Mabel was extremely happy. She had found Ralph, and they were a perfect match. One might say they were a match made in heaven, but not exactly. She had gone through so many relationships over the past decade that she had begun to despair. But then Ralph came a long. Well, he didn't exactly come along. She met him through a computer matching service online. It had been all so simple that she wondered why she had waited so long to try the computer matching approach.
Now everything was perfect. Well, not exactly perfect, because Ralph was married and had a son and a daughter. He was about ten years older than Mabel and in the middle of a divorce. He needed to keep his relationship with Mabel secret until the divorce was finalized so his Ex couldn't use that against him in the settlement. This was annoying, but everything about Ralph was so perfect that she convinced herself she didn't mind the secrecy.
Mabel didn't look like a "Mabel", (not really sure what that means, except it's true). Her parents were in the maple syrup business in Vermont and picked "Mabel" because it was like maple music to their ears. But all of her life, Mabel was yearning to be a New Yorker---a true New Yorker.
Mabel appeared statuesque, perfectly proportioned, although she was only 5' 9". She could have been a Rockette if she were taller because she could dance with the best of them. The first week she came to NYC, she went to an open audition and won a spot as a dancer in a Broadway show. She thought this would open the door to many male companions. She quickly learned that the male dancers in her show were not available because she wasn't the right gender.
Mabel tried speed dating because she was in a hurry to find a guy in the Big Apple that could keep up with her life style. She met many guys that were looking for a hot romance, but really had nothing much to offer in a lasting relationship. After almost a decade of losers, she decided to try APERECTMATCH.com. That's how she met Ralph.
Ralph was a lawyer, very distinguished but low key. He was senior officer and partner in a small firm. He was smart, very methodical, and had a routine for every facet of his life, from making coffee to working out. Mabel loved routines as a way of managing time. In a way, it was also a way of managing Ralph.
Ralph was physically fit and worked out regularly, which was a priority for Mabel. She liked to run along the Hudson River almost every day. Her work as a dancer kept her "lean and mean"--- always ready for action.
The one factor on the matching scale most important to Mabel and Ralph was a vigorous physical relationship. Ralph was not especially handsome, but he was rugged and very strong. On their first date for dinner, they could hardly finish the meal. Their relationship started with a bang, one might be tempted to say. Ralph was experienced, strong, and in control, but deeply considerate of Mabel.
But now the days started to drag by as Ralph's continued negotiations with his Ex. It had now been two years since Mabel and Ralph met, but the divorce settlement was still in progress.
Mabel noticed that Ralph seemed to be texting a lot lately, and it didn't seem to be to her. He still was attentive, sent texts to her for liaisons, and their physical relationship continued to flourish.
But something seemed different. Not that Mabel was less committed, but she wondered what was going on with Ralph. He seemed ready to commit, but was so slow in finalizing and going to the next level.
Out of a premonition, she decided to create a new profile for herself as Mandy on MATCHMAKER.COM. She submitted photos she had in her phone of a girl she had met from Maine. They actually looked very similar, so Mabel didn't think it was really that misleading. Also, this was not really a serious commitment, just testing the water. She thought to herself that the computer matching had worked so well, why not have a backup now that Ralph seemed to be dragging his feet?
Much to her surprise she found several matches, but one that matched her even higher than Ralph. His name was Randy, and he was a sports professional, a personal trainer in a nearby gym. For several days, Mabel agonized over whether she should contact Randy. However, Ralph, although attentive and continuing to be an exciting lover, seemed a little distracted. After these two years, Mabel had fully expected to be wearing his ring, and making wedding plans. But there seemed to be no real movement toward that expectation.
Through the matching service, Mandy and Randy agreed to meet on Thursday for a late lunch at Rock Center Cafe in Rockefeller Center. This worked well for her because she had a 7 p.m. call for her show. It was a crisp October Day, and Mabel arrived early. She was surprised to see that ice skating had already started in The Rink at Rockefeller Center. She took some photos with her smartphone and posted on FaceBook. Even though she was early, Mabel walked through stores, including Saks Fifth Avenue across the street. She decided she would arrive fashionably late. She didn't want to appear eager, but she was curious to meet her match.
Finally she took the street elevator to the lower restaurant level. She told the receptionist she had reservations. She was getting very excited. Her heart was pounding. The receptionist led her to a table looking out on the rink.
Mabel suddenly was stunned as though someone had slugged her with a baseball bat. Her knees buckled.