Maria begged me to come along that day. I was pretty reluctant. I think she could tell. I did that umm and ahh thing on the phone. You know where you sort of tell people that if they can find anyone else who could possibly fill your place, they should probably do it. But they were in a jam. I thought back to the last time she asked me to do a presentation. I kind of enjoyed it. And they paid well. They’d have to to get me out of my bed on a Saturday morning.
“It would really help us out Vincent” she asked, pleading with me a little.
I exhaled loudly. A bargaining technique of sorts. She would have to treat me with gentle hands. I waited.
“I’ll speak to the owner and ask if we can pay you in cash this time.”
I heard her exhale loudly. But it wasn’t the same sound.
“Thank you so much Vincent. You’ve got no idea how much we needed you.”
“10am?” I asked.
“If you could.”
Of course I could. But I didn’t want to. She told me that her boss Corey was going with us this time. I hated him.
“See you then” I said.
She thanked me again and we hung up. I swore at myself for letting her twist my arm like that. I hadn’t been sleeping well all week. I had been looking forward to that Saturday morning lying in bed until it turned into the afternoon. But I needed the money. Mine and Patti’s anniversary was coming up and it was dinner, drinks and a hotel for the night. And I was broke. I couldn’t even afford one of those things. But I guess that love is the special ingredient that ramyen noodles need to make them edible day after day. Maria’s money would help me afford a starter, a brief look at a cocktail menu and a three-star room. That Saturday morning lie-in would have to wait twenty –four hours. I sighed.