It’s 11 o’clock.
The meeting was at nine.
We’re out here in the parking lot waiting for our guy. Mel, the brain of the operation, said it was a sure thing. I’m starting to have my doubts. We’re the only car still left in the joint and none too inconspicuous. Why Mel had a fire-engine red scrap heap on wheels I will never know.
The cops are circling around us like sharks going in for the kill. Mel got out a few times to put the hood up and look angrily at the engine, which seems to satisfy people enough that we’re broken down.
We’re starting to get antsy now. This deal has to go down. We’re about a hundred miles from our territory and already have too much time sunk into it to back out now.
That’s when he called.
“You still gonna make it?” Mel says, phone now in a white knuckle grip. The anger was seeping out like heat waves; I put some distance between us.
“In another hour,” came the response.
“Yeah. Another hour. Good luck selling it to someone else, then.”
“Listen,” he says. By his voice, he’s pleading more than threatening. “The goods are hot. I need to move ’em. You aren’t the only people who want this.”
“We’re the only ones with cash upfront tonight. Can you make it in fifteen minutes?”
There this long silence that follows with a little static on the other end that might be a voice. I don’t hear what he says, but I can guess his answer. We wait the fifteen minutes and he doesn’t show. We tack on another ten out of courtesy, but still nothing. Things aren’t looking good. Our guy’s backed out and we look more suspicious by the moment. The cops are getting hungry for blood, even that of a couple lost and broken down tourists.
Finally, Mel pulls the car out and turns on the highway for home. We’ll find another. The goods aren’t as hot as he said they were.
I guess that’s what we get for trying to buy a PS3 off of Craig’s List.