It was a cold grey holding cell. Another cardboard box I had stuffed myself into without realizing it. I was hungry and angry and was staving off a serious breakdown I surely deserved to have. At least I had convinced myself I was justified in giving up. Surviving had been my middle name for most of my life. Never giving up, always a smile no matter what. Yet the hitchhiker saga pulled me to a depth I had never experienced. Not even the death of my father had affected me in the way that total stranger named Roger had. I didn't even know his last name.
That is when I met Bambi, a girl of the streets during the night. Hence, a prostitute. She had more rouge on her cheeks then I had ever seen on my old Grannie Gillie . Well, I am exaggerating some. Bambi would have been much prettier without all that makeup. Nevertheless she saw I was in distress and she came over to offer kindness to me. Bambi told me not to worry, I would get to see the judge the following day and that I was lucky it wasn't Friday. Because Friday meant no Judge until the following Monday. I guess that was supposed to make me feel better but it did not. I asked Bambi why I didn't get to make a phone call. I thought legally they had to give me that one call before putting me in the pokey. And I told Bambi I didn't even know why I was in there. She laughed as if in disbelief. I reiterated to her I was not a lady of the night. That I had picked up a hitchhiker back in Illinois and I thought that he might be the reason why we got stopped. That the fuzz had taken my dog and my beautiful pink Cadillac and I was so afraid they were gone forever. My story shocked Bambi, but she told me to relax because if I hadn't committed any crimes I should be alright. And yes I should have been offered the option of a phone call. She had a puzzled look on her face regarding the fact I wasn't offered my legal right to a phone call.
The guards finally came with dinner which amounted to a hot dog, peaches, some chocolate pudding, and a carton of milk. Most of which I could not consume due to an allergy to milk. Bambi traded me her peaches for my pudding and milk which lifted my spirits some as I could not recall when I had eaten last. That made me think of Duke and I started to cry. Bambi put her arms around me and rocked me like a little kid. I guess I needed that.
Then came the mats. The guards had thrown them into the cell like our livelihood meant nothing to them. Like you throw a hunk of meat to a captive lion at the zoo. The mats were to sleep on as there were too many bodies for the amount of bunks in the cell. Naturally the weaker of the lot got the floor and of course that was me as in only the strong survive which used to be my motto but had now exited the building. Bambi opted to sleep next to me so she could watch for any fights breaking out between the girls and which gave me a sense of security. She could see how alone and simply stressed out I was. My utter exhaustion caused me to sleet right through the noise of the women of the night until early morning. They had been used to sleeping all day and working the streets all night. Thus the noise and bickering. And then came breakfast. It was atrocious. Slop with soggy white toast, a packet of jam and cold coffee.
I prayed for the time to pass quickly so I could tell the Judge my story. But I did not have a story. At the least I would hear what the charges against me were. And then it began. Every single girl was taken to the courtroom but me. My friend Bambi was gone. I was all alone in that huge grey cell. The only good part was no one would be starring at me when I used the toilet. That degrading fact did not help my depression. I had always been a very private person when it came to bathroom activities. Therefore this happening to me just added to my hate and anger for Roger. Who the heck was Roger anyway and why did I get arrested? That is when the woman guard opened the cell door, handcuffed me, and took me six floors down to Courtroom 107. Judge Sommers. As I stood before him trembling he asked me if I knew why I was there. I said, "No sir I do not. All I know is I was traveling to Los Angeles and I picked up a hitchhiker in Illinois and ever since then some very strange things have happened to me and that I had never been in any sort of trouble in my life."
Judge Sommers informed me I was being charged with aiding and abetting the escape of a federal prisoner being transported to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Those were the last words I recall before I passed out hitting my head on the chair behind me and then the floor. I woke up in the hospital with a concussion and a patch of my beautiful blonde hair shaved where the eight stitches held together a deep gash in the back of my head.
And so the tears began again. I just wanted Duke and my Pink Cadi back. Then the second guessing started. I should have stayed with Harper. I should have stopped dreaming big dreams. I was so stupid. Now all the money I had saved for so long would have to go for an attorney and even so, how would I prove I hadn't helped Roger escape when in fact I did. The only good thing about that day was I got wonderful food while in the hospital where I would have to stay for several days observation. During my stay I tried not to think about Duke or my Cadi or the big city lights. Rather I just watched TV and read magazines. I played the game of denial well those few days which probably saved my sanity. I wondered if I would have to go back to jail or if I needed a bondsman. I did contact an attorney who came to visit me in the hospital. He said he would get me out on bail but I couldn't leave the area until the trial.
"Trial?" I said. And then I demanded to know what Roger had done that caused this terrible situation for me. My lawyer, Mr. James Kincaid informed me Rogers case was closed to any and all who inquired. I asked him if that was normal and he affirmed it was not. He suspected underworld ties as in Mafia. My expression was what any one normal human beings would have been. Mouth open and head dropped which by the way hurt like hell fire and damnation had descended up on me.......... which it had. Where would I live, how much would this cost me? And how much was it costing to keep Duke at the pound and my car impounded and towed. I had to stop or I was going to end up in the local crazy bin. And then I would never get out of this mess to find Roger and kill him. I needed to see a Chaplin. No doubt in my mind I needed some Jesus help.
I was discharged from the hospital, taken to the courthouse to sign myself out on bond. Told not to leave the city until my court date. Humm. I wanted to run like the wind as far away as I could but as I had told Roger a ways back, my car is like a lighthouse beacon. I knew I wouldn't get far in beautiful Pink Cadillac. I got directions to the lot where they keep the impounded vehicles, and then stood out front of the Oklahoma County Courthouse to hail a cab. I wasn't standing there thirty seconds when a huge black limousine with dark tinted windows pulled up to the curb directly in front of me. The first word that hit my brain was "Mafia." And the second word was Roger. I stood there frozen. My mind was screaming at my body to run but my emotions were screaming the opposite. And of course the next thing to happen when a black limousine pulls up..... is a door opening and a man saying, "Get in Julianna."
"Oh, no way hose." I said. "I have had enough trouble thank you. No no!" And that is when I saw Duke. Dear God and Jesus and all the Angels and Joseph and Mary what was happening? Duke was so happy to see me and of course I was happy to see him but terrified at the same time. The Mafia had kidnapped my dog.
"Get in Julianna, no one means you any harm." The stranger said, in a deep controlling voice.
"Why would I get into your limousine sir? You are a stranger who appears to have stolen my dog. Looks to me like a very dangerous situation for me." I said.
"Get in Julianna." The stranger said to me.
"NO WAY whoever you are!" And that is when the front door of the limo opened and who stepped out but Roger. I screamed bloody murder and charged him with all my might. I hit him with both hands, I kicked him, as well as flailing my bag of belongings from the jail I had lived a horrible fright night in. And then, my lights went out as Ihad passed out. The doctor had told me to take it easy as it takes a long time for a concussion to heal, but that all went out the window when I saw rotten Roger scuzzbag trouble maker life killer.
I woke up in the back seat of that black mafia limo with Duke licking my face.....