Jun 3, 2023
Taste the Sauce
Tyrell turned his Mercedes G63 into the driveway of his brother’s perfect home. The thought of having dinner with the perfect family made him stop and take a few deep breaths. His therapist had taught him years ago to breathe deeply when he felt his anxiety coming on. It was coming on strong and the breaths were taking a long time to kick in. When he felt calm enough to move, he got out of the truck and walked to the door.
He always knew his brother would one day live the American Dream. The large fancy home with the white picket fence and model wife, was simply his brother’s destiny. They had a perfect son and a daughter - twins, of course. Who didn’t see that coming? Tyrell was not surprised in the least.
Diamond, the model, was a great cook and always invited him over because she thought his bachelor life didn’t afford him the nourishment needed to survive.
He was a grown man. He knew how to eat; and there were plenty of women who loved cooking dinner for him. That of course was only a part of his recent history.
At one time he was an overweight nerd who couldn’t get a date to save his life. Now that had changed since he added M.D., Pediatrician to the end of his name, turned that fat to muscle, and started dating singer/superstar Candy, the woman every man dreamed about. Also, to those who were frequent viewers of TMI Celebrity News, he was known as “Hot Doc”. Getting a woman to cook for him was no longer a problem he experienced. There were always some dish showing up at his practice. But he would never eat food from strangers.
Even before TMI knew who he was he had been voted the most eligible bachelor in Mercia State, two years in a row. His fan base was growing by the day. For him, it was a dream.
After he rang the doorbell Simone answered. His world stopped. Her soft sent engulfed him and he was taken away from all the madness of his overstimulated world.
“Huh?” He automatically became clumsy around her. Hot Doc, who?
“I said Hey!” She opened the door for him to enter. “You brought wine, great!”
He stepped in and waited for her to close the door. He just wanted to stand near her for as long as he could. He followed when she walked back to the kitchen.
“Hello.” He finally said when they reached the kitchen.
She laughed and his heart skipped a beat.
“I guess I’m a little late.” He pretended to laugh it off. “Where’s everyone?”
“They’re in the backyard.”
“Oh…” He sat the wine down. “Something smells good. Are you cooking dinner?”
“Thank you, and yes. Would you like to taste test?”
“Yeah.” The clumsy Tyrell was fading away and he was returning to Tyrell Warren, MD. It was a good thing Tyrone wasn’t around. He would have noticed the clumsy antics and called him on it.
Simone took a spoon out of a nearby drawer. She scooped a generous amount of her special sauce and lifted it to his lips. While they waited for the sauce to cool their eyes were drawn to each other.
She smiled. He cleared his throat.
“I think it might be cooled.” She told him.
“Oh yeah.” He leaned forward, tasted the savory concoction, and closed his eyes to allow it to marinate on his tongue.
She waited patiently for a response.
“Thank you! I’m glad you like it.” Their eyes met again for a few seconds and she broke the connection quickly. “I better turn this stove off.”
“Yeah, I’ll leave this wine here. I’m going to say hello to everyone.”
“Thank you for the taste test.” He smiled his award winning smile in her direction.
“You’re welcome.” She smiled back and dropped her head like a teenager with a crush on the high school quarterback.
Tyrell slowly turned to walk away and nearly bumped into Montel, who was standing behind him.
“Hey, what’s up man?” Tyrell said as he walked to the door that lead out the back of the house.
Montel didn’t respond. He actually walked past Tyrell like he wasn’t in the room. His eyes were bluntly fixed on Simone. Tyrell didn't see it, but she seemed to shrink as the muscle built, aggressive looking man got closer to her.
Before Tyrell had completely stepped out the door, he heard the hostile tone of Montel's voice. Simone’s fiancé interrogated her.
“What was that was all about? And, why was you so friendly with him?”
Tyrell wanted to walk out the door, but when Montel started yelling at Simone, he knew something had to be done. Tyrell stepped back inside, and walked over to them.
“Hey Man, she didn’t do anything wrong.”
Montel didn't turn to acknowledge him, but he said, “Man, I’m not talking to you.” He continued directing his comments toward Simone. “I think you need to tell the doctor to mind his business before he needs a doctor.”
Tyrell didn’t have a chance to respond because Tyrone and Diamond were standing by his side.
“What’s going on?” Diamond asked.
“Nothing… It’s nothing.” Simone responded with clumsy hands replacing the lid to the pot, she was using to cook. Her hands were drawn to her face as she sighed heavily. After gathering herself, she stormed past everyone as they fussed over her. She exited the back of the house and picked up her four-year-old daughter. When she came back, she said "goodbye" to her cousin and walked to the front of the house and left.
Diamond helplessly searched each of the men standing in front of her. She wanted to ask again “What was going on?", but knew she wouldn't get the answers she was seeking. Instead, Diamond went after her cousin and Montel followed her. That was, right after he stopped in front of Tyrell once more and gave him one last smug look, before walking away.
Tyrell and his brother Tyrone stood in silence. Tyrell was processing what had just occurred and he could see that Tyrone was wondering too.
“What’s up with that?” Tyrone finally asked.
“That dude is crazy!”
Tyrell knew his brother too well, and he knew that Tyrone was already blaming him for the whole situation. He knew that Tyrone didn’t think Montel had any fault in the matter.
“Man you are always in the middle of some triangle?” Tyrone told him.
“That’s not true.”
“It’s true and you know it is.”
“Man, name one…”
Tyrone looked at him.
“Besides this one.” Tyrell stopped him.
“I know you haven’t forgotten about the three girl fight on Madison Avenue. You was still kind of chubby and nerdy then. Well, you still a nerd.”
“Says the engineer.” Tyrell fought back.
“I’m just intelligent. I’m not a nerd. And, I ask again, what happened?”
“Nothing. She just asked me to taste the sauce she made, and I tried it. I guess he saw and thought it was something else.”
“Aw, man! You can’t even make it in the door good before you causing trouble.”
“What?” Tyrell laughed uncomfortably.
“Man, I know you all ‘bachelor of the year’, but you knew that woman had a man.”
“What? I just tasted her sauce – the sauce - Man - I have a woman.”
“Yeah. So leave that man’s woman alone.”
“What? - Look...I just came here for food.” He laughed again.
Diamond entered the room and the men stopped talking.
“Hello, Brother. I see you’re still making your grand entrances.” She kissed him on the cheek.
“I didn’t do anything!” He protested. He almost stomped his foot like he used to when he had to defend himself in the past. He stopped that, now that he was more aware of who he was as a person. He realized it wasn't appealing to women either. There were so many changes he had to make when he transitioned from a nerd to...well, what he was today. Although everyone called him "Hot Doc" he still felt like the nerd with the photographic memory.
“I think the jury is still out on that one, Tyrell… Baby,” she turned her attention to her husband, “can you call the kids in to get washed up so we can eat?” She started placing food on the table. Tyrell helped while Tyrone got the kids.
“I really didn’t do anything Sis.”
“I know. Montel is very uptight. I’m really not that fond of him.” She stopped setting the table and looked in Tyrell’s direction, but not at him.
He could tell she was thinking about her cousin.
“I want the best for my cousin and he’s not it. I really don’t want her to marry him, but that is who she wants to spend her life with, and I can’t stop her from making that choice.” She walked back to the stove to get the last of the food. “She has to live her life.”
“But if she’s making a mistake shouldn’t you let her know?”
Before Diamond could answer, the kids came running in the house and they hugged their uncle. Tiarra, Tyrell’s niece asked when she was going to meet Candy.
He and Candy had been dating for three months, but she had not met his family. She was always on the road, so it had not been possible. He promised her that she would meet Candy soon.
“When are we eating?” Tyrone asked.
Tyrell smiled because he knew his brother was tired of hearing about his celebrity girlfriend.
“We can eat when you’re ready, Baby.”
“Then let’s eat.”
“Okay. Will you pray for us.” Diamond asked her husband.
Everyone sat at the table and held hands as Tyrone prayed over their meal.