While The King poured his cup of coffee and ate his bowl and a half of
Life cereal, he did an internet reverse search of Mary McDonald's phone
number lifted from his called ID to find out her address. He and she had
similar addresses. He used her address as a starting point and did
another internet search for driving directions. He fully expected the
results to read,
Within walking distance, you moron! Southern Belle Mary
whose accent likely was from the Carolinas lived in his neighborhood
across the street and down the block less than one eighth of a mile. A
real transplanted Southern Belle within walking distance of him.

At no point did he consider
not calling that number back. He rehearsed
what he would say and called her. Mary McDonald's phone was ringing.
But a man answered his Mary McDonald's phone in Mary McDonald's
home.

"Hi, this is Jeff. Someone at your number called me," The King said.

"Maybe Mary did," the man said. The King heard him call for Mary. Then
The King heard that sweet voice with perfect enunciation and diction.

"Oh, sir, I'm sorry. I dialed your number by mistake. I left you a message
telling you that I got a wrong number but didn't just want to hang up. I
always get scared when I get hang up calls at night. I am sorry that I
bothered you," Mary McDonald told him.

He lied. He said he didn't listen to his messages and just dialed Star 69
and got her phone.

"Thank you for being so considerate. I'm sorry to have bothered you.
Please apologize to your husband for the intrusion," The King said to
Southern Belle Mary.

"Oh, Buster is my son," Mary McDonald said. "And it was no bother."

"Oh, OK, well then goodbye," The King said.

"Goodbye," Mary McDonald told him.

Oh, OK, well then goodbye? You moron! Why did you hang up on her?
The King told himself  as he kicked himself up and and back down the
hall for hanging up. He started to settle down when he realized that she
would've thought it was too inappropriate to have stayed on the phone
longer to continue the conversation any further at that point.
Yes, he said
to himself in the mirror,
she would have definitely thought I am a stalker or
a psychopath if I had tried to keep the conversation going.
To devise a
way to meet the Southern Belle Mary McDonald became his goal for the
day as he got dressed and ready for his subway trip to work.

"It would be wonderful to have a girlfriend so close by," The King told his
golfing  friend later that afternoon when they drove out of the city to play
as many holes of golf as they could get in before predicted rain ruined
their plans.

"Yes, provided that you don't stop seeing one another," his friend
warned. Then, his dentist golfer friend rationalized,  the woman you
never
saw before all the time you've lived there before you dated her will
suddenly be everywhere like fly shit with her new boyfriends every time
you come and go.

"If it were a problem, well, I would just move then," The King said as a
fine mist of rain started to come down.  

"Are you serious? You outright own one of the best condominiums in
Manhattan with no mortgage.  I will sign you into Bellview before you
give up that place over a woman," his friend informed him.

"Someone's going to sign us both into Bellview if we don't get off this
course soon. I can see the news: "Manhattan dentists struck by lightning
on golf course. Film at 11."

During the ride back to Manhattan, the two were quiet and listened to talk
radio. They hadn't driven far when they came upon emergency workers
trying to free crash victims who had wrecked their SUV into a concrete
wall. It was a terrible wreck and the vehicle was especially crunched.

"Don't think they're walking away from that wreck alive," The King said.

"No, that is unlikely to happen from the looks of it. You just never know.
That could have been us over there instead," his golfing friend said.

The rest of the way back to Manhattan, they yelled less at the radio
announcer and callers on the show. The closer The King got back to
Manhattan, the more he wanted to go knock door to door to find Mary
McDonald and start living again. He told his friend that in the car.

"Jeff, you don't even know what she looks like, if she's married or
anything about her other than she has a son named Buster. Just don't get
carried away, OK?" his friend cautioned him before they ended their
lunch together and left.

"Want dropped off at home?"

The King started to say yes, but changed his mind. "You can drop me at
the Chinese restaurant by Mary's place."

"What are you going to do?" his friend asked.

"Wait to see if Mary comes by," The King replied. "I'll know what she
sounds like."

Traffic was backed up all over Manhattan. The King got out not far from
his place and walked the rest of the way. He had a spring in his step and
a smile on his friendly face. He was determined to tip his hat, say hello or
good evening or do anything he had to say or do to try to talk to any
woman in that neighborhood under 50 who might be the Southern Belle
Mary McDonald. Women in New York really
don't talk to strangers, he
thought to himself, as one after another woman quickly turned her gaze
and eyes away from him and did not acknowledge his greetings.

Of course not, you moron. They think you're probably right out of Bellview,
he told himself.

Inside the Chinese restaurant, he asked the woman at the counter who
knew little English what dish takes the longest to prepare. Someone in
back overheard and suggested the Number 9 dinner that took at least
thirty minutes. He ordered it and his usual cashew chicken combination
just incase he didn't like the Number 9 dinner.

The King went into action outside the resturant. New York's strict anti
smoking laws being what they are, he moved about twelve feet or so
from the restaurant's front door and about the same distance closer to
Mary McDonald's front door. He decided that he would smoke no more
than one pack of cigarettes in his life when he took up smoking. The King
wasted about six cigarettes tossing them into the street when any
woman who might've been Mary McDonald walked by him.

Then he heard the Southern accent and sweet voice of Mary McDonald
talking to someone and turned to see her for the first time. She was
stunningly beautiful in her pink sweater and long dark hair and body that
he already knew too well in all his dreams and fantasies of the perfect
woman. He looked down on the ground and saw that she dropped a piece
of paper.
Thank you, God! The King thought.

"Maam.....excuse me,
maaaaaaaaaam," he said loudly to get Mary
McDonald's attention while he made the mad dash to pick up the paper
she dropped before the breeze took it and his golden opportunity away.
Mary McDonald stopped and turned around.    

"Maam, you dropped this over there," The King said as he walked
towards her and handed the receipt to Mary.

"Oh, that I did! Thank you, sir," Southern Belle Mary said with her perfect
diction and accent.

"You're welcome," he replied, smiling at her. As she walked away, he
called out to her again.
Continue