There’s a knock at the door and Emmet rushes to open it. Just as he figured, it’s Turguy, Emmet’s friend and landlord.
They’ve always gotten along well, able to chat to each other about anything and everything. They connect in a way that Emmet can’t with his other friends. It’s probably because Turguy is Turkish too, or at least Middle Eastern. He knows what it’s like to be insulted and mocked and to not be taken seriously because of the colour of his skin. Emmet gets it too and they can easily spend hours moaning and bitching to each other about the racist actions of some of the neighbours. When Emmet first moved in to the block, Turguy straight away took him under his wing and looked out for him. He says that Emmet reminds him of his son back in the country that he comes from and he can’t help but want to look after Emmet. Emmet takes it of course and even though he would never admit it outwardly, he’s actually kind of touched by Turguy’s concern. Turguy’s been on at him for quite a while to get a different job and get out of dealing. He’s going to be a happy guy now.
Turguy greets Emmet with a massive hug against his bearlike chest and steps in to the apartment. He looks around for Sam briefly but when his shouts get no reply he falls quiet again.
“She’s gone out,” Emmet says from the kitchen hallway. “I don’t know where. I got home from town and she was already off out.”
“Oh that’s a shame,” Turguy says. His face falls a little and he looks sad. Then the frown is gone and he’s smiling again. He follows Emmet in to the kitchen and his gazes falls on the piece of paper. “Hey, what’s this?”
“Oh!” Emmet says, swirling in place quickly. “That’s nothing, really, just a bit of silliness on my part.”
“Doesn’t look silly,” Turguy says. He leans over and reads the words out loud. “Emmet’s TV Emporium. Nice.”
“Really?” Emmet asks excitedly. “You think it’s a good plan?”
“I think it could be very good.” Turguy says once he’s read through it. He watches Emmet closely. “But what’s it for?”
“It’s a new business idea that I’m working on, you know, just one for myself.” Emmet says. He takes a deep breath and spits it out. “It’s for a TV shop. I want to go legit, get out of dealing for good. Kind of stupid I know but it’s an idea I had.”
“A man with a plan!” Turguy cries. “I like it! And it doesn’t involve being a drug dealer any more. I like it even more!”
He claps Emmet on the back. Emmet grins at him, a little shy but still reassured.
“You remind me of me, Emmet.” Turguy says, steering them both to sit down on the sofa. “When I was younger, I was exactly the same. I wanted my furniture shop, I always did. When I was a little boy I dreamed of having a big store full of furniture that people all over would come to look at. And when I was old enough I started to work towards it. Everything that I did to make money, no matter what it was, I had that shop in my mind.
I grafted and grafted, did whatever jobs I could to get the money. Eventually I’d raised enough to buy a shop all of my own. But it was a tiny shop in the wrong part of town. I didn’t care though. I had my shop at last. And I knew that times change and the wrong parts become the right parts and the right parts become the wrong parts. I knew that, I’d seen it happen; my parents had seen it happen. So I stayed in that little shop in the wrong part of town and I kept working and working away at it. I expanded when I could, buying the shops on either side, moved when I finally had no choice and could definitely afford it and I kept going because I was doing what I’d dreamed of doing. The dream just got bigger as time went by.”
And now look at me,” Turguy cries, throwing his arms out. “I’ve got a massive shop in the right part of town. People work for me, they work hard and I look after them. I even have a small property portfolio to boot. Little right now but it can get bigger and bigger. And it all started with one little bit of paper, just like yours.”
“Did you follow the paper?” Emmet asks nervously, excitement starting to bubble in his chest. “I mean, did you ever step away from the plan and do something else?”
“I thought about it,” Turguy says with a shrug. “Now and then, when it seemed like I was never going to make it, I’d think about doing something that I’d not listed in my plan or throwing it all away. But then I’d look at the plan, at my own little piece of paper and I’d remember all over again why I was working so hard and what the end goal was. I’d see how far I’d come already, how well my plan had served me. Every time I completed one of those tasks I’d tick them off. It was satisfying. Those ticks kept me going, looking at them all lined up like that. Sometimes I wonder though, would I have any of the things that I have now if I’d never followed through with the plan? Would I be one of those guys in the pubs on Thursday nights moaning about dreams that never came through?”
“I doubt it Turg,” Emmet says. “You don’t like beer.”
“Haha!” Turguy laughs, “Good point mate.”
“I think you’ve got a point though,” Emmet says after a moment of thought. “I mean, you’re the second guy I’ve seen today who has a plan and won’t move from it. And you’re both doing really well. Maybe there is something in all this ‘stick to the plan’ stuff. I guess if I want to make this stuff work, like really work and get successful like you, I need to stick to it all and see the plan through to the end.”
“Hey, if you never try, you never know,” Turguy says with a shrug. “I think trying and not managing it would be better than never trying at all and leaving it as a dream. But hey, don’t get too successful. Don’t want my best resident moving out because he’s bought a fancy mansion in Bas Hills.”
“Nah,” Emmet says. He gets to his feet and starts to lead Turguy out of the flat. “They wouldn’t have me in the posh part of Baslow, no matter how much money I had. Don’t worry about that. I’ll see you next month Turg.”
“See you next month buddy,” Turguy says. He gives Emmet a massive hug again and walks off smiling. “Look after yourself.”
Emmet watches Turguy go, still grinning to himself.