I’m packing to go home for the weekend when I get a text.
9:38 p.m. – “Are you dressed? Taco Bell just got held up.”
I respond the same minute I receive the text.
9:38 p.m. – “Yes. I’m going now.”
I’d just cracked open a this-will-help-you-pack beer.
I race to find my keys instead of taking the first sip. I clip on my press badge, slide on my shoes, change my camera lens.
Out the door and down the road I go.
A red light catches me when I’m almost there. The blue lights I see under the Taco Bell sign make me feel like a NASCAR driver at the starting line.
The light turns green and I hit it.
Without looking, I turn on my camera that’s sitting in my lap. Park the car. Jump out.
I’m greeted – well not really – by a cop who says he can’t talk to me.
It’s something I already know.
I’m just there for the photos. I’ll pull the police report in the morning and call the chief on his cell, thank you.
I walk over to the crowd standing, looking into the restaurant.
I learn I know the guy who works there and who the suspect held a gun to.
I see the fear in his eyes, even though he looks like a tough guy.
Cops bring out the Bloodhound and pull out their big guns. They take off into the woods.
And I laugh to myself because it’s an hour after the robbery – I could bet a couple tacos the suspect is long gone.
I speak to witnesses. And see a car full of people be turned away by a cop who says, “Are you kidding me?” when they approach the drive thru.
At that point I know my exciting night won’t end with a crunchwrap supreme.
So I walk back to my car and drive home. My adrenaline is still rushing and I realize how thankful I am for my what-will-happen-next job.
Follow Hannah Louise Strong on Twitter and Instagram @HannahLStrong