The Last Blind Date

Evan walked into the restaurant and sat down, Jonie and Steve, his life long friends, had pushed him into a blind date. They said Elizabeth was a wonderful girl and they knew he would just love her. All he could think of was a college football game that he would rather be watching. Maybe she wouldn’t show, he thought, then he could take the monkey suit off and relax for the rest of the evening in his recliner sipping an IPA.

Elizabeth got to the restaurant about fifteen minutes late. She wasn't trying to be late but she never could seem to be on time. Work was different, she had that routine down, but anywhere else she was guaranteed to be running behind. One time her dad invited her to church for Mother's Day to surprise her mother. He said when she walked in, I knew you would be here, I knew you would be late but I knew you would be here.  

The hostess knew when she walked in who was expecting her and ushered her to Evan's table.  

"Evan", Elizabeth said. "Yes", Evan said as he stood up to greet her. He was pleasantly surprised that she was attractive and had a very pretty smile.  

Elizabeth looked at Evan and thought he seems alright and hoped he wasn't a pompous jerk like the last guy that she was fixed up with. Elizabeth hated blind dates with a passion. Everyone automatically thought because she wasn't dating anyone that they had the perfect match for her. It never turned out right and she wished people could understand that she enjoyed spending time alone.  

Evan also hated blind dates, people assumed that they could pick the perfect woman that he would fall madly in love with. The truth was he was really pretty shallow. He just wanted a good looking chick that put out.  

Elizabeth and Evan sat in the restaurant making small talk trying their best to find some topic that would interest both of them. So far they had covered sports, talked about sports cars, where they went to high school, their jobs and what appetizer to start with.  

This was really going well, Elizabeth thought, as she tried hard not to roll her eyes. Evan wasn't enjoying himself anymore than she was and hoped they could make the date end quickly.

Shortly after the appetizer arrived, Evan and Elizabeth heard a loud noise coming from the front entrance. 

Five men in heavy military camouflage came running in pointing AK 47's at everyone in the restaurant. It was a Saturday night so the restaurant was full capacity with people also waiting in the bar to be seated. One of the militia aimed the rifle at the ceiling and sent off a round to get everyone in the restaurants attention. People started screaming as the men blocked all of the exits.  

The men who had taken over the facility had heavily accented voices and told the patrons to lay face down on the floor except for the hostess. One of the soldiers instructed her to get the restaurant phone. He told her he wanted her to dial the president. The hostess looked at him confused. She realized that they were in Washington DC but not everyone was part of a political party. Her hands and voice were shaking as she tried to explain to the men that she didn't know how to get a hold of the president but could call 911. 

The terrorist was not amused by the hostess lack of connections and told her to do it. She dialed 911 and the operator answered and ask her what was her emergency and she handed the phone to him. He told the operator his name was Abdul Bajwa and they had his brother, Muhammad. He explained he was in a military prison in Washington DC. Abdul then demanded his release or he would start shooting everyone in the Le Diplomate Restaurant. 

The 911 operator told the terrorist that if this was a joke that he could be imprisoned for fraudulent emergency calls. He guaranteed her it was not and fired a shot into the crowd killing an elderly gentleman.  

Elizabeth and Evan laid on the floor face down trying to grasp the seriousness of the situation. Evan took his hand and placed it gently on Elizabeth's back. Even though she had only known him for a very short time his gesture helped to calm her down.  

The five men of the Foreign Militia continuously scanned the room watching for any sudden movements from anyone in the crowd. The leader continued to talk to the 911 operator and ask her if she believed it was a joke now. He told her to put him through to the President. The operator told him that she did not have a direct line to the president and that she would dispatch him through to her supervisor.  

Thoroughly irritated by the presumed incompetence of the Americans, the Terrorist Leader sent another shot through the crowd and hit a young woman in her mid 20's. The Hostess begged him to stop and tried to explain that people in our country don't have access to the president and she was sure that they would get to the right person if he would just give them a little more time.  

The 911 dispatch supervisor came on the line and ask what the emergency was if he hadn't had any communication with the other operator. The man repeated his demands and told him that he had better get someone on the line that had access to the President. The supervisor called the FBI to take over the conversation and hung up the phone.  

The terrorist again stated his demands and his need to speak with the President. The FBI told him that they could handle the situation from there. A FBI negotiator had been called in as soon as they were made aware of the hostage situation.  

The Lead Terrorist decided that the prisoners would be easier to control if they were put in one room. The banquet room was smaller but would hold all of the people. Elizabeth and Evan followed as they were lead there and he continued to touch Elizabeth’s shoulder. The dire situation that the two had found themselves in was frightening. Before the invasion the only thing they had been worried about was finding a way to get out of the date early not being faced with dying at the hands of terrorists.  

The FBI negotiator started talking to the terrorist in charge and continued to ask him his demands and he told them again that he wanted his brother released. The negotiator told him that his brother Muhammad was on the FBI's most wanted list and would be difficult to release, was there anything else they could do for him. Abdul started shouting and told them he was going to start killing more people and they had better stop playing games. The negotiator told him that he was afraid the policy of the United States was not to negotiate with Terrorists.  

Abdul picked another victim to execute, a middle aged man. The FBI told him they would talk to the President and call him back.

Elizabeth was a paralegal and had worked for a local law firm for ten years. She told Evan that she knew that the US government refused to negotiate with terrorists regardless of the circumstances. She told him they were going to be on their own. Evan looked at her experiencing the total impact of her words.

Elizabeth and Evan sat quietly not wanting to bring any attention to themselves when one of the hostages started moaning. Evan was a paramedic so he went to his side. After questioning the man on his symptoms, Evan realized the man was having a heart attack. He asked for assistance from the captures and told them that he needed medical attention. The terrorist who was in charge of the hostages just shrugged his shoulders to demonstrate he didn't care.  

Evan, with his medical training realized that if they didn't offer him assistance, Frank Bissette, the Le Diplomate's restaurant owner would die.

Mr. Bissette talked very low in a strain voice and told Evan to listen closely. He said that he didn't think he was going to make it because the chest pain was so strong, but him and his girlfriend still had a chance. Mr. Bissette told him that in the bar under the rubber mat that the bartenders stood on was a trap door which led to a cellar. He said that the alcohol the bar and restaurant served was stored there. He was afraid there weren’t any exits but they may be able to stay safe until this hostage situation was over.  

Evan thanked Mr. Bissette and stayed there comforting him until he passed. He then returned to Elizabeth to share the news that Mr. Bissette had told him.  

The banquet room was in close proximity to the bar but they couldn't just walk in there and head down to the cellar. Evan assured Elizabeth that eventually they would have to let everyone take a bathroom break and that would be their opportunity. Evan laid out a plan for the restroom. He told her to stand in line near the end and then to stay in the stall with her feet elevated. After the others were returned to the banquet room and it was safe to come out he would meet her behind the bar.  

The FBI negotiator called the Lead Terrorist back and told him that his organization was frantically working on the problem if they could just be patient a little longer. The FBI took the opportunity to ask if there were any other demands.  

After several hours of being ignored by the extremist group, an older lady begged for restroom privileges. That was the break that Evan and Elizabeth had been waiting for. The hostages were all escorted to the restroom and the terrorist stood outside and waited for all to finish their business before they were taken back to the banquet room. 

Elizabeth hid in the stall as Evan instructed and waited until she was sure it was safe before exiting the restroom.

It didn't take long for Evan to find the rubber mat and trap door that Mr. Bissette had told him about. The two quickly descended the stairs into the cellar making sure the rubber mat on top looked undisturbed. Although the cellar was dark and cold, it was a perfect place to hide as well as age bottles of Brandy, Whisky and Chardonnay. Hopefully the the guard wouldn't notice their absence.  

The FBI continued to check in with the terrorist trying to stall them for time until they could organize a SWAT team to try to rescue as many people as possible. Phillip Broden, the lead negotiator was saddened by the realization that so many innocent victims would be lost from the no negotiation clause but couldn't open up borders for terrorism.  

Evan and Elizabeth investigated the cellar trying to map out the safest place in a worst case scenario. They knew from the terrorists demonstration they shot first without asking questions. As Evan and Elizabeth prepared for the worst, they looked everywhere in the cellar for anything to use as a weapon. Evan came around the corner with a corkscrew with a twisted blade and a small knife. Elizabeth showed Evan her pepper spray at the end of her key chain that was in her pocket. Evan gave out a small laugh and asked if she had planned on using it on him if he turned out to be a bad date. Elizabeth laughed too and told him a girl never knows. After they had scoured all of the cellar they realized the only weapons they had was booze, a corkscrew and pepper spray. They agreed it was better than nothing.

The phone rang again with the FBI agent still trying to pacify the terrorist while the SWAT team got in position. The terrorist leader was getting angrier every time they called and gave them one hour to meet his demands or hostages would be shot every half hour.

Elizabeth and Evan, in their refuge found the wine cellar comfortable. They found it didn't only store liquor but also the restaurant's aged cheese. It had been several hours since the two had been taken hostage and they had barely started the appetizer before they were taken. Feeling a little more secure, Evan found an old tablecloth and shook the dust off and grabbed a bottle of Cabermet Sauvignon to go with the aged cheddar. He had read the wine list while he was waiting for her to join him for dinner. Elizabeth was impressed with his choice and knew it was an excellent wine from her wine tasting at the Castello Di Amorosa in Napa Valley.

Elizabeth and Evan drank wine and chatted like old friends. He asked her questions about her family, the schools she attended, her favorite foods, and her favorite flowers. Elizabeth, with the wine starting to take effect asked him also about his also, along with some very personal questions. The conversation flowed easily between them without either of them knowing if they would have an opportunity to go on a second date or even make it out alive. They took advantage of the questions they always wanted to ask the opposite sex.

With a loud noise from upstairs, their conversation came to an abrupt halt as another gunshot rang out . The bartender from the restaurant was also trying to make it to the cellar. The cellar door opened slowly and the terrorist descended the steps, Evan and Elizabeth hid in the shadows. The man shined a flashlight throughout the room until it stopped on Evan's eyes . Elizabeth quickly pulled out her pepper spray and sprayed it in his eyes. He shouted and grabbed his eyes and Evan grabbed his gun. Elizabeth took a bottle of Brandy and broke it over his head rendering him unconscious. Evan whacked him with the butt of the assault rifle to make sure he was totally unconscious. With the corkscrew pocket knife Evan cut pieces of his A shirt and tied them tightly around the terrorist hands and ankles. He took the rest of the undershirt and stuffed it in his mouth and tied a gag around his neck.  

With their location discovered, they knew it was only a matter of time before the other terrorists came looking for their partner so they needed a plan. Elizabeth asked Evan if he knew how to use a AK 47 and he assured her he did. They had covered multiple stories in their hideout except hunting.  

Evan asked Elizabeth what she wanted to do, he said they could continue to hide in the cellar and try to stay safe or they could go out shooting like Rambo and take as many of the terrorist as possible. Elizabeth sat quietly contemplating her response when she said that if she didn't try to help those poor innocent people upstairs in the banquet room she wouldn't be able to sleep at night. Evan smiled and said he couldn't agree more.  

With the FBI still stalling on sending in their SWAT Team, the terrorist were getting more agitated, the hour was almost up and they were realizing that the US Government was not cooperating. The Team Leader of the Terrorist group signaled all his men to a conference area to implement his plan B. Just as all of the men had come into close proximity, Evan and Elizabeth emerged from their shelter firing the AK 47. They used the bar for a barrier and Evan continued to fire. All the terrorist started running toward them and the other hostages realizing that they could help with the resistance started fighting and tackling the terrorists. Evan and Elizabeth continued to fight with the AK 47 and throwing lit bottles of Bourbon with fire rags stuck in the top of them. 

The fighting finally came to a screeching halt when the SWAT Team hearing all of the commotion decided to join the party.  

A few injuries in the crowd were sustained but none life threatening. Evan and Elizabeth's heroic bravery had saved the day. As they came out of the restaurant and into the sunlight, Elizabeth saw Evan was bleeding. With all of adrenaline he had felt while fighting the terrorist, he hadn't realized that he had been shot in the shoulder. His mother and father ran up to him and put their arms around him and after seeing the blood, they ushered him to the nearest ambulance. Elizabeth parents were also there and were hugging their daughter, thanking God that she was safe. She looked over her mother’s shoulder trying to spot Evan and caught a glimpse of the ambulance pulling away.  

Evan looked up from the gurney and told his parents that was (The Last Blind Date) he was ever going on. His dad laughed and said “yeah son, I know this was extremely tough, but I'm sure you will change your mind someday". Evan said no dad, "You don't understand I'm never going on another blind date because I have met the girl I'm going to marry." 

August 26, 2020 01:30

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J. R. Berat
21:44 Sep 02, 2020

I guessed the ending just as I started reading that last paragraph--it didn't take away from the finish, though. Nice job, overall. You did pretty well expressing the emotions of the groups--the hostages, the terrorists, the FBI, from all the different perspectives, gave the story a very solid impact. The only challenge here is that this is about an hour-long shoot-em-up that you condensed into a ten-minute adventure--not your fault, just the nature of these short stories. Still, good work!


Cheryl Fulks
03:40 Sep 03, 2020

Thank you, I’m glad you liked it and yes I had to shorten a few stories to condense.


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Diana Snyder
19:30 Aug 26, 2020

This story has many surprises and twist to be a short story. It starts out slow and a comfortable read, then it's full of surprises with action packed circumstances. The ending was great!


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