Something’s wrong. I feel it in my gut. I reach out to my phone to text Loretta, but stop when I notice the motorcycle cop in my driver-side mirror.
I’d flip a U-turn right here, but it’s a double yellow. I decide to turn into a neighborhood street on my right and lose the tail. He follows me. Three turns later, he’s still on my ass.
“You win,” I say, then sigh.
I pull over, turn the engine off, and dial my wife. It rings, and rings, and rings.
Loretta picks up.
“What’s up, baby?”
“I know how bizarre this sounds, but I want you to take Avery and go to your mother’s house for the day.”
“Are you serious? You’re really starting to scare me baby!”
I pull the phone from my face and think to myself. Then I see the cop again – drive by on the road ahead. He stops the bike, whips out a pair of binoculars, then stares at me.
“What the hell…” I mutter.
“Talk to me, baby! Tell me what’s going on! You’ve been acting really strange lately.”
I return the phone to my ear. “Nothing… Just do it for me, ok?”
“Someone’s at the door. Is the pipe-guy coming today?”
“Babe, I want you to get out of there!”
A loud BOOM. Phone call ends. I dial again. The phone rings, and rings, and rings. Nobody picks up.
I start the truck, turn around and accelerate. A police siren sounds off behind me; I’m being pulled over.
“Dammit!” I pull the car over, then slam my hands against the steering wheel.
I don’t know what I’m being pulled over for, and have no idea why this cop has it out for me. He takes his time parking his bike, and walks slow as hell over to me. I grab my license and registration, roll my window down, and smack my documents against the outside of my door as he takes his sweet-ass time strolling over to me.
“Write me up, I need to get home.”
I toss the documents at the officer.
Rather than mouth a word of protest, rather than so much as bother with a rebuttal, the officer merely nods, and picks the documents up after he fumbles them. He’s nervous; sweating even. Guy looks like he’s ready to cry.
“You alright?” I ask.
He nods. “Huh? Oh, yeah.”
I’m angry and frustrated – yet I can’t help but worry for this officer. Why is he acting like this? Are criminals more courteous these days?
The cop travels back to his bike like he lost a war.
I scoff, then try Loretta again – no answer. I text her.
I wait. Two minutes, but it feels like twenty.
I’m not exactly at ease – Loretta says smiley face text messages are for pedophiles. I call her again – still no answer. Another three calls, then I text her.
I wait another four minutes. No response this time. I squint and check out my rearview mirror. The officer is crying and staring at his gun.
- Thomas M. Watt