New Winslow S6E34
Edie sobbed the entire way home. Cleo held their hand with one hand as she steered with the other, trying not to cry herself. How had she let this happen again? It was unbelievable how lucky they were that it had only lasted an hour this time. Cleo knew better, she should have put her foot down and told Edie they weren’t going to go to New Winslow. But she’d fallen for the place again. She’d been safe for this long, so clearly Edie would be too. Even if the proof that this thought process was horseshit was currently texting her, his name lit up on her phone where it was sitting in the phone clip on her dashboard.
Let me know you got home safe
She appreciated that. He wasn’t going to expect a phone call or even anything more than a perfunctory HOME when she pulled in. Her focus had to be Edie tonight, even though she knew that this must have been painful for him too. He’d seen Edie leave after only an hour. Right after he’d also seen Roman leave after twenty years.
Was Andrew the only person under the curse at the moment? She knew he had to be thinking it too.
She kept the music off as they drove through silent, dark roads toward the highway. Edie was still crying, soft sobs beside her. A small, unkind part of Cleo thought she had told Edie this could happen. Edie had brushed her off, hadn’t they? Or more, they hadn’t considered the reality of what a lifetime in that singular small town could mean. Yeah, hanging out with friends was nice, but if you were stuck there, you had to still live your life. And Edie would have lost their band, their home, their career, and everything else they had. Just like Andrew.
After a long forty-five minutes where Cleo itched to turn on music, but didn’t want to freak Edie out, they finally pulled up outside their apartment. It was late, but the landlord was sitting on the porch, smoking a cigarette. Elvis, she was pretty sure his name was. Edie wiped their eyes, then shakily stepped out of the car. Cleo could see them trying to maintain their composure as they walked past Elvis.
“Evening,” he said, nodding at them as they passed.
His cigarette glowed in the dark and Cleo couldn’t see much beyond that. Thankfully, that meant they were hidden too. So they both greeted him the same way, then hurried up the stairs.
As soon as they got into the apartment, Cleo steered Edie toward the bathroom. They looked miserably at her. “I’m sorry.”
“You did nothing wrong,” Cleo said as she turned on the bath. “It’s the curse.”
“You told me,” Edie said, staring intently at the base of the sink as they sat down on the closed toilet lid. “You told me it would happen.”
“We all have to make those decisions, don’t we?” Cleo said.
“You can’t go back.”
Cleo sighed. She hadn’t seen this part of the conversation coming and could have kicked herself for not anticipating it. “Babe,” she said, reaching over to squeeze Edie’s slim hand. “I have to go to my mom’s. That hasn’t changed.”
She saw Edie about to protest, and the tangled fight that was going to come from it. They’d had the reverse of this fight so many times, and the idea of arguing that she had to go to New Winslow while Edie refused to accept it was so mind-boggling that Cleo wasn’t sure how she’d react. She knew how a good girlfriend would react, but she wasn’t sure how this would go for her.
But Edie didn’t fight, instead they just hung their head, their hair falling lank as they nodded unhappily. The water was filling up the tub now and Cleo went to the cabinet to find some of the nice smelling bath stuff that Edie knew more about than her.
As she stood, she remembered she hadn’t texted Andrew. She sent a quick message to say they were home, then slid her phone onto the shelf as she picked up some bubble bath. It smelled good, a spicy vanilla scent she knew they’d used before. She put some in the water, gave it a little longer to foam up as the water filled the tub, then turned off the faucet.
“I’ll give you some time,” she said as Edie stood up.
“Are you staying?” they asked.
She had figured they’d want time on their own, but she wasn’t going to say no. So she smiled and Edie returned it, even if it was shaky. They both undressed quickly, then slid into their usual sides of the tub.
Normally, it would be a little flirty and silly when they were in here. Cleo would turn on some music and Edie would have cut some fruit. They’d chat about their days and relax. But tonight, Edie just started crying again, falling into Cleo’s arms as she moved to catch them.