Running Late

Ramiro glanced at his watch. Eight fifty. Ten minutes. Twenty-two kilometres. No problem, he thought.

He looked over his shoulder just as a convertible went flying past him. “Holy hell,” Ramiro said aloud. “Idiot. Hope a cop pulls you over.”

He pushed the accelerator down, pulling over to the left lane. He passed a green Subaru, a red Honda, a weird, lowered Dodge Ram with a guy holding the wheel with one hand, trying to look like a gangstah as he drove to work in a tie and well-pressed shirt. Ramiro shook his head as he passed, focusing ahead.

He was approaching a small car. A blue Smart car. Dammit, he thought. Get out of the passing lane. No one is even in the right-hand lane. You’re not passing anybody. He raised a hand and tried to shoe the Smart car to the side. He saw, in the rearview mirror ahead, the driver’s eyes glance at him. The brake lights for the Smart car came on.

“Dammit!” Ramiro yelled. He did a quick shoulder check and pulled into the right lane, pushing the accelerator to the floor. The Smart car looked like it was about to try to pull over in front of him, but he was already passing. Ramiro glared out the window quickly, then focused on the road ahead of him again. Stupid drivers, everyone’s an idiot, he thought to himself. “Get off the road,” he muttered.

He pulled back into the left lane ahead of the Smart car just as he saw the blue and red lights start. Good, probably going after that convertible yuppy, he thought.

The lights didn’t pass. He looked in the rearview mirror as they came up behind him. He pulled into the right lane to let the police pass, but the car pulled over with him. “Oh crap,” he said again. He looked at his watch. Eight fifty-eight. Still seven kilometres to go. Damn.

Ramiro pulled over to the side of the highway, and the police cruiser followed him off the road. He sat waiting and watching out the window as the officer made some notes on the onboard computer, called someone on the radio, then leisurely got out of his car, checking on traffic before he slowly walked toward Ramiro.

Ramiro checked his watch again. Nine-oh-one. Ramiro sighed and rolled down his window.

“License and registration, please.”

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