"Hands on the vehicle. Everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."
I put my hands on the vehicle. Just as he said.
This wasn't your movie - style, car chase police arrest. The barrels of guns never gleamed, cries of agony never heard, and a running victim never pursued.
I'm not afraid; in fact, I'm the bravest person I know. And the smartest, if I do say so myself.
And the smartest thing I could do was swallow my pride and plead.
"I swear. I didn't do anything, officer."
My voice was getting rougher each breath I took. The swelling in my throat seemed to only grow as the cars of New York City went by.
I felt him take my hands off the smooth metal of the car and bend them behind me before encasing them in those sharp handcuffs.
He didn't say anything to me after that, even as he walked me to the red - and - blue flashing cruiser and guided me onto the polyester seats.
"Rough night, huh?" the assisting officer said, opening the passenger side of the car and slipping in. "We've dealt with a lot of drug dealers, but none this young."
"Tell me about it," he muttered, dragging his seat belt around him and igniting the engine. "We'll have to figure out the kid's parents to ID.
I doubt that this kind carries any school card or permit around on a deal."
"Let me ask. Kid, do you - "
"No. I don't."
Closing my eyes, I tried my best to relax into the seat as we passed through the nightly glow of New York City.
The police didn't have the FM radio on, so the familiar calming songs couldn't keep me company tonight.
"You got a cigarette?"
My eyes were glued to the images outside of the cruiser. Reluctantly. New York City wasn't the beautiful city it used to be.
New York City was a cesspool. The homeless were scattered around; some wanted only food and water, others wanted more.
Drug dealers preyed on unsuspecting high schoolers who didn't know any better. I don't care who you think you are, but the government doesn't care about anything.
We're all equal under the eyes of the law, which means we all mean nothing.
"No. I quit smoking a few months ago. Wife hates it."
And through all of that, my heartbeat was everywhere at once, trying to pound its way out of my chest.
I had gotten arrested. Me. Out of all people to arrest. So many other people were getting away with the exact same thing. So many other people were getting away with even worse things.
Could I blame it on fate? And could fate save me in its own way? And... I know it's illogical, but just maybe, I'd die right here and now as fate decreed.
They'd be sorry. They'd be so sorry that they ever dared to lay a single finger on me.
"Hey kid, time to get out."
The cop on the passenger side got out first to help me as the driver scribbled a few things down on a pad of paper. "No need to cry.
Be strong," he said, giving me a firm pat on the back after pulling me out and slamming the door shut. "My partner has already started the search for your parents.
Unless you'd like to help us out?"
I paused. "My dad is Emmett Taylor. My mom's on a business trip right now so she isn't in town."
"Alright, search him up," he told his partner before dragging me to a seat inside the station. "Look, kid. You're a bright young lady and I can tell that just by looking at you.
If you just focus on yourself and your studies..."
It'd be all roses and rainbows. I've heard the speech before.
And honestly, I really would focus on myself. Part of me actually wants to get straight - A's, make the honor roll, and maybe even valedictorian. That is if it wasn't all over already.
"Wait here until your parents come and pick you up."
I stared down at the tears in my navy blue jeans. Usually I'd be biting my nails right now, but that wasn't an option at the moment.
My gaze eventually wandered towards the source of the irritating ticking sound: a plain white clock on a plain white wall.
Thinking back, I got back home at around four-twenty from Trader Joe's. Right before I left, I put some spaghetti and meatballs inside a pot for Dad to come home and cook dinner for himself.
After that, I went and got all my supplies together for the deal. By then, it was around six when I actually left the house.
And then, seven o'clock rolled around when I reached the designated location in the very heart of New York.
But, as we all know by now, I was soon stuffed in that cruiser because it turns out that my client was an undercover cop.
One thing just didn't make sense. How was it possible that it's almost nine? Did an entire hour just disappear between now and then? The ride was only supposed to be ten or twenty minutes, tops!
I shook my head and stared at the clock again.
What was going on?
Was I going insane?
And if I wasn't, where was my dad? He should've been here by now!
"Officers, something's wrong."
"Wait a minute. Your father's here and we have to talk to him before talking to you. Just sit here while the adults are talking."
I rolled my eyes, shrinking a little into the cheap metal chair. "Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere, officers," I said, picking at my nails behind my back.
They weren't going to listen to me. Dumb cops.
My heartbeat was starting to pick up again, and my palms were starting to get sweaty and gross. But this time, I didn't feel worried. I didn't feel scared.
I had my dad in the other room and he was gonna take care of anything.
I felt almost... Happy. Giddy.
Maybe I was just tired. Exhausted. That'd really explain the clock thing. I closed my eyes and scooted back the chair just far enough to comfortably lay my head on the table.
It was a really weird position and I started having a neck cramp sitting like that, so I just sat back up again with my eyes closed.
This was definitely going to be a long night.