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Manifest

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It doesn’t take Olivia long to figure out who is on the other end of the line, even though her cell phone says BLOCKED NUMBER in big letters and she gets a serial killer vibe at first. It takes her a bit longer to decide whether or not Ellen has been drinking, because, honestly, sometimes she’s like this sober.

“It would have been like, really beautiful, you know?”

Olivia hits speaker so she can comb her hair and talk at the same time. “What would, Tiny C?”

“The transformation.” The line fritzes a bit, and Olivia eyeballs her phone. Okaaaay. Extra A’s for Absolutely Fucking Creepy.

“Right. What transformation?” She pops her gum, pretends that this is a normal conversation. And it kind of is, after all, this is Ellen talking, and let’s face it. She’s kind of weird. But not weird in a bad way: not weird in a zombie ‘transformation’ way, which is why Olivia’s not sitting too close to her phone. Hey, it’s sort of logical. She’s seen that Japanese movie with the mobiles and the ghosts, or whatever.

Ellen sighs, like she’s explained this a bazillion times before. In fact, she’d probably use that word: bazillion. “When I can’t stop falling for you, and it’s a metaphor. You know. For love?” And now she’s breathing into the receiver, heavy, and there’s something very… wrong about it.

Jack and Diane?” Olivia asks, her voice a little too quiet, and when Ellen doesn’t respond, she says, louder, “The werewolf movie?”

A loud expulsion of air. “Nobody gets it.”