I merge into the single lane halfway to the freeway from Macey's food store and within seconds see the flashing lights in my rear view mirror. They are inside the windshield of the white, unmarked car I've just passed.
The weird thing is that I'm not nervous at all. I pull to the right as far as I can to keep the officer safe from on-coming traffic. I think, If I get a ticket, oh well, I've broken enough laws without being caught. But, man, I hope I can go to traffic school. I don't have any money.
A middle-aged, stout man walks up to my now open window and asks for my license. Hey! I get to use my new license. I'd gotten it just a week ago in the mail. (See how un-nervous I am?)
Usually, the officer asks if you know why he pulled you over. He doesn't. He simply states that I was going 60.
"I was? What is the speed limit on this road?"
He mouths the word forty as he holds up 4 fingers, moving them as if in slow motion.
"Whoa. That is too fast. I thought I had merged wrong or something. I didn't see the sign."
"That's because you were going too fast. Are you in a rush?"
"Where are you going?"
"To a cancer follow up at Primary Children's." I motion to the back seat with a wave of my hand. "I guess I was driving like I was already on the freeway."
"Twenty miles over is way too fast." Then, holding my license an flicking it with the middle finger of his other hand, "Should I give you a ticket or not...?"
I wait. Was that a rhetorical question?
After a moment I quietly mumble, "Well, I hope you don't, but I was going too fast." The money for this is going to kill me.
He hands me the card and tells me I really need to slow down. Of course, I agree and reassure him that I will be much more careful.
He shakes my hand and I'm surprised at that.
I point to the Sheriff badge hanging near his belly from a chain. "I see you work for the Sheriff's office. So does my husband."
A few things happen after that, including me admitting that when he sees me pull out back onto the road, he'll notice my right rear turn signal is out. But I definitely drive off with gratitude in my heart.
Thank you, Deputy Sheen.
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