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3. Don’t Be in a Hurry
Chelsea was a saleswoman. She worked for a
equipment manufacturer to sell medical equipment to hospitals.
drove all over Los Angeles County five days
week. She was not the world’s most law-abiding
. When all the freeway lanes were at a
stop, she would scoot along the emergency lane.
rarely met a stop sign at an empty
that she obeyed. She always slowed down enough
make sure the intersection was clear, and then
on through. She usually talked on her cell
while driving. While driving and yakking, she would
drink a soda or eat a sandwich. Her
, legs, and mouth were always busy while she
driving. She was born, she often bragged, to
Last night she had to show a customer
to operate a new device. The customer was
slow learner, so Chelsea ended up leaving the
half an hour later than she had planned.
, of course, she got stuck in Friday evening
hour. She was going to be late for
date, but the nearby mountains blocked her cell
from calling Sebastian and telling him.
irritated, and things seemed to be getting worse.
all the traffic stopped. Chelsea drove immediately over
the emergency lane and continued driving along it.
was making good progress. She couldn’t believe she
the only one in the emergency lane. Usually
cars would follow her lead. Then she saw
red flashing lights in her rearview mirror. The
pulled her over and walked up alongside her
. He was young and good-looking. Chelsea felt better.
you know why I pulled you over, ma’am?”
, officer. I’m illegally in the emergency lane.”
a reason that you are in the emergency
“Officer, my boyfriend left me after he got
pregnant. I have constant morning sickness. I’m just
to get to the nearest store to buy
medicine.” She looked at him imploringly, with big,
, innocent eyes.
He looked at her for a
moment, then handed her license back.
the first exit you come to. I hope
’ll be feeling better. I’m Anthony, by the way.”
you so much, officer Anthony.”
The officer walked
to his car and Chelsea drove on. This
the second time that excuse had worked for
. She had one more errand to do before
got home. She had to mail a package.
got to the mini-mall at 7 p.m. No
was available, except for the handicapped space. Chelsea
right into it. She would only be a
, she told herself. All she had to do
run into the mailbox store, get the package
, and pay the clerk.
There was no line
the store. Everything was done so quickly that
was whistling while she walked back out to
car. Then she stopped whistling. There was an
on the windshield. She opened it slowly. She
what it was, but not how much it
. She screamed when she saw the amount. A