It’s like a dead zone in Baslow when Emmet reaches his car. 4.50am on a Sunday morning, everyone’s in bed, sleeping off the night before or just having a lie in. Some people are still walking around but none of them give him a second look. A few nod hello to him though, people figuring that he’s another guy on his way to a sudden job. Emmet nods back, more out of habit than actually caring. His car is covered in dew when he gets to it, frost lightly coating the windscreen. He gives it a cursory scrape with his ID before he climbs in and turns on the heating.
When he presses the radio button to turn it on for some sort of noise to wake him up he’s surprised when his motivational CD starts up again. With all of the excitement from the club and their running from Chris, Emmet completely forgot about the CD that he’d been listening to before he went into the club. He sighs, letting the teacher’s voice wash over him. He leans his head against the headrest of the driver’s seat and closes his eyes.
“Now for one of the most important secrets of success,” the teacher says. His voice is calm and soothing but there’s passion in it too, encouraging and motivational. “Goal setting. That’s the secret. Every successful person knows the importance of goal setting. It all starts with a plan. A vision. Something to aim for.”
Emmet reaches out and jabs the pause button. The guy on the CD is right. He needs to set a goal, sort his life out and figure out his plan. And right now, part of his plan is calling Damian. He needs Damian to buy the pills, get the money to start something up, whatever that might be. Without the money he has nothing, he can’t do anything. Right now his vision is to have £350 from selling the pills. He needs to call Damian.
Emmet considers speeding home, his mind focused on calling Damian and making sure that the deal goes through. He wants to call him now. He glances at the clock on his dash, barely noticing that it’s now 5am. That’s a decent enough time he supposes. He wants to make the call now though. There’s no phone nearby. Or at least that’s what he thinks. Emmet looks around his car a bit more closely. That’s when he sees the phone box on the corner. He doesn’t even think about it, he just gets out of his car and heads over. He picks up the phone, punches in Damian’s number and waits while it rings.
“Yo,” Damian says eventually. “What’s up mate?”
“It’s Emmet. I’ve got a deal for you,” Emmet says calmly. “100 pills, £7 a pill. You interested?”
“Hell yeah,” Damian says. He’s a party guy, likes to throw big parties and invite everyone he knows. “I’ve got a rave coming up. Need something to keep the punters happy and mellow. I do not want another fight on my hands.”
“Tell me about it,” Emmet says with a roll of his eyes. Damian’s just reminded him of another reason he wants out. The punters can be idiots. “I’m not going to be able to hand over though. It’s going to be Terry. Is that still ok?”
“Course,” Damian says. “Terry’s an alright guy. Send him round later, say 7pm. I’ll check your stuff and then hand over the money.”
“Alright mate,” Emmet says, “Sweet. I’ll let him know.”
He puts down the phone and heads back to his car. He turns on the radio again and plays the CD. The teacher’s voice fills the car again.
“The goal you set has to be three things.” He says. “It has to be specific. It has to be achievable. It has to be motivating. There is no point in setting a goal that cannot be all of these three things…”
Emmet starts his car’s engine. He drives home, all the time listening to the CD and taking in the lessons it’s trying to impart. When he gets home the flat is dark. Sam, his long term girlfriend hasn’t waited up for him, he can hear her snoring in the bedroom. It’s not surprising though. He moves around the kitchen, getting himself a cup of tea. She never waits for him, not anymore. They’d lived together for three months when Sam stopped waiting up for him. She’d gotten resigned to him coming home at odd hours, stinking of booze and perfume. She’s used to him coming home whenever he wants. She knows that he always comes back to her.
He sneaks in to the dark bedroom, spotting Sam’s form curled up on one side. He tries to strip off as quietly as he can and climbs beneath the warm sheets with a happy sigh. He wiggles closer to Sam, puts his arms around her and falls to sleep the moment that he closes his eyes.
When he wakes up late in the day, Sam has already left the bed. He can hear her moving around in the kitchen, clanking pots. She’s cooking something, he can smell it slowly wafting in. That’s probably what woke him up. He stretches, climbs out of bed and pulls on some tracksuit bottoms and a scruffy t-shirt. Then he pads into the kitchen, pausing in the doorway to watch Sam cooking for a while. She’s pretty when she’s not made up, her long blonde hair pulled up in a messy bun. He smiles and walks up behind her. He wraps his arms around her waist and squeezes her in a hug. She freezes up and goes tense immediately and Emmet tries not to notice.
“Good night?” she asks sarcastically.
“Not really,” Emmet says, rubbing his nose against the side of her neck. “As nights go… it was a crap one.”
“Aww poor Emmet,” she says, no sincerity in her voice. “Weren’t there enough teenage skanks in the clubs for you to impress with your pill serving wannabe gangster routine?”
“You know I don’t go with that shit!” Emmet snaps, pulling away from her. “That’s Terry’s deal, not mine. I was trying to earn a living and keep you how you like to live.”
“Bullshit,” Sam snaps, turning on him. “You were trying to be a big man. Trying to be the Scarface of Baz. Playing the big man and trying to make a name for yourself weren’t you. Didn’t go to plan did it?!”
“No it fucking didn’t,” Emmet shouts. “Is that what you want to hear? It went to crap because Terry’s a dumb fuck. You want to know what happened?”
“Not if it involves you fucking some cheap whore in the toilets,” Sam snarls. She glances over her shoulder at him, eyes narrowed. “Yeah, remember that?!”
“For fuck’s sake,” Emmet say with a heavy sigh, throwing his hands up in the air. “How many times do I have to say sorry? For your information we got dragged up in front of the boss at Club Cocos, for dealing without his permission. He called the fucking police and we almost got arrested. It’s only cos Terry threw the fucking desk at the guy that we even got out of there. That’s what I was doing last night! Running from getting the crap beaten out of me.”
Sam looks at him for a moment. Then she starts to laugh, throwing her head back. She has to hold herself up on the counters as she laughs so hard.
“Oh my god,” she says through her laughter as tears fall down her face. “That’s priceless. You and Terry really are dumb and dumber.”
She keeps laughing. Emmet sits at the table and eats some of the toast that she cooked, not caring if it wasn’t cooked for him. He glares at her and keeps eating. She stops laughing for a moment.
“No, wait,” she says, gasping for breath. “You, Terry and Bill are Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest. And you’re the Dumbest!”
She laughs even harder. Emmet glares at her, chewing hard on his toast.
“Why the fuck am I the dumbest?!” he snarls. “What the hell?”
“You’re the dumbest…” she says through her giggles, “Because… you don’t even realise how dumb the other two are! You’re walking around like the big man, thinking you’re all smart and shit and you don’t even realise how thick Bill and Terry are! You’re the dumbest fuck out of the three of you.”
Emmet sneers at her.
“Well you’re the one that’s still with me,” he snaps, “What’s that say about you then? You’re still with the dumbest out of the three of us according to you.”
Sam glares at him and returns to her cleaning. Her entire body is tense, scrunched up and tight like she’s furious.
Emmet smirks with satisfaction and gets up. He puts his plate in the sink, letting it splash the dish water all over Sam. He chuckles as she flinches from the splash. He turns around and heads to the living room. Time for some TV.
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