He lent in through the open window, using the license, the power of his position.
‘ You show me what you got, little lady ‘.
He was reasonably young, strongly tanned, and a well developed but slim body. He looked powerful, and had that walk of authority, that walk of power. Thats what the job gave him. She so wished he would take of his dark sunglasses. To see his eyes, to gauge his intentions. Were his eyes soft and kind, or hard and mean. It was always one of the first indicators she used when interacting with someone new. She glanced at the large cream coloured motorcycle, with the helmet unsteadily perched on handle bars. His black uniform, adding to his seriousness and sense of power. The leather polished boots, and accruments of his position.
She was unsure, but hoped it was just a look at her license he was after and nothing more. The last thing she wanted was another confrontation. There was only so many she could take in a day.
She was going to leave him, that’s what she had decided. No more nonsense, no more being the scapegoat. No more fear, no more violence. It was the wrong relationship from the start, and she knew it. But out of loneliness, and her anxiety about her rapidly passing fertile years, it was a last grasp at Motherhood, and the children she yearned for. But not with him. Not now. The long drive on the open road, an opportunity to clear her head.
The crashing of metal upon metal, grating on her nerves. The Patrolman rolled forward at speed, at the impact. She took a sudden intake of breath and watched as his head hit the hot asphalt, and blood began to drain from his ear. He did not move. She glanced in the rear view to see the cause. The drivers face was sickingly familiar. Red faced and perspiring, He stumbled from the car, and raced towards hers, and quickly jumped in the seat beside her.
‘ You think you can run out on me, bitch’, his voice loud and menacing. Full of anger and violent intent.
The backhanded strike caught her full in the face. His knuckles crunching her nose, which immediately reddened at the impact. Blood flowed for the wound. He reached around the back of her head, grabbed her hair, forcefully and at speed, roughly pushed it forward, and smirked at her head bounced off the hardened steering wheel. Her vision was disappearing, as she fought against unconsciousness. Noting the same red and blue dirty checked shirt, and dirty jeans he had been wearing for the last week. Both badly in need of a wash, as he was. She watched as he took some of them from his shirt pocket, and ingested the white pills. They gave him what he had become accustomed to, welcomed and relished. That sense of instant, intense, physical and mental power and supreme confidence. That feeling of absolute invincibility. That he could take on anything thing, and everyone, with no negative repercussions whatsoever. It did not take long for them to enter his blood stream, and the resultant hyper energy, become evident. He screamed and howled like a demented animal, and hit the interior of the car roof, with his clenched fist, in rapid succession as the rush of the chemicals flooded his brain. His once permanently confirued hair, wild, and damp with perspiration. His once permanently clean shaven face, now rough, and unshaven. This was true living in his mind. Happiness unlimited.
As she fought unconsciousness, her mind reminisced about when they first met. How they were at one time truly, but very briefly in love. They spoke of the children they would raise together. The schools they would send them to. They pondered the future names, of their children to be, both female and male.
She watched through her barely opened eyes, as the Patrolman slowly struggled to force himself from the hot asphalt. His once tidy, neat black uniform, now soiled, torn and shabby. His chin grazed raw. His eyes no longer the powerful, confident eyes of only moments previously. The blazing heat, forcing vapours to raise from the highway, shimmering in the distance.
She sniffled, in an attempt to stem the blood from her nose, as it trickled down her chin. Her head thumping from her interaction with the steering wheel. Through her diminishing vision, she looked at the man she once loved, and tried to remember where it all went so wrong. Was she to blame. Could she have done anything differently. Was she the loving partner, that she always promised herself she would be, when she found ‘the one’.
He had never come to terms with it, and it haunted him forever. He never really spoke about. Perhaps once or twice, in a drunken haze. But then only very briefly. A small reference to the never ending guilt, and self hatred he felt. The remorse, and regret. The non stop self torture. His mind never affording him much peace. She had listened to his tortured dreams, in his intermittent restless sleep. Where he begged for the opportunity to be given a second chance. To live those moments over. It was at times like that, which were many, he would quickly sit upright in the dishevelled bed, screaming loudly, and his uncovered body perspiring heavily. It was then she held him closely, and soothed and comforted him like a child, until he fell asleep.
He too watched the Patrolman slowly raise himself of the asphalt, and stagger slowly towards the car.
‘How do you like living ‘ his voice soft and gentle, while still watching the approaching Patrolman.
‘ Get out the damn car, bitch’.
The sudden change in his voice from gentleness, reminiscent of how he once was, to the loud, menacing voice that emanated from him now. Like a man possessed by an evil force, was enough to rouse her from near unconsciousness, and she took the opportunity and exited the vehicle. Laying on the hot sticky asphalt, through now barely open eyes, she watched as he revved the car engine, and aimed it at the staggering, approaching Patrol officer. A wild maniacal smile on his once handsome face.
Her consciousness sank into the welcoming darkness.