“Um,” I stuttered. “My mom’s in labor.”
It came out more like a question, but it was so very true.
The officer nodded.
“You do realize that you were going over ninety miles an hour and driving recklessly?” The officer asked even though he knew I knew how I was driving.
“Yes, sir,” I said remembering my manners. I let some of my Southern and British charm creep into my voice.
“You avoided me,” The officer said. “I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to arrest you.”
I wanted to say, “You’ve already put the handcuffs on!” but then I realized he was waiting for me to get out of the car.
“I can’t get out,” I said. “I’m a paraplegic. I can’t walk.”
The officer sighed and crossed his arms.
“No, really!” I shouted. “Look in the back.”
I thanked God that my mother let me put my wheelchair in the car. The officer nodded.
“Ok,” He said. He picked me up in put me in the backseat of his cruiser. He also got my wheelchair out of the car.
“It’s going to be ok,” The officer said as he drove me to the police station. “You were doing what you thought was right.”
“My mom’s having triplets,” I cried. “She’s only thirty-three weeks.”
The officer just nodded and didn’t say anything the rest of the ride.
When I got to the station, I was put in my wheelchair. They put me in foot shackles which was crazy considering I couldn’t WALK!
They took my mug shot and got my finger prints.
I was put in a holding cell with a couple of drunk teenagers. I was allowed my phone call. I couldn’t remember my dad’s number so I called Yule.
“Hello?” Yule asked.
“Yule? Is Dad with you?” I asked.
“Yup, we’re about to pull up in the hospital,” Yule said. “Did Mom have the babies already? Did they give her a C-section?”
“I don’t know,” I sighed. “I’m in jail.”
“You’re in what!” Yule shouted.
“Jail,” I repeated shamefully. “I was driving.”
“You were driving?” Yule asked. “How?”
“Hand controls,” I said.
“Dad, you are not going to like this.”
“Hello?” Daddy asked.
“Hi, Daddy,” I said with fake cheer.
“Is your mother all right?” Daddy asked.
“I don’t know. I was arrested,” I said.
I heard Daddy sigh.
“So your mother’s alone at the hospital?” Daddy asked.
“Um, I’m alone in jail!” I shouted.
Daddy sighed again. He had a very interesting decision. Come and get his daughter out of jail or go see his wife who had probably already delivered.
“I’ll be right there, honey bear,” Daddy said. “I just need to find out what’s going on with your mother and then I’ll come and get you.”
Then came the questions.
“Who do you live with?” One of the integration officers asked.
“My mom, my stepdad, and my siblings,” I answered.
“Do you drive often?” The officer asked.
“Nope,” I said trying to loosen up. “My mom went into labor and everybody else was on a camping trip. I live in a small town actually the part I live in is called a village.”
Then I was brought back to the holding cell.
It felt like I had been in the cell for hours upon hours. I kept worrying about presser sores. I kept trying not to feel disgusted as one of the drunk teenage boys looked at me. I tried not to think how much trouble I was in. I tried not to think about the babies.
But not thinking about all these things was nearly impossible.
I couldn’t stop crying. The guy overseeing the cell gave me some paper towels to wipe my nose and eyes. He kept telling me that everything would be ok.
At the time he seemed like a liar.
My dad and Yule arrived thirty minutes after my call.
I was let off with a warning and these words, “We get why you were driving, but it’s never all right to speed unless it is super life threatening. And when you see those flashing lights and hear the siren pull over. We can help.”
My dad wasn’t mad but Yule was.
“What were you thinking?” Yule asked. “You could have killed someone tonight! I’m surprised they didn’t charge you with reckless driving. I’m also surprised they let you off with a warning!”
“What did you want me to do?” I asked.
“You should have called 911!” Yule shouted.
“Then what? Waited an hour for them to arrive and then have to stay home because I wouldn’t have been allowed in the ambulance?” I asked. “Or what if Momma had to start pushing? I didn’t want to…”
Yule gave me a hug.
“I get it,” Yule said. “It’s just that I’ve spent some long nights in jail.”
“I’m sorry,” I said looking down.
Not another word was spoken until we reached the hospital.
“Are Momma and the babies all right?” I asked as I rolled out of the car.
“Yes,” Daddy said. “Love was delivered right away, and Emmanuel and Avery were born via C-section.”
We were allowed to see Momma. When she saw me, she started to cry.
“I am so sorry, Natalie,” Momma said. “I should have never encouraged you to break the law. I’m a terrible mother.”
“You are not a terrible mother,” I said rolling up to Momma. “I should have pulled over. Its my own fault I got arrested.”
“Are you all right?” Momma asked. “Did they treat you poorly? Did they say anything inappropriate?”
“Nope,” I said. “It wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t horrible. I got off with a warning.”
“Good,” Momma said. “Just remember not to speed when you actually do get your license.”
I still wrestle with this night. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if I should have been driving or not.
“What time is it?” Megan asked for the thousandth time.
“Its eleven fifty-six,” I said. “A minute later than eleven fifty-five.”
“When will it be twelve?” Megan asked.
“Megs, Mom and Dad said they’d be back around noon. Not exactly at noon,” Yule said not looking away from the TV.
It was two weeks later and we were still in Pittsfield. The babies hadn’t come home from the hospital, but yesterday the doctors said that the babies would possibly get to come home today.
Megan still doesn’t understand what the words possibly and around mean.
“Do you think I’ll like them?” Megan asked me as she tried to crawl into my wheelchair.
“Probably not at first,” I said picking her up and plopping her on my lap.
“Why not?” Megan asked.
“New born babies cry a lot,” Yule said. “And sometimes they cry for no reason at all!”
He looked accusingly at Natalia. Natalia gave him a giggle and started to babble a little.
“I see Clifford,” Aunt Clarisse said as she looked out the window.
We all rushed towards the window.
“Are they smiling? If they’re smiling that means at least one of them has come home!”
“Do you see any babies?”
Daddy looked towards the window and gave us a wave. He was smiling brightly.
The car door then opened and Momma stepped out. She was carrying a baby.
We all rushed out the door.
“Whoah!” Daddy shouted. “Don’t worry you will all get a turn.”
“Who’s that?” Megan asked pointing to Momma’s arms.
“This one is Love,” Momma said giving the baby a kiss.
Momma walked towards Aunt Clarisse’s house and Megan and Bella followed.
“What are you guys still doing out here?” Daddy asked standing in front of the car door.
“No more?” Noel pouted.
Daddy laughed. He moved away to reveal that the two other car seats were occupied.
“Meet Emmanuel Gabriel and Avery Joseph,” Daddy said taking them out of the car.
“They’re so cute!” I squealed. Daddy smiled and laughed.
We went back into the house, and we all got to hold the babies.
“Ew,” Yule groaned as Love spit up on him.
“Wait till it happens to you,” Yule said as he wiped Love’s mouth off.
“You won’t do that to me would you, Avery?” I said kissing his head.
“You’re going to be a good boy aren’t you?” Jaci said to Emmanuel who she was cradling.
“Smile!” Daddy shouted pointing his camera at us.
“Triplets!” Yule, Jaci, and I shouted.
The babies then all started to cry and we groaned.
There were going to be some long nights in our future.