Split at the Seams

Christina Cooper


Chapter 1

Oh Norma

“You’ve got to be freaking kidding me!” I quickly checked my watch as I bolted towards the door. “Stop! Wait! What are you doing?” I hollered while trying to catch my breath between the running and the peanut butter I had shoved in my mouth only moments before.

“Sorry, ma’am, but the sign clearly states a no parking zone.” The beefy tow truck driver looked at me and shrugged his thick, hairy shoulders. “I’m only doing my job.”

“I was only here for a moment!” I shouted, frustrated because I was running late for work again, as usual. I only have about a month or so before I am to take over the store that is closer to my house. However, it seems that since I got word that I would be taking over for the current manager (he doesn’t know this yet), I have been running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

“I can’t help that, ma’am. The sign clearly states that this is a no parking zone, and violators will be towed.” The man pointed his thick finger to the sign.

“Well, it’s not that clear! The ‘W’ is missing out of ‘towed’. I thought it meant that violators will be toned, not towed!” I was grasping at straws here. I needed to get to work. I was hoping that the large man with the big dimple in his chin would let me off the hook. I didn’t feel like paying for something that wasn’t budgeted for.

He looked at me dumbfounded for a moment or two before he started to lift my shiny mustang up off the ground with some metal hook thing. It was at that moment that I heard somebody snickering in the back ground. Instantly my body filled with goose bumps. I turned quick enough just to catch a glimpse of a greenish colored fedora ducking down in the bushes. My eyes searched the scene a little harder and that is when I saw the cane.

I rolled my eyes. I assume that the person who called the tow truck on me was the same person that left a brown bag full of dog poop on my porch a few months ago. I had a hunch he was still mad at me for interrupting his sleep by calling in the bomb squad over a noisy alarm clock. Unfortunately for me, I’m still living at an old retirement/assisted living center. My grandmother’s friend owns the place and she allows me to reside there as long as I help do small things there for her. I shook my head as the snickering grew louder.

I watched as my car was pulled up the ramp on its back two wheels. My stomach was churning inside of me. One reason is because I’m running very late to work, however, the most important reason is because that car is precious to me. It’s pretty much my baby. Since Gary gave it to me a few weeks ago, after my accident, I’ve washed and waxed it at least three times per week. That car was so shiny, I could see the old fart with the fedora peeking around the bush in the background.

My car hit a bump. I let out a yelp. “Please be careful. I don’t want anything scratched!” He nodded and held up his meaty hand as if he were blowing me off. I found myself biting my lip. I was considering biting him, or perhaps the elderly idiot behind me. I decided just to keep my teeth to myself. I took a deep breath. I tried again, “Please, can’t I just pay you now? I just need my car back.”

“No can do. Rules are rules. Next time don’t break ‘em.” He seemed to be enjoying himself. I felt like screaming.

“My boyfriend’s a cop!” I muttered, as if that would do anything.

“What’s that?” I heard the meaty man ask me.

“Nothing.” I sighed.

“No wait. Did you say that your boyfriend’s a cop?”

“Yeah. That’s what I said.” I shrugged as I started to walk away.

“Who’s your boyfriend?” The beef man asked me.

“Evan. Why?”

“He about 6 feet tall, really muscular, tan and looks like he was built Ford tough? Always over there on the ramp right near the school?”

“Yeah, I guess so.” I thought his description seemed pretty accurate.

“Oh hell no!” The tow driver said as my car quickly continued up the ramp. As soon as that car made it to the top, I heard a loud clank, and the car dropped down to all four tires.

“Will you be more careful with my car?!?”

“I’ll have you know that your stupid boyfriend almost had me ‘rested. I can’t stand cops, but that twit you’re dating is the worst of ‘em all! Your car will be available for pick up tomorrow morning. You will have to pay the overnight fees and evrythin’. Thank your dumb boyfriend for that!” He spat on the ground near my feet.

I stood in disbelief as I watched my car edge on out of the parking lot. I couldn’t believe that I was going to have to google a taxi company just to get to work. I rushed past the old guy in the fedora. “I hope you’re happy!” I hollered. I was in too much of a hurry to retaliate against his snickering though.