“You okay?” Alicia said, breathing heavy and death gripping the steering wheel. Thanks to Alicia, Mary’s car was wrapped around a telephone pole. “I’m so drunk.”
“Never better,” Mary said, rubbing her head. “Oh, shit.”
“What is it?” Alicia said, glancing over her shoulder.
“A cop is coming that’s what. Quick, get in the trunk.”
Alicia stumbled to the trunk. “I won’t say a word.”
“Better not.” Mary slammed the trunk.
“I hope it’s not my dad.”
“Shut the fuck up!” Mary said.
“Sorry,” Alicia whispered.
An officer approached with his cherry lights flashing. He exited the car and shined his flashlight on Mary. “What’s going on here, young lady?” the officer asked. “You drunk?”
“That’s not exactly how it happened, officer!” Mary said, looked at her car, then returning her eyes to the cop. Mary had been in another wreck. Another DUI, and she just got her license, except this time it really wasn’t Mary’s fault. Her father wouldn’t see it that way. Her father was sure to take the car now, and she would have to ride the school bus as a senior in high school. Mary was a cheerleader and wouldn’t be caught dead on a school bus. The winter wind whipped through her jacket. The streets were sheets of ice, and the salt wasn’t placed soon enough. Another fucking wreck. Another fucking DUI.
“How much have you had to drink?” The officer folded his arms and leaned in. “How did it happen again?” He raised a brow.
“Okay, so I was drinking. I had one maybe two beers at most.” Mary’s mother would kick her ass if she found out she was drinking again. They’d had long talks and took long mother-daughter walks to get things off their chest. None of it was helping.
“Just two?” the officer said. “You sure?”
“Well, maybe it was a little more. No more than three,” Mary said. “Look, don’t ruin my life with another DUI.” Mary couldn’t hold her liquor, so she had no idea how many beers or shots of God knows what she had to drink. “I got money — lots of money.”
“Are you bribing me, kid?”
“Yes. I mean, no. Maybe?” Mary said, holding her hands close to her chest. “You could say I just got into a wreck.” Mary turned her attention to her wrecked car. “Please?”
“You wrapped your car around a pole!” the officer said. “How are you going to explain that to your parents?”
“My parents are dead. Yeah, that’s it; they’re dead.”
“Why do I not believe anything you say?” The officer folded his arms and gave Mary a tight-lipped smile. “I wasn’t born yesterday, you know?”
“Okay, so they’re not dead. But they might as well be! Especially after tonight, I’m as good as dead!”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself, kid,” the officer said. “I mean, everyone makes mistakes.”
“Please, don’t take me to jail.” Mary unbuttoned her shirt. “I’ll do anything.” She raised a haughty brow. “I do mean anything.”
The officer swallowed hard. “No.” He shook his head. “No way.”
“Wait a minute. I know your wife, officer,” Mary said as he slapped the handcuffs on her wrists. “You have been cheating. I’ll tell her you’ve been cheating.”
The officer stopped. “You wouldn’t!”
“Oh, but I would, and I will,” Mary said, glancing over her shoulder. “Going to let me go now?”
“I can’t get a divorce. I’ll have to give that bitch half of everything.” The officer let out an exasperated sigh and undid the handcuffs.
“I was never here,” the officer said.
“I’ll call my Dad,” Mary said. “Look, again, kid, I was never here.” The officer moved down the road with his headlights off.
“Get out of the trunk, Alicia,” Mary said. “The coast is clear.”
“That was a close one.” Alicia hi-fived Mary. “I won’t drive drunk again. Thanks for looking out for me and shit.”
“It’s better if your dad doesn’t know we’re friends,” Mary said, giving her a cocky wink and a confident smile.
(© 2021 AC)