The Blind Date
Joyce McDonald Hoskins
“You call your brother Ace?” Sassy plopped the olive she held between her long fingers into her mouth and motioned for the bartender to give her a refill. “Not a gambler, is he?”
“Goodness no.” Angela returned her phone to her purse. “It means he’s number one brother. Womb mates, you know?”
“Oh, that’s right. You did tell me he’s your twin brother. Does he look like you?”
Angela pulled the elastic of her peasant blouse so it rested lower on her shoulders. “There’s a resemblance.” She sat up straight and moved her shoulders back. “But . . . ”
Sassy laughed and took a small sip of her fresh martini. “How come you want to fix us up? Does he have trouble getting dates on his own?”
“Not at all.” Angela pushed her diet ginger ale back and shook her head at the bartender’s inquiring look. “ Hope we get a table soon. You’re going to be soused if we don’t eat before long.”
“So? Why did he stand us up?”
“Emergency at the shelter. He’s the vet on call this weekend.”
“Vets make good money, don’t they?”
“It’s an entry level job, until he can open his own practice.”
“Typical problems. Student loans, credit card payment, had the big first, last, and security to come up with a few months ago. But he’s level-headed and will do well, once he’s established. Didn’t know the money thing was so important to you.”
“It’s not. Just want to know going in. It’s only a date, but still, I’m looking for a serious relationship. Don’t want to get involved with any more losers.”
“You’ll like Alex. Should be good friends even if it turns out the chemistry’s not right.”
Angela jumped when the buzzer on her lap went off. “Table. Great. I’m starved.”
They settled at the table and placed their orders.
“What did Alex want to know about me?” Sassy asked.
“Hm. He wanted to know how you got your nickname.”
“What did you tell him?”
“Told him he’d figure it out–real quick.”
Sassy laughed. “Did he ask anything else?”
“Nope. I told him you’re cute. I told him you’re a gymnastics coach.” Angela’s phone rang and she answered. She mouthed, It’s him, and winked at Sassy. “No, don’t think Sassy is particularly upset. Maybe a little disappointed, but not upset. That will work. See you then.” She put her phone on the table and sat up straight so the server could place her food. After they assured the server they didn’t need anything, they resumed their conversation.
“He’s going to join us?”
Angela cut a small bite of her pepper-crusted filet mignon and inspected it. “Medium rare. Exactly how I like it.” She smiled at Sassy. “Yes. He said he could make it for dessert or an after dinner drink.”
“How tall is he?”
“You’ll see soon enough.”
“Taller than me?”
“Yes, Miss four-feet-eleven-inches, he’s taller than you.”
“But not so tall we’d look . . . ”
“Hush. You’ll find out soon enough.” Angela reached for a roll, broke it in two pieces, and offered Sassy part. “Be a friend, don’t let me eat more than this half.”
“Right. I’ll spear your hand with my fork if you reach for another.”
Angela motioned for the server to take the bread basket. “Better grab what you want fast.”
“This will do.” Sassy watched Angela move a section of each of her servings to her bread plate. “You taking that home?”
“Saving it for Alex. He said he grabbed a bite, but I’m sure he’ll eat it.”
“Should have saved him a roll.”
“We look out for each other, but when it comes to cheese rolls, I’d have eaten it.”
Sassy spread her roll with butter. “Look over there at that couple by the door. They’re having an argument and he’s really getting hot.”
Angela glanced at the table. Her phone rang and she answered. “All right—be watching for you.” She flipped the phone shut. “He’s looking for a parking place. Said he’d have to go to the public lot down the street and walk up.”
Sassy continued to watch the couple. “He’s really steaming. She looks scared.”
“Sas.” Angela’s right eyebrow rose as she held up her index finger and moved it back and forth. “Don’t get involved.”
“You keep your phone handy. Call 911 if I put my hand to my ear.”
“He’ll not do anything here. Too public. A restaurant full of people and everyone knows security cameras are everywhere nowadays.”
“Yeah, right. Knowing about security cameras stops crime. Come on. The films are on the news every night.”
“This is just a couple having an argument.” To Angela’s astonishment Sassy’s hand quickly went to her ear. Angela turned her head in the direction of the couple and called 911. The man had a knife to the woman’s throat. “You sit in that chair and don’t do anything.” She shot the words at Sassy and in the same breath gave the 911 operator a fast breakdown of what was going on and the address. The sound of Sassy’s chair falling backwards and hitting the floor echoed in her head as she tried to move fast to stop Sassy from getting in the mist of the scene.
Other patrons were on their cell phones calling for help. Sassy tumbled across the
floor showing more of herself than she had intended her miniskirt to show. Some people got up from their tables and moved about, fearful and confused. Two waiters got their courage up, took advantage of the chaotic situation and intervened. They each had one of the man’s arms as Sassy rolled to a standing position and stood nose to chest in front of the perpetrator.
Angela stood by her chair amazed that it had all unfolded before she could make a move. The restaurant door was open and Ace stood on the threshold, surveying the scene. She joined him at the door.
He put his arm around her shoulders. “I take it that’s Sassy?”