Shopping for Her II - Bartering

“How much do you need today?”
I looked at the floor and scrunched my face up tight, acting as though I didn’t know exactly how much I needed. I exhaled slowly through the mouth.
“About twelve hundred.”
About twelve hundred?” He raised an eyebrow.
“Twelve hundred.” I said, letting my shoulders sag. “Before six tonight.”
“And how will you pay me back?” he asked.
“Cash, I think. I’m not fit to work right now.”
He considered for a moment, absently twirling the tie-string hanging from the waist of his track pants.
“If you like,” he said. “But for you, I would only need three, four days at the most. Other men would work at least eight to pay back twelve hundred…maybe up to ten.”
I tried to look grateful. “I’m sorry, I’m really not up to it.”
He frowned and said loudly, “Okay! You will pay me cash?”
“Fifteen hundred, first of the month.” I said, turning away.
“Fourteen hundred,” he said quickly. “In ten days.”
There was no point in arguing.

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