Just One Breath

An American girl in Scotland, figuring things out one step at a time

Try and Try Again…Final Chapter


When Jamie left me in July 0f 2007 it was very odd. We felt that there were a lot of things that were left unsaid, Jamie especially was feeling it. He sent me a letter titled “Done Waiting” and it was amazing. He gave me permission to use the quotes from his letters.

 “I know how I feel about you now. I love you more than anything else in the world. The person who has been formed by 30 years of life. You, right this second. I loved you just a tiny bit differently yesterday, just tiny bit differently the day before, but that’s gone. Now is where I am.”

“I can hear his voice in my head… Just get on with it. Life is always, always too short you have someone like Heather Zanicky in your life. So tell her everything. How   she should be with you. How you are both so imperfect and yet perfect for each other, how you can complete each other and make each other strong, take care of each other. How you can drive each other mad but always seem to find a way out when that happens. Tell her how she always makes you want to be better than you are. Tell her how she makes you feel something new ever time she turns her head in your direction…Even tell her about the tickle in the pit of your stomach that you get whenever she moves a certain way… I love you and I want to marry you and spend the rest of our lives together.”

He said things that made me catch my breath. It brought me hope that we would finally get it right but part of me was terrified. We loved each other but how would we get past the awkward? So many years of failing to say how we felt when we were face to face. We didn’t know how it was going to happen but we decided we were going to give it a  try.

Our conversations began to be in depth about what would happen, where we would live, how we would handle arguing (I used to have a horrible temper), when we would get married, etc… Jamie was coming back right away. He booked a ticket for the end of August and we were going to work it out from there… somehow. My parents were thrilled, he told his parents and they were more cautious about it all I think.

So the weeks went on and we planned and planned. Talking on MSN messenger for hours. We had gotten really good at this and I was hoping that it would translate to face to face time. I prayed that the awkward silences would go away and that we would be like we were at 19 years old. I wanted those happy go lucky kids back. We were so full of life and possibilities and I knew we could be there again.

Jamie arrived  and my Mom had to get him. I had been stuck working so there was no happy moment at the airport or getting that first awkward moment out of the way. No… I had to sit with anxiety all day. I was a wreck by the time I was supposed to go home. Thank God for Jamie’s amazing memory, I don’t remember it but he said I didn’t come straight home. I went to a friends house down the street to calm down. I think I was so terrified. On top of all that anxiety and all of the years of loving this man and not knowing how to make it work, I was FAT! Really fat. I had rounded the 200lbs mark (for my UK friends that is over 14 stone) and I was miserable. I didn’t feel attractive and I didn’t know how he would be attracted to me. He said he loved me and he had seen me only a few months ago but I was gross in my mind. These feelings didn’t really lead us to a good start.

When I finally saw Jamie I honestly can’t remember what happened. This is not very good for blogging sake but 2007 seems to be one of those years that doesn’t want to let go of me but I can’t remember all of what happened. It was crushing and I think that I blocked it out. Jamie and I were so uncomfortable trying to just cuddle how was anything more going to be possible. I could feel how Jamie was uncomfortable and very stiff when I was next to him. Why couldn’t he relax? Then my head got the best of me… I thought it must be that he didn’t think I was attractive anymore. I began to pull away from him and I know it made things harder on him too. How had things gone so wrong, again? This was beginning to look like some cruel joke that God was playing on me. The big tease. “Here he is but you can’t have him.” Heartbreaking stuff is what dreams are made of.

We tried to get some excitement back and we went to Philadelphia. We thought a day trip would be good to get us out of the rut we were in. Well… we ended up at Tiffany’s. I looked at the ring I had loved and somehow it just looked different. I was different, I was broken… just broken. Jamie wanted to get me something and it was almost my birthday so we looked around. I didn’t want something that was as delicate as the necklace he had bought me in Atlantic city. I was working with violent kids and I didn’t want it to get broken. I saw this chunky looking necklace that was kid proof and Jamie agreed that it was the one. It was so great but I felt a twinge of guilt. I loved that he wanted to get me beautiful things, no one ever had, but what could I do for him? I told him so often that I didn’t deserve it but he always disagreed. I didn’t want to seem ungracious so I didn’t argue. I accepted the necklace and I love it. I still wear it all the time.

This trip was not only heartbreaking for both of us but it hurt our parents to see us so sad when it was all over. They had hoped we would be together because there was genuine love there but somewhere along the line we lost the intimacy. When Jamie got home I had written him a letter trying to explain how I felt and trying to figure out what had gone wrong. I thought we had tried to force intimacy because we wanted to be together so desperately. Jamie agreed. The letter that I got as a response is the only letter he has ever written to me that has broken my heart.

“I love you and care for you and I can’t do those things when I’m  trying to force us together, to be in love. Because I’m not in love  with you. It is something else, something you don’t deserve. I hope I  can stop it and get back to the really important stuff with you and me. That’s the thing that’s always been there between us, waiting to  breathe again…being friends. Properly.”

We both agreed that running away from each other was not want we wanted. We wanted to be close friends again. We wanted to see if we could get there again. We may have given up on being together but we were not giving up on our friendship. I needed to not get so mad all the time. I needed to try to breathe more and be calm. I felt Jamie needed to be more confident. He never stood up for what he wanted, so it seemed. I wanted him to be bold and speak his mind face to face but he was just not there… not yet. We both had things we needed to work on and we knew it.

Although this was one of the worst years of our friendship it did not crush us. We managed against all odds to hold onto each other. In the years to come things didn’t get instantly easier but they did get a whole lot clearer after one or two more battles. x heather


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