The Rangers were waiting outside and one took my purse and the other took me by the arm. I looked up and said, “Please, don’t cuff me here. If I have a chance at keeping my job, please give it to me.”
He looked sympathetic and let go of my arm and told me to follow them to the car. “Sit in the front seat but we’ll have to stop and cuff you when we get out the gate.”
I nodded and off we went. When we reached the gate, he stopped the car and came around and got me out and cuffed me with my hands in the front. He sat me back in the front seat with the obligatory hand on my head.
He then systematically began to try and “work” me. He tried to convince me that talking to him would be better than trying to talk the Ranger that had been at our house. Let’s call him Ranger Rick. He told me he’d be sympathetic and understanding etc. etc. I laughed at him. He asked what I thought was so funny.
I said, “This,” motioning at the air with my cuffed hands. “All this is ridiculous. I’m not a criminal and I didn’t do anything wrong. I got to work, I come home and take care of my kids.”
He looked at me and asked, “You are the only one in this entire case that does then.”
I laughed again. I looked over at him, “I’m probably the only one that doesn’t belong in this spot, I’ll tell you that.”
“Including your husband?” he immediately shot back.
I lifted my cuffed hands and shook my index finger at him, “Nice try Ranger man.”
He remained silent and then used his radio to convey to Ranger Rick that we were approaching the county line. He pulled over AT the county line and we waited. Ranger Rick pulled up and they got me out of the car. They patted me down right there on the side of the road and then transferred me to Rick’s custody. He greeted me convivially as if we were pals and going out for a movie and dinner. I glared at him with disgust and he was the one laughing then.
He seated me in his truck and came around to take me to the county jail. He got in and set down his cowboy hat in the back seat and took off down the highway.
“How you doing, today?” he looked expectantly at me as if I were going to actually tell him anything other than I was having one of the shittier days in my existence.
I chose to ignore the question and told him that I needed to see that my children were looked after and that my daughter was out of pocket and my son was at home alone. He said, “I know, I talked to him earlier when I was looking for your husband. You have a very polite young man there.”
I looked over and thought, Fuck YOU, but instead said, “Thank you. Can I please call him?” He dialed my home number and handed me his phone.
“Hello.” Freddy came through loud and clear and I said, “Honey, it’s Mom and I need you to listen and pay attention.”
“Okay mom.” I could hear the fear in his voice and perhaps he had picked up on the fear in mine.
“You need to call your Uncle Wayne and have him come get you. I’m not coming home for a while and it’s going to be late.”
Ranger Rick interrupted and said, “You won’t be home until at LEAST tomorrow.”
I glared yet again for all the good it was doing me. “Just call him honey and then you all go and make sure Harlow can stay with Brandy and her mom. Can you do all that for me?”
“Yes ma’am. Are you okay Mom? What’s going on?”
“I can’t explain right now; just do what I ask and make sure the animals are all fed before you leave.”
“Yes ma’am….love you.” The last part broke me a little. I had maintained my righteous indignation at the entire situation until that moment. I teared up and told him I loved him too.
I gave Ranger Rick his phone back and thanked him. He started questioning as to Tucker’s whereabouts.
“Your guess is as good as mine. My bet is you won’t find him til he’s ready for you to find him.”
He sounded irritated and asked why I would say something like that. “Well half the time, I don’t even know where he is and I sleep with him.”
The irritation died then and was replaced with what could only be smugness. “Oh we’ll find him. He’ll come to get you out and then we’ll get him.”
I started to say, How stupid do you think he is? But the truth was I didn’t care if they ever found him. I knew that he’d be the only person that would be able to pull the money out of his ass to get me out. I thought frantically about how to contact him, if I’d actually get that one phone call, how long I’d be locked up, etc.
We pulled up to the county jail in front of a large overhead door that slowly began to roll up. He pulled inside and the door shut behind us effectively shutting out the sunlight. I almost began to sob then but I contained myself not willing to let this smug jackass watch me turn into a blubbering mess. He got me out and marched me inside where he uncuffed me and sat me on a bench in front of a window.
I sat there miserably wondering what was going to happen next. I was told to step up to the window. I asked the woman behind the desk there if I could make any calls. She said there was a payphone in the holding cell and if I needed numbers I should get them out of my phone then. She handed me a piece of paper and a pen and I dug my Blackberry out of my purse. I quickly texted Tucker and told him I had been arrested, that my bond was $25,000 and that they were determined to keep me overnight. He texted back while I was writing phone numbers down and the woman glanced a couple times but didn’t stop me. He asked if I could see the judge that day and I texted back no and that they wouldn’t release me.
The woman snapped, “Times up!” and grabbed my phone and purse. She instructed me to put all my jewelry and anything I had in my pockets into a plastic property bag. She listed everything and had me sign. She walked me into a small room at the end of the hall and threw my purse and bag into a plastic tub, gave me a striped jumpsuit and told me to take everything except my panties off and put it all in the tub. I had to strip in a tiny room with this strange woman watching me from less than two feet between us. I shrugged into the jumpsuit and was given sandals. She walked me out to the end of the hall and fingerprinted me, took my mug shot and ushered me into a cell with a ponderous mat. I had to wrestle it into the cell and then found myself staring at two other women when I entered the cell and I felt utterly defeated.
I dragged the mat into the corner of the room and sat down hard on the floor. I began to think about who I could call collect from a jail phone and then I just started to cry. All the bravado was gone and I didn’t care that these two other women were staring at me. I wasn’t worried about whether they’d think I was tough or not. I just cried until I had the hiccups. I started trying to call every number I could think of and finally I heard my dad’s voice on the other end of the line.
He said, “Hello!” sounding worried and anxious.
I broke down again… “Daddy, I’m in jail.”