Jeff and the first officer walked toward the driver’s door. I took that as a good sign that we would be driving off soon. He was rooting around for something on the floor, then exclaimed, “I got it!”
I was watching; trying to figure out what was going on. Just as I realized he must have retrieved his license from my purse, a voice from behind startled me.
It was the other officer, informing me he had a few more questions:
“How long have you known Mr. Korte?”
“What does Mr. Korte do for a living?”
“If Mr. Korte were to not have a license, how would that affect his job?”
The last was an interesting one, because, well… he obviously had one. My mind sped ahead. Why wouldn’t he have one? Is it possible he wasn’t going to have one soon,? Like (oh, no) very soon? It was a very unsettling inquiry with an even more unsettling answer. Jeff carried a CDL, and he needed it to do his job.
Seemingly satisfied by my answers, my interrogator gave me a nod, and returned my license. “Come with me,” he directed. Because my mind works the way it does, I figured I probably wasn’t going to be arrested. Otherwise he’d probably be walking behind me, instead of beside me.
When we met up with Jeff and officer #1, Jeff handed me the keys and said, “You’re going to have to drive…”
“Ok.” I replied, and kind of questioningly waited for a beat.
Jeff’s officer stated, “You’re free to go.” I wasn’t sure if he was saying I was free to go or if we were free to go.
“Um,” I pointed at Jeff, “Is HE coming with ME?”
Jeff’s eyes opened wide in shock in disbelief that I would even ask that question. “Yeah,” he huffed, emphatically shaking his head up and down. “I’m GOING with YOU…” That exchange made both officers crack slight smiles.
As I got into the driver seat, I heard the officer admonish Jeff. “Mr. Korte, you KNOW what you have to DO…”
It’s a little nerve-wracking to start-up a car and pull away from a police stop. I had no clue what the protocol for that was. Do I pull away first; do they pull away first? So, the first thing I did was turn to my now passenger and repeat, “What the hell, Jeff?”
“Just drive away, please,” he requested. “We gotta find a gas station fast. I gotta pee…”
It seemed the occupied police car was waiting for us to move. They followed us until we got back to a main road, and then, thankfully, turned the opposite way. Jeff and I drove in silence, except for the slight sound of Jeff’s legs bouncing and the steady drumming of his fingertips against his knees.
I pulled into a gas station, dropped him at the door, and sat in the car waiting. Jeff came back with two Mountain Dews, two hot dogs, a bag of chips and a sleeve of mini donuts, sheepishly admitting he didn’t think either of us would want to stop for dinner after our impending talk.
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