I shifted in the seat again, squirming. “I guess so, sir.”
“So you haven’t had anything to drink,” he said, looking around in the car. “Where’d you and these friends of yours go?”
“A concert,” I said.
“Like a rave? Ya’ll do any drugs? Smoke any weed tonight, miss?”
“That’s funny,” he said, sniffing the air, “I swear I could smell something.”
I shook my head. “I don’t do any drugs, sir. I swear.”
“Don’t cry, sweetie. Step out of the car for me.”
I swallowed hard, undid my seat belt, and stepped out. I swung the door closed, but he caught it with his hand and pushed it all the way open. I stood between him and the inside of the car. It was ninety degrees out and humid, but I felt like I was freezing. I rubbed my arms and watched him. His face was a blank mask, studying me.
“Mind if I have a look inside?”
“I… I don’t know…”
“If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about, hon. I just need to make sure you don’t have anything you’re not supposed to have. You can agree to it now, or we can sit here and call for a warrant. I’m sure mom and dad would love to hear that.”
“Okay,” I said.
“Step around behind the car, and put your hands on the trunk.”
I blinked. “Why?”
I did as I was told. I stepped behind the car and put my hands on the rear deck lid, while he opened my door and the back door of the car, and started looking around.
“Stay still, or I’ll have to cuff you and put you in the cruiser, and we don’t want that, okay?”
I nodded. Somehow, leaning over the back of the car made me uncomfortable. It made my hamstrings feel stretched out, and my back clenched. I watched him sit in my seat and open up the glove box and console, and check under the sun visors. Finding nothing, he got back out, and ducked down to look under the seats. He ran his hands between the cushions in the back and peered under the seats back there, too. As he stood up I let out a breath. There was nothing to worry about in the trunk, I was sure of that. As he stood up, he pushed the doors closed. I started to stand up, but he gave me a sharp look and I pressed my hands to the trunk lid.
“Hands behind your back,” he said.
“What?” I squeaked. “I didn’t-“
“You’ve been a bad girl,” he said, producing a small, plastic baggie. There was a green-brown nugget of cheap weed inside. It dangled from his fingers, accusing me.
“It’s not mine,” I whimpered, “I swear, it was my friend-“
“What friend?” he said, looking around. “I’m pretty sure we’re alone here. Put your hands behind your back, sweetheart. We don’t need this to get rough.”
Slowly, I stood up, and brought my hands behind my back. He stepped behind me and I felt the cold sting of his handcuff on one wrist, then the other, and the sound of them clicking shut as they tightened and pressed the cold, bare metal against my skin. He took me by the arm and pulled me to the car.
“Am I under arrest?”
He didn’t answer me until we got to the car. He pulled open the back door, put his hand on my head and pushed me inside. The back seat of the cruiser was separated from the front by a clear panel, and it smelled like old gum, blood, and body odor. I cinched up, trying not to let my bare skin touch the disgusting seat. I had to turn sideways, because of my arms behind my back, pushing against the seat. I watched him close up my car and return, sliding into the front seat. He tossed the baggie and my paperwork onto the seat next to him and started up the car, shutting off the lights as he did. My car was still sitting on the side of the road.