New Winslow S6E49

“Have you ever noticed that whenever you hide, you try to pretend you’re actually doing inventory?”

Noah’s voice interrupted Olivia’s spiraling thoughts as she sat on the floor between the furniture pallets with her clipboard limply in her hand.

“Hey,” she said dully.


Of course it would be Noah that found her like this. She’d heard his voice out there in the dining room along with Cleo’s, at a level that was too soft for her to understand what they were saying. But sitting back here, she knew full well she’d overreacted to Cleo’s comment.

“Liv-” he started, but she shook her head.

“I know,” she said quickly. “I know I shouldn’t have said that to her.”


She waited for him to say more, but he just sat down on the floor next to her, his long legs tucked up to fit in her little hiding space.

“You know something needs to change, right?” he asked, his voice soft.

Her heart dropped again. His tone was gentle, but there was no getting around it. She nodded, sniffling.

“How, though?” Olivia asked, letting her head fall back against the enormous cardboard box. “I mean, it’s not like I can go to a therapist and say I got possessed. And I can’t afford to pay out of pocket for, like, specialized supernatural care or something if that even exists. I’m barely able to afford anything right now. The only reason I can is because you and Andrew are working outside of here.”

“That’s intentional,” he reminded her. “It’s in our business plan, right over in that cabinet.”

“I know,” she said. “But I just… I don’t know what to do, Noah.”

He reached over and squeezed her hand. “We’ll figure it out.”

“Will we?”

“We have to.”

They sat in silence for a moment. “You know,” he started, “I didn’t know what was going to happen when I left rehab.”

She looked at him in surprise. Maybe it had been naïve, but once they’d established he was coming home, she had assumed he knew exactly what it would be. It wouldn’t be easy, but it would be a homecoming, then moving on with his life.

“I never told you why I stayed two extra weeks,” he said, looking straight ahead. “I wasn’t going to ever tell you. But I was scared I wouldn’t be able to keep from drinking. Or that I’d lost all of you. Or that I just… I just couldn’t cut it, you know? And I’m still scared. It feels a whole lot harder to stay sober now than it did when I first got home. And I feel shitty about it all the time.”

This didn’t seem to be answering the question of why he’d stayed or what she had to do, but Olivia stayed quiet. Partially because she didn’t want to mess up again and partially because he seemed to need to tell this story.

“I was in a therapy session a few days before I was supposed to leave,” Noah continued, still holding her hand. “And I told my therapist that I was going to kill myself.”

Her stomach flipped, even though it wasn’t the first time she’d heard this from him. Only last time, it had ended with a failed attempt to bring Noah’s mother in to help. But to hear him say it out loud to her? She squeezed his hand, and he squeezed back.

“I’m not going to,” he said. “And I wasn’t ever going to tell you. I didn’t want you dealing with that. But they took it seriously and I ended up in the hospital for a few days. And when I got back to the center, I had the opportunity to stay a little longer and get my head on straight. When I did leave, I still didn’t know what to expect. But the therapy helps. Even if the idea of a cursed town raised some red flags too.”

She couldn’t help laughing a little at that. “Like in college.”

“Seriously,” Noah said, laughing too. “I can ask if my therapist has any ideas for you. So far he’s accepted the whole cursed town thing pretty well.”

The idea scared her more than she wanted to admit to him, but she nodded. “Thanks,” she managed to whisper.

In the silence that followed, she could hear their new refrigerator humming away under the counter. She had been planning to prep some recipes to try tomorrow before she went to pick up Mia. But right now she couldn’t even bring herself to stand up.

“Do you think I should leave?” Olivia asked suddenly. “Honestly. Do you think it’s irresponsible for me to raise a baby here?”

“Are Roman and Celine irresponsible?” he shot back. “What about any of the other kids in this town? Our parents? The ones who stayed, I mean. Shit, Liv, there’s danger everywhere. If you want to go, then go. I’m not going to keep you from going.”

“Would you leave?”

“No, I’m not leaving.”

Noah’s tone was suddenly extra forceful, and she looked up at him in surprise. He looked surprised by it too. But before she could put any more thought into it, he looked at her. “You know Cleo wasn’t criticizing your parenting,” he said. “She’s been saying to leave this town for decades. You can find it annoying, I think it’s fucking annoying. But you know she’s not calling you a bad mother.”

Olivia wanted to disagree. “I already don’t have the money to give Mia what I want to give her,” she said. “There’s so much I want to do for her and I can’t afford it. Living here is the only way I can afford to give her a halfway good life.”

“You give her a great life,” Noah said sternly. “That girl is healthy, happy, and knows exactly how loved she is.”

The tears started back up at his words, and she nodded, throat too tight to speak clearly. “I want to take her traveling,” she said. “I want to show her the world, but I can barely show her life outside of town, even without the curse.”

She was crying again, there was no way to hide it. Noah reached his arm around her and tugged her in so that her head was resting on his shoulder. “It’s okay,” he said, his warmth a complete contrast to the sullen mood she’d been so frustrated with the other night. “You went through a bunch of shit and of course you’re not okay. But you have to stop pretending you are, because it’s going to kill you.”

His hand was on her hair as she nodded against his shoulder. “What do I do?” she asked.

“You’re asking me? Fuck if I know. I can’t stop doing everything wrong.”

“I wish I knew how to stop feeling this way.”

He laughed slightly. “See, my problem is I know exactly how to stop feeling this way.”

Olivia tilted her head in an attempt to kiss him on the cheek and caught the side of his neck, where soft beard became stubble. If he noticed, he didn’t give any sign.

“Can we just sit here for a little while?” she asked. “I’ll call Cleo and apologize. And I’ll try anyone your doctor suggests. There’s got to be someone out there that believes in ghosts and takes MassHealth. But I just need to sit here with you for a minute.”




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The Northern Worcester County branch of the Foundation for Paranormal Research is one of the organization’s top investigation and cleanup teams. So when a case comes in involving a century of mysterious disappearances, they figure they’ll be done before their lunch break is supposed to end. Investigators James and Amelia go to the site while their coworkers remain behind. But in seconds, Amelia vanishes in the cursed house and the others are forced to find her with no help from their bosses. Will they be able to get her back or will the house claim one final victim?

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