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Actual deer, no Headlights

I don’t think those are Christmas lights flashing behind me...

Photo+by+Joey+O%27Kelly
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Actual deer, no Headlights

Photo by Joey O'Kelly

Photo by Joey O'Kelly

Photo by Joey O'Kelly

Photo by Joey O'Kelly

Paige Twenter

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   I got pulled over recently.

   Honestly, I didn’t fully realize or even register what was going on. As I was turning into my destination, I saw flashing lights behind me, but no siren. My eyes widened. My heart dropped. These lights were meant for me. One minute, I was driving to go get ice cream, the next I was slowly pulling into a parking spot at O’Reilly’s.

   Although this had never happened to me before, my hands started moving as though it was muscle memory. I was blindly scrambling for all the right steps. Is the engine turned off? Check. Is the window rolled down? Check. Did I turn on the car lights? Check.

   As I was checking boxes, the officer’s car just sat there, waiting for me. I couldn’t get that out of my head – the image of his car behind mine, waiting to reprimand me for something.

   Before I could get my license and insurance card out of my purse, he was at my window shining a harsh light at me, asking if I knew why I got pulled over. I mumbled I didn’t as I handed him my license and continued searching for my insurance. Before I could hand it to him, the officer told me I didn’t have my headlights on, gave me back my license and instructed me to be more careful.

   That was it. He walked back to his car and drove off. All I could do was sit there. After I called my sister and shed a few tears, I drove back home, already forgetting and dismissing the event. Not everybody has this luxury, though.

   As I reflect on the event, all I could think was, if one detail was changed, would it all have been different? What if I had darker skin, or it hadn’t been 8:30 on a Monday night, I wasn’t in Liberty, or I didn’t have my license?

   Amid times like these, when one’s differences face harsher lights, it’s important to acknowledge the reality that my night, under different circumstances, could’ve been worse than just me losing my appetite for ice cream.

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Actual deer, no Headlights