New Winslow S7E25
The Fitchburg apartment was mostly packed up by now. So Cleo had been busy tackling the storage unit she’d put most of her furniture in when she’d moved here. She still had some time left on the lease for it, but if it wasn’t necessary to hang onto much longer, then she wanted to shave off some expenses wherever she could. Three more job rejections had come in today and keeping the unit while her rent was about to triple just seemed a little too irresponsible.
Of course, Noah had offered to store things at their house for her. And she appreciated it, she truly did. But that would mean going back into New Winslow. Even if it wasn’t anytime soon, eventually she’d need to get her things out of their house and that would put her at risk again. Though, if it weren’t for Edie, Cleo had to admit that she would consider it.
Fortunately, a lot of things could go so she didn’t have to make that decision. She wanted to hang onto her bed in case they set up a guest room at some point. And Edie’s sofa was on its last legs, so they were going to use this one from Cleo’s Dorchester apartment. A lot of her smaller belongings were already packed up back at the apartment, so they were taken care of. Honestly, if she wanted to put in a little effort to move them to a smaller unit on the same premises, she might be able to keep her things in storage and still save some money.
Something to consider when life slowed down a little. But for now she was on her way back to Fitchburg with a few things that she’d wanted for the new place and plans to go back for the bigger items. And as she pulled into the small parking lot outside their building, she was so excited to move that it was almost overwhelming.
She was going back to Boston. Andrew wasn’t going with her yet, but Edie was and they had a beautiful little apartment in Brighton. She’d find a good-paying job and pay her half of the expenses soon. The album, which was entirely written, would get recorded and go off on out to the world. And eventually she’d go back on tour too. Edie would be leaving soon after they officially moved in, which Cleo didn’t want to think too much about just yet. But they’d only be gone a couple months and then the two of them would have their whole future back here.
She went upstairs and opened the door, squeezing around the cardboard boxes stacked in the living room. She could hear Edie shuffling in the bedroom.
“I’m back!” Cleo called.
They didn’t sound like it was a genuine emergency, but the stress levels were still high. Cleo hurried in to see Edie surrounded by piles of clothes. They had them semi-sorted on the bed, but there were so many that there was no way to do it without the clothes falling down onto the floor to make a bigger mess. And Cleo could see that their dresser hadn’t even been touched yet.
“Sorry, you’re doomed,” Cleo said, though she couldn’t judge based on her own overflowing closet. “We had a good run.”
She leaned down and kissed them. Despite everything, she had to admit she’d miss this apartment just a little. Just because of the memories they had here, that was all.
“Any luck?” Edie asked.
“A little,” she replied, picking up a stack of black pants. “They had a dumpster there, so I got rid of the broken stuff and brought back everything but the furniture. Honestly, I think there are more of Andrew’s clothes in my car right now than mine, they must have been tangled up in my laundry. But I think it’s as good as it’s getting until after we move.”
“Three more days,” Edie said with a smile, leaning up to kiss her again.
Three more days. Cleo was already done with New Winslow and soon she’d be back home.
Noah woke up choking on salt water. At least, for those first few seconds as he sputtered and gasped, he was sure he was. Until he realized he was in his bed and had clearly been screaming in his sleep.
He sat up, heart pounding in his ears as he looked around the room. It was the same room he’d had for several years now, very few changes made at any point. But after the events of the past week, he couldn’t help looking at it through different eyes. For a short, surreal time, he hadn’t remembered any of it. She’d taken his pain, yeah, and he could admit that not carrying that around for a few days had felt good. And having it back now came with a new heaviness and intensified dreams every time he closed his eyes. But she’d also taken Andrew away. And all the work Noah had put into his new life.
She’d taken Mia from him.
And he’d heard the voicemails they left him once he got his phone back. The fear in everyone’s voices made him feel guilty for scaring them. Even Roman. Noah had barely made it through the voicemail Roman had left while he was gone and been carrying around that vague shame since.
He rubbed his face, then threw the sheets off and got up, going over to the dresser. So even after all the big revelations that this ghost kid was contacting him, he was still going to dream about shipwrecks. Wonderful, exactly what he fucking needed. Nothing had changed about the dreams themselves, at least based on what he’d just seen. It was still the storm, still the lead-up to what he now knew was a real teenager drowning alone in the ocean. He didn’t actually remember that last part when he woke up, but now he just knew that it was all real and he was witnessing a kid dying.
Not some kid. His great great something or other. Uncle, maybe? His mom had confirmed as much on the phone yesterday after everything at Iris’s shop, which might explain why the dream came back today, if he was lucky.
He and Andrew were going over together today to try the Ouija board or whatever again with Iris. So maybe with that in mind, they could get some real answers from this kid.
He was supposed to be at the Limerick for six AM and it was just before five now. As he got up to shower, he heard Liv moving around downstairs. She’d be taking over for him later, then going with her mother to some event in Worcester. Her mother had won an award for her work and Sammy wasn’t able to go, so she was going as her mom’s plus one. Aunt Monica worked hard, so even if Noah didn’t quite get what her job was, he was proud of her. She and Liv both deserved a fancy evening out.
The shower water felt a bit too close to the ocean spray, but he forced himself to scrub and wash his hair, feeling the stubble on his face where he’d had a beard until last week. He liked that beard, what had he been thinking shaving it off? He was tempted to let it grow back in, but was already reaching for his razor. Everything was fine and as long as he looked like everything was fine, he could buy himself time to actually get fine.