It was only a few blocks away from my house when I saw the flashing lights behind me. I pulled my car over into the right lane and onto the shoulder, expecting the cop to pass me on the way to wherever he was going. Instead he pulled up right behind me. Shit! I started pawing through the messy stack of insurance cards in my center console to find the current one. Why didn’t I throw out the expired ones?! The cop made his way up to the drivers’ side window, and I rolled it down.
“License and registration, please.” The big reflective sunglasses hid anything other than indifference. I pulled out another insurance card, this one three years old. Crap. I went back to digging in the expanding pile of red-and-white cards in the passenger seat.
“Just the license will work if you have that,” he frowned at me, sounding bored. I did know where my license was, at least – I pulled it out of my wallet and handed it to him.
“Thank you, Miss Cosgrove,” he said as he almost immediately handed my license back to me. “Please step out of the vehicle and come with me.” Uh, okay. I got out of the car after grabbing my purse. He was already walking back towards his cruiser, so I started following him.
“Um … can I ask what this is about?” I inquired. That came out much more timidly than I intended.
“You were going thirty-seven in a thirty-five zone,” he responded without even looking back. Um, what? He opened the back door and gestured for me to get in.
“Am I being arrested?” My nervousness shot up exponentially. What the hell? All this for going two miles over the speed limit?
“Only if I need to arrest you.” He folded his arms across his chest, clearly irritated despite the eye-disguising glasses. I timidly slipped into the back seat, and he shut the door after snatching my purse away. I wasn’t too happy about him taking it, but I decided it would be pretty fruitless to resist. I looked around as he made his way around the cruiser - metal netting covered the back seat windows and separated the back from the front. The cop got in the drivers’ seat, then started pulling into the road.
“What about my car? I can’t just leave it on the side of the road! In this part of town, I’ll come back to it completely stripped and sitting on blocks!” I cried. Goddammit.
“Someone will come to take it back to your house.” He didn’t even bother to glance at me as he drove past the turn to my house and continued driving towards the police station. Wait … they didn’t even have my keys or my address. How were they going to get it back to my house? Well, I supposed they could use a tow truck, and my address was on my license.
As I sat there waiting for him to take me to the police station or wherever, I started thinking about the absurdity of the situation. Apparently the only thing I did wrong was going two miles over the speed limit. What the fuck? If cops even bothered to pull someone over for that, they wouldn’t even write a ticket, unless they were really out to get you. I knew this because I had been pulled over many times before for speeding. I certainly had never been arrested (or whatever the hell this was) before. Well, not much I could do about this now. Even if the back doors were able to be opened from the inside, my only option was to toss myself out of a moving vehicle. That didn’t sound very appealing either.
The cop pulled us into the nearest police station. He let me out and led me inside, and I was relieved that he hadn’t forgotten my purse, although he wasn’t going to give it back to me. He held it awkwardly away from him – I guess so no one would think it belonged to him. I followed him through registration and back into a nonpublic area of the station. Passing cops gave us brief looks of curiosity, but no one spoke. My personal cop continued to lead me farther back, and down a white-painted brick hallway with occasional gray metal doors breaking the monotony. It was long and winding, and the further we went the less lighting there was. I was getting rather creeped out on top of the nervousness that I was already feeling. Finally the cop opened an unmarked door, and I followed him in. Inside was what appeared to be a stereotypical interrogation room – long beat-up metal table and a few equally beat-up chairs. There was the “don’t-look-at-me-I’m-not-a-one-way-mirror” mirror that covered most of one wall. There were three other men inside the room with us. Two were dressed in black suits, with matching reflective sunglasses and communication earpieces. The third man was standing behind the table, covered in a long trench coat and a fedora pulled down over his face so I could only see the reflection of glasses underneath. And on the table itself was an open white Mac laptop, with only a single large “L” in Cloister Black font on the screen. I heard someone shut the door behind me.
“Good afternoon,” said a distorted voice that seemed to come from nowhere. “I’m glad you could join us, Victoria Cosgrove.” I suddenly felt very dizzy, and as my vision faded, I could hear someone rushing to catch me as I fainted.