I FUCKED UP.
It’s a negative way to begin a story but to entirely understand my position, that is where this must commence. Boyfriends are so overrated, they suck. Especially ones that snort coke and are good at persuasion. In my experience those are the worst kinds and unfortunately, that type is what I last experienced. If I would have only listened to that little voice, my present would be full of everything I had envisioned. Instead, here I am trying to regain a since of self, attempting to write a new chapter in my life to replace what’s been ruined.
My name is Elizabeth Nardi. Everyone wanted to call me Liz or Beth but I liked neither of the two. Since I was always so serious and people were so keen on giving me a nickname, Biz came to fruition. Biz. I was a focused kid growing up and graduated high school near the top of my class. I was also an all-state goalie on the soccer field, helping lead my high school team to two consecutive league titles and a state championship. I was popular, revered, and on my way to great things. I spent four years in college swatting kicks on goal and obtaining a degree in education, an English major. I graduated at twenty-three and left school to return home eager and ready to start a long career in education and athletics.
Getting a job was easy. Moving back to my home area, I was so well known and respected that many high schools were lined up to offer me a position. I took a creative writing position at Oxford Hills High and was off and running, teaching students how to carefully craft engaging stories. I became the junior varsity soccer coach and began coaching. A year in and the varsity girls soccer coach retired and I was elevated to the head position. Things were going well and in three years at the helm, my teams won three league titles and were state runner-up. I was now twenty-six and as a young adult, my professional life was very much in order.
Personally, I wanted more. I hung out with several girlfriends all the time. I had a blast with tequila filled Saturdays followed by trying to grade short stories hungover on Sundays. It was great on the outside. Inside I could hear the ticking of my time clock. I turned twenty-seven and besides a few flings to quench my sex drive, I had developed zero substantial or meaningful relationships with a man. After those drunk nights out, my girlfriends were headed home to long time significant others while I went home to a pint of Phish Food ice cream. It always pacified me long enough to push through another week. Rinse and repeat.
I met him on a Friday. We had finished practice early and I decided to run over to the Home Depot for a wax ring for my toilet. I had just bought my first house and even though my dad had offered, I was determined to be independent and do things for myself. I walked in and could only see his back as he yelled at what looked to be the manager. “Well fuck you! This job is shit anyway!” He snatched off the little vest that they wear and flung it to the floor. He turned towards me and we locked eyes as he stormed off out of the business.
I stood there not processing the situation but replaying his face in my mind. He was rugged and gorgeous. Dark hair, stubbly beard, and I wish I knew him. My daydream was interrupted by that same manager. “Sorry about that miss, Roman just got a little worked up.” Even his name was sexy. Roman. I got my wax ring and got out of there.
I sat barefoot on my bathroom floor with my flange in one hand and my phone in the other. The YouTube video wasn’t helping so I decided to browse Facebook. It was easy to find a Roman with Home Depot listed as his employment. Roman West. His page was pretty bare but he looked single so I perused it anyway. I took in some of the few pictures he did have and was smitten all over again. I sent him a friend request and went back to the YouTube video.
This act must have given me some clarity because the wax ring installation video suddenly made sense and within fifteen minutes, I was finished and felt accomplished. That night I laid in bed surfing social media. I felt suddenly and intensely turned on when the notification graced my screen. My friend request has been accepted by Roman West. I put my phone away and pulled my vibrating friend from under my pillow. That night I enjoyed what it may be like with him.