I Once Got Arrested For...

>> Jan 27, 2010


The 5th and final answer to my 5 Things About Me Quiz is not an easy one, I've been putting it off for a while, I haven't really want to write about it.  I'm ashamed, you see.

5.  I once got arrested for:
a.  fighting
b. stealing a helicopter
c. stealing an F1 race car



I could just have told you the answer was A and have done with it, left it at that.  But that wouldn't be right, that wouldn't sit well on my shoulders.  I seem to have developed a nasty habit of full disclosure on this blog and I would have felt as though I were lying to you.

I could make the excuses that I didn't start it, that I was provoked, that what I did, I did as a reaction and it wasn't a thought through, malicious act.  But that would sound as though I were trying to wriggle out of it, not take responsibility for what I did.  And as an adult, a parent, I don't think that's right.  So here you have it, the full truthful version of what happened that night.

***

We were sitting at a table at the back of the upstairs bar, the dimly lit room pulsing in colour in time to the music, our Bacardi and cokes clutched in our under age hands.  We weren't new to drinking and the bar scene despite being only 16.  We came into town regularly, this was just another night out.

All was going well, we were laughing and joking, drinking, having fun.  Then she appeared.  At the time I didn't know who she was but I knew that she had been looking for us, anyone could have seen that at a glance.  She stood at the doorway to the upstairs bar, a couple of friends flanking her on each side, and looked around.  When she saw us sitting at the back of the room she stopped scanning and locked eyes, her lips thinned, her face filled with hate.

I felt my friend stiffen next to me.  The penny dropped.  This was the ex-girlfriend of my friends new boyfriend.  The one he dumped for her.  The one he had been with for years.  I wasn't particularly keen on her new fella but she was my best friend and clearly besotted with him so I held my tongue.  I couldn't see it lasting long enough to become an issue, she'd soon come round to the fact that the guy was a bit of an arse.

We sat ignoring those girls yet watching them out of the corner of our eye, throwing them the occasional evil look, pretending to carry on as normal.  We weren't fooling anyone, you could have cut the tension with a knife.  They stayed where they were by the door.  One made the journey to the bar for drinks but the rest remained, doing the same, pretending not to see us, pretending not to care, but throwing us evil looks and watching us all the same.  If it hadn't been for my bladder perhaps it would all have been fine.

I had to go.  I really had to go.  I had needed the toilet when they walked in but now I was at the point of nearly wetting the seat.  Trouble was, they were between us and the toilet.  We decided to go together, leaving my friend in the bar alone would not have been a good idea.  As we walked past them, studiously ignoring their presence, they turned to stare, called a few names and then quietly closed ranks behind us and followed us into the toilets.

There were a few other people in there but one cubical was free.  We dived for it and locked the door.  Hearts hammering we wondered how long we could stay locked in there.  It was ridiculous.  We couldn't stay in there all night.  After a while we unlocked it and came back out.  They were gone.  We sighed with relief and washed our hands, re-applied make-up.  Maybe they had got sick of waiting for us.  Maybe they were just as scared as we were.  We picked up our drinks and opened the door to go back to the bar.

There they were.  Standing in a group, huddled, whispering, looking nervous but determined.

We walked past them, my friend first with me behind.  As I got past them the girl, the ex girlfriend, reached out and shoved me, I stumbled up the step to the bar.  I carried on up into the bar and she followed, shoving me again.  This time my anger raged.  What the hell did she think she was doing?  Why the fuck was she pushing me?  I'd done nothing, I didn't even like the little creep they were fighting over.

I turned and punched her in the face.  She punched me back, a weak punch that did nothing but send my adrenalin soaring.  My eyes flashed, my teeth clenched together, I swung for her with my other hand.  It wasn't until I heard the sickening crack and saw the blood that I realised my other hand was still clutching my Bacardi and Coke.  I watched the blood run down her face in horror, shards of broken glass still clutched in my hand.  In slow motion I saw all this and watched the group of girls leap at me.  I was burried under a pile of her friends all kicking, punching and biting, my dress ripped from my body.  I remember just lying there, taking it, unable to believe what I had just done.

The next thing I knew I was being picked up and carried down the backstairs like a limp rag doll by a large burly man.  The bouncers had come and split up the fight and were throwing me and my friend out.  We were tossed out onto the street like, well, like those drunken dishevelled women you see that had obviously been fighting.  My dress was now just a piece of material and I had to keep it closed around me like a towel as we made our shakey way through town, shocked and confused about what had just happened.

The next morning, the police came knocking on my door and took my friend and I to the local station.  We were frightened and hung over.  Sat in the back of a police van we stared at each other white faced and wide eyed, we still weren't really certain what had happened or how it had escalated the way it did.  A muttered conversation and we decided to just tell the truth.  Thankfully for us, the other girls had tried to embelish their story, tell lies about us hunting them down, coming for her and jumping her.  It obvisouly hadn't rung true with the police, I would wage a guess at there being confused stories from each of the girls as they hadn't worked out what to say.

As calmly as I could I told my story and my friend did the same in another room.  We told the truth and our stories matched.  The police believed us and let us off with a caution.  To this day I have no idea what happened to that other girl, how bad her face was or whether she needed any form of plastic surgery.  I hope not.  I hope she healed and got over it and isn't haunted by that night like I am.

As an adult, a mother, I feel sick about what I did that night and don't think I will ever come to peace over it.
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