A Lesson Learned

by Jeannette Gardner

Copyright Jeannette Gardner Jan.31/10

I was in my 20's and living alone in a huge two bedroom apartment above a warehouse in an industrial area, with a view of a highway. Yes, it was lonely there at times. It happened one night when I felt adventurous. My friends were busy so I thought I'd venture out alone in my 69 Austin Mini.

Off I went on the highway downtown to a bar where I've been before. Now at the bar, I ordered a drink and listened to the music by the DJ there. It was pretty packed and I just took it all in. A cute guy there had his eyes on me, and yes, it made me smile. He came over and offered me a drink which I accepted. We talked and commented on the music. I finished my drink and I ordered another one while we continued talking. He then bought me another drink, and yes, I accepted not even finishing my other one. He asked me where I lived and I kind of told him the general area. He then asked me for a drive home as he told me he lived in a nearby neighborhood. I agreed to drive him home.

We left the bar and I found it hard to walk, staggering a lot, laughing, and acting silly. Yes I was impaired and finding it hard to walk and I knew I shouldn't have got into my car, but I did. He got into my car as well. He then pulled out a marijuana cigarette and asked me if it was OK if he smoked it. Not thinking in a straight mind, I said "sure, go ahead". He started smoking it and offered me some but I said "no". He was still smoking it while we were driving up the ramp which leads to the highway. To my surprise, I noticed flashing lights behind me that came out of nowhere. Wouldn't you know it; a police officer's car was behind me and I knew they were telling me to pull over!

I just kept on driving and driving and driving, and wouldn't stop as I was really afraid, knowing that they probably knew a marijuana cigarette was being smoked. I told this guy to get rid of it and if he had any more. He said yes, he had quite a bit more! The flashing lights were amazing behind us but I kept on driving and too afraid to stop. He pulled out a bag of it and he tossed it out of the window slowly, bit by bit until it was all gone, then he threw away the empty bag out onto the highway. Eventually, I decided to pull over to stop. I've never been so scared to death in all my life! With my car on the side of the road I was freaking, just freaking inside!

The police officer pulled up behind me and he got out of his car to make his way to my car. I made sure the windows were down so the smell would escape out of my car. He asked me why I didn't stop like I was supposed to. I didn't answer. He then asked me if I had anything to drink. I said "no", as I was afraid to say that I did. He also asked what that smell was and I didn't answer that question either, but he knew what it was. We both had to get out of the car and I had to sit in the back of his police car while they were talking to that guy. Two police cars were behind me and the next thing I knew, other police cars came around with their sirens going and lights flashing everywhere. I began shaking and crying sitting in the back of the cruiser. A police officer came and sat in the front of the car, and asked me if I'd ever had a breathalyzer test. "No" I said, and he noticed that I was chewing gum. I had to spit it out as they had to wait for 20 minutes before the test could be given due to the gum which might have affected the results. I was relieved of that as I thought it would give me more time for the test to be normal. He started asking me questions about this guy, and how long I've known him for. I told him that I'd just met him at a bar and offered him a ride home.

Finally it happened; I had to blow into the breathalyzer, but I didn't blow as hard as he told me, so he said that I had to blow harder which I was afraid of doing. I had an angel on my shoulders as it was a miracle that I didn't even blow a warning, considering all the drinks I had at the bar and could hardly walk to my car before this all happened. I think my body went into shock from all that I was going through which may be why I didn't blow over. The officer was also surprised by the look on his face, as I knew he smelled alcohol on me when he pulled me over. Who wouldn't! He also told me that the guy I picked up was married with children after they checked him out for certain things. I started crying in front of the police officer and was all shaken up. He also told me I was lucky he didn't have a knife or another weapon on him.

Later, another officer came to my car with the empty bag that they managed to find on the highway. They asked me where the rest of it was and I said I didn't know. It was his stuff and not mine. The next thing I saw was they were tearing my car apart, seat by seat was taken out of my car along with everything else. It was all put on the shoulder of the highway. It was a nightmare and while they were emptying out my car, more police cars came. I was surrounded by a lot of police cars with their flashing lights. It was amazing and so scary. It was just like you would see in the movies.

As time went on, the police officers put my car back together and told me I was free to go. They told me they would deal with that guy I picked up. I waited patiently in the back seat of the police officers car until it was time for me to leave and I was still crying, shaking and scared to death. The other guy was in another police officer's car being questioned I assumed. I was asked if I still wanted to drive this guy home if he should be released without charge, and of course I said "no". I got out of the police officer's car. I was free to go and the police officer told me to drive home safely. I got into my car and drove away and all I could see in my rear view mirror were amazing police cars everywhere with their flashing lights. I kept on driving and driving until I finally got home. It was 4:00 in the morning. I've never been so happy to be home, safe and sound. I thanked God for watching over me with this awful situation that I managed to get myself into!

I did regret what I'd done, but it was a "lesson learned" by me that's for sure! I've never done this kind of thing again. I'm hoping that no one else ever gets themselves into a situation like this as it's not worth it!

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