New Winslow S5E27
The loan wasn’t approved. Andrew could tell what had happened even before Olivia opened her mouth. She was sitting in front of her email, the laptop on the kitchen table beside her breakfast plate. She’d opened the message from their bank, scanned it for a second, and then he’d seen her heart break in real time. Noah was standing by the counter, and he made his way over to her.
“Shit,” he said, squeezing her shoulder as he read the message from behind her chair. “I’m so sorry, Liv.”
She gave him a forced smile. “It’s okay,” she said, though Andrew could tell she was close to tears. “It’s not like it was a definite thing.”
“Can we apply again?” Noah asked, peering at the screen. “Or maybe look somewhere else?”
“No one else is going to approve us,” she said. “They said it’s our income. Even with both of us on the loan, we’re not a safe enough bet without a more steady income.”
“Collateral,” Noah said, snapping his fingers. “Maybe we could put something up as collateral for a loan. What about my truck?”
Andrew was standing in the doorway as they began talking. He slipped out of the room, leaving them behind as they discussed their options. There weren’t any other loans available. He knew that and he knew that they knew it too. But there was one possibility left, if he was willing to do it.
He went into his room, closed the door, and pulled out his own laptop. The whole time he was pulling up his bank information, that loud voice was screaming incoherently in his ear. This was a bad idea. This was suicidally bad. He might as well pick out his grave plot in the New Winslow town cemetery now if this was the route he was going to take.
“Piss off,” Andrew muttered to the voice, glad he was alone in his bedroom as he made these calculations and talked to nobody.
A few minutes later, Andrew walked back into the kitchen, where the other two were still sitting with the laptop open to the loan rejection. He pulled out a chair and sat down, too. “Listen,” he said, hoping he didn’t look as jittery as he felt right now. “I just checked my accounts. And with the money that Cleo gave me, I have enough to buy the building outright.”
Olivia shook her head. “Absolutely not,” she said. “That has to be your entire savings. Is it? Be honest.”
“It is,” Andrew admitted. “But I’ve got my severance package from my old job. Plus the shop, so I can still afford to cover my part of the expenses.”
“I’m not worried about that,” Olivia said, moving the laptop out from between the two of them and leaning closer to him. “Andrew, that’s everything you have to start over when you get back to Boston.”
“I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to Boston.”
The words were out before he could stop them. And as he said it, that certainty about the uncertainty hit him again. He didn’t know. He could hope, but he might spend his entire life here just hoping to leave.
“Look,” he said, hurrying on before either of them could respond to the huge admission he’d just made. “I can live somewhere else if – when – I get back. Sure, I lost my job. But I can get another job. Look at me, I’m so charming. Who could say no to hiring me?”
He flashed an intentionally ridiculous grin, and she laughed through the tears that were now shining in her eyes. Even Noah struggled to hide a smile.
“I want to do this,” Andrew insisted. “Liv, this is going to work.”
“It’s too much-” she started, but he cut her off.
“No, you know what is too much?” Andrew demanded. “It’s opening your house indefinitely to someone who keeps being a fucking dick over and over again. Knowing full well that it could be decades before he fucking leaves.”
Again, the thought hit him like a fist to the solar plexus. But with every word, he felt more confident that this was the right decision.
“I want to do this,” he said again. “I want to buy that building. And I want to start this business. And I want it to be everything you want it to be, because I trust your vision.”
Noah had been silent through this, but then he looked Andrew in the eye. Andrew suddenly felt caught, like he couldn’t look away.
“We’ll pay you back,” Noah said. “Once it’s up and running.”
Andrew was about to argue that this wasn’t a loan, but then Olivia nodded too. “Yeah, I think that’s fair,” she said.
Andrew didn’t much care about fairness right now, but they hadn’t rejected his offer. And if, in a few years or whatever, they wanted the business to pay him back a part of it, then fine. They could fight about it then.
“Great,” he said. “Perfect. Yes, let me just go to the…fuck.”
He couldn’t just go to the bank and settle everything. What the hell? He’d literally just been thinking about the curse. But before he could even begin to worry about that, Olivia was pulling over a pad of paper. “I’ll go anywhere that you need me to,” she said. “Let’s figure out what we need to do before we call Shannon.”
Andrew nodded and laid his hands in his lap, where the others couldn’t see how badly they were shaking.