I cursed as I bumped my head on the 'oh shit' handle. Doing this crap in the backseat never turned out well for anybody, especially someone of my stature, but it was difficult to get any alone time with my wife since we'd come home from college for the Thanksgiving holiday.
"Shit, sorry," she muttered as she did her best to maneuver around in the cramped backseat.
"This is pointless." I thumped my forehead several times against the headrest. "Let's just go home."
"To Ward and June Cleaver?" Rose retorted bitingly. "I'd rather stay here and talk than go back to that house."
It was not the first time she'd said something derogatory about my family, and it was really starting to piss me off. "You know what? Wally better get back. The Beav and Eddie Haskell are probably getting on Mom and Dad's nerves."
I ignored Rosalie's string of profanities as I climbed back in the driver's seat and headed for home. My parents had been very clever, actually, rooming Rose with Alice and Rose's brother Jasper with me. That way, nobody was getting anything on over the holidays, except maybe Mom and Dad. Ew.
My frustration over Rose's attitude and the lack of sex was probably what led me to go out alone the night after Thanksgiving. I was only driving around the tiny town, past the shops already decked out for Christmas, past the bank Dad was still delusional enough to think I wanted to work at.
When I saw red and blue in my mirror, I panicked, but only slightly. I wasn't going more than five over, what with the tight lanes in the downtown area. I eased my foot off the gas, flipping my signal on and finding a place to pull over.
The sharp rap on my window made me jump. Laughing at myself, I pushed the button and listened to the mechanical whir as it let in bitterly cold air. I looked into the face of our police chief, and I wasn't laughing anymore. There was no reason for him to make a routine traffic stop.
"Son, do you have any idea how fast you were going?" He spoke a little loud, like he was under the impression I was elderly and deaf.
"Yeah, thirty-nine. What is this?" I asked.
"License and registration, keeping one hand on the wheel."
What the fuck? I reached into my hip pocket with my right hand, pulling out my wallet and flipping it open. "Yeah, I can't pull that out with only one hand."
"Are you refusing to obey the orders of a police officer?" Chief Swan barked. I frowned, expecting Ashton Kutcher to jump out and tell me I was on TV.
"No sir, just saying I need my other hand to get this out."
"Out of the car," he demanded, opening the door himself and grabbing my shoulder.
There is one thing I learned at a pretty young age. Someone with my height and build is automatically perceived as a threat. I couldn't do anything other than remain calm to attempt to diffuse his crazy anger as I unfolded myself from the car and stood to my full height. Incidentally, it's more than a few inches taller than the chief, and he backed up several steps.
"Whoa, are squaring off with me? You looking for a fight?" he shouted.
I set my jaw. "Absolutely not. Sir." I turned myself around and placed my hands on the roof of the car, in an attempt to move this along and keep kindergarten cop from tasing me.
"I need your permission to search your car."
I sighed. "Whatever you want, man. I just want to get back to my family, so whatever you feel you need to do."
It wasn't until he was handcuffing me that I realized something was very wrong. It was somewhat surreal to be led into the jail, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a room by myself for a really long time. There was a window, so I watched people as they came and went. It wasn't too busy as far as criminals go, but the officers were like ants in a hive, afraid to be still for too long. When I was given my phone call, I didn't hesitate to call the house. I carefully explained to my father that I had been pulled over for no reason that I was aware of, treated very oddly, and then arrested. I still wasn't sure what the charges were, despite having repeatedly asked.
My feelings ranged from confusion, to loneliness, to anger, back to confusion. I wasn't in denial; I knew something was very, very wrong, I just didn't know what. My dad hired a lawyer, and I had a trial very quickly. I just kept thinking that it wasn't really happening to me. The trial was closed, which Jenks told me was odd; my family wasn't even allowed to attend. The only witnesses were the chief, who told a completely different story than what actually happened, the forensic reporter who showed pictures and video that seemed contrived and highly edited, and… my brother's girlfriend.
The thoughts in my head circled back to the fact that something bigger was at play. Bella looked terrified on the stand, and I spotted a dark bruise along her collarbone that disappeared from my sight when she shifted and pulled her sweater up. I knew better than to think Edward was hurting her. Everything she said fell in line with those pictures, of drugs in the back of a car similar to mine, of Chief Swan doing a search and seizure. There was audio from his on-body camera, but it was one-sided, and the video conveniently wasn't working.
By the time I was given ten years and my family had sobbed over the news, I was resolved. It was damn obvious to me that I was set up, and I wasn't going to give them any excuses to make it harder on me. I would be a model prisoner. I would quietly do my time. I would get out early on good behavior.
It was months into my sentence that the first blow to my carefully built walls almost broke me. Rose was pregnant.