Just One Breath

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

The straw that broke my back and changed my life


The second day in Boston, we went down to reception in our hotel and I requested a different room. I was very pleased when they agreed to give us a new room. Jamie and I don’t particularly care about great views from the room. We much preferred comfort and this new room had that. It had two bathrooms, two windows and it was overall much bigger and more comfortable. It didn’t smell old and it was a good place for a fresh start.

Over the next few days we went all around Boston proper tourist style. We jumped on and off the Old Town Trolly Tour for two days in a row, hunted down the Freedom Trail, went to the aquarium, took a harbour cruise and we enjoyed taking hundreds of pictures. Jamie really seemed at ease. He was doing what he does best, taking beautiful pictures of random things.

Jamie enjoyed showing me so many things about the Nikon D40 he had given me for Christmas a few years earlier, which was a HUGE surprise that year. He had promised he would teach me how to use it one day. I learned how to take better pictures but I didn’t need to make things look beautiful they already were.

A few days into being a tourist I was out of sorts because in spite of the nice time we were having, we were not really talking about anything other than the trip or our jobs. We hadn’t addressed our kiss, we hadn’t discussed so many of the things that we so easily talked about over Skype, we hadn’t talked about us… then he did it. He laid the straw that broke my back. He got me a pair of earrings at Tiffany. How did this end up being a bad thing? Well, about an hour earlier I had made a phone call to my Mom while we were waiting to get our harbour cruise and he was off taking pictures. I was bawling! It was a “blue day” and I was trying to explain to her that it was so hard to be around him now. I cared so much for him but he was still so uncomfortable it seemed. I told her I didn’t think he would ever talk to me… really talk to me. I was crushed and I didn’t know what to do about it. For some reason I was still unable to push myself to just talk to him. The kiss from a few days earlier had taken my courage. So as we were standing in Tiffany looking at things I wasn’t having one of those, carefully priced in my mind, moments where he can tell this is the thing that I love. I didn’t want him to spend any money on me. I didn’t deserve it. He didn’t need to tell me he loved me with jewellery. But he did anyway. Before I could catch myself I saw a pair of earrings that I actually loved but I wasn’t looking at the price of things because I didn’t actually want anything. Jamie caught that look I must have had and before I knew it he had purchased them, my first Tiffany diamonds.

On our walk back to the hotel I was stewing in my own misery. I was so sad and I felt guilty for accepting something so expensive. I couldn’t take it anymore and I flipped out proper style. I had never really yelled at Jamie, but I didn’t know what to do. I told him I didn’t want the earrings. I wanted to talk… that is what I wanted. When he asked why I said I couldn’t accept something like that. They cost too much and I wasn’t going to just accept gifts all the time. He was so generous with everything that I liked but not what I needed. I needed to talk face to face. I told him I wasn’t going to let him do this again. I wasn’t going to let him go another trip without talking to me. He was shocked and I could see my words had hurt him but at this time I didn’t care. We had to talk! We had too much to lose. If we were not going to try this time we were never going to know about something that we had dreamed would happen for years. Then… just like that… the flood gates opened.

We couldn’t even walk any further. We sat about a half a block from the hotel in this little garden and poured out hearts out. We cried and cried while we talked about everything that we had never been able to talk about face to face. We even got out some things that we never knew the other thought about themselves. It was so painful for both of us and exactly what we needed. He finally expressed self-doubt and insecurities I never knew he had. I expressed how much I loved him and how important he was to me. He told me he never had been able to believe it before when I said it, he didn’t see how I could love him. I was reeling. How was it possible that this beautiful, talented, loving, giving man couldn’t see how amazing he was? Maybe our years of struggle hurt him as much as they had hurt me… maybe more.

After more than an hour in the garden we were all cried out and wanted to get some dinner. We went to a fondue restaurant, The Melting Pot, attached to our hotel. Over an intimate dinner I noticed the mood of being together had completely changed. I felt like I was having a date with Jamie. I felt shy and silly and I looked at him in a whole new way. I loved his face so much and the best part about it was we were talking. We had gone through an invisible, yet strong, barrier that had kept us separated for nearly 15 years and we were finally talking and that is more precious than all of the Tiffany Diamonds in the world. x heather

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