Caroline took a deep breath to calm herself—and immediately regretted it. The woman they just brought in smelled like urine and sweat. And sex.
“What’s your problem, bitch?” The prostitute’s eyeliner was smeared, although Caroline doubted she’d been crying. Her garish red lipstick was smudged, bleeding into the crinkled skin around her mouth.
Caroline forced down a gag and turned her head, hoping to inhale somewhat fresh air.
“That’s what I thought.”
Insults apparently over, Caroline breathed a deep sigh and then mumbled under her breath. “This is terrible. An unmitigated disaster. What am I going to do?” She looked up and met the gaze of a filthy, emaciated man who’d been waiting for over an hour.
“Problem, sugar? Maybe I can make you feel better.” His grin revealed black, eroded teeth.
She grimaced and looked down at her hands. If possible, the meth-head smelled worse than the whore. How did her life take this turn? She had wanted to be a teacher. Should have been married with two-point-five kids and a dog by now.
Instead, she was in this smelly police station. No husband. No kids. No dog.
No chance of changing that anytime soon. Not in the middle of this catastrophe.
Caroline looked up at the officer approaching her. “Yes?”
“Captain wants you to take an early lunch. I’m here to spell you ’til you get back.”
“Thank God!” She grabbed her purse from under the desk and jumped to her feet.
“Problem?” he asked.
“I’ve got a date tonight, and I chipped my nail polish.” Caroline wiggled her fingers in his face.
“Oh, the horror.”
She glared at him. “Sarcasm doesn’t become you.”
“Can you imagine meeting a guy for the first time like this? Our relationship would be over before it began. I need to see if my manicurist can squeeze me in now.” She buzzed herself out and walked around the booth toward the door.
“Guys don’t care about chipped nail polish, Chambers,” the officer said through the hole in the bulletproof glass.
“Yeah, honey.” The prostitute raised her cuffed hands and wiggled her fingers. “It’s not how your fingers look. It’s what you do with them that counts.”
Caroline cringed and walked out the door. Disaster averted.
This story inspired by the WordPress daily prompt: Disastrous.