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Emmet is still fuming when he gets to the car park. They’re so strict, so rigid. They’re not willing to adjust their policies even a little bit. That’s why he went into dealing in the first place, no one else would bend the rules even a little to fit him in. He turns on the spot, intending to give the entire building two middle fingers and not caring who sees. But then he catches sight of the Bentley as it catches the afternoon sun. He stares at the shiny offices, smart, upmarket and clean with people hurrying around inside carrying official looking documents. Ricky strolls out of the building, his smart and clearly expensive suit fitting him perfectly. He’s probably on the way to see a client, Emmet reckons. Everyone in there is dressed smartly, wearing expensive clothes and perfectly styled hair, even the men.
AHJ is clearly a company that’s doing well, even in the oversaturated housing market. They’re making money, more than they need. They’ve expanded and they will be in the future as well, RJ made that clear. They’re successful, everyone in there and the company as a whole. No one tries to hide their success or pretend that it isn’t happening. They flaunt it, show it off, completely unembarrassed that they’re doing better than a lot of other people. Emmet wants that, wants to be able to say he’s earned his money, he wants to be able to show it off. He wants the life that these people all have.

Standing there in the car park he thinks back to what RJ said in the offices, about how he wouldn’t be able to reach the visions that he has for AHJ Lettings if he ignores the plan that he has in place. Emmet realises, right then and there, that RJ is right. A light bulb goes off in his mind again. RJ and his people have a plan and they stick to it. They don’t waver, no matter what. They’ve probably never wavered, never stepped away from the business plan that RJ’s set up. It’s why they’ve done so well. Doing exactly what the plan says, sticking to it, has served them well, got the business to the point where it is now. From the sounds of it as well it seems like AHJ is just getting bigger and bigger, rising higher and higher. Perhaps, Emmet thinks to himself, it’s time to do the same.

***

 

Back at the flat Sam has already gone out and Emmet is completely alone. He thinks briefly about turning on the TV and just relaxing. It’s been a stressful few hours after all and his hopes have been almost completely squashed. But he catches sight of his piece of paper, EMMET’S TV EMPORIUM written across the top and he’s filled with a rush of excitement, a drive to get things done. He searches out another pen, the one he was using seems to have gone missing, and he sits at the kitchen table with it. He’s excited again, almost more excited than he was when the idea hit him last night. He wants to make this real, wants to see those words written on a real sign above a real shop.  His vision is starting to come together.

But as he sits there he starts to realise that it’s one thing to have the idea for his shop and be able to picture it in his mind. It’s quite another to bring that idea to reality. He needs to figure out each step that he needs to take, he needs to know what things he has to do to get on that path to getting a real shop. And he’s already taken a few. He knows that he’s getting £350 from Terry later. He knows that he needs £7,500 before two weeks are up. He knows that Johnny Boy is charging £50 for a box and that he can sell them on for more than that. He knows where he can sell the boxes. Now he just needs to figure out how many boxes he needs to sell to make the money.

He scribbles away on his piece of paper, numbers flow through his mind. He imagines that he can hear the clock ticking away with music playing, like on Countdown. Some of the sums are tricky, he’s got to work backwards and forwards. He was never much good at maths in school, he hated the class, the teacher and the other students. But since becoming a dealer he’s gotten better at it, smarter and faster at working out wholesale and resale prices. He’s pretty much done a degree in business without actually getting the degree. He’s got real world experience and that’s the best part. He knows how to work out prices that make a profit. By the time he’s done his entire paper is covered in scribbled numbers and scrawled notes to himself. He does have a plan though, a list of things that he needs to do to change his dream from words on a page to an actual bricks and mortar business.

  1. Get £350 from Terry.
  2. Buy and then sell 7 TV boxes to raise £1,400.
  3. Reinvest funds to buy and sell 50 boxes to raise £7,500
  4. Get shop
  5. Go legit

He looks at his list and smiles. Written down like that it doesn’t seem as confusing or terrifying. He has a plan of action; he knows what he needs to do. More importantly, step one is pretty much sorted already. Terry’s going to go and sell on the drugs to Damian and Emmet’s going to get his money. He can start putting step two in motion now while he waits.

He calls Johnny Boy. The guy picks up on the second ring.

“Hey Emmet pal!” he says happily. “What can I do for you.”

“Hiya Johnny,” Emmet says. He’s smiling and practically vibrating with excitement although he tries to keep it out of his voice. “Listen I was wondering about ordering some more of those boxes. Can I do that?”

“You got mates who wanna try it?” Johnny Boy asks. “Cos, even if you order a load I’m still not gonna be able to lower the prices. It’d cut in to my profit margins you see. I can’t end up out of pocket.”

“Oh no worries about that,” Emmet says. “I’ve got some friends who might be interested but I don’t know for sure yet. I was hoping that I could get 7 of those boxes from you? As soon as possible?”

“Sure thing buddy!” Johhny Boy says. “Of course that’s only if you’ve got the money though. Do you?”

“Of course,” Emmet says. “I’ll have it for you as soon as you arrive. When can you deliver?”

“I’ll have to get back to you on that one.” Johnny Boy says. He suddenly sounds quite distracted. “Listen pal, I gotta go. I’ll give you a ring later and let you know details.”

“No problem,” Emmet says.

He hangs up and glances at the clock. It’s 3:30, almost that time. He heads to the kitchen drawer and starts digging through, looking for the box that holds the rent money. Sam keeps it there on the first of the month. She checks and counts it each week religiously. No matter what else has been going on, that rent money is always there by the first of the month, waiting for the landlord to come and get it.

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