Font Size:  

And I know that people quit their jobs and cut off contact with ex-coworkers every day, but normally there’s a lead up to that happening—some catalyst that sets things into motion. But with Carly, nothing is adding up, as far as I know she was loving living in Nashville, and from what she told me, she had made a couple of friends at the gym she goes to plus she had just started dating Matthew and seemed really excited about him.

So why would she just leave then quit her job?

Grabbing my cell phone out of my bag and taking my key with me I get out of my car and head up the walkway to Carly’s front door. After knocking, I wait, then place my ear against the door after I knock again. Hearing nothing inside I look down at the door handle and my heart starts to beat a little harder. Placing my hand on it I turn my wrist and nothing. It’s locked which both relieves and disappoints me.

With a defeated breath I start to head back to my car, but stop when I glance down at the flowerbed that runs along the path to her front door. A while back, I remember her telling me that she got locked out of her place and her rental company charged her fifty dollars to show up on a Sunday to let her in, so she was going to buy one of those rocks you hide a key in.

Maybe just maybe—

I don’t know how many rocks I pick up before I find the one that is made out of heavy plastic, but when I do I hold my breath as I flip it over and slide open the hidden compartment. Seeing a key inside, I shake it out onto the palm of my hand then tuck the rock inside my pocket so I can put it back when I’m done.

As I go to the door and put the key in the lock, my hands start to shake, and adrenalin makes my heart race when the lock clicks open. Slowly I turn the knob and push the door in. I stare into the darkness of her apartment then reach inside and flip on the light. Not seeing anything out of the ordinary, I carefully step inside, leaving the door open, just in case I need to make a quick exit. From where I am I can see that nothing seems to be out of place, which puts me slightly at ease. I take a few more steps and look around. There’s a sweater laying on the back of the couch and a book open upside down on the armrest like she was using it to keep her place. What there isn’t is moving boxes or anything else to say she was getting ready to pack up. I turn on the light in the kitchen, and besides two wine glasses that are filled with water in the sink, nothing is there. Stepping out of the kitchen I look at the bedroom door then back at the front door to make sure that it’s still open. I know it’s stupid, since I’ve been in here for a couple of minutes already and no one has jumped out, but my gut is telling me to get out. When I reach the bedroom, I turn on the light and before I even step into the room my heart sinks. At the end of the bed is Carly’s purse, the purse she had saved to buy and was so proud of. Slowly I walk over to it like it’s a snake that might strike out at me and my hands shake worse than they already were as I open it up. When I find her wallet, and her keys inside, my throat starts to burn.

Backing away from it I take my phone out of my pocket and dial nine one one.


STANDING ON THE curb outside of Carly’s apartment with my arms wrapped around my middle, I listen to the two officers who showed up as they talk quietly a few feet away.

From the moment they showed up they have made it seem like I’m overreacting, that it’s totally normal for a woman to just disappear and leave her life behind. Neither of them have acknowledged that something is amiss, and honestly, they have seemed more concerned with how I got into Carly’s house without her permission than her being gone. If my dad weren’t in Alaska, I would call him and ask for his advice, but he doesn’t even have cell service where he is right now, so I’m on my own, and now I’m not even sure that I won’t be arrested.

When headlights land on me, I turn and watch a large, black SUV pull up and relief hits me hard when I see Miles in the passenger seat with Tucker behind the wheel. As they park, I let my arms fall to my sides and wait for them to get out.

Articles you may like