Can’t Let Go
The Invisibles, #4
by Michelle Lynn
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. 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?
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 later.
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 attack.
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 asks.
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