Dex is many things, a college senior, the bassist for The
Invisibles, a son, a friend, everything but a boyfriend. Everybody knows him as
the shallow guy who’s up for a good time anytime. People rarely take the time
to see the loyal guy lying just beneath the happy-go-lucky façade.
There are parts of Dex’s life he keeps hidden. Ones he believes
no one would understand. Since he gave up on the idea of a dream girl long ago,
he thinks he’s finally found the perfect balance of connection without
commitment with Sam.
Chrissy used to know everything about Dex. When he left four
years ago for college, she was left behind. Four years later, with nowhere else
to turn, Chrissy calls the one person she’s always counted on, Dex. One glance
at the sad eyes he’s tried to forget and Dex knows it’s out of his control.
With Chrissy's return, lines begin to cross from friendship to
something more, but will Dex's secret force them apart forever?
(Can't Let Go is the fourth novel in the Invisibles Series)
Picking it up, still shaking in my hands, a number I don’t
recognize crosses the screen. Wavering on whether or not I want to chance this
being something at the house, I hit ignore because I don’t want to be bothered
with my dad’s so-called business
today. Then thoughts of someone raiding or maybe some loser found out where my
dad’s operation is. Worse case, someone ratted him out. Figuring someone who I
have programmed in my phone would have made the phone call to alert me, I wait
to see if they leave a voicemail. Which they do—my phone vibrates a second
Clicking speaker, I place the black rectangle on my dresser while
I gel my hair. My fingers are manipulating each strand, placing it in the
perfect spot when her voice comes across. My hands stop mid-air and I my eyes
fixate on the phone. Closing my eyes, that sweet sound that’s only lived in my
dreams the past years still unglues me to the core. “Um … Dex. I’m in town and … um … I was
wondering … if maybe we could … um … talk.” Her voice is practically shaking
from the awkwardness of the phone call.
“HULK!” Brady screams again. Debating in my head what I should do,
I could easily claim ignorance that I never got the call. Say that I was
already out of town. Excuses run through my head as to why I would leave her
wherever she is. Then the images of her alone, or worse, not. Knowing even with
the distance that has formed between us over the years, I could never, would
never, not go to her if she needed me.
Walking out my door, I peer over the railing to a sour Brady.
“Man, I gotta do something. You guys go without me,” I shout down.
“What is so damn important?” he asks, sensitive to the fact he
can tell something’s off with me. Brady is like the father of our friends,
protective of us all.
“A friend needs me,” I say, remaining vague. If Brady knew the
half of what I did when I leave this house, he’d probably have an anxiety
He stands there staring up at me and wavers at the door. Probably
counting in his head how long he has before Sadie, his fiancé, comes in search
of him. “What’s up, man?” he asks, stepping up a few stairs.
“I’m not sure yet. I need to make a call.” I’m honest with him
because Brady has a sense of comfort about him. Although, I’m fairly certain
our secrets are shared with Sadie, he keeps things mostly to himself.
“Do that, and we’ll wait.” He jogs back down the steps, and the
front door shuts behind him.
Sitting on my bed, I bite my lip. It’s been so long. Not that she
hasn’t crossed my mind; I’m not sure a day goes by that I don’t wonder where
she is and what’s she’s doing. I question why she left and never answered my
calls. The guilt that I somehow left her behind always resonating inside
somewhere within me even when she’s the one who disappeared. The small piece of
electronics sits in my hands like a ten-pound weight. There’s no turning back,
no erasing from my mind once I press that call icon.
Pushing back my fear, I press the call button, release a deep
breath and bring the phone up to my ear. She answers on the first ring,
confirming something is seriously wrong. “Dex,” she answers. Another stab of
the knife that she still has my number programmed, but I don’t have her
obviously changed number.
“Chrissy?” I say her name out loud for the first time in four
years. How can her name seem foreign on my tongue?
The line is quiet for a few seconds before she continues. “Hi.
I’m in Western … at this place called The Loft. Could you come down here?” she
Michelle moved around the Midwest most of her life, transferring from
school to school before settling down in the outskirts of Chicago ten years
ago, where she now resides with her husband and two kids. She developed a love of reading at a young
age, which helped lay the foundation for her passion to write. With the encouragement of her family, she
finally sat down and wrote one of the many stories that have been floating
around in her head. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can be found playing
with her kids, talking to her mom on the phone, or hanging out with her family
and friends. But after chasing around
twin preschoolers all day, she always cherishes her relaxation time after
putting the kids to bed.
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