“Don’t Look Back in Anger”
In one night, I lost five years of my life. Here’s what I know …
I was homeless. I’m a recovering drug addict. My inked skin crawls from lustful eyes. I have a serious aversion to women. My gay partner is a home wrecker. I own a gun and I’m a damn good shot. I’m a makeup artist, but it’s an insult to my talent. I’ve never wanted to possess anything except my Ducati … until I met Darby.
Now here’s what I know since that day in the ER when she pieced me back together … nothing—but a few random thoughts. My new “friend” is distracting, clingy, and obsessed with acronyms, emojis, and phrases like “breakfast soul mates.” I didn’t want to like her, but she crawled under my skin and swallowed me whole. Now we’re best friends and she’s my new addiction. I’d drink her from a shot glass, snort her up my nose, or inject her into my veins if I could. What I won’t do … is ever tell her that. She doesn’t know me … I don’t know me. When those missing years come back, I think she will hate me … I think I will hate me.
My parents named me Patrick Roth, and this is my story.
“He’s a makeup artist Gemmie recommended. But he has not, nor ever will be ‘throwing his hat into the ring.’”
“Married?” She grins as if the thought of me being someone’s mistress pleases her. It’s possible all my living relatives are a bit twisted.
I shake my head and smirk. “No, Nana, he’s not married. He’s … gay.”
She throws her head back and slaps her hand against her chest in a fit of laughter. “Oh my goodness!”
“Why is his sexual preference so hysterical?”
“Oh dear…” she wipes the corners of her eyes “…it’s just you have the worst luck in love. When did you find out?”
I reach over and grab a tissue from the sofa table and hand it to her, rolling my eyes. Then I proceed to tell her everything, not leaving out one single detail—including my magnetic attraction to him that shouldn’t be sexual but is.
“Well, dear, you’ve hit the jackpot.”
“What? How have you come to that conclusion from everything I’ve told you?”
“A guy friend who’s gay? I hear they’re every girl’s dream. Except, from the sounds of things, Trick needs to gay up a little more and stop confusing unsuspecting women.”
“Gay up? Who are you?”
She snaps her wrist at me. “I read the tabloids you know.”
“Yeah? Well then you should know that gay doesn’t have a look.”
“That’s the problem. You used to be able to tell by the ear piercing—right for gay left for straight. Or is it the other way around? Anyway, these days everything gets pierced and so it becomes terribly confusing.”
Nana provides nonstop entertainment, and every time I come by to see her I chastise myself for not doing it more often.
“We’re friends, period. And maybe you’re right. If he would ‘gay up’ a little more I might feel the jackpot effect.”
“Yes, shopping, hair, makeup, and chick flicks without competing hormones or competing for the same men.”
“Or wishing he weren’t gay,” I whisper to myself.
She tilts her head to the side, giving me a soft, sympathetic smile. “Or that too, dear.”
Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor. With 10 years of flossing lectures under her belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business. After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the Contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked. Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing. When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree at a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course…heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.