Taylor Jones was sitting in her police car along with her older partner Roger Scanlon. Taylor was 25 and had been in the force since she was 20. They had worked together since Taylor was a rookie. She looked up to Roger and ignored his sometimes sexist, arrogant remarks.
Taylor sitting in the passenger side was drinking her sports drink. Roger spoke up in his usual gruff tone
“So you made up your mind if you are coming around this weekend TJ”
TJ didn’t answer just looked at him
“It’s just.... well my wife’s sister is down and....”
TJ groaned and dropped head back “I don’t need you to fix me up with your sister-in law thank you very much. I can handle my own personal affairs.”
Roger laughed “really….. well from where I sit you don’t seem to be doing to good in that area”
“I’m fine…. so drop it”
“Hey, what about that new office bird, she seems keen”
TJ dropped head in her hand “Roger…”
But they both stopped when a call came over the radio about a robbery in the next street, describing someone in a green hooded top had robbed a deli and was on foot. Roger pulled out in search for the thief when TJ spotted someone running down a side street, but no room to chase down in the patrol car.
“Stop, I’ll take him on foot” says TJ opening up the door
TJ jumps from the car and chases after the person. The hooded figure looked back when TJ yelled to stop. TJ kept in chase and although didn’t have the foot-speed, her stamina kept her in the pursuit.
The hooded character continued to run, through a crowded mall and down an alley behind a chinese shop. The hooded person doubled over panting and pleased the officer had given up the chase. All of a sudden the door behind flew open and before the thief could react was grabbed and slammed to the wall.
“You might be quick, but you ain’t that smart kid” gloated TJ as she cuffed the assailant.
Roger pulled up and they lent the person against the car going through the pockets. TJ pulled the hood back, and to her surprise revealing a young woman
Roger pulled out bag of chips, cola and chocolate bars. “What else wench?”
“I got nothing more…. I was hungry” she pleaded her case to them both
Roger groaned “hours of paper work to report this, minor theft.”
“You could let me go” she whined
TJ ignored her “well we could go back to the shop and return the items. Maybe they won’t want to press charges.” She too didn’t like the paper work involved in reporting minor incidents.
Roger came back to the car after trying to return what the young girl stole. He shook his head “no they want her prosecuted”
A voice from the backseat spoke up “well if it’s such a nuisance why don’t you let me go” spoke the girl enthusiastically. “We can pretend it didn’t happen”
TJ looked back and laughed “in your dreams sunshine”
Once back at the police precinct they put the girl in a holding cell. Roger got out the papers and handed it to TJ
“Hey it’s your turn” and tries to give them back
“Ok, but as long as you come over on the weekend and meet Janice” he smiled
TJ gritted her teeth “fine… I’ll do the fucking paperwork”
Roger laughed and pats her on the back, he then left.
TJ retrieved the young girl from the cell and made her sit down opposite her
“Right… what’s your name” grumbled Taylor head down
“Kes Williams……” she spelt it out
“Is that short for something?”
“No…. it’s just Kes”
“Age” TJ waiting for a reply. When nothing was said, looked up to see Kes smiling, her head to the side.
“I told you mine, will you tell me yours Officer” she asked politely
“Your age Kes” insisted Taylor
“c’mon.... tell me”
Taylor getting agitated bangs the table as a little intimidation tactic
“alright keep your pants on….. 20”
“Address….. where do you reside?” when it was met with a pause Taylor sat back about to growl but noticed Kes demeanour had changed
“Kes…. Where do you live” softening her tone
“ummm well mainly under the Southend bridge…. Unless some of the locals want to do more than sleep then I take off. Sometimes a bus, they have shelter from the rain.”
Taylor put her pen down “Are you saying you’re homeless?”
Taylor prompted about her parents but got no information. She encouraged her to women’s shelter and soup kitchens but it was now Kes getting agitated
“Can we just get this outta the way”
Once all the paper work had been completed, she was then charged and as predicted hours of paperwork produced no penalty and just a warning.
Kes left and Taylor went home finally.
Taylor entered her small single bedroom apartment. She started to fix her dinner and grabbed herself another sports drink. She sat down in front of the TV watching nothing in particular.
She eventually went to bed and just looked up at the ceiling, she was tired but there something more on her mind than sleep. It was the same feeling every time she came home. Taylor felt lonely, not for friendship but companionship. She was never any good at picking up women, and when she felt someone may be coming on to her, would get cold feet and leave.
She rolled over groaning at the thought of taking up Roger’s offer of meeting his sister-in-law. She realized that it would be even worse if she did take to this Janice, Roger would never let her forget it. It wasn’t worth the embarrassment.
A few weeks later Taylor finished her shift and sat down at her shared desk. She took some headache tablets and began her paper work. She felt someone watching her and looked up at the holding cell. The person says nothing just waves
Taylor gets up and goes over
“Kes.... you didn’t steal again”
“How long you been in this cell?”
Kes shuffled “well I watched you and your partner head off to work this morning”
Taylor swore. It was common procedure to book and process a perpetrator with 2 hours of incarceration “I’ll look into it” and gave a slight smile
“Thanks....... and this is the part you tell me your name Officer”
Taylor thought about it and couldn’t see the harm “Taylor.....”
Taylor walks over to a group of fellow officers and Kes watches the animated discussion. Kes watches Taylor’s body language, noticing she was upset and they all kept looking over to her.
“Look TJ if you want to process her, go for it. I’m sick of her fucking yapping.”
“It’s not my responsibility Jake.... you picked her up, you book her. It’s procedure.” Taylor growled back at her colleague
“When I’m good and ready.”
Taylor huffed “It’s been nearly 10 hours.... if she decides to complain”
Jake laughs and looks at Kes “She’s too stupid for that. Like I said, I’ll do to it when I’m good and ready, so mind your damn business TJ” he storms off.
Taylor used the vending machine to get herself a cola and just as she was about to leave, returned to the machine.
Kes watches Taylor come back into the room walking up next to her cell. Through the bars she handed Kes a can of soft drink and a chocolate bar.
“Thanks.... is he going to book me now?”
Taylor shrugs “It’s not my problem Kes, sorry”
After an hour Taylor closed up her files and checks the roster for her next shift. Kes was sleeping in the cell and Taylor knew Jake had done a runner on the paperwork.
Kes was woken with a start as the cell door opened. Taylor beckoned her out and pointed to the seat.
Taylor gets out the forms
“Thank you Officer Taylor for my drink”
“Jones..... it’s Taylor Jones” she groaned when she realized she had reveal her full name to this petty criminal.
“Thank you, I’ll try not to keep you too long.” She said
Taylor smiled and filled out the usual personal details.
“Ok what did you steal Kes?”
Taylor looked at her “batteries, just batteries”
“No....but needed batteries, I couldn’t afford them.”
Taylor kinda laughed “what could you possibly want with batteries” becoming intrigued
Kes blushed “I’d rather not say”
Taylor wrote down batteries “what else did you steal?”
Kes blushed and coughed as she spoke “vibrator”
Taylor dropped her head onto the desk and laughed until her stomach hurt. She looked up at Kes “you stole a vibrator, you are kidding me?”
“No it’s true, now you can see why I stole batteries, cos it doesn’t work without them.”
“I’m going to kill Jake. This is why he wouldn’t write you up.”
Kes leaned in to whisper and Taylor obliged “he couldn’t catch me, not like you”
“I tripped..... then he got me. He didn’t out smart me like you”
“really, well good for him.” Taylor perceived it as a compliment, getting one up on Jake was always a good thing. “Anything else Kes”
“hmmm no that’s it. Do you want another laugh? I stole the wrong batteries. I only got caught out because I tried to return the wrong ones and take the right ones and well yeh”
“stop ok.... enough” Taylor laughs “Kes you need to stop doing this, you just can’t take.... things”
“But I needed it” she whines
“We all need things; you just can’t go around and steal them. And don’t use the excuse you were hungry this time.”
“Can we just get this over with; soup kitchen closes in 2 hours”
A conviction was recorded but she was only fined and released. Kes left the court and walked over to Taylor
“Kes try and stay out of trouble”
“I missed the soup kitchen and I’m hungry. Could you loan me some money? That way you won’t have to arrest me for stealing food again.”
Taylor goes to her wallet and had only a $10 and $50. Taylor hands her the $10.00, Kes eyes the money
“You know for $50.00 you could get a lot more from me” she offers
Taylor frowned “are you saying you have change” in disbelief
“Well not monetary terms, but I’m sure you and I could come to some other arrangement”
Taylor stepped back “whoa.... no way... I’m not like that and I’m not into that Kes. Take the $10 and scram.”
Kes didn’t know if she was offended or relieved by the rejection “well ok but it’s your loss”
“I can live with that, now stay outta trouble ” sends back Taylor
They stop and look at each other for a moment longer when Roger walked up.
“Don’t tell me you are throwing money at the strays TJ, thought I taught you better than that.” He tries to take the money back but Kes runs off
“I was just helping her out Rog”
“And I thought you were smarter than that. Mark my words that will not be the last time we see of her thanks to you. Shit Taylor.... you’re not a fucking rookie anymore.”
She just shrugs at Roger’s lecture
“Hey if I give you my hard luck story will you help me out.” He berates
“So you want to show your wife what a good time really is. Will that help you” she jokes.
“ooohhhh Taylor, don’t make me beat that out of you. C’mon the first round of drinks is on you. I’ll tell you a fucking hard luck story, so piss weak woman.”
That night in bed Taylor thought about the events before drifting off to sleep. She felt genuinely bad for Kes. She didn’t look like a drug addict, and she obviously had a hard luck story but wasn’t willing to share it. She was sweet, and Taylor closes her eyes to that thought and drifted away.