Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Story Continues

Jamie says his leg was not actually shattered. I've seen the x-rays, though and there were 3 distinct pieces of leg bone. I'm sticking by my use of the word shattered.

At any rate, it happened at Atlanta Christian College on a day that both the girls and boys teams had games back to back. After our game, all of us girls had gotten showered and dressed and were watching the boys play. Jamie had the ball at about midfield when an ACC player trid to knock it away from him. Unfortunately for Jamie's tibia, he completely missed the ball and connected solidly with Jamie's shin. Jamie said at first it just felt like any hard shot to the shin, but then the pain just kept getting worse and worse as he lay on the field. There may or may not have been some choice words uttered. After determining that there was definitely something pretty seriously wrong with Jamie's leg, his coach and the ACC trainer got him off the field and situated on the sidelines because why rush to the hospital? If his leg was broken then, it would still be broken when the game was over, right?

Jamie watched the rest of the game and the decision was made to bring him back with the rest of us on the bus and have his leg treated back at Toccoa. Stephen's County Hospital is directly next to TFC and his grandparents lived nearby and would be able to come pick him up.

And that decision was a pretty fateful one for he and I.

I had a lot of homework to get done that night. I can't remember if it was reading or studying for a test or what, but I know I needed to concentrate. So I sat in the front of the bus where I wouldn't be bothered. However, Jamie and his broken leg couldn't exactly sit in a conventional bus seat, so he was laid on the floor with his leg propped up on equipment bags. And his head laying on the ground right next to my seat. How is a girl supposed to study when a boy with a broken leg is lying right next to her chair all teary-eyed from the pain and sudden, tragic ending to his junior season? So I started talking to him.

I don't remember everything that was said, but I remember two things pretty clearly:
1) I know I told him his senior season was going to be his best year ever. He'd be so bored of sitting around with a cast on his leg that he'd work extra hard once he could run and play again. He'd spend all summer getting back in shape and come back next fall better than he'd been before the broken leg. I was totally right.

2) At one point, Jamie looked up at me in a pain-induced fog and said, "You look like an angel." It wasn't exactly flirtatious. I had a reading light on above my head, and when not blow dried, my hair tends to frizz out around my face. From Jamie's vantage point on the floor, my little frizzies were being illuminated from behind and giving me a lovely halo. Jamie was just stating a fact. Still, it was pretty funny and I like to tease him about it.

Now if you know a little bit about our story and are any good at math you can figure out that about 15 months passed between the broken leg and fateful bus ride and the actual start to our dating relationship. Here's what happened in between that time:

The bus ride was enough to make Jamie think, "That Tara chick is kinda cool," but it was not enough to change my opinion of him. So much so that when Jamie approached me after one of my games and asked if I'd want to come over to his grandparents (where he was staying until he could get around on his own) and watch a movie sometime, I said sure but was thinking "Uh, no." Because I thought he was the kind of guy who would ask a girl to "watch a movie" when he was thinking something more along the lines of "make out on the couch". And I was not that kind of girl. (Here is a good place to point out the fact that Jamie had injured his hand in another game shortly before breaking his leg. When at the hospital getting x-rays on his leg, he asked if they'd mind taking a look at his hand, too. It was broken as well. I was afraid a guy on crutches with with one cast from mid-foot to mid-thigh and another one on his arm was going to put the moves on me. Jamie still finds that hilarious. This is also a good time to mention that Jamie and I were dating for 5 months before he ever even kissed me. I may have misjudged him.) I did say I would call him if I ever had a chance to come by. His name is still in my phone as "Jamie Hotalen" from that day even though I've changed phones and he's changed phone numbers.

About this time our friend Gao Foua got involved. She knew Jamie had a thing for me and thought we would be perfect together. I distinctly remember a conversation I had with her in the gym during intramural basketball -
Gao Foua: "You and Jamie would be so cute together. Would you ever consider dating him?"
Me: "I don't really see him as the type of guy I'd date seriously. He'd be fun to go on a few dates with if I was just looking to have fun, but I could never be in a serious relationship with him."

Never. I actually said I could never be in a serious relationship with him. Clearly I knew myself (and Jamie) SO well!

In the interest of full disclosure, I had just gotten out of a serious relationship a few months before The Bus Ride and was kinda interested in a guy I'd worked with over the summer. So really, between my impression of Jamie as some kind of rebellious bad boy, my recent break-up, and my interest in someone else, a relationship with Jamie was just not something I was into pursuing then.

And Jamie? Well, he is the definition of a slow-mover. Remember the post I wrote about how long he shopped around for our house? And his Camry? He does not make snap decision. And he was not going to rush into anything with me. Especially when I was giving him no reason to think I was interested. The idea of us as a couple was going to need several months to marinate before it ever became reality.


Joel said...

"why rush to the hospital? If his leg was broken then, it would still be broken when the game was over, right?"

The few times that I've been around people who have broken something, people seem to start freaking out and yell, "Call 911!!" and I always think, "His arm is broken. It's not getting any broker. Just get him off the field and into the car."

Even though I've heard the story, it's fun to read again!

Anonymous said...

At last the second chapter. I hope this is just the beginning of a really long, happy book.

Cyndee said...

I'm loving this! Can we start making title suggestions? Since "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" is already taken, how about "A Jersey Girl Goes South"?

Shannon said...

How about: "How Tara Became Terra"?

Rebecca said...

Haha, I love Shannon's suggestion! Thanks for sharing your story Tara! This is so fun to read!!

grandpa said...

Enjoying the story and we enjoyed our visit with you two. You make a cute couple and we enjoy your debates about what you want to do with the house and in what order and what color. I hope the house saga will be part of the story.

Amber said...

Thanks for sharing your story! I'm enjoying it!