“Making my way downtown, driving fast, hauling ass cause I’m speeding.”
Valerie tapped her fingers against the steering wheel of her small Nissan Versa as she sang over the correct lyrics terribly loud. Thankfully, it was winter, which meant the majority of car windows were up, allowing people to hear another day, rather than hear the young woman sing. Singing to the tune of “A Thousand Miles” performed by Vanessa Carlton, anyone who heard Valerie sing would wish the only version of the song be sung by Vanessa herself. However, the woman held no shame as she drove through the empty streets after grabbing herself some much needed coffee.
To her own surprise, Valerie found herself waking up around eight in the morning. With no scheduled appointment or alarm going off, it was quite rare for the woman to be up before noon. Even her chosen career as a tattoo artist fit her ever needing urge to sleep in. When Valerie was a child, it was not her career goal to become a tattoo artist. She had plenty of other ambitions, such as being a dolphin trainer or an owner of a successful beehive, but life had a funny way of working out.
School was never a place where Valerie felt welcomed. Often scolded for being loud and outspoken, the girl found herself in the company of detention rather than making friends. She was easily distracted in her classes, making it even worse when it came time to practicals and tests. It had been a long and difficult journey but Valerie did attempt to put in some effort near the end. While all her classmates and peers were busy finding their chosen college or university, she didn’t find herself doing the same.
She focused on her art and began putting in job applications. Her mother was furious, her father was disappointed and neither of them had a problem expressing it to the woman. Even after a few years passed since her high school graduation, her mother constantly urged her to go back to school and “make the right choices.”
She assured her mother, she was making the right choices, ones that were right for her. But her parents would hear nothing of it, making it quite awkward during the holidays when she finally decided to venture home.
Awake and packed with caffeine, Valerie decided that she was going to check into the Craigslist superhero post, she had discovered the night before. It wasn’t anything she was wishing to pursue as it probably involve following around a crazed individual who ran around wearing a cape, underwear over their pants and making whooshing noises. But she certainly wanted to warn the poster that posting their address on Craigslist wasn’t the brightest move.
Her GPS was leading the way while her foot remained heavy on the gas pedal. That was until the blue lights of shame reflected in her mirror.
“Aww fuckle wuckle.” She grumbled under her breath. Releasing her foot from the pedal and placing it on the brake, she carefully pulled over to the side of the road. All the while cursing under her breath.
It took ages for the officer to finally approach, which already managed to get on her nerves as Valerie was never known for her patience. When the man reached her window, she had her license and registration all ready for him to take.
’Been pulled over before for speeding?” the man asked her.
“No, I’ve actually never been pulled over.” She admitted truthfully. “But I’ve watched Cops enough times to know the drill.”
The police officer was older, possibly around his early fifties, and wore a kind smile on his face. He was in the process of losing hair as well as it graying from a dark brown.
“Why were you speeding, kiddo?” He asked leaning against her car a bit.
“Because I like the sound my car makes when I go really fast…” Valerie joked. But obviously, the man did not find it all that amusement as his smile faded.
She thought for a split second, scrambling around in her brain for a better excuse.
“I’m late for a job interview. I wasn’t paying attention because I was too focused on my GPS.”
“Job interview?” He repeated.
“Yes, I’m really hoping I get this job, I’ve been trying to do some good in my life. Hoping this job will make my parents proud of me. I woke up late and I was so tired from rehearsing my interview last night, that I stopped to get some coffee and of course that just took away more precious time..”
Cue the world’s smallest violin playing in the background, why don’t you? she thought to herself.
“Hey, hey, hey, easy kid.” The officer said lifting up his hands. “Don’t get yourself worked up, alright? Look,”
He looked up and down the road.
“Why don’t you go on and get out of here? No more going ten over, keep it to seven and you’ll hopefully get there in time.”
Valerie raised a brow at the man. “Really?”
“Yes, just…keep safe, you don’t want to hit any ice patches or anything like that. And it won’t do you any good to speed to the interview if you wind up killing yourself in the process. Alright?”
She gave the man a smile. “Alright, I won’t. How about five over?”
He chuckled. “Good enough, but no more than that.”
“You got it, dude!” She gave him two thumbs up before he returned her license and registration.
In a matter of seconds, Valerie was on the road again, laughing to herself while gripping her steering wheel so that she wouldn’t swerve off.
’Holy shit, I didn’t think that would work. That…that was great. Even though, I’m pretty sure I shit myself. “
She managed to calm herself down and staying true to her word, she really only did five over the speed limit. As she grew closer and closer to her destination, curiosity held a strong grip on the woman as she wondered what kind of strange human being she was going to come across upon her arrival.
Her pepper spray was in her pocket, just in case things got dicey , but she was pretty sure she was capable of handling herself.
Turning down a street called Cardinal Drive, she came upon some extremely glamorous apartments that made hers look like she was living under the cupboard under the stairs like Harry Potter.
She was looking for apartment fourteen as it had been posted on the ad, and came upon it at the last apartment on the road. Unlike all the other apartments that had cute little welcome mats and Christmas wreaths hanging, the last apartment was bare and not all that welcoming.
“Certainly love what you’ve done with the place, Craigslist Superhero.” She muttered before turning off her car and stepping out. She looked around to see the street was fairly quiet with the exception of one car backing out and leaving in the opposite direction.
Not wasting anymore time, Valerie knocked the door and waited. After a minute or so, her impatience returned and she knocked again…and again…and again.
Finally, she heard the shuffling behind the wooden door bringing her to lean forward to get a better listen.
It suddenly swung open.
The burning smell of alcohol, mixed with something else, nearly caused the woman to gag as a man appeared at the door.
“Why the hell are you knocking so much!?!”
“Dude, why do you smell like ass?!”