New Winslow S7E43

Phone service sucked everywhere in New Winslow, but it was slightly better downtown than it was up by Liv and Noah’s house. So, while standing out behind the Limerick while waiting for Edie to pick up their phone was going to suck, it beat trying to hang onto the call and have this conversation expecting it to drop out every few seconds back at Liv’s. Or using the kitchen phone where there was zero privacy.

Right now there wouldn’t be. Liv would have no problem offering her some, but she had to be home and Cleo didn’t want to kick her out of own her space so that Cleo could beg her partner not to break up with her. So instead, she had gone to the Limerick, where both Noah and Andrew were on today. She wanted to offer help, if only to help her kill some time, but she didn’t want to step on any toes now that Noah was solidly, if quietly, back. He was by the back sink when she got down there, nodding to her kind of ashamedly as she passed through.

“I’m not staying,” she said, suddenly feeling the need to defend her presence in the shop. “I left my charger here yesterday and I need to make a phone call.”

He shrugged. “You’re welcome back here,” he said, then turned back to the dishes he was washing.

She wanted to keep talking and avoid this phone call. Because if she never called, then Edie could never tell her that they were breaking up for keeps. If she didn’t call yet, there was always a slim chance that they’d say they changed their mind.

He must have noticed her hesitating because he set down the last mismatched plate and turned to look at her. “What’s wrong?”

“I have to call Edie.”

He grimaced and she had to appreciate the fact that he also clearly had no idea what was the correct thing to say right now. “I need to try,” Cleo said. “Or, at least, we need to figure out the apartment. If they don’t want to keep trying.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s not your-“

“I know,” Noah said quickly. “I know it’s not. I’m not, like, trying to make this about me. I’m just…sorry it happened.”

“Thanks,” she said, almost a whisper. “I should go do this.”


She started to walk away, then heard Noah call quietly after her. “Hey, Cleo?”

“Yeah?” She turned around.

“I’ll be here when you’re done.”

She swallowed hard, then smiled at him. “I love you,” she said, then hurried out the back door.

The phone rang four times and Cleo was scared it was going to go to voicemail. But before she had to deal with that, it connected. “Hi,” Edie said softly.


“What do you want?”

“I said I was going to call.”


They were both quiet for a moment as Cleo sat on an overturned crate by the dumpster. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine.”

Cleo waited for them to ask about her. Apparently the silence stretched on long enough that they felt obligated. “Are you?”


Another beat. Then Cleo took a deep breath. “Edie-“

“There’s nothing left to say,” Edie interrupted. “I didn’t want you going there, but I can’t stop you. And apparently nothing can stop you because you’ve kept going back after everything you’ve said will be your stopping point. You can keep telling me you hate it there, but it doesn’t change the fact that you’re there now.”

“I’m here because you put the latch on,” Cleo said, regretting the heat in her voice instantly. “If I’d gone back to Boston, I couldn’t get in the house unless I woke you up. And I wasn’t going to. What, was that a test?”

“No,” Edie said quickly. “No, it wasn’t a test. I’m sorry, that came out wrong. But Cleo, I made my choice now. So all that’s left to figure out is-“

“The apartment, yeah,” Cleo said, swallowing hard. “You take it. I’ll see if I can stay with my dad for a little bit while I figure things out.”

“I’m not kicking you out,” Edie said, sounding horrified. “Did you really think I was going to?”

“I don’t know,” Cleo said. “All I know is that, yeah, I made my choice too.”

“No, Jesus, I’m not kicking you out,” Edie said. “Besides, we’re both on the lease. No, I mean, if you’re comfortable with it, that is. We can, I don’t know, use that little room.”

The breakup room. It wasn’t going to be instrument storage after all. “Yeah,” Cleo said.

“I don’t mean, I mean, we can flip a coin or talk it over.”

“No, you pay more in rent, you get the big room,” Cleo said. “Or, the bigger room. It’s fine.”

“Are you coming home tonight?”



“No,” Cleo said, a little more forcefully. “Isn’t that what you want, an honest answer? No, I’ll come home tomorrow and I’ll get my things out of your bedroom.”

She was being petty, just like she’d been petty with Jenna over a year ago. Cleo was a petty person sometimes, she had to accept that.

“Do you really think you have room to be mad at me?” Edie asked after a second.

“I don’t know,” Cleo said. “No, I mean it, I really don’t know. Because I spent months with you first telling me I should go back for Andrew, then insisting you wanted to come to New Winslow and be part of my life here. This is my life, including the curse. The curse has always been part of my life. You told me to go back to the cursed town, then that you wanted to be here with it too. And then when it turned out to be real…” She blinked hard, trying not to cry yet again. “So no, I really don’t know if I have room to be mad at you because I said I’d stop. But I am. I’ll be home tomorrow. And I’ll move into the other bedroom. And we’ll keep it that way for now.”

Despite her effort, she was crying by the end of it, wiping at the angry tears coming down her cheeks. At least the breeze was cool against her face, even if it smelled like garbage. “Alright,” Edie said. “Alright, that works for me.”

“It works for me too.”

She could hear Edie moving on the other end and knew that they were in the apartment. This apartment she’d loved and was now dreading returning to.

“I have to go,” Edie said. “I have rehearsal.”

Right. The guys. And now they were going to hear about the breakup and probably hate Cleo. “Okay,” she said.


She was silent, trying to get the goodbye out through her blocked throat. Edie hung up and Cleo stayed where she was, the breeze blowing her hair into her face. Then she got up and went back in.

The back hallway was empty, clean dishes drip drying on the counter by the three-basin sink. She walked past them and out toward the front of the shop, where she saw Andrew and Noah standing behind the counter. Andrew was counting change for someone while Noah was wiping up a spill. He looked up and met her eye. She didn’t have to say anything, he was already on his way over to her.




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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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