Hands-Free

I used to believe that I would never voluntarily harm another person. I don’t believe that anymore. The proof of my failing is dripping off my hands and into the growing puddle of blood at my feet.

I can hear the sirens. One of the people in the crowd must have called them; someone whose phone is not otherwise occupied with recording. This will certainly go viral and I’ll be famous. Without my permission, my hands move to my hair and smooth it back. My wedding band gets caught on the clip with the butterfly that my sweet daughter picked out for me this morning.

Good Lord, what have I done?

I’m not fully to blame, of course. Surely he knew better than to be talking on the phone while driving. He pulled into my lane! I was right there and he didn’t even bother to look. He was certainly  looking when I jerked the wheel and crashed into his front quarter panel. I definitely had his attention when I marched up to his open window, grabbed the phone out of his hand, and smashed him in the face with it.

I only vaguely remember yelling at him while I hit him again and again. I was so angry. Now I’m more afraid than angry but, really, shouldn’t everyone know the law by now? Didn’t he deserve exactly what he got? What if I had been looking in the other direction when he pulled into my lane? What if my child had been with me and he had side-swiped us?

Oh, the look on his face when I pulled him from the car. I think he was in shock because he didn’t put up a struggle. To be fair, I suppose I did surprise him and he was probably light-headed from the repeated blows to his temple and forehead. Those phablets are much more sturdy and heavy than I had imagined. I may have to get one.

The police have arrived and the crowd is parting to let them through. One of them, a handsome young man, has his hand on the butt of his gun but the other, an older woman, has hers out and is pointing it at me.

“Step away from him and keep your hands where we can see them,” she says very calmly.

I look down at the rude man who couldn’t follow the rules of the road and realize that he’s looking at me. I meet his eyes and take a step back, raising my hands; I was taught to respect the law, unlike some people.

Suddenly I’m on the ground, the asphalt scrapping my cheek, and my arms are yanked behind me. The cuffs are cold and pinch my wrists. I don’t feel afraid anymore, instead, I feel proud. I stood up to someone who felt that his call was more important than the safety of those around him. I’ve performed a public service. And I’m going to be famous.

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