My heart in my chest, I turned and ran. I burst out of the store, running blindly down Market Street at top speed. I was sure the cops were after me. I ran until I couldn't any longer, without looking back.
When I finally stopped and looked around, there were no cops. To this day I'm not sure if the foot I saw in the store belonged to a cop or not. But it didn't matter - I'd escaped.
But in my haste I'd rounded several corners, heading into uncharted territory. It slowly dawned on me. I had no idea where I was. And it was getting late.
I wandered through back streets and avenues looking for that familiar 320i. But every intersection looked the same and, after everything that'd happened, I couldn't even remember the name of the street I'd parked on.
At one point I found myself standing at a corner, waiting for the light to change. I looked up and noticed that the two women standing next to me were wearing short black leather skirts and enough makeup to cover Los Angeles. A van pulled up to the corner and one of the women walked over to it. I glanced at the other woman. She glanced at me. I looked down.
A moment later, the woman walked back from the van.
"He wants you instead," she said to her friend.
"Yeah?" said the other one. "Why?"
"Too few teeth," she said, smiling a gap-toothed grin.
The light changed. I ran.
When I finally found my dad's car, the inevitable had happened. There was a parking ticket there waiting for me.
As happy as I was to be back in the car, I had a new, frightening vision. My dad and I would return home and he'd get a letter from the San Francisco Department of Parking about a ticket on a day when his car had no business being in San Francisco. I realized I had to pay it now.
I got the address from the ticket, found it on the map, and was off like a shot for the SF County Courthouse.