“What do you mean I can’t back out on the inspection,” James “Jamo” Monahan demanded. “Say the frigging icemaker doesn’t work or something.”

“Like I told you earlier, James, er, I mean Jamo,” Agnes DeMerrit explained to her disingenuous client on the other end of the line. “There is no second bite at the apple once repairs are agreed to by both parties. Besides, your ten days were up two weeks ago.”


“Your loan is approved,” Agnes responded, her short, grey hair losing pigment by the syllable.

“What if I go buy a car to screw up my ratios,” Jamo offered.

“That would be bad faith, James, er, I mean Jamo,” Agnes chastised. “It will cost you your earnest money.”

“Okay, the appraisal,” Jamo suggested. “We can still back out on the appraisal, right?”

“Appraisal came back at purchase price,” Agnes informed him.

“But you said it was ‘highly unlikely’ to appraise at the sales price,” Jamo exploded in her ear. “Now you’re telling me that I’m stuck in a deal at a price I never intended to pay? You listen to me, and you listen to me good. You better find me a way out of this contract or so help me God-“

Agnes pulled the phone away from her ear and took a deep breath. She despised working with investors. Absolutely despised it. Had she not run headlong into the driest spell of a forty year Real Estate career, she would have sent this creep packing so fast his Grecian Formula Plus infused head would have spun inside the raised collar of his pink imitation Polo shirt.

As a rule, she preferred buyers who were actually interested in buying.

“Agnes? Agnes?”

Her client’s strident voice sounded small and tinny from a distance. She took a moment to withdraw something from the desk drawer of her home office before putting the phone back to her ear. She absently unwound a snarl in the cord as she spoke.

“All done?”

Jamo’s silence answered for him.

“Good. Now I’m going to tell you exactly how we are going to get you out of this contract with your earnest funds intact so that you can pursue that new short sale in BFE that just hit the market this morning. If you’re ready to put on your big boy pants and listen, that is.”

“I’m listening.”

“Really listening?

“Yes, I’m really listening,” Jamo assured her.

“No, James,” Agnes rebuked. “I mean really listening.”

“Look, I’m listening, okay,” Jamo replied with exasperation. “I’m really, really listening. The world has stopped outside of this conversation. I’m on pins and freaking needles. Now pretty please with a cherry on top, just tell me what to do!”

Agnes whispered, barely audible.

“What,” Jamo asked.

She whispered again, slightly louder.

“What,” Jamo asked again, straining to understand.

Agnes waited a beat before giving the air horn poised over the mouthpiece of the phone one long, shrill blast and terminating the call.

“I said you’re fired, Jay-mo.”


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