Just One Breath

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

The start of something different


After I made contact with Jamie in March of 2010 we had a few back and forth emails and before I knew it I was back in the old swing of things. I found myself looking for an email from Jamie first thing in the morning, when I got home from work and before I went to bed… and a few hundred times in between. About a week after I contacted him I got a message that made me nervous… He said he had moved on and that he was “apprehensive as hell” to talk to me again. He also said “Part of me is thrilled to bits, too, at reconnecting. Like it or not (and I’m not saying I don’t) my head has you hard-wired in there, and the sense of familiarity is freakily just ON again.” I knew exactly what he meant, I was right there with him. I was terrified to hurt him again but I was just as scared to be without him. He was hard-wired in my head too. He said he wanted to take things slow even though his mind had been racing and he had thought about me most days even before we had spoken again. I was nervous but it was a start as far as I was concerned. We were going to work on our friendship again.

About a week later I got news that I had gotten a new job. I was hoping for a change and this was it. I was thrilled I would be working for Travelocity as a travel agent. I was not giving up my work with the kids but I was going to cut my hours drastically. I was so excited to share the news  with Jamie, it was just like old times. We were instant messaging nearly everyday and the emails were steadily coming and going. So much for taking it slow. We were just going with the usual, what felt right for us. We were so good a talking about nothing and everything, I was totally comfortable and at ease when we were back into our old routine and then he threw a wrench in the works… he wanted to Skype. What the hell was Skype? This was new to me. I had heard of it but I was so freaked out by being on camera that I kind of put off finding out more. I told him I would think about it but he persisted even when I said no, he was not letting go if this one. He wanted face time.

Needless to say, a week later I was at Walmart with Holly looking at webcams that were good quality and had a microphone. I was so nervous about Skype but I wanted to make Jamie happy and honestly, I wanted to see this bearded face. He looked so much more mature, my sweet faced Jamie had turned into a man and I had missed it. I wanted to see him too, I didn’t want to miss anything else. I hooked up the camera, checked for the best angle, installed Skype, put on some makeup and brushed my hair and then told him we were good to go. I was brickin’ it! Then the call came… Oh my God! When I saw him all I could think about was that he was beautiful. I hadn’t realized how much I missed his smile. He looked so good and  it was so nice to hear his voice again. I was so embarrassed and I was hoping he couldn’t tell how much I was blushing.

The first calls were awkward and I had to prep with a cute outfit, great hair and a bit of makeup each time. I didn’t want to look like a slob and I was still so weird about the camera. It was not something that happened everyday in the beginning but it didn’t take long to begin to grab 15 minutes here and there for a chat on Skype. I was getting calmer and was actually looking forward to seeing Jamie and talking to him without the typing and waiting. Real conversations that happened to be free were amazing novelties.

Just when we were really getting comfortable talking to each other on Skype some bad news came, Jamie’s Dad suddenly was not well. Tests showed one of the arteries in his heart had narrowed for some reason, and he had a bit of angina as a result. The Dr caught it quickly and prevented a heart attack by putting a stint in to allow the blood to flow more easily. He was doing well and that was a massive relief… then 5 days later… my father had a heart attack. He was away with my mother on vacation and she rushed him to the hospital and he was in full blown heart attack mode having been suffering, we found out later, from a silent heart attack for several days. I was a mess. My father is my world, I am a major Daddy’s girl and not ashamed to admit it. I was stuck in training for my new job. My brother and sister went down to where my parents were but my parents wanted me to stay at work and not miss out. My mom was trying to prevent me from falling apart. My father made it through surgery and was recovering thank God. He too had to have a stint placed. Jamie and I were there for each other and it was so odd that our father’s had the same operation. My dad had it a little rougher but they were both going to be fine, they just needed to be careful with diet and exercise.

We felt lucky, we felt like the worst was over and then something so horrible happened that it rocked our world. At the beginning of July Jamie’s already blind and yet amazingly athletic cousin, Mark Pollock, was in a horrific accident that almost took his life. He had fallen from a window only weeks away from his wedding and was paralyzed  with a broken back and many internal injuries. How could so many bad things happen within a few weeks of each other? Why? Mark was fighting for his life, a life that had already been so challenging for him, and both of our father’s were recovering from heart surgery. I somehow still felt lucky, I was talking to my best friend of nearly 15 years and I had him to lean on. Our family members were alive, not without struggles ahead but alive. Our conversations almost always started by asking how was Mark, or one of our Dad’s. We shared the latest update and then talked as usual but the conversations somehow left me sad when they were over.

All of the horrible things that happened made me really begin to think about life and how fragile it was. I had been so blessed with amazing parents, healthy siblings and wonderful friends. I had a lot of heartaches over the years but I had a relatively good life that had been full of amazing experiences. I was chubby but getting healthy again, I had made it through University twice and had a lot of potential but something was missing. I began sharing my thoughts with a friend at work who agreed with me that life was precious and we should make the most of it. I desperately wanted to make the most of it and I wanted it to be with Jamie but this was not a topic that I as going to discuss with him. Instead I listened to Jimmy Eat World’s song Carry You over and over and over and cried at least 50 times a day thinking about Jamie and wishing that we could figure out a way to be together. I couldn’t spend another moment without him, I still held onto hope that things would be different. I didn’t need the catastrophic wake-up call that I got but it did push me to move forward. So, I asked if he wanted to come to America for vacation again. Without hesitation he agreed that it was a great idea. We wanted a change of scenery, a fresh start, and it was to be Boston this time. Should I tell him I am desperately in love with him and I was willing to do anything to be with him? Only a little longer to wait… only a little longer. x heather


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