CHAPTER: 12345, 678910111213141516171819

He sleeps for 12 hours. Even Sam banging around the house doesn’t wake him. When he finally does wake up though he’s in agony, every single one of his muscles has seized up and stiffened. His ankle has swollen and his eye has gone down. His jaw still aches a little and his wrists twinge. But he feels better when he finally gets up and takes a shower, more energised and whole than he has in ages. He sees the sheet of paper on the kitchen table as he goes to make a cup of tea and some breakfast.

“You look like shit,” Sam says.

“I know,” he says mindlessly, his eyes running over the figures and his mind running through them one more time to make sure they’re right.

“I noticed more notes and plans of yours,” Sam continues, “Trying to lose even more money? Maybe this time you’ll even get killed.”

Emmet glares at her but says nothing. He doesn’t care really. She can say what she likes but he’s doing something, he’s got a system and he can make it work. She grumbles at his lack of response and storms out of the house, probably heading to a friends or something to bitch about him there.

Emmet settles on the sofa with his phone and a bunch of paper.

 

***

 

12 days later Emmet’s pre-sold the 28 boxes that he needs. It took a lot of phone calls to get them. He visited each potential customer with his own box, plugged it in and showed them. He let them fiddle with it themselves. Each of the people that he visited handed over the £50 there and then, excited about the prospect of having their own box. Some even called him a few days later wanting a box or two for friends who are interested once they’ve explained what they are. Some, when he’s there, actually mention holding parties and having people around to watch their new television channels. He knows that could lead to other people wanting the boxes for themselves. He knows that he needs the business cards now. It’s another thing that he needs to add to his plan.

Emmet sits in his house, counting through the money that he’s collected. It’s enough. He calls Johnny.

“I’ve got your money,” he says.

“I’ll see you in five minutes then,” Johnny says happily.

“Wait!” Emmet cries before he can stop himself.

“What?” Johnny asks harshly.

“I want another 29 boxes,” he says, doing the math in his head. “Another 29 boxes… on tick.”

“If you’ve got the cash you owe me then yeah, no problem.” Johnny says, “Otherwise it’s no deal.”

“I’ve got your cash,” Emmet says confidently, “I’ve got your cash, no worries.”

“Fine,” Johnny says. “I’ll be there soon, with your boxes. You better be ready.”

The knock on the door really is only a few minutes later, Emmet barely has time to gather together the money. Johnny Boy greets him with a stony face when the door is opened but he soon smiles when Emmet hands over the £1,400 he is owed.

“Nice,” Johnny Boy says, counting through, “Very nice. Well, follow me.”

Emmet obediently follows Johnny Boy out to the car and stands near the boot. Slowly it rises and reveals the 50 boxes, all waiting to go to new homes.

“That’s the 21 you asked for this time and the 29 you wanted on tick.” Johnny Boy says. “Let’s get these inside.”

“Actually let’s get them in my car,” Emmet says quickly. He’s got to go and deliver these straight away once Johnny is gone. “It’s just here.”

They load up his car, shoving box after box in to the boot and back seat. They stand back, wiping their hands and stretching.

“Remember,” Johnny says, turning to Emmet, “I want £1,450 for those in the next 2 days or you’re not getting any more from me on credit.”

“No worries there,” Emmet says confidently. “I know exactly where they’re going to.”

He hesitates, looking at Johnny. Johnny can tell he wants something.

“Oh for the love of god!” he cries, “What?!”

“Can I… “ Emmet starts to say. He hesitates. “Can I have my jewellery back? My girlfriend’s really pissed at me for giving it to me.”

“No way mate.” Johnny says. “You wanted another 29 boxes on tick, I needed security. You know how it is.”

“But she’s really, really pissed off at me,” Emmet says. “You know I’m good for the money now, just give me back the jewellery.”

“No way,” Johnny says with a firm shake of his head. “This is business and I don’t hand over anything this valuable without having something to make sure I don’t end up out of pocket. No matter how good you are for the money I don’t give anything away for free.”

Emmet goes to argue again but one look at Johnny Boy’s face and he knows that the guy is serious. He won’t be budging on this point.

“Ok, fine,” he says with a heavy sigh.

“Remember though!” Johnny says as he gets in to his now empty car. “You’ve got two days to get me that £1,450 or I keep the jewellery. Just like we were agreed.”

Emmet nods but doesn’t say anything. There’s nothing to say. He needs the money anyway or he won’t get the shop. He’s going to sell them regardless of whether he needed the money to get the jewellery back. He watches the car drive off.

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