Drivers' Corner - Knight of the Highway
Chapter XIV: Love Hurts
I woke up staring at a badge. An officer stood over me declaring my name. What he said next stunned me.
"I am placing you under arrest for aggravated assault and attempted murder." Then he read me my rights.
My head ached trying to place pieces together. Aggravated assault? Attempted murder? What did Alice think I was doing? Did she not know I was completely smitten and had leaned over to kiss her?
I lay there thinking of spending the next several years behind prison walls for an uncontrolled act of love. A simple gesture of leaning over and gently kissing Alice. And for that I was being arrested and tagged as a criminal, a felon. I was shocked. The officer had to remind me of what was taking place. He had me sit up. When I sat up I realized my leg was in a cast. I had broken my leg. How am I to get to New York with a broken leg? I thought. Whoa. How was I to get to New York if I was imprisoned. I soon realized my life had swiftly been swept down the drain.
The officer cuffed my hands behind my back as I protested, "Can't I get dressed first?"
"If you were butt naked I would haul you in that way. Feel lucky you are wearing a hospital gown. Though they may get a little peek from the opening in the back."
At least my hands were handcuffed behind me, giving me a way to hold the gown together.
This was crazy. My leg in a cast and my head ready to explode, with my hands bound behind my back, I was being lead as a criminal to my ruin. Over what? A simple kiss. A kiss I had desired for some time. A kiss I was glad to have given. But why? Why would Alice believe I was trying to kill her...kill us? It made no sense. She filed charges of aggravated assault and even attempted murder. Why?
I felt the eyes of the nurses as I was being led down the hallway in cuffs. I noticed several were smiling, almost laughing, as I was being led to live a life behind bars. I must have looked ridiculous clutching my gown together in the back, limping along on my cast. I wanted to bust out of the cuffs and run...and run.
Toward the end of the wing, the officer halted me and told me to back up a step. He then guided me into a room where several people stood, one being Alice's dad. They saw the sense of bewilderment and shock on my face and soon my eyes focused on the bed.
There lay Alice, smiling. "I see you met my brother," she proclaimed.
"Your brother?" I asked.
She pointed to the officer behind me and the room broke out in laughter.
"Oh, man, you mean this was a prank?" I cried out. "A torturous, mean and low down prank?"
The room was still filled with laughter as Alice apologized to me and I worked my way toward her. I hugged her the best I could with cuffs behind my back. While hugging, I crept close to her ear and whispered, "I'll get you back for this!"
"I'm sure you will!" she laughed menacingly.
She then explained that her brother was a police officer and was totally reluctant at pulling the prank. He had argued about what trouble he would get into if something went wrong or the department would find out. I found out from Alice's brother that she always had a knack for talking someone into doing something they didn't want to do. A wonderful salesman, her brother called her. She must be, I thought. She didn't have to give me any type of sales pitch. I was took--hook, line and sinker!
I was soon exhausted from visiting although I was having the time of my life. A nurse wheeled me back to my room. When I got back, I remembered it had been two days and I hadn't made a check call. On the phone, my driver supervisor took my phone number and said he would find a trainer whose trainee was ready to drive on his own to pick me and the truck up. He would call when he found one. I would be with the new driver until they managed to find a route toward home. He told me jokingly that it was good timing that I broke my leg the last week working. I told him it sure wasn't planned or I wouldn't have ordered so much pain.
I had planned on taking a local driving job when I quit, but a cast on my foot spoiled that plan. My savings account held enough that I could hold out until my leg healed. A vacation. Yes, I was ready for a nice vacation. I thought about getting home. My first plans were to sleep straight for an entire week. Anyone knocked on the door and I would shoot them! Just me, my bed and the clock radio singing to me. I daydreamed about sleeping in bed for a week and soon faded off.
"Alice, I wish you were here beside me," I whispered as the darkness closed in.