Negotiations

Janeen’s rusting iron sat on the dilapidated ironing board, sandwiched between a set of ratty books with folded covers and yellowing pages. Next to the ironing board, a desk, scuffed and falling apart, and beside that a matching chair, tilted and missing two wheels.

“I’ll give you twelve dollars for the lot,” the old man said.

Janeen laughed. “Thirty. I paid a lot for these, and they still have plenty of use left.”

“Look at them, they’re falling apart!”

“And you’re the type to fix them up and sell them for hundreds. I know you lot, I’ve seen you before.”

“Hm. Fifteen.”

“Twenty-five, and not a dollar lower.”

“Twenty.”

“Twenty-five, and I’ll throw in a Betamax machine.”

The old man narrowed his eyes, trying to sum up how serious she was about not going lower. Finally he nodded, and handed her the two bills. He lifted the bookcase into his truck, then the box of books and the Betamax machine. “I’ll be back for more later.”

“Alright,” Janeen said.

“I hope you’re more negotiable then.”

“We’ll see.”

The man hopped in his truck and drove off.

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