Everything was cold.
The chill in the air. The white tile wall trapping Chase inside. The concrete bench she shared with a foul-smelling woman cops brought in just after she arrived. The steel sink and attached toilet in the corner, offering neither a lid nor privacy.
And the officer standing inside the doorway casting both judgment and a stern eye toward Chase. This was not the welcoming committee one would expect, especially in her predicament, but the woman didn't have to act so rude just because Chase asked her a question.
Unlike the previous guard that sympathized with Chase, the officer with Marks etched across the name tag pinned to her uniform was refusing to give her a blanket. Another officer, a white male, was with her but didn’t engage with either female. Both useless as far as she was concerned, just like Chase's grain de Poudre blazer that was taken an hour ago when they booked her. With it, they cataloged her jewelry and a single Saint Laurent sandal she'd been wearing. Chase had no idea what happened to the other shoe when officers pointed it out. At least they’d given her a pair of tube socks to wear before stashing her in the icebox they considered a holding cell.
“Can’t you see my hands are shaking? Look at them.” Chase said, holding out her fingers. Her left hand burned beneath the bloody gauze barely moved even while Chase willed it to prove her point although it managed to hurt like hell.
“People’s hands shake all the time for many reasons while in custody.” The dry tone offering no sympathy.
“I have rights, you know. If you won’t let me talk to my lawyer then at least get me a blanket,” Chase said, standing to move closer to the door. The singed hem of her black mini dress had long ago adhered to the dried blood on her upper thigh, a wound that now stung every time she took a step. Only one strap remained intact on the dress and a rip in the bodice exposed more dark purple bruising of golden skin.
“Please,” she added. This time her voice softened as both heat and the chills coursed through her frail body.
The once beautiful ruched Balmain with contouring seams and molded cups helped to flatter her petite frame, but now it like the car and her so-called relationship were all ruined.
With care, Chase brushed her dark, loosened hair aside to touch the sore side of her face and winced at the feel of the swollen flesh. “And I want to see a doctor now.”
“And I want to sip a Mai Tai on the beach in Hawaii, but you don’t see me throwing a tantrum over it now do you? You denied further medical care at the scene. A few cuts and bruises won’t hurt you. Now sit down,” she said dismissing her with a sneer. Chase’s snoring cellmate now had the officer’s attention.
Chase had refused a lot of things that day. She wanted to tell Officer Marks that she caught a medic holding up a phone while another dressed her wounds, recording everything so he could likely sell the footage at her expense, but knew it would do little to change things. Because she couldn't trust them, Chase did say she would get to the hospital on her own once the accident was reported, but that was before an officer escorted Chase to his waiting patrol car. This after he asked questions she didn't trust herself to answer. She made the walk in cuffs, thanks to witnesses filling in the blanks for him, describing her erratic driving before the crash and the way she stumbled around the scene. Proof of her night out that she posted on Instagram like the pic of her holding up a vodka bottle didn't help either. It was enough for the officers to bring her in they said, which she knew had to be a violation of some sort. A run of her license later produced details about a warrant and weakened her argument.
No one cared to ask her for the truth about the paparazzo who recognized the car. The maniac pursued her in a mad chase down La Cienega and onto the 405 before fleeing the scene when she careened into a concrete barrier.
“Have a seat Princess and I’ll see about getting you another bandage.”
“But I didn’t do anything wrong? Do I look like her?” Chase asked, jutting a finger at the woman’s slumped over body. “You can’t hold me for driving drunk if I haven’t been drinking.”
A skeptical eye stared her down. “You definitely did something tonight, Miss. Your kind always does. So sit tight until we get to you.”
“Not when I’ve been asking for a lawyer.”
With a folder in hand, Officer Marks bellowed the loud, yet slow syllable heavy annunciation “Nuh-goo-yen?”
Chase remained standing with head bowed ignoring the woman’s terse reprimand.
“Chastity Nguyen,” she repeated trying to wake the other woman, still butchering the name.
Chase lifted her head to stare at Officer Marks, whose mocha hued skin, critical eye and dark braided extensions she wore twisted into a knot at the nape of her neck, reminded Chase of her mother. The officer studied the sleeping woman as if mentally linking her to the description on her paperwork. Annoyed and in pain, Chase grunted as she strained to take one more step closer.
“It’s Nguyen, like when. Nuh-when.” Chastity mumbled but spoke loud enough for the officer to hear.
“You’re Chastity Nguyen?” the woman countered suspiciously. She flipped open the file and glanced at its contents inside.
Officer Marks quickly turned to look at the man behind her. He nodded.
They signaled for her to exit before shutting the door. The other officer, a big burly guy with menacing eyes, stepped forward with cuffs in hand.
“All this for unpaid tickets? Can’t we deal with that later or handle it on Monday? Where are you taking me in these?” Chase asked. The tight cuffs pressed into her hands and she winced. "You're hurting me."
Marks looked at the cuffs and her partner tightened his jaw when she slid them toward Chase's wrists and away from her injury. “Somewhere to chat. Looks like you’ll be spending a little more time here after all.”
They walked her to another room, this one with a table, late model computer and three chairs. “I don’t understand.”
“Have a seat while I get this updated in the system.” With the brooding officer escorting her, Chase did as asked. “Your complete name.”
“Chastity Ryan Nguyen.”
“Any other names or aliases?”
Chase shook her head. Officer Marks looked away from the monitor to study her through narrowed eyes.
“It’s just a nickname,” Chase replied with a sigh. When the officer lifted a brow, Chase added, “Chase Ryan.”
Chase answered more questions offering her date of birth and social security number.
The woman chuckled, nodding her head toward her partner. “Well happy birthday Miss Ryan. Perhaps Officer Collins can scrounge up a tiara you can wear for your mug shot.” Her voice sobered and she continued, clearing her throat first, “Race or ethnic origin: White, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or other.”
She stopped typing. Looking up from the keyboard, she asked Chase the question again, this time including the omitted race.
“Black. What’s with the questions?”
Officer Marks typed with a smirk. “You’re looking at grand theft auto, breaking and entering, DUI, reckless driving, damaged property... nice little list of charges they’re bringing against you. One would say you had a pretty busy night.”
“What are you talking about?”
“We received a call tonight about a stolen Aston Martin matching the one you decided to go joy riding in before it wound up totaled. Know anything about that?”
Anger rose within her and her temples throbbed. Chase inhaled and exhaled soundly through gritted teeth. “May I speak to my lawyer now?”
Officer Marks stood from her desk and signaled for Officer Collins to step forward. “Take her to the phone room. Anything else Your Highness while I wait for your return?”
Chase ignored the taunt.
She rose from the chair and a sharp pain shot up inside her. Her cuffed hands gripped the edge of the table and she doubled over.
As dizziness and nausea overcame her, Chase fought the urge to vomit. She soon felt the ground shift beneath her. Taking a calming breath, she looked at her feet to steady herself hoping the feeling would soon pass until she saw it. Blood, flowing fast and steady ran down her legs staining the sole of her socks and pooled on the floor around her causing panic to set in.
“Doctor… I-I really need that doctor now,” she said before collapsing against the table.
- chasing moments by tia kelly. coming soon.
While everyone watched her live for the moment… she had to find a way to remember it.
I heard it all… I’m famous for being famous… that night was probably the best and worst thing to happen to me… I’m a fame whore… and lately the buzz is about my fifteen minutes being up.
My problem is that I don’t know if they’re right or not… I can’t remember.
What I can tell you is that my name is Chastity Ryan, but everyone insists on calling me Chase. And to my surprise, I have eight million followers. What am I doing with that many people listening to anything I have to say? The wiki facts about my life are out there and that’s all I have to tell me… that and thousands of updates, years worth of tweets and filtered images of a woman I barely even recognize, but she does look just like me. I guess I should be happy that I do have a breadcrumb trail on social media and the people around me to help me decipher its fleeting code…
Except I don’t know if I should trust them… and if that’s no one else’s fault but my own.
Confirmed party girl Chase Ryan has it all… and she wants the world to know it. After making her way through all the hotspots and parties across town, Chase is used to waking up the morning after with no recollection of the night before. Until she wakes up one day with a thin memory about her entire life and all she can do is chase the moments she left behind hoping to figure out her own story.