Ritchie caught the blues bouncing off his visor and checked his rearview mirror. The police cruiser was right behind him, blues jockeying back and forth on the roof rack, headlight hi-beams winking right left right left. He lowered the volume on the radio. John Mellencamp went from a loud, sing-along "This is a little ditty, about Jack and Diane, two kids growing up, in the Heartland..." to a quiet mumble.
He slowed and pulled onto the shoulder. The police car stayed right behind him. There was a road on the right that went between two fields. He put on his directional, his eyes bouncing back and forth from road to rearview, and took the turn, staying to the side and continuing to slow.
The cruiser stayed with him.
He stopped his car, shut it off, lowered his window then put his hands, open and fingers pointing up, on the top of the steering wheel.
The officer got out of the cruiser, adjusted her duty belt, looked at him and stopped, her hand hovering above her weapon. "What are you doing?"
"I'm making sure you can see my hands. You folks have a tough enough job these days without having to worry about what's going to happen when you stop somebody. I figured I'd make sure you could see my hands so you'd know I wasn't going to do something funny."
She didn't move, just kept her eyes on him and stayed in her ready position.
He smiled at her in his side mirror. "Everything okay, officer?"
She took her hand away from her weapon and continued walking towards him, stopping a little behind him his window, staring at him and into his vehicle.
"License and registration, please."
"I have to reach into my rear pocket to get them, okay?"
Her brow furrowed. "Okay."
He pulled out a card carrier wallet with a money clip. She saw a picture of a black dog, some kind of mix, not a purebred, on top as he flipped it open. He tapped the picture, said "How you doing, pup?" then pulled out his license and registration.
"May I ask why you stopped me?"
"You crossed a double yellow line," she said, reading his license and registration.
"You mean back there? When you were pulling into that parking lot?"
"There were no cars coming."
"It's illegal to cross a double yellow line."
Her eyes came up from his paperwork.
"No, I'm not kidding."
"Jeez, I never knew that. I've been doing that all my life and nobody's ever told me it was illegal. I'm sorry, officer. I won't do it again."
She stared at him. "You wait here. I'll be back."
(Sponsor me to read the rest of Ritchie and Phyl - First Meeting and get more of the backstory)