When Angelique hit the road with her infant, expecting Robbie to come and pick them up, she instead was met by the sheriff. During their confrontation, the baby continued screaming. Although Angelique had aimed her gun at the sheriff, readers voted that she reach for the bottle for the baby and set the gun down.
Angelique pulled one of the bottles from her backpack. Quickly she shook powdered formula into the bottle and poured in water, shaking it as if she had been doing this for years. She settled herself and the baby on the ground. The baby nestled against her and began to drink greedily. Her face still red from the argument with the sheriff, Angelique looked down at her baby and thought about how simple his life was. Feed him, change him and let him sleep. She sighed.
The sheriff edged over closer to her and kicked the gun away. “I guess I will return this to its rightful owner. And as for staying with my cousin, there’ll be no more of that. Your leavin’ with that baby is breakin’ her heart. Just when she thought you were getting’ things together and growin’ up.”
Angelique looked down at the contented baby and did not reply. When the baby had finished the bottle she lifted him to her shoulder to burp him. The sheriff looked at both of them and said, “Well now, it wouldn’t be very responsible of me to leave you long side of the road with no young man showin’ up. And I sure as hell am not gonna take you back to my cousin’s. That’s the end of that. So I believe we’ll be takin’ a little trip up north on I-75 until we’re over the state line.”
Angelique began, “You can’t do that to me! Robbie’s here in Florida. And Chuckie’s father’s somewhere down here.”
“There are shelters in Georgia just as well as Florida, and they’re not as likely to send you back to Cynthia Ann if it means crossin’ state lines.”
“I have my rights. Him too. You can’t just kidnap us.”
“Watch me, little lady. If you get in the back without a fuss I won’t cuff you.”
Instead, Angelique settled Chuckie in the sling across her chest, zipped her backpack, got up off of her knees and started sprinting down the road.
“Oh come on, I’m an old man.” But he moved faster than she had thought he could, and the baby and the backpack slowed her down. Five hundred yards down the road, he caught up and grabbed her wrist. The next thing she knew both hands were behind her and restrained while she was marched back down the road to the sheriff’s car, curses streaming from her mouth, the baby now sleeping against her chest.
It was the middle of the afternoon when they crossed the state line headed for Valdosta. The sheriff had stopped once at a rest stop and bought her crackers and water from the vending machine. He had un-cuffed her but escorted her into the women’s restroom and had not left her alone. She had managed to change the baby while they stopped. When two women had entered, she had screamed for help and shouted the word “kidnapper,” and “911.” But the sheriff had shaken his head and said “Runaway,” as the women turned away.
When they crossed into Georgia, she asked “What the fuck is Valdosta,” but he did not reply.
“Where the hell are we? Why is the dirt red?” she asked. Again, no answer. After a while driving on a back road in Georgia, the sheriff stopped the car.
“Get out,” he said. He unlocked the handcuffs and said, “If you walk about a mile down this road, there’s a shelter in Adel. And if you’re smart, you’ll stay out of Florida.”
“You’re a sheriff. You can’t leave a mother and baby on the side of the road. Fuck you!” Angelique began, but the sheriff was back in his car spinning around in a U-turn and gone. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.