Friday nights are chili night. Whoever shows up is welcome. It's our thing.
Last Friday we were in the backyard, crowding around the chiminea, when my oldest and his friends came running back talking and yelling over each other in utter panic mode.
"Oh my God someone is getting abducted out front," my oldest sputtered looking horrified.
"Yeah," his friend chimed in, "Some girl is getting pulled into a truck..."
"...and she's screaming 'help!'" they all seemed to shout in unison.
A few of us ran to the front of the house just in time to see a gold Escalade peeling from the curb and a crumbled girl in its wake. I yelled for the boys to wait in the yard and made my way to the sobbing heap of denim and yellow gold.
As I knelt down she lifted her head slightly and began to sob, "He punched me in the face!" This revelation enabled me not only to get a better look at her and the swelling lip that was beginning to drip blood onto her heavily powdered chin, but also to get a lethal whiff of the cheap perfume and pungent alcohol emanating so heavily from her being.
"Is she okay?," some dude running toward me was on his cell and looking as traumatized as my son, "I'm on the line with 911."
The girl began swabbing her bleeding lip with the sleeve of her cropped denim jacket and making feeble attempts to stand. "He threw me out of the truck!" She teetered back and forth and quickly plummeted to the blacktop. Unsure if her sea legs were a result of 4" gold-tipped heels, the abundance of alcohol she had consumed or the fact that she had just been tossed from a moving SUV...I tried to steady her without exposing myself to her freely flowing DNA.
The guy on the cell phone started pumping her for information. "They want to know his name? His date of birth? White male?"
"Who? I need a smoke. Please. He punched me in the face! I have two kids with him."
"Listen," I attempt to reason with her as she falls all over the sidewalk and continues begging for a cigarette, "that guy is talking with 911 which means the police are on their way. You wreak of alcohol...are you legal?"
"I'm 28!" she slurred back.
"Okay, now I know you probably won't remember this in the morning, but I'm going to say it to you in the hope that it seeps into your psyche. I have been with my man for 13 years and never once has he thrown me from a moving vehicle, or a stationary vehicle or punched me in the face, or anywhere else on my body...this doesn't have to be part of the repertoire. Do you hear what I'm saying?"
Then, much to my dismay, I see a gold Escalade with low profile tires and spinning rims rolling up on the stop sign about 100 yards from us. Shit. It slows to a halt directly in front of us, but the over-the-legal-percentage-level of tinting on the windows obscured the driver. I could literally feel my heart pounding in the base of my throat, my kids were 25 feet away and I suddenly felt like I was a supporting (and expendable) character in a bad after school special.
In one of those rare instances of picture-perfect timing, a police cruiser turned the corner just as the Escalade came to a stop...he must have noticed the cop at the same time I did, because just like that...he was gone.
The officer got out of the car and looked at me. I shrugged in that I-am-just-here-helping-but-know-nothing way and he walked by me to the girl who was now making her way slowly down the street by propelling herself off my neighbors fence, still moaning loudly about her plight.
"Miss, are you hurt?"
"No! I just wanted a fucking cigarette, leave me alone."
"Miss, you called 911."
At this accusation she spun around like Regan in the Exorcist and spat, "I did not! I wouldn't. He's my baby daddy!"
One of my friends that had been watching all this transpire from my back gate put his finger in the air, paused just a second and said in a tone of wonder, "She really just said 'baby daddy.'"
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