Because she was an old friend of the boss’s father, Miss Nilsen gave them a great rate for warehouse storage. But she was nearly the most unpleasant woman Emmy ever met. She’d let the phone ring three times before picking up, and always answered with the same snarl, “Whatcha want?” Emmy would arrange a pickup time, and Miss Nilsen personally arrived with her van. An assistant loaded in boxes, as Miss Nilsen sat and complained to Emmy about something she heard on the news.
This time she arrived alone. “There’s no assistant today,” she yelled before Emmy could ask. Emmy’s hands shook loading in the cardboard boxes. Miss Nilsen sat and complained that she’d learned from the news how teenagers were making a new street drug from cleaning products.
“Come on, get in the van,” she said once Emmy finished.
Miss Nilsen sped down side streets. She spent the entire ride bemoaning that no one knew how to fix anything the right way anymore.
Emmy was never at the warehouse before. She’d envisioned a large prefab, gray structure. But Miss Nilsen’s storage facility was an expanse of old brick buildings. She parked by Building R. “Hold on a sec,” she said to Emmy. “Before you onload anything, I just wanna say thank you. I don’t personally pick-up any other deliveries. But you’re so nice on the phone and a good listener. You make an old lady’s day.”
As she was almost finished unloading the boxes, one slipped from her hands, revealing bottles of hand sanitizer and cans of dust-off. “No, it can’t be! Not from you! I refuse to be part of a drug ring.” Miss Nilsen cried out
She tried to deny the accusation, but Miss Nilsen wasn’t swayed.
“Don’t lie to me. I don’t give second chances. I’m destroying all these boxes in this storage unit. Get out now or I’ll call the police!”
Emmy walked back to the main road, and got out her phone to call the boss. She wondered how to explain that they’d need a new way to store their raw materials.
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