I met Russell on the 19th of December 2009. I was 19, cold and had been out drinking and dancing the night away in central London with my best friend Pia. Us two classy birds fancied a kebab on the way home, couldn’t afford one so decided to go get a 99p cheese burger from the nearest Mc Donald’s. On our way back to the bus stop I was approached by this blonde man with one terrible blood shot eye, “gis’ a bite of your cheese burger!”
I of course handed it over and began speaking to him, I gave him my number and my horrified friend pulled me away and said “Don’t talk to him Solve he’s obviously a thug look at his red eye!”
Needless to say I took on board her advice and we left and got on the bus back home to Putney. On this journey I received a call from Russell asking me why I had left. We carried on talking the whole way home and he promised to call me at 9am the following morning. He did, bang on 9.01am I got a call from him. He asked me out for dinner the following Monday. He told me he was from Whitton which wasn’t too far from me so he came to Putney to take me out for dinner to the Strada just down the road from my parents’ house. It wasn’t until later that I realised I had mis-heard him and he was actually from High Wycombe (a place I had never heard of, that wasn’t in London)! We had a lovely date and he was very gentlemanly, he walked me back home to my parents which meant that when he got to Marylebone he had missed his train home and had to take a cab. We went on another date in Soho a few days later and met up with two of his best friends Ben and Kaley.
Our relationship developed quite fast and by the 27th of December I was in Little Missenden meeting all his friends and his family. It was great, everyone was so nice and Russell made me feel so important showing me off to everyone. Just like that I kind of just became part of his world up in the countryside and after that I spent all the free time I had up there with him.
I think Russell is probably the most funny and crazy and exciting person I have ever met. He could literally cheer everyone up that was around him just by being himself. We had lots of fun together and laughed a lot! And even when he would wind me up or if we were arguing he always had some way of making me burst into laughter and forget what we were arguing about.
He had a wonderful relationship with all of his friends and would go out of his way to help them all the time. His friends are all good people and it was so nice to get to know them all. They were always joking around. He and his guy friends were often playing some sort of games on a night out which would usually involve their private parts being exposed. However it seemed like it was only ever really Russell that got caught. I went on holiday to Spain with him and his pals which was lots of fun. I remember him trying to push me and Ben into the pool which resulted in him falling in the pool in a panicked frenzy, as he wasn’t the strongest of swimmers, but after all the splashing around he realised that it wasn’t that deep and he could stand up in the water.
He and his friends started getting into Motocross which meant me and Karen G got to spend a lot of time together and got to laugh at the group of power rangers as they went off to have fun on their bikes. Secretly we were a bit jealous of their new found love for their bikes. He was a complete adventurer and was always up for doing anything fun, exciting and dangerous!
In the time I knew him he had a few injuries that were so random and that could only have happened to him. His bloodshot eye that he had when we first met was a work related one, he was building a wall and didn’t see the twig from the bush in front of him until it had gone into his eye and he had to cut it from the bush in order to go and have it removed! He also crashed his motocross bike into a tree resulting in one broken finger because he was pointing at the tree! Another silly injury was when he came to pick me up from the station with a bleeding ear because he had accidently shut his ear in the door, and then tried to do it again because he didn’t understand how he managed to do it!
He wasn’t always just silly and exciting though. He was also able to be serious and he really made me feel special and loved and safe. He was involved with my family a lot as well and came to many of our parties and events down here in London. I looked after my cousin a lot and he took us both to the London zoo which was a lovely day out. He also came to the last Clark father’s day picnic which was a tradition of ours. He got on really well with my family and everyone was really happy that we were together.
We were only together for a short time of only around 8 months. But they were some of the best times I have had. He really was an incredible person. The news of his death was such a shock, you just can’t imagine someone you love so much to no longer be there physically. I am so glad to have been a part of his life and take comfort in all the memories I have with him and as long as the memories are shared and told and remembered they will live forever.