Lexie has one goal in life: to grant one last wish for each of her patients. There isn’t a request she will deny, and has yet to fail to deliver a promise. That is, until the day she goes in search of the infamous rock star Kaleb Knight, who can’t care less about her life’s ambition, or the children she is determined to help.
Kaleb has his own dark secrets. He lives each day as if it’s his last, and refuses to spare a moment of his time to play the part of a knight in shining armor—especially for someone like Lexie . . . or so he thought. Now, his head and heart are at war, and his soul is screaming she is exactly what he needs.
Will Lexie be the only one that can save him in the end? Or will he instead succumb to the darkness threatening to consume him?
“So how long have you been a nurse?”
“I’m going on five years now.”
“I can tell you love doing it,” he expresses. “You’re good with the kids.”
Staring down at my meal, I attempt to hide my emotions. “I guess I was destined to do it,” I lie, fighting back the tears from the true reason why I chose to become a nurse.
“How long have you been a rock star?” I’m quick to ask, wanting to change the subject.
He looks to me as if I’ve lost my mind. “You really don’t know?”
With a shake of his head, he gives me a chuckle. “You sure do surprise me, Pixie.”
“Well, excuse me for not being one of your humble servants who knows every detail about you, Mr. Rock Star.” This turns his chuckle into a full-blown bout of laughter.
Bringing his fork up, he uses it to point at me. “I really do like you.”
It’s meant to be a compliment. Oddly, though, I feel as if it’s some sort of acceptance from him.
Trying to further explain myself, I say, “I only know minor details about your band because of Ben. That boy worships you.” I may not be able to see the blush on Kaleb’s cheeks due to the poor lighting, but from his bashful smile, I know it’s there. “But give it time and I’ll most likely know what size underwear you wear soon.”
I had meant it to come out as a joke since Ben would most likely feed me every unwanted detail, but Kaleb has thought otherwise. “So you are trying to get into my pants?”
Appalled, I say, “No! Ben has not stopped feeding me information about you guys since the morning you showed up. If it wasn’t for him, I would have demanded he stop a long time ago.”
“No other reason?”
Rolling my eyes at his egotistical thoughts, I say, “Nope. I couldn’t care less who you are.”
His hand spreads over his heart. “You wound me.”
“I see you don’t take rejection well,” I tease.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been rejected.”
“The mighty king has fallen from his pedestal,” I mock, earning another chuckle from him.
“You don’t sugarcoat anything, do you, Pixie?”
With a sorrowful shake of my head, I say, “You’re wrong. My career is nothing but sugarcoating reality for these children. It’s what gives them hope. It’s why I do what I do. They deserve to smile,” I state, looking up to the sky to distract myself.
Sadness looms between us for a brief moment. “When’s Ben’s next treatment?”
I’m amazed he’s even asking, but his interest seems sincere. “Tomorrow. He’s almost done, though. But I’m having trouble convincing him to follow through with chemotherapy. He has seen the side effects it can cause with other patients and he doesn’t want anything to do with it,” I disclose.
Kaleb grows silent with a heavy frown before his eyes peer up to gaze at the stars above us. Understanding what he is feeling, I do the same. At the precise moment my eyes seek the sky, a shooting star streaks across the sky. An ache forms in my chest. Kaleb must have seen it as well. His deep voice asks from my side, “Did you make a wish?”
“You don’t honestly believe in them, do you?” I test, wondering what his answer will be.
He grows serious. “It’s one of my fondest memories of my mother. But I stopped making wishes a long time ago because of her.”
I can hear the sorrow in his response and it reminds me of Dani. My chest tightens and my throat constricts as I understand exactly how he is feeling.
“And you?” His eyes intensely peer over to me. “When was the last time you wished upon a star?”
Without hesitating, I reply, “Four thousand three hundred seventy-six days ago. It was the day she died.”
He looks baffled by my answer. “Who?”
“My sister,” I confess in a whisper.
I wasn’t prepared to disclose any information about her tonight, yet with Kaleb, it feels natural to tell him. Nonetheless, the reminder of my loss has the pressure of my threatening tears building. The lump lodged in my throat becomes larger, and my chest grows heavy with grief. Panic that I will break down sets in. “I’ve got to go. Thank you for dinner,” I blurt out as I begin to stand before I risk making a fool of myself in his presence.
He doesn’t stop me, nor does he follow as I make my escape. It leaves me to question why, yet I’m also grateful at the same time. The pain of knowing I’ve lost a piece of my heart is still a fresh wound, regardless of how long it’s been. The fury still courses through my veins and I’d most likely take it out on him, which is unfair. He’s taken enough of my wrath for one night. He’s nowhere close to the true asshole I once resented. The only asshole in this world is cancer and there is nothing that can ever compare to it.
Gabbie is a Southern California native, who lives with her wonderful husband, two amazing kids and a senior citizen kitty. When she’s not writing you can find her reading or spending time with her family. Some might say it’s a crazy life, but she wouldn’t change anything about it.
Spotify: Gabbie S. Duran