My boyfriend was not ready for commitment and left me. Two months later, he showed up at my door with an engagement ring.

Anastasia Chernikova and her husband

The author and her now husband.Courtesy of Anastasia Chernikova

  • My boyfriend and I dated for two years before I pressured him with marriage and kids.

  • He said he was not ready and left for Europe after we broke.

  • Two months later, he showed up at my apartment in NYC with an engagement ring.

On a hot July day, I was making my way to a friend’s party when my phone beeped with an invitation to join a lunch at a restaurant near the “Friends” building in New York City. Thinking I had some time to spare before the party, I decided to drop by.

Upon arrival, I found two unfamiliar guys. One of them had driven from Philadelphia for the weekend. He had rented a car for a month and wanted to travel around. I didn’t have a driver’s license and was melting from the heat. We hit it off, and within 10 minutes, decided to take a trip outside the city together.

We set off for Montauk, on Long Island, two weeks later and spent the day together before heading to separate sleeping spots. He drove me back, and I showed him my favorite neighborhood, Brooklyn’s Williamsburg, before he took off for Philly at 2 a.m.

Another two weeks passed, and he expressed an interest in moving to New York to learn more about the city. The best places seemed to be in Williamsburg, he said, and so he rented an apartment in my neighborhood.

He told me he wasn’t ready for anything serious

Though we felt romantic, I sensed he was holding back on any relationship progression, often claiming he was too busy with work or tired to stay over. Two months later, he told me he wasn’t ready for a relationship, which I interpreted

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After Toxic Shock Syndrome Claimed Her Legs, Lauren Wasser Set About Reshaping The Fashion Industry

As the child of two models, Pamela Cook and Robert Wasserburger, growing up in California in the early 1990s, my world up until that point had been defined by rare beauty. I was surrounded by the faces of the time: Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell. In hindsight, I realise how unusual my childhood was, but back then it was all I knew. It wasn’t long before I started to follow in my parents’ footsteps: I booked my first modelling job at just two-months-old, alongside my mother in Italian Vogue. But as I got older, I found a passion for athletics, too – basketball was my true love. Everything I wanted, I was continually told, was at my fingertips.

And so when I woke up from a medically induced coma in that Santa Monica hospital room one day in early October 2012, in excruciating pain, it wasn’t just that I was unrecognisable: I had been stripped of my entire identity, of the beauty and body that, I thought then, had made me me. I had been found unresponsive at home, having suffered a fever of almost 42C, my kidneys failing. I had had two heart attacks and was given just a one per cent chance of survival. When I came round a week-and-a-half later, after being placed on life support, I was pumped full of fluid, I weighed 200 pounds, my hair was so matted that my head had been shaved, and my legs were black with gangrene. It was only when I overheard a nurse saying they would need to amputate a young woman that I realised she was talking about me.

I left hospital three months later in a wheelchair and back at home, shell-shocked, tried to come to terms with my new

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