Terry is stood on the doorstep with a shit eating grin on his face, a few faded bruises on his jaw and the faint hint of booze coming off him.
“You alright mate?” he says happily. He shoves past Emmet, in to the flat and glances at his friend’s outfit. “Jeez, who died?”
“No one,” Emmet says, shutting the door and following his friend. “Where the hell have you been? I’ve not heard from you since Damian beat the crap out of me.”
“Yeah, I heard about that,” Terry says with a wince, “Seriously, sorry about all that mate. I was out of town and only just managed to get back.”
“Doing what?!” Emmet cries. “Actually no, I don’t care. Where’s my £350?”
“I’ve got it, I’ve got it,” Terry says. “But listen. I’ve got this ace deal. We can multiply whatever we put in to it by like 100%.”
“What deal…?” Emmet asks, curious and wary at the same time. Something doesn’t feel right here.
“It’s brilliant, I’m telling you!” Terry says. “It’s this cheap source of quality pills. And I mean proper quality. The guy selling them doesn’t even know the value of them, proper dumb shit. He only wants 10p a pill. They’re easily worth a tenner. We can sell them for that much and make a killing.”
Emmet raises an eyebrow, not really believing what Terry is saying.
“Seriously!” Terry says, nodding his head. “They’re proper pucka! The real deal. Best shit I ever tried.”
“Aah…” Emmet says, it all clicking together. “So that’s where you’ve been for the last fortnight. Off your face on some cheap shit.”
“No!” Terry shouts. “Well… yeah. But it’s not cheap shit. Mate! These are brilliant. Best high I’ve ever had.”
“Are you still high now?” Emmet asks carefully.
“Maybe a little,” Terry admits with a shrug, “But it’s good. We need to get on this while we can. Who knows when someone else is gonna find out about this and snap them up.”
“Ok…” Emmet says. “Let’s say I’m considering this. Exactly how many does this guy have?”
“A whole fucking oil drum full of them!” Terry cries out, “Easily 100,000. We wouldn’t even need to buy that many and if we bought them all we’d be rolling in it for months.”
Emmet turns away from Terry whose eyes are shining and unfocused. The stupid smile hasn’t gone from his face either. He’s still out of it. But the story seems real. If it is then Emmet could put all the money he’s made in to buying 75,000 of the pills. He could sell them on and make £750,000. He’s be loaded, able to get any shop, anywhere. Hell he wouldn’t even need to do anything for ages. He’s be sorted for at least six months if not more. He glances at the clock. It’s 4:55pm. AHJ Lettings closes at 5pm. The shop could slip through his fingers.
He thinks. He could follow his original plan, get the shop, sell televisions and other electrical stuff. He could slave away like Turguy did for the next ten years and build up and empire like Turguy. Or he could deviate, put all the money in to the drugs and sell them all for a lot of money. It’s tempting. Quick money for not much input. He’d sell the pills and go back to his old life.
On the other hand, Emmet really hates his old life. True, selling the boxes hasn’t been that much different, he’s still been driving around in dodgy areas and selling something not quite legal. But he’s not been at risk of getting arrested, knifed or beaten up by another dealer. He gets left alone. No one chases him and tries to beat the crap out of him because of what he’s carrying.
And then there’s the plan. He’s done so much hard work to stick to it, slaved away at it. It’s actually come through as well, for a change. He’s got a dozen ideas, unfinished plans in the making that can only happen once he gets the shop. He has the first chance he’s ever had to actually see something all the way through. He’ll be able to make something of himself that will actually make his family proud, even if it is hard work.
“Come on mate,” Terry says from his seat on the sofa. He’s grinding his teeth like crazy and swallowing like he’s got something stuck in his throat. “It’s not that hard. It’s easy money! When have you ever said no to easier money?”
Emmet doesn’t say a word.
“Think about it,” Terry goes on. “We buy them all, keep them somewhere safe. We can pass them on to other dealers too, become proper distributors and raise the price so we make good profits. Don’t you always say we need to raise the profits. I’m thinking big here!”
Emmet watches the second hand tick closer and closer to 5pm. The minute hand shifts. It’s just gone 5pm.
He wants the shop! He needs the shop. It’s almost out of his fingers but there might still be time. Perhaps Terry’s deal is a good one, perhaps it will pay out. Emmet doesn’t care though. For all he knows Terry’s making up some new bullshit to cover the fact that he’s not actually got Emmet’s £350. Perhaps he does have it and wants to do another partnership. Perhaps he feels bad for leaving Emmet to deal with Damian all by himself.
Emmet doesn’t care anymore. He doesn’t give a shit about any of it. He’s had it with people who cross him, who only want him when it’s good for them and just bitch at him otherwise. It’s all he ever deals with in the drugs business, the only kind of people that seem to surround him. He wants to do something new, start a new era for himself. He’s going to follow through for once, complete a plan and go legit, just like he said to Turguy and to Roger.
He looks at the clock. It’s 5:05pm.
He scrambles for his phone, ignoring Terry’s comments and shoving him out of the way. He dials AHJ Lettings and sighs in relief when it gets picked up. His eyes widen when he realises that it’s RJ answering.
“Hello?” RJ says.
“RJ, it’s Emmet,” he says quickly. He’s met by silence, “I was interested in 212 Post Office Walk?”
“Oh right,” RJ says, “Yeah I remember. Everyone’s gone home, it’s past 5.”
“I know, I know,” Emmet says quickly, stumbling over his words. “I’ve got the money. I want to take the place.”
“I’m sorry buddy,” RJ says slowly. He sounds genuinely sympathetic. “It’s too late. I needed cleared funds to have hit my bank by the end of today. The banks are all closed. The property is going to auction tomorrow.”
“But I’ve got the money,” Emmet says quietly.
“It won’t transfer in time,” RJ says. “Seriously, I’m sorry.”
“It’s in cash!” Emmet blurts out. “The money’s in cash.”
“Cash?! All of it?!” RJ asks.
“Yeah,” he says.
“You have £7,500 in cash?” RJ asks slowly, “On you. Right now?”
“Yeah,” Emmet says. He’s starting to smile.
“Nice one buddy!” RJ cries. “I thought you’d be able to do it. I’ll be here until 5:30. I’ll buzz you in.”
Emmet hangs up the phone with a wide smile on his face. He’s actually doing it. He’s actually got the shop he wanted.
“Oh for fucks sake,” Sam snarls, “What’s that shit bag doing here? He better not be taking your money again. You need that to get my jewellery back.”
“Your jewellery is on the kitchen table,” Emmet says. He heads in to the bedroom and starts to pack up his belongings. “I got it back for you today.”
“Thanks baby,” Sam says. She leans against the door frame seductively. “Shall we go out to celebrate with all of that money you’ve made.”
“I can’t,” Emmet says, shoving his things in to a bunch of bags. “I’ve got to go and sign for the shop. The money’s all going in to that.”
“Oh for-! Why?!” Sam cries out. “Why can’t we ever do anything that I want to do? Why can’t we spend the money on things I want? Shove your shop and treat me!”
Emmet looks at her.
“No way mate,” Terry says. “We’re doing a deal aren’t we? We’re going to make a mint on some pills a dumb shit is selling dirt cheap”
Emmet lets the two argue, the sounds of their voices fading in to the background. He smiles to himself and just keeps packing. He shoves past them and stops in the living room. He digs through his pockets and pulls out his keyring. It takes a couple of minutes to wrench the house keys off the ring. Sam and Terry stand in silence, staring at him. He drops the keys on to the table, looks at them and smiles.
“Terry,” he says. “The deal’s full of bullshit and so are you. I want that £350 and that’s it. No more deals, no more dealing.”
Terry opens and closes his mouth, looking like a fish.
“Sam…” Emmet says. “Thanks for all of your kind and loving support. I will not miss it.”
He turns away and heads to the doorway. He stops and looks back.