67. The Last Stop

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My first time at a police station was super special

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My first time at a police station was super special. I swear to Jesus, you couldn't make up a better story if you'd tried.

"Danner!" Officer Mariam Mays was a hardened cop, tough, no-nonsense, seen it all, done it twice. Tall and fit with close cropped hair, she had jet black skin that was flawlessly pigmented, smooth, shiny and majestic.

I didn't say so, but she reminded me of Satan, and memories of him made me feel homesick for the first time since I'd left.

"Lunch." She set a greasy Burger King bag on the table in front of me.

"Can I go now?"

Technically, I wasn't in jail. But I was stuck in a dingy back room of the police station, tangled up in bureaucratic red tape. Two days and counting.

An overzealous rookie cop had made the rookie mistake of arresting me. Once they got the story, they didn't charge me with anything, but because I wasn't eighteen for another four days, I couldn't be released unless it was to a legal guardian. Family services had been called, but get real, no one was gonna do all that paperwork for two days' custody.

So they just kind of left me in this room and took turns  bringing me bags of takeout.

And you know what? I liked it.

For one, I hoped that my time paying for his folly would teach Jake a lesson, maybe even hit him hard enough to wake the fuck up and formulate an exit plan. He'd looked pretty horrified when he'd seen them cuff me.

Two, the drama at the station was non-stop, and for the first time in a long while, it wasn't mine. If I left the door propped open just a bit, I could see and hear everything, and have a pretty good time minding other peoples' businesses. I even had snacks.

Last but not least, cops were cool. They talked to me without judgment and imparted wisdom (I needed to leave Jake) without shoving it down my throat. I guess after a few years of doing the cop thing, you accept that there was only so much you could do. But it was kind of cool that they kept trying- there really was something to this public service thing. Anyway, for the first time since I'd left Canyon, they'd made me feel like I was myself again.

Officer Mays sank into a chair, bone tired at the butt end of her shift. Of all the people here, I liked her the best. She looked like a superhero with all her guns and badges, but beneath her tough girl exterior, she had a good heart. They all did.

"No, you can't go yet," she said.

"Can I at least walk around the station?"

"No can do. Liabilities."

The onion ring was a little undercooked, but beggars couldn't be complainers, so I chewed and swallowed. "Did he come yet?"

She leveled her eyes on me, big and brown, firm but kind. We'd talked about this before, several times. "He isn't coming, baby. Released last night?" She shook her head. "Pssh. They either come right after, or they never come at all. Trust me, this isn't the first time a man's done this to a woman, and it won't be the last."

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