He pushes it back when I try to hand it to him. “Put the bag back in the shop, lady. What is wrong with you?”
“What?” I’m so confused. “What is wrong with me? I’m trying to give you your bag back!”
A cop car rolls down Cherry Street and parks across the street from us.
“Oh shit!” the guy says when he sees him. “Put the bag back in the fucking shop if you know what’s good for you!”
I’m standing here in shock as he jumps onto his bike and rides away like there’s a demon chasing him.
Suddenly, I get a really bad feeling about the bag in my hands. My heart is pounding as I slowly open it and peek inside.
I’ve never seen drugs in real life before but I’ve seen enough movies to know that these white bricks are pure uncut cocaine.
The cop steps out of the car and I run over, holding the bag as far away from my body as I can.
He turns when I’m a few feet from him. I jerk the bag up to show him what it contains so he can catch the criminal escaping, but as I do, a black handgun tumbles out of a side pocket.
My brain processes it in slow motion as I watch it fall to the concrete road, flipping and turning on the way down. A flash of white light explodes out of the barrel when it slams into the concrete. The gunshot is so loud that my ears start ringing immediately. Another explosion rings out behind me as the bullet slices through the street light, raining glass down on the sidewalk.
All of my senses become muddled. I can’t hear with the ringing. My eyes are blurry. Hands shaky. Heart pounding.
When the ringing subsides, I hear the cop screaming at me to drop the bag and put my hands up.
It takes a few seconds for my fuzzy brain to process what’s happening. He’s pointing a gun at me. There’s a cop pointing a gun at me. And he’s hollering at me to put my hands up.
I just stare. Shocked and confused. Staring at his red face and open mouth. Drops of spittle shoot out as he yells at me to drop the bag and put my hands up.
Finally, my brain catches up. I throw my hands up as he points the gun at my forehead.
I’m so screwed!
“Drop the bag!” he screams in his deep terrifying voice.
I let it go and it falls to my feet. One of the cocaine packs bursts when it hits the ground, sending cocaine flying into the air. A huge cloud of white powder billows all around me, covering me completely in pure uncut cocaine.
In front of a cop.
Now, I’m really screwed.
“Owww!!!” I scream as the cop wrenches my arm behind my back and handcuffs my wrist. He’s shoving me toward the cop car, not letting me move, not letting me explain.
People gather on the sidewalks, watching, filming, judging. My face burns red when I see the nice couple I served earlier, shaking their heads in disapproval as they sip their black cherry mochas that I made them.
“Help me!” I shout at them, pleading with my eyes. “Tell him you know me!”
They shoot each other nervous glances when they realize I’m talking to them. They quickly walk away.
“Wait! I made you those drinks!”
It’s no use. They’re already gone.
Officer Pushy opens the car door and starts pushing me in as I beg him to stop. “This is all a big misunderstanding!”
“Save it for the judge.”
He pushes me into the backseat—which is wet for some reason, ew—and slams the door.
My mind is racing.
What does he think? That I’m a drug dealer or an assassin? Or both? This is insane!
I watch through the window as he collects the evidence—the bag, the drugs, the gun.
My heart is racing so fast. A million thoughts are spinning through my head like a Gatling gun.
It could be because I’m nervous or because I keep inhaling the cocaine all over my shirt.
I squeeze my eyes shut and grit my teeth.
Think, Hazel. Think!
I could lay on the seat, kick open the window, escape down the street, live my life on the run, fall in love with a hot farm boy who hides me, we could have one of those big farmhouse kitchens, fresh eggs every morning, milk straight from the cow, I’ll change my name to Aubrey, I’ve always loved that name, I’ll cut my hair, maybe die it pink, no that’s too noticeable, brown, definitely brown, we’ll get a goat, a pig, I’ve always wanted a pet pig, I could name him Hamlet—
Yeah, it’s definitely the cocaine.
I take a deep breath as the cop slams the trunk closed and gets behind the wheel.
“You got this all wrong!” I say, my voice racing. “I’m innocent!”