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The First Date

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  I've been single for 2 years now. I can't stop thinking about how I need to get my life together. I'm going to be 32-years-old this April; everything should be coming together by now. I should be married and have a husband but my good for nothing boyfriend of 8 years decided all of a sudden I wasn't good enough for him anymore. I have signed up for what feels like hundreds of dating sites and I've still had no luck.  My friend, Emma, had just recommended a new dating site to me. It was one I had never heard of before but I decided to give it a chance considering I had nothing to lose.

I typed in the web address she had sent me and signed up right away. It asked me every basic dating site question like what are your hobbies? and what do you look for in a partner? I filled them out quickly because I had been through this process many of times before. After filling out the annoying questions and began to browse the site and see if I had any matches. A lot of these people seems strange or as if something was off. I didn't pay any attention to it and continued browsing. After a short 10 minutes, I closed my laptop. I didn't see anything interesting and I presumed that this site was another waste of my time. I left my office and made a quick dinner for just myself. It was mac and cheese of course. not the healthiest but I didn't care, It was quick and easy. After I cleaned up, I took a shower and got into bed. I always scroll through my social media before falling asleep. I saw pictures of people who I went to highschool with on Facebook. They were with their husband and kids. When I saw this, sadness filled my entire body. I quickly turned off my phone because I knew seeing pictures like that wouldn't be good for me. I fell asleep dreaming of what it would be like to be married already.
I woke up to the light coming through my window and not the annoying buzzing of my alarm clock. This is why I loved Saturdays. I didn't have to get ready in a hurry to make it to a job that I hated. I got out of bed slowing and made my way to the kitchen. I made myself a cup of coffee and grabbed a bagel. I went into the office and opened my laptop. There was a lot of notifications but pretty much all of them were junk emails from stupid things I signed up for. I noticed that I got a notification from that new dating site I signed up for. A little bit of hope sparked inside me. I opened the notification quickly. To my surprise, I got a match! I finally got a match! It was a guy named Tom Smith. He had sent me a message already. It was a simple "hey" but I was still excited. His name sounded really basic and his profile picture looked like he got it from a stock photo website. This really didn't concern me. I reply back with another simple text. He texted back right away! We began talking for the rest of the day. He was such a funny and relatable person. He asked me out on a date for tonight. I thought this was a little too soon but I was just excited to go out on a date. It had probably been 4 months since I had been on one. I said yes to the date and he said he'd pick me up at my house at 8 o'clock. I looked at the time and saw that it was 6. I quickly got up and began to get ready.
I took a nice long shower and applied my makeup very carefully. I wanted to look nice for who could be my potential future boyfriend. I looked at the time and it was 7:49. He should be here soon. I left my room and fed my cat before I had to leave. Right as I finished giving my cat, Eli, his dinner, I heard a knock on the door. I rushed to the door and opened it immediately. A man stood in front of me. I was a little confused at first because he looked nothing like his pictures on the dating site.  I didn't think too much of it because it might have just been and old picture. He led me to his car and told me he was going to take me to this new fancy restaurant I have never heard of before. In the car, on the way there, I turned on the radio and we jammed out to a some of my favorite songs. After was seemed like 45 minutes, we pulled into the parking lot of a restaurant. This restaurant didn't seem fancy or new. He stopped the engine and rushed out of the car to open up my door for me. At least he was a gentleman, right? We walked into the restaurant and got seated immediately. This place was dead. There was literally nobody else in this restaurant. We sat down and placed our drink orders and then looked over the menu. I got my usual order at pretty much every restaurant. Mac and cheese. Tom got a steak. I hated steak. I think red meat is so unhealthy for you but I'm on the one to be talking about healthy food considering I want mac and cheese. When the waitress came back, Tom ordered for the both of us. We thanked her and made small talk until the food arrived. He was nothing like he was online. He wasn't funny and I didn't feel that connection anymore. I brushed this off because he was probably just nervous. I knew that I was nervous and probably not acting the same. Our food came and the conversation came to an end due to the fact both of us were stuffing our faces now. As we were finishing our food. The waitress came back with the bill. She set it on the table and left us alone again. After about five minutes I realized Tom wasn't reaching for the bill. I eventually grabbed it and he didn't stop me. I mean there's nothing wrong with that I suppose but usually, the man pays for the first date. I reluctantly paid the bill and then we decided to leave. He took me back to the car and we began to drive home.
On the way home, I thought about the date and how I was probably never going to speak to him again. There was something weird about him and I never felt that connection. My thoughts were interrupted by my surroundings. I looked out my window to see that I was in a place I have never seen before.
"Do you remember how to get to my house?" I questioned.
"Yeah I'm just going a different way" Tom replied. 
Fear sparked inside me. I felt a pit in the bottom of my stomach. I opened my phone and typed my addresses in so the navigator could make sure he was going the right way. Every time the voice on my phone would tell him to turn, Tom would do the opposite. I began to think about calling the police. This was another classic case of an internet dating site date going wrong. Right as I pulled up the calling app, my phone died. I began to panic at this point.
"Where are we going?" I asked
"Your house. We're just a little lost"
I didn't want to say anything but how could we be lost? I had the GPS open! I began looking around for what I could do. We were on a dark back road with trees on either side of us. He eventually turned down a gravel path. I didn't know where we were going but I knew this could be my last time to escape. I looked at the door lock. It was unlocked. This guy must be an amateur kidnapper. My heart was racing as if it was about to beat right of my chest. Now was my chance to open the door and roll out of the car. It was the only way I would be able to get away from here. I held my breath...3...2...1… I opened the door and curled into a ball. I put my hands over my head to protect my brain. He tried to grab my shirt to pull me back in. He lost his grip due to gravity pulling me down. I made contact with the dirt and the gravel covered ground. I definitely bruised my hip but I didn't have time to think about that because Tom had already slammed on the breaks. I got up as quickly as I could and ran straight into the woods. I knew he couldn't drive in the woods.  I heard the car start back up. I just kept running. I didn't know where I was going but I knew I had to get away from there. In my mind I kept a mental note of where I turned so I could make my way back out the same way I made it in.
A couple of hours had passed. I began walked back the way I came. I had calmed down because I knew I was safer now. I found my way back to the road in which I had jumped out of the car. Tom was nowhere to be found. I started to walk down the road in which he had taken me down. I remember seeing a small and old gas station while he was driving. It was probably about 4 or 5 miles down the road. Right now it was probably 3 in the morning so I hope the gas station is open 24 hours.
I began walking, I still kept my eyes out in case Tom was still hanging around. After about 3 hours I had made it to the gas station. The sun was slightly peaking over the horizon. I was so exhausted. The gas station was open and I rushed in. I asked if I could use the phone. There was a nice old lady standing behind the counter.
"Why of course darling, you look like you've had a rough night" The lady answered.
I called my best friend Emma. I asked the lady for the address of the gas station and I gave it to Emma. I told Emma that I would explain everything when she got me. I hung up the phone and talked to the lady until she got me. Emma picked me up and I told her everything from him making me pay the bill to me jumping out of his car. She told me to call the police and tell them everything. I did what she told me to do and I told the police my story and I gave them Toms dating profile. They said that they had many cases like this recently.
A couple days later I saw his face on the news. He was arrested. I found out that he had done the same thing to 23 other girls. I was relieved that he was finally behind bars and couldn't hurt anyone else. I would never use another dating site again.






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