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it rang loudly, breaking eddie from his trance. perfect timing, he thought. sliding off the bed, he walked over to the table and sat at the desk chair. he lifted the lavender colored phone to his ear and wrapped his finger in the cord.
     "is this eddie kaspbrak?"
     eddie paused, the voice sounded familiar.
     "who's asking?" he said quietly, shyly. as if he were talking to a relative at a family event his mother had dragged him to.
     "bill denbrough. is this eddie?"
     eddie heart rate picked up immediately, pounding and pounding and it felt so loud. so there. so alive.
     "bill?" eddie managed, his voice meek and in shock. he hadn't spoken to him since late senior year, and it's now been nearly two years since.
     bill broke out into a smile on the other side of the line. "i've missed you."
     eddie felt like he was about to burst into tears, hands shaking. chest heaving. "bill."
     "where are you staying now?" bill asked, so gentle. his stutter was practically gone. no sign it was even there to begin with.
     "new york."
     "the city?"
     "yeah."
     "i'm in california. i was hoping maybe i could fly back over to visit, if that's alright. i really want to catch up."
     eddie was on cloud nine.
     "still there?"
     "yes! yes i am..uh, to my apartment?"
     "is that okay?"
     "yes, yeah it is..when will you get here?"
     "are you in college? what time works for you?"
     eddie chose to ignore the first question. "maybe this weekend?"
     "i'll try and get the plane tickets. call me when you can."
     "okay, bye."
     eddie didn't take the phone down from his ear until he heard the click signaling that bill was gone.
     what was he thinking? this weekend? that's four days away and eddies apartment is a disaster! his head is in the gutter and he has prescription drugs scattered in every corner. god, what's bill going to think of him?
     he looked around at the mess he called his home. he ought to start cleaning now.
     he gathered two large, black trash bags and began to throw away anything in his way. paper plates, leftovers, cups, bottles, cans, chip bags, candy wrappers, napkins, just about anything you can think of. the bag was filled in no time. tying it up and tossing it in the trash bag, he looked around at the progress he'd made.
     only half way.

-

     richie sat up, his hair a reck. he scratched his bare chest and climbed out of bed, taking in the sight of the clothes he'd been wearing the night before scattered around the floor, mixed in with pam's.
     he slipped a pair of sweatpants on and headed to the small kitchen. stan poured the last of the captain crunch into a blue bowl, his classic smirk plastered onto his face.
     "have fun last night?"
     "definitely," richie smiled. "could you tell?"
     "oh, richie! yes!" stan mocked.
     "hush. you and mike go at it every chance you get."
     stan blushed, flicking richie in the forehead.
pam wrapped a blanket around herself, brushing her hair behind her ears. "rich?"
richie winked at stan, "that's my cue, baby."
stan scoffed, scooping the cereal into his mouth. richie walked back into the bedroom, pressing his lips onto pam's. pam smiled, cupping his
cheek.
"get dressed, babe," richie murmured against her lips, to which she pulled away and slid her clothes back on.
pam excused herself to go to class, leaving richie and stan alone in their shared dorm once again.
richie toasted himself a pop tart. he sighed softly, sitting down across from stan at the table.
the room was silent. not comfortable silent, but the kind of silence you wish you could break. but neither of them knew how to break it.
"i got a call from bill," stan muttered. richies head perked up almost immediately, eyes as wide as saucers.
"seriously? bill denbrough?"
"he invited us out to eat. he's visiting new york next weekend. not entirely sure what for, he never said."
richies smile spread so wide his cheeks ached, but that didn't stop him. "oh my god."
stans lips quirked up just slightly, tossing his empty cereal bowl into the sink. "it's your day to do dishes."
richie nodded, "yeah, okay."

-

     three days from bills visit.
     eddies gotten most of his apartment under control. the medicines are all stored behind his mirror and his therapy notebooks and tapes are all hidden in his desk drawers. his trash is all thrown away and his bed is made. too scared to make a mess again, he decided to skip therapy with mrs. kurt tomorrow. he'd just tell her he has a job interview or something. that'll keep her off his back.
     bill was more than excited. he'd unfortunately had to leave his typewriter behind, but that's just the price you'd have to pay. his skin was tan and he'd packed lots of short shorts and t shirts, having been used to cali weather. new york winters never really occurred to him. kind of like how he never considered that he lives across the country.

-

two days until bills visit.
mike came down to stan and richies apartment again from derry. he's the only loser that was really able to keep in touch. only about an hour drive to and from. stan greeted him with a kiss and they prepared a simple dinner.
richie invited pam and it was more like a double-dinner date. they chatted and caught up with each other, letting mike know bill was coming for a visit. he agreed to come down when he arrived.

-

one day until bills visit.
today, bill has let everyone know ben and beverly are coming up from their college. it just happened to play out that everyone was on their winter breaks. it'll be about two weeks long so they have plenty of time to catch up with each other.

-

today is bills visit.
eddies hands were clammy. his forehead was damp with sweat. what has he done? what if bill finds all his things? what if he thinks he's crazy and leaves? what if he doesn't show up at all?
for all he knows, bill is staying the night and heading back home. he secretly hopes that's the case.

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