Every morning it was the same thing for Martin Hedges. He’d put on a pot of coffee and get dressed as he waited for the coffee to brew. But today, things would be different…he’s begins his day with a glass of orange juice and some toast with strawberry jam.
He dashed out the door without his rain coat, got into his car, and stepped on the peddles, because he was late for work.
In the middle of the intersection, there was a three car pile up.
Martin looked at his watch, and glanced back at the scene. “I don’t have time for this now. My boss is going to fire me if I come into work late with another excuse. This time I’d have a good excuse. But would he believe me? Probably not,” he cried, as he honked his horn, “Hey buddy, move it along, huh. There are people who have to get to work here.”
A policeman approached Martin’s car. “Sir, you need to control your temper. As you can see, there’s been a big accident here. We are doing our best to get everyone moving along safely. So just sit tight, and wait patiently like everyone else,” he said, and begun to walk away.
“Officer, I’m in a hurry. I’m already late for work. My boss told me, if I show up to work late one more time, I’d be canned. Do you read me? I don’t want to lose my job over someone else’s stupidity. Now do your job, and get folks through this mess more quickly and efficiently. What do you think our tax dollars pay for, your own fun and games,” Martin yelled out to the police officer, and began honking his horn by pounding on it hard.
The police officer came back to Martin’s car. “Sir, control yourself. You are disturbing the peace. I’ll have to hull you down to the station with one more outburst like that. Understand me, buddy?”
“But I’m late more work. I don’t want to lose my job. Oh…what am I saying? I’ve already lost my job, because I’m already late,” he cried.
“If you like, sir, I can write you a note. I can do better than that. Here’s my card. Have your boss call this number to get confirmation you are telling the truth about the accident. Now, with that said and done, I suggest you stay calm, and wait patiently like everyone else,” the officer said as he walked away and headed back to his post.
Martin got out of the car, carrying his briefcase, and began walking down the street.
The police officer saw him, and shouted, “Hey, you can’t abandoned your car. Not only that, but it isn’t safe for you to be walking in the middle of the street,” and ran after him.
Martin glanced over his shoulder, and saw the police officer gaining on him. So, he picked up some speed, and ran down the street carrying his brief case.
He made it onto the sidewalk, and ran into a department store. “Excuse me, miss,” he said to the clerk at the counter, “I need to use your telephone to call my boss.
“I’m sorry sir, but we no longer have public telephones. With new technology, there are cell phones all over the place. Folks these days are responsible for carrying their own means of making a call. I’m sorry,” she said, as she went back to taking care of some clothes on a rack.
“I really need to use your telephone. I’m late to work. My boss will be furious, if he isn’t already,” Martin shouted in hysterics, smacking his hands down on the counter.
The clerk picked up the receiver, and put it to her ear, “Security, please. We have a mentally unstable man here who is causing a disruption in the store. Thank you. Bye.”
Two security guards snuck up from behind Martin, and placed him under arrest.
“What are you doing? I’ve done nothing wrong. There is a three car pile up down the road. I’ve no means of getting to work other than with my vehicle. But I’ve had to abandoned it, because the roads were blocked off. What else was I supposed to do. Please, have some mercy on me,” he cried, with tears streaming down his face.
He tried freeing himself from their grip on him by wiggling around, but it was no use. They overpowered him, and placed the handcuffs on them while they read him his rights.
“Please. I need to call my boss,” he screamed, while kicking at them.
“Sir, your not going to go anyplace accept down to the police station. Now move it right along,” the one security shouted to him while maintaining a tight grip on him.
Just then, a police officer who had been chasing him down the road entered the store. “So, I’ve finally caught up with you. I’ll be happy to take over from here, gentlemen.”
“He was disturbing the peace in the store, going into hysterics about wanting to make a phone call to his boss. Personally, I believe he is in need of psychiatric help,” said security guard number two.
“I’ll call the mental facilities to make a place for him,” said the first security guard.
“I can assure you, I don’t need psychological help. I only want to make a call to my boss. I’m late for work. I’ve know I’m fired from my job now. I work for the Harold Wilton Foundation. My card is in my wallet, if you’ll retrieve from the right pocket of my jacket,” Martin pleaded.
Reaching into Martin’s jacket pocket, the police officer retrieved Martin’s wallet, and found the business card, along with Martin’s other identification verifying he was telling the truth.
“I tell you what. I’ll personally have someone escort you to work, and explain to your boss it wasn’t your fault. Or better yet, I’ll make the call to your boss now, and tell him what is going on, if you’ll promise to calm yourself,” the police officer said while pulling out his cell phone, and dialing the number.
“Oh, thank you, officer. That’s all I’ve been wanting all of this time. Am I free to go. Does this mean I’m not going to be hauled down to the psychiatric facilities?” Martin asked in a whimpering tone.
After an hour, Martin arrived to the work place with the police officer who escorted him to the boss’s office, and explained the situation, and as to why Martin was late.
“Hedges, if this nice officer weren’t with you, I wouldn’t have believed anything. He’s with you; yet, there’s a part of me which still can’t believe the overall circumstances. The last time you were late, it was because of a neighbor who blocked your driveway with his car, because his driveway was getting fresh cement,” the boss said while walking the officer and Martin out the door of his office.
© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015