Chapter 6

  • Chapter 6

    Alec and Olivia decided to drive straight through to Tulsa, only stopping for gas and maybe to stretch their legs a bit.

    “You want to go 40 or highway 66,” Alec asked.

    “According to the map 66 takes us all the way there,” Olivia said, “I’m not much on interstate traveling anyway, I’d rather take the scenic route.”

    Once they gassed up and got on the road Alec asked her, “So what is so important about the center of the universe?”

    “I think I’ll know when I get there,” she said, “sometimes you just hear about a place and you want to go see it for yourself.  I take it you don’t do much yard sale shopping?”

    He laughed, “Why do you say that?”

    “It’s a woman’s way of treasure hunting.”  She smiled, “You never know what you will find until you find it, and, you can tell a lot about a person by looking at their yard sale.  Sometimes people just have too much stuff and they are thinning it out, those people usually want what they paid for something in the first place.  Sometimes they really need the money and they sell things they’d really rather keep.  Either way, it’s interesting.  This trip is like that.  I don’t know what I’m looking for but I’m determined to look.”

    “And you said the oracle called it the council of one?”  He asked.

    “No, I didn’t say that, but now that you do, I guess it could mean the same thing.”  She replied.  “I wonder what kind of oracle will be there.”

    Alec gazed down the road and said nothing, the council of one is where you meet yourself, of that he was certain, how it would affect her was less certain.  “Olivia, how well do you know yourself?”

    She was taken by surprise and had to think about it, “Well, I have my name memorized,” she laughed it off.

    “I’m serious, how well do you know yourself?”

    “I’ve never really thought about it,” she said, “Can you give me a for instance?”

    “Do you know how you would react to an emergency?”  He asked.

    She thought about it then said, “When we were children we watched a show called ‘Scared straight’ and that night I got up in the middle of the night without turning on a light to see what time it was.  When I turned around from the clock it was pitch dark.  I was swinging my arm and it brushed against someone.  I was sure if it was someone who was supposed to be there, they would have spoken.  I froze like a rabbit.  I stayed that way petrified.  It was my brother and when he realized I was scared, he roared at me and I broke down into tears and began shaking.  He felt so bad that he took me by the arm apologizing and he took me back to my room.  I’d be a sitting duck.”

    He was silent.

    “Why do you ask?”  She wondered.

    “It’s just that most people don’t really know themselves, they never really think about it.”

    “I’d like to think I was strong and independent, but if I were, would you be in the car with me?”  She ventured.

    “You’d always have Angus,” he grinned.

    “Hey, don’t knock Angus,” she said, “I like him.”

    He put his hands up, “Alrighty then, no knocking Angus.”  They laughed.


    Angus was as bothered by who Alec was as Alec was bothered by him.  He wished he had the man’s last name so he could check out his story.  He wondered if he could lift the guy’s wallet just long enough….Ed had been harassing him about it anyway.  As it was, he figured he owed himself some R&R.  He knew he’d lose money.  Before he hit the tables he made a phone call.  Felix owed him a favor and he was already in Tulsa.  He gave him the code to the tracking device on the car then he went to play some Black Jack. 

    Halfway through is third losing hand, he folded and went to the john and made another call.

    “Jason, you old paper pusher, I need a favor.”  He said.

    “You don’t bring me flowers anymore.”  Jason replied.  Angus laughed.

    “You know it’s unethical to tell you about my unethical practices.”

    “Ah but the sweet smell of success,” he replied.  “Is this gonna help us any?”

    “Not unless you have an outstanding warrant.”  Angus said.  “I need a couple stopped in Texas if it’s all possible.  I’m needing a last name on the passenger, er……..the male that is.”

    “What are they driving?” Jason asked.

    “A black 280Z, Nissan,” Angus replied, then he gave them the tag number.

    “What highway they taking,” Jason asked.

    “Route 66 would be my guess.”

    “They monitor that one too,” Jason replied.  “Alright then, I’ll see what I can do.”

    “Thanks,” Angus said, “I owe you one.”

    “You owe me several,” Jason said as he hung up the phone.


    Alec and Olivia drove straight through to Amarillo only stopping a couple of times to stretch their legs and use the bathroom.  Highway 66 was off the beaten path but close enough to 40 to be in civilized territory.  She just didn’t like driving interstate.

    When they got to Amarillo, both of them were starved, they chose a place off the road called Joseph’s bar and grill.  The air conditioning felt nice and not too cold.  Olivia said, “Pink or blue?”

    “I didn’t know it mattered.” Alec said.

    “Sometimes,” she winked at him, “it does.”

    He chose a blue chair at a pink table.  Olivia chose a pink chair just for the fun of it; it seemed like the girly thing to do.

    The waitress shuffled over and gave them menus.  “Will you be drinking from the bar?”

    “I’ll have a Harvey wallbanger.”  Olivia said.

    “Uh, sweet tea,” Alec told her.

    They examined the menu and compared ideas.  Olivia didn’t want anything too heavy so she ordered chicken salad.  Alec ordered enchiladas.  They snacked on the chips and salsa.

    “That’s a heavy drink for you to be driving Olivia,” He said.

    “You can drive.” She told him.  Alec nodded as she passed him the keys.

    “I wonder where Angus is,” she ventured.

    “I was wondering the same thing; maybe he got tied up at the casino.”

    “Do you know route 66 begins and ends in Tulsa?”  She asked.

    “No, I didn’t know that.”  He said as she motioned the waitress over and ordered another drink, this time a fuzzy naval.

    “You shouldn’t mix alcohol like that, you’ll get sick.”  He told her.

    “Let me get sick then.  I’ll ask for a plastic bag to take to the car, it’s my car anyway.”

    The waitress brought their food and asked Olivia what kind of dressing she wanted.  Olivia ordered French dressing and some bacon bits.

    She picked at her salad but Alec ate heartily.  They had both skipped breakfast.

    “You know, I have an aunt who lives here, but she doesn’t have anything to do with me.  None of the people on my father’s side has anything to do with me,” Said Olivia.

    “In my humble opinion,” Alec said, “family is more the people you see daily who are there rain and shine more so than those who share your DNA.”

    “Agreed,” she said, motioning the waitress back over, “I’ll have a bloody Mary.”

    Alec groaned, “You’re already tipping the scales, this is gonna get bad if you keep going.”

    She smiled and swayed in his direction, “Alec, my dear, I don’t give a damn.  Not today I don’t.”

    “Did it ever occur to you to talk things out instead of burying them?”  He asked.

    “Not really,” she took a bite of chicken from her salad.  “What’s to talk about anyway?  I’m only leaving a moderately acceptable life to wade back into the quagmire I came out of in the first place.  What’s to talk about?”

    “Why don’t you go back then?”  He asked.

    “Because he was just using me and besides, the powers that be asked me online to leave.  Then mom called and told me I should come home.  That’s two for two.”  She said.

    Olivia worked on her chicken and bacon and ignored the salad, every once in a while she’d spear a carrot or an onion, but mostly she ate the chicken.  She polished off the Bloody Mary and called the waitress over again, “One shot of coffee liqueur, one shot of butterscotch liqueur and one shot of Kahlua.  I don’t know what it’s called but it’s really good!”

    “I’m sorry ma’am but we have a limit on what we can bring you in a specific amount of time.”

    Olivia laughed, “Then make it to go.”

    “I’m driving if that helps,” Alec offered.

    The waitress looked at her watch, “I’ll bring it in fifteen minutes,” she said.  She walked away before Olivia could argue.

    “That’s it,” Olivia said, “no tip for her.”

    Alec slid a fifty under the chip basket without Olivia looking.

    “You know, part of this is Ed’s fault, if he hadn’t made it so I have to spend over forty dollars, this wouldn’t even be an issue.”

    They finished eating and Olivia paid the bill, “What?” she looked at Alec, “No complaining about no tip?”

    She took her drink in the discreet to go cup although she was sure it would taste better in a glass, and they went to the car. 

    Alec adjusted the seat and they stopped before they left town to fill up, Alec paid with cash as Olivia sat in the car sipping her drink.

    Olivia chose Shinedown once they got out on the open road but fifteen miles out Alec saw blue lights in the rearview.  “Great,” he thought.

    He pulled the car over to the side and waited on the officer.

    “License and registration,” Officer Glenn said as he glanced inside the car.

    Olivia clumsily opened the glove box and found the appropriate papers.  She tossed them to Alec who gave them to the officer.  He took them then said, “License,” as he held out his hand.

    Alec said, “Officer, I’m afraid I was robbed sometime back and my credentials were in my pack.”

    “What is your name sir?”  He asked.

    “Alec, Alec Johnson, with a ‘c’.”  Alec said.

    “What state are you from?” The officer asked.

    Alec grabbed the door handle and said, “If you don’t mind……..” Alec got out of the car and walked to the back.  “You see, I have a military I.D. and a foreign driver’s license because I spend more time abroad than I do in the states.  I hope you understand.”

    “I hope you understand that I can’t let you drive without a license and she appears to be inebriated.”

    “Can you let it slide just this once?”  Alec asked.

    The officer scratched the side of his head and straightened his hat, “I don’t think so Mr. Johnson.”  He walked to the passenger side and opened the door.  “Do you have a license?”  He asked Olivia.

    She reached for her purse and fumbled around for her wallet and then handed the whole thing to him, “Here, you find it.”

    “Stand up ma’am,” the officer told her.

    Olivia stood up gingerly and then straightened her clothing and tried to focus on both his faces.  She giggled at the predicament they were in.  “Standing,” she said.

    He wasn’t amused.  “What we have here is a man with no license and you appear to be too drunk to drive.”

    She started to tell him to test her but then nausea hit her like a ton of bricks, lunch was all over the front of the officer’s uniform as he stood there with both arms out to the sides holding her wallet.

    Olivia was mortified.  “I’m so sorry!”  Alec was trying not to laugh and glad the officer couldn’t see it.

    Officer Glenn handed Olivia back her wallet, “Find your license, you are definitely getting a citation, or two.”  He turned and walked back to his car keeping his arms away from his chest.

    Officer Glenn went to his car and popped the trunk open.  He fished out a gallon jug of water he kept for people who needed it in the desert; he’d seen more than one over heated car.  He opened the jug and poured it over the front of his uniform.  He put the jug back in the trunk and secured it and then wiped his hands off on the back of his uniform.  He reached into the car and got a fresh ticket pad and the breathalyzer tester.

    Alec stood to the side trying to look as innocent as possible and Olivia hadn’t moved but she had retrieved her license, but not her dignity.  “Ma’am, breathe into this as long as you can,” Officer Glenn said as he held out the machine from a safe distance.  She did as she requested.

    The test came back still over the legal limit.

    “Tell you what I’m gonna do,” Officer Glenn said, “I’m writing him a ticket for driving without a license and I’m going to take the keys with me, I’m gonna go change my uniform and give you time to sober up so you can drive.  How does that sound?”

    “More than fair,” she said as she averted her eyes.

    Officer Glenn walked over to the driver’s side and impounded the keys.  He tossed them in the air and caught them as he walked back to his car.  “You’re ticket will be ready when I bring you back the keys,” he told Alec.  Then he drove away.

    Alec threw both arms out in a frustrated gesture, then walked to the passenger side of the car and got the cup out and started finishing what Olivia had started.  “Might as well dispose of the evidence,”  He said.

    “But that was the best one I ordered!” She protested.

    “Then it should have been the first one you ordered.”  He declared.

    He sat down in the passenger seat with his legs outside the car.  He was about to say something when Olivia said, “No ‘I told you so’s.’  I feel bad enough as it is.”

    “Yes, well, here we are, all dressed up with no place to go.”

    Olivia leaned against the car.  “I guess it could have been worse.”

    “Yes it could,” he replied, “You could have been the one driving.”

    She squinted her eyes, “Do you think it could have been that waitress?  Maybe she made a call.”

    “Hardly, I tipped her fifty bucks.”  He said.

    Her shoulder’s sagged.  “I suppose it doesn’t matter now, he didn’t even look at my license,” she said as she put it in her pocket for later.

    “Oh, he will, in time.  You can be sure of that.”

    “How long do you think it’ll take for him to change his uniform?”  She wondered.

    “And write me a ticket,” Alec said as he sipped on her drink.  “How are you feeling?”

    “Oh, much better,” she said sarcastically.  “With all that out of my system, I feel much better.”

    “Good,” he proclaimed, “I think I need another one of these, it tastes good and it has a kick to it.”

    “I’m glad one of us is enjoying this,” she said.

    About forty-five minutes later the cruiser appeared.  Officer Glenn got out and approached them looking satisfied that things were in order.  “You feeling better,” he asked.

    “Considerably,” She told him as she handed him her license.  He took it and walked back to the cruiser.  After a brief exchange on the radio he motioned for Alec to come sit inside with him.

    “I tried to check your military record.  They have an Alan Johnson and they have an Alex Johnson, but they didn’t have an Alec Johnson.  Can you explain that?”  He asked.

    “Must be some kind of oversight, can you just cite me for not having a license and call it a day?” Alec asked.

    “I guess I could, but then what if you are lying and there is a warrant for your arrest somewhere?”  He said, “Besides, how can I write you a ticket without having an address, these are out of state tags you know.”

    “Ask Olivia if you can use her address.”  Alec said.

    “I’ll do that,” the officer said as they both got out of the cruiser.

    “Ma’am,” he addressed Olivia, “You have no warrants and if you can pass a breathalyzer, you’ll be free to go, however, I need to write him two tickets, can he use your address?  Seeing as how he has no I.D. and virtually no proof of residence anywhere.”

    She glanced at Alec, uncertainty in her eyes, “I suppose that would be alright.”

    Officer Glenn wrote Alec two tickets, one for speeding and the other for driving without a license.  Alec looked at them and said, “Can I pay you cash now and skip court?”

    “Yes you can.”  The officer replied.

    Alec paid him five hundred dollars for the two tickets.  Officer Glenn said, “You can’t do that, it’s less than that.”

    “I can’t tip a public servant for doing a good job?”  Alec asked.

    “Not in my line of work, no, I don’t carry around change for tickets.”

    Olivia glanced at the tickets and got the exact change out of her wallet.  Officer Glenn handed Alec one of his hundred’s back.  He had Olivia confirm she was sober with the breathalyzer, she passed.  He tipped his hat and said, “Drive safely ma’am, it’s been interesting.”  He handed over the keys to her car and got into his cruiser and left.