New Winslow S6E75 – SEASON FINALE
Noah didn’t know where he was going. All he knew was that he should go in this direction, that this was the route that would bring him home. Home was in New Winslow, he knew that. In most of his mind, he was aware that home was the duplex, with his cat upstairs and Liv and Andrew downstairs. Home was the warmth of that building.
But for some reason, home was also up ahead, and he needed to go there if he was ever going to reconcile what had just happened to him.
His truck’s radio had still been on from the drive to Iris’s earlier and now a crooning country song wove in and out of the static as he drove down empty, wooded back roads. It could have been ten minutes, it could have been an hour. But the warring sensations of leaving home and arriving at home had Noah’s heart racing so hard that it might burst out of his chest.
Billy McBride. It was all there, torn wide open. The massive waves, the fear as he was thrown off the ship. The last flickers of life as he’d choked on sea water. The way he’d never wanted to leave New Winslow in the first place.
Just like Iris said, Billy had projected that all into Noah’s brain and he had no idea why. But the memories were as clear as any from his own childhood and the clash made his head hurt so badly that he needed to pull over before he crashed.
Noah shut off his truck where it was now parked crookedly at the side of the road. Andrew was probably worried about him. He reached for his phone to call and let Andrew know he was fine, he was going to be home soon. But his phone wasn’t in his pocket as he slid out of the driver’s side. It must still be back at Iris’s store.
He left the door open and started walking, his feet carrying him somewhere that felt simultaneously right and wrong. The path was so clear, but it was leading him farther from New Winslow and the separation felt like drowning. The sun beamed down, unseasonably hot, but he kept walking.
He didn’t know how long he walked until he reached the stately old home holding court on a property outside of town. Cars lined the gravel parking lot outside, but there were no people to be seen as Noah stopped outside his childhood home.
No, his childhood home was a ranch house in New Winslow.
No, it was this mansion. His father’s pride and joy. Just like Noah was his mother’s.
Another bolt through his head made Noah squeeze his eyes shut. But he could have easily walked into this house with his eyes closed, anyway. It wasn’t in New Winslow where it belonged, but it was home.
Where did Noah end and Billy begin? He could feel Billy, a separate presence from himself. But now new flashes of memory entered his sputtering brain on lightning bolts of pain, and it was hard to think straight. Billy’s last moments were so clear, but now he could catch glimpses of other memories as well. Kind smiles, thick books, suspenders. None of it made any sense, but it was there.
He walked in through the heavy front doors. They felt unfamiliar, but the cool foyer that greeted him did not. If it weren’t for the fact that he was wide awake, Noah might have thought he was sleepwalking through a dream as his feet guided him past the empty wooden desk and up the stairwell beyond it.
He could hear signs of life as he walked, lungs burning as his pulse throbbed in his ears. But as he got higher up the stairwell, he felt more like a puzzle piece finally sliding into place. His room was up here. He just needed to see his room, then he’d be fine.
Noah didn’t know how he knew this, but he did. And knowing he’d maybe broken into someone’s house didn’t shake him as much as it should have.
Hotel, he thought vaguely as he walked. It’s that inn. It hadn’t even occurred to him until he was nearly at the fourth floor.
The thought of his father came suddenly to mind and Noah missed him so much that it was physical. He’d know what to do right now and Noah wanted to ask him so badly. But maybe he could. After all, a ghost’s memories were currently short-circuiting his own thoughts.
“Dad?” he managed to choke out. “Dad, where are you? I need your help.”
Silence. He reached the fourth floor and stepped out into the hallway. The dim, bare space wasn’t how he remembered it. But he walked in the direction of the third room off this hallway, the route now achingly familiar in his bones from tracing it so many nights in his own apartment. He’d go to his bedroom and then…
Then Noah would go home to Andrew.
He could hear footsteps, Billy’s footsteps. They echoed around the actual steps he took, even if Noah couldn’t really sense the spirit fully. He wasn’t like Olivia, that wasn’t something he could naturally do. This wasn’t like anything that had ever happened to him before.
Noah turned the doorknob and stepped inside the room. As he did so, it was like that deadly grip inside of him loosened for the first time since he’d lived Billy’s final moments. That was a memory, somehow in his own head. But why? And how? He wasn’t a medium. No wonder Liv was so anxious if this was just a taste of what she’d dealt with.
Another flash of pain came on so suddenly that he gasped, clutching his forehead. He needed to get home to his friends. He’d be fine if he could just get back to New Winslow. Maybe this meant it had worked and that they could get Andrew out of town. Noah just needed to get home to do it.
If he was in the creepy bed and breakfast, that meant he was only in Petersham. He could get home in half an hour, right after he found his truck.
Noah staggered down the stairs, his head throbbing. He didn’t know if it was the knowledge from Billy messing with him or something physically wrong, but the pain was nearly driving him to tears. He needed to get home, but he needed this to stop if he was going to get there in one piece.
“Sweetheart, there you are. Oh, what did she do to you?”
He stopped at the bottom of the stairs, at the entrance to the foyer. There was someone standing there, blocking the exit. As the figure stepped closer, he could tell it was a woman. She was pretty, with long dark hair and large sunglasses on her face. She sparkled, seemingly the only thing he could see through the pain.
“The family resemblance is striking,” she said with a soothing smile, gently cupping his chin in her cool hand. “Those big blue eyes. You were looking for me.”
He wasn’t. But as the blood roared in his ears, he also didn’t regret finding her. “Billy’s here, isn’t he?”
“Of course he is.”
“I want to go home,” Noah said. “It hurts.”
“I know it does,” the woman said sweetly. “But I’m here now, darling. And don’t worry, I’m going to wipe the pain away.”