I was going to jail!
Orange is the New Black was that sudden thought in my head. It might have been worry sneaking in, filling my head with the latest episode, but I was staring at two police officers on my porch. My porch! It’s not every day that the police just happen to pay you a visit unless they are just going door to door in regards to a robbery, or a murder or something, but it wasn’t that simple. Not that murder is ever simple, but they asked for me.
I’m not sure about you, but when a cop follows me on the road, I think about every action I’ve done since childhood, trying to think if I did anything wrong. Well, multiply that by ten and you know how I felt at that very moment.
This had to be a dream. While I stared from one to the other, waiting to wake up, I mentally ran through an imaginary list in my mind.
My insurance was up to date.
I hadn’t had any accidents.
I didn’t rob any stores or people.
I didn’t have any legal or illegal weapons.
I didn’t kill anyone.
I didn’t have any warrants.
Having never been in trouble with the law in my life, some of them were a little bit off kilter in thinking. It didn’t matter. It still slammed into my mind like a speeding, freak, runaway train bent on total destruction. Why the hell were they at my house!
Two Frederick County, Maryland police officers stood on my porch. The imaginary list is fine when they don’t knock on my front door and request to speak to me! I was beyond that imaginary list. Staring down at the partners, I wanted to ask them what the hell they wanted! Then again, many movies portray partners in that ‘good cop/bad cop’ scenario. They always take turns being the good cop because they prefer to be bad!
I was shaking like a leaf on the inside. Trying to hide that, I offered them each a soft smile, looking from one to the other. “I’m Elyse Tanner. What can I do for y’all?” My southern accent had bailed me out of many jams. Maybe it would work magic for whatever this was as well.
Tall, blonde, well built, green eyes, in his mid to late thirties, he gave me the same soft smile. I got the impression he was the ‘good cop’. He could calm a savage beast with his gentle look. “Mrs. Tanner, I’m Officer Tim Johnson and this is my partner, Officer Jake McAllister. We need you to come down to the station with us for some questioning.”
Hold the phone!
They wanted me for questioning. I could understand if they wanted my sister, Tania, who was famous for getting into trouble, but they didn’t ask for her. They requested me. My mind swirled into a million dark places as I wondered what on Earth I did to warrant such attention.
I continued keeping my cool, not panicking… yet.
Never let them see you sweat.
I just didn’t realize how hard it was not to sweat in these situations.
“What? Are ya sure ya have the right Mrs. Tanner? There are two of us, ya know? I think ya have the wrong woman.” Nonchalantly, I threw my mother–in–law under the bus, but how many Tanners were out there? “Can’t we do this at another time? I’m about to leave for the airport. I have a flight to catch.”
The dark headed one, in his mid to late thirties, with an evil sneer, looked as if he was the intimidator of their duo. He could get information out of you just by staring you in the face. He was a little scary looking. Officer McAllister, took a hold of my elbow. He shook his head, smirking as if I amused him. He sealed his fate as the bad cop. He and I wouldn’t get along under any circumstances. “Not today you’re not, ma’am. We’ll explain it all down at the station.”
I pulled my elbow from his grasp. Shaking my head, I furrowed my brows. I tried showing my best innocent expression, but I was too dumbfounded to pull it off. Hell, maybe I did look guilty. “I have the right to know why I’m bein’ detained.” I watched Law & Order and knew that much. They couldn’t question me without reading me my rights and once I lawyered up, that was the end of that session.
He sighed, staring down at the ground. He was either trying to gain control of his anger or his laughter. Was that a good thing? Before long, his eyes narrowed back at me. Yeah, it didn’t look like a good thing. “Okay. I can tell you that much.”
It was about time!
I waited, still trying to figure out which red light I ran. Did I stop at all the stop signs? Rolling through it doesn’t constitute as an actual stop. Maybe I got caught speeding?
“There was some trouble at Aivedal Rock Quarry. One of the workers laundering drugs named you as a co-conspirator. You can come with us of your own accord, or we’ll have to arrest you and bring you in.”
Huh? He could’ve turned into an alien with bugged out eyes and razor sharp teeth fixated on eating me. He still wouldn’t have gotten a more shocked expression. They were accusing me of what?
Now, I started to sweat.
“You can’t be serious!” This time, they each took an elbow and escorted me in the direction of their police car. It became clear that I wasn’t going to make my flight out of town after all.
“Yes, ma’am. We don’t joke about matters like this. It’s something we take serious,” Officer Johnson (good cop) told me as he helped me in the car. “We need to investigate if there’s any truth to this claim.”
Could this day get any more confusing?
“Well, I can assure you there’s not!” I yelled, trying to yank my hands away from them again.
Officer McAllister sneered. “Well, sorry, but we need just a little bit more than your word to make this go away.” He stopped, taking out his cuffs. “Are you going to come without resistance or do I dress you up with these fancy bracelets?”
…so, this is what they meant by my own accord. How was I going to prove anything? I hadn’t worked at the quarry in over a year. This was turning into a fucked-up situation. “No. I’ll be good. No need for those. I’m more of a ring person myself.”
Sitting in the back of the cruiser, my mind traced back through the months until I was back at work. That was when I realized what this was all about. I was in serious trouble. One little plan, a lot of scheming and lies, all to end up here. It all started so simply too.