Soap Opera "As The Mouse Moves" - Tuesday June 12th 2001
The cab pulled over to the curb at 86th Street in Yorkville and stopped.
"Is this Gracie Mansion?" Skeeter asked looking out of the window in the darkness at the tree lined driveway.
"Is address you give," the driver said in his thick Jamaican accent.
"Pull in the driveway then," Skeeter said as he watched a long black limo turn in to the driveway.
"Tis guard station, they never let cab in," the driver said hitting the meter.
"Okay, here," Skeeter said pulling out $20 dollars and opening the door.
Skeeter slammed the door to the cab. He adjusted his necktie as he walked up the driveway looking towards the stately mansion. Through the window and the light from the chandeliers he saw well dressed men and women talking. He saw a guardhouse at the entrance and picked up his pace hoping to appear self-assured.
"Excuse me sir", the guard said stepping out of his station as Skeeter approached.
"I'm invited to the party," Skeeter said in his slow southern accent.
The guard quickly stepped back into the doorway of the guardhouse as Skeeter watched him look through several sheets of paper on his clipboard.
"I don't see your name on the guest list, sorry you'll have to leave the grounds," the guard said.
"I wasn't on the original guest list but Jan Morgan invited me," Skeeter said.
"Sorry only people on the guest list can enter."
"You do know who Jan Morgan is?" Skeeter asked impatiently.
"Of course, everyone knows Miss Morgan," the guard said wondering where this slow talking southerner was from.
"She called me at home and said I should come over," Skeeter said.
A couple of well dressed men got out of a limo beside the guard's station and the young guard rushed forward opening the gate for them.
"Evening," the guard said smiling at the men.
Skeeter could feel his blood starting to get hot as he watched the well dressed men glance back at him on the other side of the fence as they walked towards the front door where the doorman rushed to open the door for them.
"I'm not going to stand out here all night," Skeeter said taking a step towards the gate.
"If your name's not on the list I can't let you enter," the guard said.
"Well, call in there and speak to Jan Morgan," Skeeter said.
"I'm not allowed to bother the guests, sir" the guard said hitting the button on the gate to lock it.
Hearing the sound of the lock on the gate served only to make Skeeter more anxious. The headlights of another limo pulled into the driveway and stopped. He couldn't stand out here all night looking like a fool, he thought as the doors of the long white limo opened and a single woman got out of the car.
"Miss Ford, good evening," the guard said smiling at the pretty well dressed woman in her forties.
"Evening, has Jacqueline arrived?" she asked the guard.
"No. She called a few minutes ago and said to tell you that something came up at the last minute and she won't be able to make it tonight," the guard said.
"A beautiful woman like you can't be left unattended," Skeeter said walking forward and smiling at the woman.
"Have we met?" the woman asked noticing Skeeter's handsome face, muscular build and his slow southern accent.
"No ma'am. Allow me to introduce myself…I'm Skeeter Diamond," he said walking closer and smiling at her.
"Is this your first party at the mayor's?"
"Yes, and the first one with you. I hope you'll allow me to be your escort this evening?"
CONTINUED TOMORROW. MORE PHOTOS BELOW.