Journey fo Answers – Chapter 34 “Hard Truth”

The moment Matthew saw the blue light in the back mirror, he knew that it only meant one thing. The idea of this being something else rather than the police didn’t cross his mind. He knew that it could only mean one thing and being high as a kite behind the wheel wasn’t making it better. Matthew tried to remain calm, but the idea of getting busted by foreign police wasn’t helping. Mike sure wasn’t there to calm him down; as soon as he saw the blue light, he and Caroline went to the back of the van. Both of them didn’t want to have any kind of conversation with the police, neither the Matthew. Difference between Matthew and those two was that he didn’t have a choice, he had to sit this through. Matthew could feel the sweet running around his body like ants, while he watched policeman getting out of his car and slowly approaching Matthews van. For a moment Matthew lost his breath from the stress, which began raising up in his body. As much as he wanted to remain calm, he couldn’t.

The night was dark and policeman’s face could barely be seen through the dark layer of the night, and shining light that was coming from behind of him. The policeman didn’t bother turning off his headlights and it made harder for Matthew to see his face until he approached vans window, where stood Matthew – completely worried about his future. Matthew was scared to the last tip of every hair he had on his body. He took a deep breath and exhaled the moment before policeman’s face appeared beside the window of his van.

“Good evening officer.” Matthew tried to be polite, but the policeman wasn’t there for pleasantly

“Drivers license and cars registration,” he took the papers and quickly added “Estonia, I see. What lad like you doing so far in Europe?”

“Visiting a friend.”

“A friend? In this part of the countryside?” policemen smile raised in a creepy grin

“No, no, no. The next country, the Netherlands. She called me a few days ago, but I had some problems with a van.”

“I see.”

The policeman gave a quick look into the van while Matthew turned his head away for a brief moment. Glancing over anything that could call a suspicion, but didn’t see anything except few half-torn cigarettes which probably were used for rolling a spliff. When Matthew turned back to the policeman, policeman immediately asked him.

“Have you’ve been drinking,” he made a small pause “Matthew?”

“No, not that I can remember. I like drinking, but not when I’m behind the steering wheel.”

“I see.” The policeman looked deeper into Matthews’ eyes “Your eyes are glossy. You sure you didn’t drink tonight?”

“Nope. It could be because of lack of sleep, I really wanted to get to the Netherlands before sunrise. Or, perhaps it’s from the light beer I drank in the afternoon, but it couldn’t be it.” Matthew tried to convince the policeman into thinking completely opposite stuff.

“It could be that it’s nothing, but protocol asks that we test you. Also, can you open the trunk?”

“Sure, no problem.”

Matthew got out of the van and accompanied the policeman to the back of his van. Light from the police car shined brightly upon Matthews van. Through the light, Matthew tried to see if it is a cop car. Some part of him was telling him that something is shady with the whole thing. He kept hanging on that though until the second cop got out of the car and lid his cigarette while giving away friendly hand wave. The first policeman anxiously hurried Matthew to open the trunk of his van, just to leave without satisfaction. Between two spare tires and few blankets, there wasn’t anything particular for raising a concern. After Matthew shut the vans trunk close policeman invited him into their car, to fill out some paper form. Police told Matthew that’s it’s the protocol that dictates the signature of someone who got pulled over. Matthew couldn’t say no, otherwise, they might start to suspect that he’s high as a kite. Although, being under stress because of police company, all the high from the last smoke was slowly fading away. He could casually talk and walk without feeling trembling in his legs, or shakiness in his arms. Finally, when they got into the police car, the second cop started talking to him.

“Do you know why we pulled you over, Matthew?”

“I don’t know. Casual pull over?” Mathew was surprised, he didn’t know what to say to that.

“We had a call from two lovely ladies telling us that there might be some crazy guy, driving a green van. Therefore we couldn’t make sense of what they were describing, but they said that he’s going in this direction.”

Matthew froze, he could find words for an answer to what policeman were saying. He tried to grasp the thought of Janna and Hanna in his mind. No way that they would call on him, everyone, but not them. Matthew tried to convince himself that he has nothing to do with all of this. Alone in the police car, he was getting seriously worried about what’s gonna happen next.

“Relax Matthew. Your face doesn’t fit the description so you can call your shaking off. The guy we’re looking for looks something like this.” The policeman showed the picture of a middle-aged man with mustache covering the top of his lips and skin blistered from drugs. Bended nose gave away his mean look, but the eyes, eyes were what made them look alike. Matthew and the guy there were looking for had crystal light blue eyes. For a moment Matthew got lost in his thought until he remembered. He knew that he saw this man before, but not on his way here. This was the man Matthew saw in his dream, after which he hauled his ass away and abandoned Vanda.

“I can’t be sure about this man, but perhaps name Vanda says something?” Matthew tried to help them as much he could, but he could see that name Vanda sounded familiar to them.

“Vanda was one of the lovely ladies, who got assaulted by this man.”

“What?” Matthews’ voice deepened, feeling of high disappeared and know the desire for knowing what happened grew bigger.

“She was in the gas station a couple of hundred kilometers away from here. The cashier at the gas station called us, telling that some poor girl got just dropped off and abandoned. When we got there, there was no sign of him, nor his car. All she could say at that moment was green van and nothing else. Later on, when we got her to the station, she calmed down and started drawing the face of his.”

“Girl’s very talented I have to say.” Other policeman added to the story

“Yeah. However,” police handed Matthew his papers “you’re free to go Matthew. If anything familiar comes up, give us a call. I’ll give you my private number. People like him shouldn’t be on the road.”

Matthew shut the police cars door with force on his way out and watched how they drive away. He was starting to feel remorse about leaving Vanda to her faith. The act of such selfishness left an impact on the life of others, but he couldn’t see it at that moment until it was too late. Matthew tried to get himself together, while feel of pity over Vanda grew bigger. It was his fault and he knew that. He wanted it to be his fault because in that way he could learn from the mistake he made. Matthew kept imagining what would happen if he didn’t left her. Walking to the van, in the darkest hour of the night, feeling sorry about people he hurt and trying to look at the bright side of this trip – if there was any. They were two strangers, but Matthew meant for her more than he thought. Full with grief he got in the van, sat behind the wheel and tried to start the car but couldn’t, his arm couldn’t move. The night was leaving mark on him and he was falling asleep, into the deep sleep of regret for what he did. On his last thought before closing his eyes he thought about way to make it right – if there was any.


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