A mind filled with adrenaline and ethanol combined with a reflexive reaction to trauma that subsequently creates a fight or flee physiological response creates a human being who is likely going to find great difficulty exerting self-control. When Officer Davies commanded Bill to stay in his car he was already reaching for the door handle in order to make a speedy exit with the intent of bounding up the sidewalk in search of Gabrielle. Ironically, it was his seat belt that saved him.
Fastening his seat belt had become second nature to Bill decades earlier and was so ingrained as to be nearly instinctual. In the back of his mind he knew that obeying the cop’s order was the smart thing to do but it wasn’t only his car that had been red-lining for the previous quarter hour, it had been Bill as well.
Making split second decisions was something he prided himself on and he knew that getting in a pissing match with a cop would do nothing but bring his quest to help Gabrielle to a screeching halt. He started to say something but instead acceded to the officer’s request, closing his door, turning his car key enough to operate the power windows and then lowering the one nearest him.
Realizing that pugnacious argument would lead him away from his desired path rather than towards it he took a cleansing breath and explained that he was a friend of the victim and had been called to come to her rescue. The officer’s reply of, “License and registration please,” nearly broke his resolve to be civil but he bit his tongue. ‘Greater good,’ he told himself, reaching into the glove compartment for the registration and then his wallet for his license and insurance card.
There is a scientific debate concerning the nature of time and its rate of change. Some hold that time is a constant while others a variable. The few minutes that Officer Davies spent in running Bill through the computer came down heavily in the time is a variable school: Bill could not remember a longer 300 second interval.
Returning to the Lincoln the cop handed Bill his license through the window and said, “Here’s your license and registration, sir. Everything seems to be in order. Let me put your mind at ease concerning Mrs. Gibeon. She seems fine and after we talk to her and her friend that phoned in the 911 you should be able to speak with her.”
The look of relief that washed over Bill brought a small nod from Davies that Bill hoped was an indication that he understood why Bill had driven as he had and that all was, if not forgiven, then at least to be ignored. This balloon of hope burst quickly when Davie’s asked, “I do have one question though. Have you been drinking?”