It was an absolutely perfectly enjoyable spring morning. The pleasant breeze flowing around the convertible’s windshield over Ann’s bare shoulders carried the scent of abelia in bloom.
Glancing in the rearview mirror Ann was startled to see the flashing red and blue lights of a Texas Highway Patrol. “Busted!” she groaned. She moved onto the road’s grass shoulder and stopped, turning off the motor. After adjusting her tank-top, she placed her hands on the steering wheel where the patrolman could see she didn’t have a weapon.
In the outside mirror Ann watched the officer approach. He was handsome in his sharp uniform and Stetson hat. Stopping beside her door he turned to look at her and asked curtly, “Going to a fire?” Dark sunglasses hid his eyes. He was not smiling.
“Why officer, what do you mean?” Ann asked, with all the middle-aged charm she could muster, widening her beautiful green eyes and batting her eyelashes at the young man.
“Let me see your driver’s license and insurance” he replied, not answering her question. Taking them, he went back to his patrol car and returned a few minutes later.
“Well, Annette Freeman, your record is clear. But, you were driving 55 in a 40.” He began writing on his ticket pad.
“Are you giving me a ticket, or a warning?” Ann asked. She looked down at her Cha-Ching Cherry lacquered nails pressed against her white Bermuda shorts. “There aren’t any houses or driveways on this stretch of road. I was driving carefully. Can’t you give me a warning?”
The officer didn’t say anything for a moment. “You were speeding and you admit you knew it.”
“Officer, do you like cherry pie? I know you do. I was just hurrying home to make one. You know my address, you’ve got it right there on your pad” Ann said, smiling brightly. “If you come by after work I’ll serve it with your favorite ice cream.”
“Are you trying to bribe me?” he asked, staring at her. She could see only her own reflection in his dark glasses.
“Of course not. We are both adults. I just thought one good turn deserved another.” Ann gushed. “Cum’mon! Give me a warning.”
The officer snapped his ticket-book closed and walked around the immaculate 1958 Chevy Impala, inspecting it carefully. Returning he asked for the keys to inspect the trunk, and handed them back when he had finished. “Is this your car?” he asked.
“It’s the pride and joy of my only son” Ann enthused. “I took it for a spin to keep the battery charged.”
Popping the ticket-book open he showed her where to sign before ripping the ticket out and handing it to her. “Better use a battery charger next time” he said.
“Why thank you, sir!” Ann said sarcastically, snapping him a one finger salute; touching her manicured forefinger to her eyebrow and snapping it forward an inch.
Shortly after four that afternoon, Marge rang Ann’s doorbell and came in. Best friends, they often discussed current events over a cup of orange blossom tea in the afternoons at one or the other’s home.
“Hey! Girl” Marge hollered, “You home? Oh, there you are in the kitchen. You’ll never guess who was flirting with that new banker at the coffee shop this morning. She was sashaying her skinny hips towards his table when Nick jumps up and says lets dan… Hey! What’s that I smell? You got a pie in the oven?”
“I sure do” Ann replied. “Cherry.”
As Marge swiveled into a bar stool to sit she noticed something new hanging below Ann’s As For Me And My House We Will Serve The Lord plaque.
“What’s that?” Marge asked, pointing across the marble counter at the new wall decor.
“Oh, Marge, I got a speeding ticket.” Ann blinked away tears, sniffing. “Randy had a really hard time growing up after his father left us. I told that boy ‘do the right thing, even if no one is looking’ at least ten thousand times. He called me Mama Do-Right. Well, today I didn’t. Since he married I don’t see much of him. I guess…”
“Get back to the ticket, Ann. What happened?”
“That’s his signature on the citation over there. He gave his own mother a ticket. Can you believe it? I don’t like it but I do. Does that make sense? Randy did right and I framed it.”
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