A Love Story
By 965koit on June 17, 2019
Like any good love story, this one begins with a guy.
He was handsome, charming, and romantic. He was one of my matches on eHarmony, but I never reached out. Months later, I met him in real life through a friend, and we had instant chemistry. On our first date, we talked until the sun came up on the roof of the Wynn hotel parking structure.
My love for him was intense and deep.
But he’s not the man I ended up marrying.
Let me back up a little bit.
When I got the news that I got a job as a news reporter at an AM talk station in Las Vegas, I sold most everything I had, packed up my car, and drove to Nevada from Colorado in the middle of a snowstorm. I arrived at my apartment in my new city to find it didn’t have any heat, so I had to spend the night at a hotel.
The next morning I got up, showered, and put on the most professional thing I owned, which at the time was probably jeans and a button-up shirt.
I drove to my new station and was given the tour by my new boss when I was introduced to a man in a sleeveless basketball jersey and baggy jean shorts that reeked of cigarette smoke. I was told he was the station’s board op and would be responsible for turning my mic on and off.
I did that thing that most people do on their first day. We said our introductions, but the minute I walked away, I had wholly forgotten his name.
That’s the man I would end up marrying.
So what happened?
Let’s come back to that first guy.
We broke up. Anti-climatic I know, but sometimes things just don’t work out. We met at the wrong time in our lives. This guy was going one way, and I was going another. There was no major drama or scandal, he just wasn’t the one, but I didn’t know that at the time.
I was truly devastated when we broke up. I cried all the time and begged whatever higher source is out there to bring this guy back and make things the way they were. I would stare at my phone for hours, willing him to call me, but he never did.
So, I did what any self-respecting single lady does.
I went to the movies.
Working on the morning show, I got off at noon and had the whole day to spend obsessing over this guy, so I decided to see a movie instead.
It became a weekly thing for me. I would buy myself a ticket, and some candy and retreat into the land of make believe for a while.
Remember that sleeveless wearing, cigarette smoking guy I mentioned before?
That was Nick.
He was a board op at my station. That means that he ran the main control board and kept everyone on time. Another one of his essential duties was to turn on my mic. I sat in a tiny studio, and we were separated by a thick plate of glass. Many times I would have to bang on that glass to wake him up when he drifted off to sleep behind the board.
He wasn’t bad at his job. In fact, it was the opposite.
He was so reliable that he had multiple jobs at the company. He worked the overnight shift at the Top 40 station across the hall and then the morning show on my station. There were times he only had a few hours to crash in, and he would sleep on the company couch. If you know anything about a radio station couch, you know that someone would have to be desperate to lay their head there, and Nick was.
We made small talk with each other if I had to drop off something in the main studio, but for the most part, I never spoke to him. It didn’t help that we were in two different rooms our entire shift.
One day, when I was walking out, he asked me where I was off to. I told him I was going to see the Vampire’s Apprentice at the theatre inside Red Rocks Casino. He looked at me like I was a weirdo and said the one thing that put everything into motion.
“Can I come?”
I barely knew this guy, but it’s just sitting together in the dark, right? He had some time to kill before his next shift so why shouldn’t he see a movie too?
I told him to meet me inside the theatre.
He told me he had to finish up some things at work, but he would be right there. He also told me to buy him some Red Vines. He didn’t see a movie without his Red Vines.
I bought the candy, sat down in the theatre and waited. One trailer after another played and still, no sign of Nick. The “shut your phone off” PSA came, and again, no nick.
The movie started, and the outline of a figure appeared at one of the exits.
Nick plopped down next to me, smelling of smoke, and grabbed a Red Vine, and said, “sorry I’m late.”
You know how traumatic moments are supposed to bring people together? That’s how bad this movie was.
Honestly, if it was good, we might not be together today. I guess I should be thankful for John C. Reilly’s worst performance in a decade.
We couldn’t stop laughing about how terrible it was.
That was the day we became friends. We talked more and more at work and eventually started playing epic Scrabble matches at his house.
Our first official date was to see comedian Frank Caliendo at some media night. I drank three glasses of wine and threw up in Denny’s bathroom. That’s a story for another time.
We’ve endured a lot together. We’ve been together ten years now, and for two of that, we lived in different states. There are times that I look over at Nick and I still can’t believe we ended up together, let alone started a family together.
It wasn’t the most epic beginning to our romance, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Except for one thing.
I did make him quit smoking.
Everyone has a love story, what’s yours? Let me know in the comments.