The duct taped, plywood boats were in the water, Evalena Worthington and Bill Hoebee were on the microphone, and a crowd had gathered on a 55-foot Sea Ray for a party with the captain. Then, one of the most recognizable faces on the island climbs onboard The Great Dane but not to watch the Minimal Regatta. Dressed in a Billabong navy and cream sundress from Divers Direct, with 80s style sunglasses on her face and black flip-flops on her feet, Chelsea Wells is the epitome of island chic.
She’s also the heartbroken dame of a modern-day, young romance.
As the Key West Weekly reports, there is always some mystery in the way life unfolds.
“We were together for almost two years. We met on the honors floor in the dorms at the University of Tampa. He was one of the few hot boys on our floor.”
Wells was wooed by Erik Nicoletti after she graduated from Key West High and moved to the mainland to continue studying.
“I hadn’t declared a major. But I was looking at finance,” Chelsea, known by her friends as “Chels,” talked candidly. “He had a great sense of humor, and he knew wanted to be a screenwriter.”
Then, a fateful night on November 21, the weekend before Thanksgiving, changed everything.
Back on the island for jury duty, Chelsea was having a hard time getting a flight back to Tampa. Erik was out with his buddies and was crossing the street to an off-campus convenience store.
“They were walking back, and a drunk driver hit him,” Chelsea discloses. “It was Friday night. I saw him on Sunday.”
His legs and arms were all broken, and the doctors were draining fluid from his brain. They soon pronounced him deceased.
“He looked ok. I’ve never cried so much in my life,” Chelsea expressed. “He was the person I thought I’d be with. If we were too young, I don’t know. I didn’t get to know how far we would have gone.”
Also, living in Tampa at the time was Louie Olivarez, a 42-year old office manager for a law firm living with diabetes. His outlook was grim. He needed a new liver, pancreas, and kidneys.
“I had two tumors in my liver. One was the size of a golf ball. The other was going to grow that large in two years. My blood sugar level dropped from 100 to 60 and I was like, ‘I need a Pepsi’.”
But what Olivarez received were new organs.
To celebrate his successful operation six months ago, he traveled to Key West with his family this past Memorial Day weekend. His nephew is Dave Gesprich, a distributor with Coastal Wine and Spirits.
We all know Chelsea’s Dad, John Wells is Coastal Wine and Spirits, and the link was made and later confirmed by doctors.
“It blows my mind,” said Chelsea as she played with one of three silver chains around her neck. “I don’t even know how to describe it. My friends that knew both of us and his friends, everyone is so jealous of me right now, that I get to experience this. To be able to talk to him is amazing. Erik would love him.”
And Louie has a newfound affection for one of our island girls.
“I feel blessed that we got to meet today. It’s such a small world that we live in. She’s down here, I’m here, we meet, it’s unreal.”
Louie, a former runner, fisherman and cyclist, who like Chelsea, loves to shop, is has regained much of his strength and is training for the Gasparilla Distance Classic, a half Marathon.
Chelsea isn’t ready to return to campus, to the familiar places she shared with Erik and his friends. But, at twenty years old, born under the sign of Cancer, she is keeping an open mind to romance.
“I can’t not love again. At some point, granted however long it takes me, I will. Erik knew what a big heart I have. When you’re a cancer you love them so much. He would be upset to know I wasn’t going to reuse that love.”
Chelsea has the Sublime song title, Waiting for my Rucca written in her best friend’s handwriting tattooed across her left ankle. “My favorite song and he had it set as his ring tone so the tune played every time anyone called.”
E.V.N. is emblazoned across Chelsea’s right wrist for Erik Vincente Nicoletti. The green bracelet was made my Erik’s mom and given to those closest to her son after he passed.
Chelsea meeting the man who’s the recipient of her boyfriend’s kidneys, pancreas, and liver, Louie Olivarez (left). Ironically, Louie’s nephew (right) Dave Gesprich is the trusted colleague of Chelsea’s dad, Southern Wine & Spirits’ John Wells.