned.
A few days later he came around to my family house.
Butterflies whirled in my stomach when I heard him knock at the door.
But my nerves quickly settled when I saw his cheeky smile.
‘Come in,’ I gestured.
It was always easy to talk to Jonny.
He was chatting, charming and funny – he knew how to bring me out of my shell.
We took a break from revision and slumped on the sofa.
I’m not sure how it happened but found ourselves getting closer to one another before suddenly – we were kissing!
It was my first ever kiss – it was perfect.
Before I knew it, Jonny and I were officially a couple.
He was my first real boyfriend, in fact, he was my first everything.
Despite the good times, we had a turbulent relationship.
We were typical teenagers and bickered about anything and everything.
He sometimes had a bit of a nasty streak but it was never something I worried about.
In the end, we decided we were better off being friends.
After we finished school, we started drifting apart and seeing each other less.
Suddenly it had been years since we last met.
We kept up with each other’s lives on social media.
Liking each other’s photos and commenting on posts.
But never anything more.
In 2014, nearly 10 years, when I came across Jonny’s profile on Facebook.
I felt a flutter in my stomach looking at his photos and it took my back to my teenage years.
‘Can’t hurt to say hi,’ I thought to myself, feeling nostalgic.
Tapping on his profile, I typed out a message, and pressed send.
In a matter of moments he was messaging me back.
‘Nice to hear from you,’ it read. ‘How’ve you been?’
I felt like a giddy schoolgirl again.
‘Fancy going for a drink?’ I wrote boldly.
He didn’t hesitate in accepting my offer and we arranged to meet up.
He popped around to my house in Peterbourgh, Cambridge, and it was like no time had passed.
I didn’t plan to start things up again but before I knew it, Jonny and I rekindled our relationship.
Jonny and I were older, but definitely not wiser, and things started to become rocky.
He was constantly sponging off me.
He’d come to me when he needed money and then I wouldn’t hear much from him.
I started to feel quite used and I even worried his ex-girlfriend was still on the scene.
He’d always hold a special place in my heart, but I knew it wasn’t working so I called things off.
Several months later he reached out to me on Facebook.
‘I miss you,’ he wrote sweetly. ‘Can we be friends?’
It bought a smile to my face.
‘I’d like that,’ I replied.
From then on, I hoped things would be simple, but unfortunately things got worse – much worse.
One Sunday evening in March 2017, Jonny and I had been messaging that day and he was planning to pop around for a cuppa.
I was tucked up on the sofa watching some trashy TV when someone started banging on the front door.
I peeked through the spy hole, but couldn’t work out who it was.
When I opened the door and I was horrified to Jonny with blood all over his hands.
‘What happened? Are you OK?’ I asked in a panic.
‘It’s not my blood,’ he laughed.
Jonny stumbled inside the house – he was obviously drunk.
‘What have you done?’ I said.
‘Beat up some randomer, he’s probably dead,’ he boasted, sitting himself down on the sofa.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
I knew he had a temper, but I had no idea he was capable of this.
He kept laughing and even tried to touch me with his bloody hands.
‘That’s not funny,’ I said. ‘You need to leave.’
I tried to pull him up from the sofa, but he resisted.
‘I’m a man,’ he laughed. ‘I’m a savage.’
‘You’re not a man, you’re a poor excuse for one,’ I yelled angrily.
Suddenly, the grin fell from his face, and he had a wild look in his eye.
He stood up and swung his fist towards my head and a landed a punch.
A wave of pain rushed across the side of my face and I stumbled backwards.
He swung again and I tried to push him away.
‘Get out,’ I screamed.
‘I’ll go when I want to go,’ he yelled, grabbing a handful of my hair.
He punched my ear, head, every part of my face – he must have hit me 30 times.
I desperately tried to scramble free and he dragged me down onto the glass coffee table.
I couldn’t breathe.
‘Jonny why are you doing this?’ I asked through tears.
In the living room I had an aquarium and Jonny dragged me towards it – slamming my head against the side.
I felt a stream of warm blood start to trickle down my face.
‘I’ve always loved you,’ I cried helplessly.
‘You don’t love me, I’ll kill you,’ he yelled.
Then he pulled me to the ground and wrapped his legs around me and began to squeeze.
He was as like a bower constrictor trying to kill its prey – I felt like I was suffocating.
Between jagged breaths I yelled out to my son upstairs.
‘Call the police!’ I screamed.
But he was probably wearing his headphones.
My eye’s started going blurry and I thought that was it.
I thought I was going to die.
All of a sudden I felt Jonny loosen his grip on me.
I looked up to see my son stood in the doorway and Jonny on the floor.
‘What did you do?’ I asked, gasping for breath.
‘I kicked his head,’ he replied.
It knocked Jonny out for a few seconds – enough time for me to wriggle free and get the phone.
I dialled 999 and grabbed a rolling pin from the draw.
‘The police are coming,’ I cried shakily.
Jonny lay on the floor in daze.
The neighbours had heard my cries for help and also called 999 so they arrived quickly.
The police found him and it took four officers to arrest him.
Jonny was charged with attempted murder and wounding with intent, and denied both charges.
I was taken to hospital but luckily I didn’t need stitches – just some paper ones.
The bruising got gradually worse over the next few weeks and I looked like something out a horror film.
I couldn’t bring myself to look in a mirror.
I had to cut my hair because he’d torn clumps of it out during the attack.
We went Peterborough Crown Court in October 2018 and he was found guilty of wounding with intent and making threats to kill.
The judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison.
It was a good outcome and I’m glad he got a long sentence.
I thought I was going to die that night and I want him be punished for what he did.