When I was a teenager, the town we lived in had a ten o’clock curfew. No one under eighteen could be out past ten. And yes, they did enforce it. And they didn’t offer much leniency. One of my friends received a citation for working on his dad’s car one night—because it was on the street and that meant he wasn’t in his yard. And his dad was there! Even going to or from a job was not a legitimate excuse for breaking curfew.
As you may know, I was never good with restrictions, especially stupid ones, so this type of insanity was bound to create problems. When I asked my dad what I should do if I “had” to be out past ten, (hypothetically, of course) he gave me some wise advice: “Don’t get caught, I guess.”
At the time, I had a job working at a grocery store and sometimes didn’t get off until ten or later, which played right into my recalcitrant nature. Usually, I walked the few blocks to the house and most nights I made it without any problem. But there were a few occasions when I had to elude a police car or two.
One particular night, I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t notice the cop until he pulled alongside the curb. Before he had a chance to get out, I took off. Still a couple of blocks from my house, I ran up the nearest driveway, crossed through a row of bushes, and then cut through the neighbors’ yards until I reached my house.
Figuring I’d lost the cop, I calmly walked around to the front door (the only door my key fit). And surprise, there was the cop parked right in front of my house. Thinking I had been caught, I expected the car door to open at any second but I kept heading for my front door. Only after I’d unlocked the door did I look at the cop car again—and in the streetlight, noticed it was empty. Then, just as I was closing the door, I saw the officer come around the corner of my house. Apparently, he’d circled the block and not seeing me, had gotten out to search on foot.
Not able to resist having a little fun, I turned on the porch light, noisily opened the door, and stuck my head out. “Can I help you?” I asked.
I think he probably knew I was the guy he’d been chasing but there must have been at least a little doubt in his mind. With a perplexed frown, he asked if I’d seen anybody outside my house in the last few minutes.
I shrugged and said, “You.”
Nodding slowly, the cop said okay and after giving me a long stare headed to his car.
Smirking to myself, I closed the door, just as my dad came into the living room wanting to know what was going on. “Cops are looking for someone,” I told him. “They wanted to know if I’d seen anybody outside just now.”
“You were just outside,” my dad said with a look that said he knew I was up to something.
I saw him look at the clock, so I’m pretty sure he figured out what was going on. But he didn’t ask any more questions so I didn’t offer any other explanation. However, I was fully prepared to tell him I was just following his advice when he’d said, “Don’t get caught.” ~
Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Lana Denae Mysteries, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.