Jamie wasn’t even my type.
I’ve always been attracted to athletic men. You know–jocks. Outdoorsmen. I had a crush on the Brawny guy for years. My ex-husband was a lawyer–that is, he was in law school. I thought I loved him when we married, but we might as well have been from two different planets. I was a casual girl–jeans, shorts and T-shirts. I’d been miserable when he dragged me to those dull social events he insisted were necessary to his landing a spot in a good firm after graduation. I was terrible at small talk and knew almost nothing about fashion. I didn’t know Donna Karan from Kmart.
When I caught him in bed with my so-called best friend, I eventually came to see it as a blessing, the catalyst that pushed me to end a marriage that would have failed anyway. After that, I dated men who were more my own kind.
And then I met Jamie Randall in Rome. Sounds pretty romantic doesn’t it? Take my word for it. It wasn’t. I was in Rome on assignment–I’m a photographer. My personal love has always been nature photography, so I decided to stay on a few days and go hiking in the hills surrounding the city. I was about to leave my hotel that morning when the earthquake hit. A 7.0, I think. I was on the bottom level of the hotel’s underground parking garage, putting my gear into the trunk of my rental car with my equipment. The earth started to tremble beneath my feet. Then it became a rumble.
And then the building started to collapse around me.
I crouched between two vehicles, hoping it would offer enough protection from falling concrete. When the quake finally stopped, I heard someone calling for help. It took me a while to get to him, but I found Jamie with a broken leg, trapped. I freed him and put a splint on his leg. We spent the next few days together in that concrete prison, keeping each other going, surviving on the food and water in my backpack.
Jamie, I discovered, owned the hotel. He was married with twin sons. He talked about his kids a lot but seldom mentioned his wife. We bonded in our struggle to survive, a bond that endured long after our rescue. A couple of months after I returned home to Cape Cod, Jamie showed up at my door to replace the cameras I’d lost in the hotel collapse. I invited him to stay for lunch.
That was the beginning….
Author’s Note: I could see Amanda Peet as Kate….