A man and woman in South London have started a conversation on the interwebs about love, friendship and the gray area that can sometimes separate the two.
Simon Louis and Mary Emmanuelle first met in the mid-90s at a club in London. Louis was immediately taken with Emmanuelle, while Emmanuelle found Louis–who’s eight years her senior– to be handsome. The two flirted all night and shared a kiss, but nothing further happened.
Emmanuelle worked as a secretary for a stockbroker while also taking care of her son Dwayne. Louis helped his brother organize music events, yet the two remained friends. Simon however still carried a torch for Emmanuelle and would often send chocolate and roses on Valentine’s Day.
Then in September May 2014, Emmanuelle collapsed at home. Her 21-year-old son discovered her on the floor choking on her own vomit. She was rushed to the hospital where she learned she had end-stage kidney disease. Her only savior would be a transplant, but with her rare B-Negative blood, chances were slim.
“I couldn’t believe it – I had been given a death sentence. My name was put on a ‘dead donor’ list. I could only wait,” Emmanuelle recalled.
After being discharged in January 2015, Simon visited her every day and helped care for her often staying the night to feed and bathe her. To show thanks, Mary organized a trip to Spain and even organized times when she could receive her kidney trips while abroad. While in Spain she learned there was a match but by the time she got back to London the kidney had already be taken. It was then Louis suggested he get tested to see if he shared her blood type and turns out he was a match.
According to the Mirror, after learning he was a good fit, they both underwent months of assessment before the successful surgery. The two, who now lived in Louis’ East London flat, nursed one another back to health. Shortly after it was then that Louis asked Emmanuelle to marry him unfortunately Emmanuelle said no.
“I let him down gently by saying I’d have to think about it,” she said. “I think I’d worry if we got married it would in some way damage our special friendship and also I don’t want to get wed until I’m fully better health-wise.”
Despite her no, Simon says he doesn’t regret a thing. “I didn’t think twice about it. There’s no question about doing something like that for someone you love.”