“So let me get this straight. You met this guy on MatchMade who tells you he is a chef and wants to cook for you in his home … and you’re actually going??” My cousin India asked me.

“Yeah. That about sums it up.” I answered.

“Give me his name, address, and place of employment. These men on the internet are crazy and you’re just serving yourself up on a silver platter.” She all but demanded.

“Ok. First of all, MatchMade is a reputable site. They screen everybody. Only people with a certain amount of money and class are even allowed to be members. Second of all, I want a meal prepared specifically for me by a sous chef.”

“Asia, postal workers are screened too, federally, but that didn’t stop some fool from going postal.”

She had a point. 

“His name is Titan Rogers. He’s 31. He lives in One Light Apartments downtown -” was all I could get out before India cut in.

“- One Light?!? Chica you should’ve lead with that. Those apartments are bomb. You gotta go. If he lives there, then it’s safe to say Mr. Titan is bossed up.”

I laughed out loud at that. “With a name like Titian. He better be. Shoot a black man has to live up to that kind of name.”

We both giggled at that.

“Anyway girl, let me get off this phone so I can get ready.”

Casual sexy. Don’t make it seem like you’re trying to hard.” I heard India say as she hung up.

Now what do I have that’s casual sexy?? I thought to myself.

I settled on a khaki over-sized cardigan over a fitted white graphic tee that said to ‘To Be Young and Black’ with a knee-length black body-con faux leather skirt, burgundy Dr. Martin combat boots, a cheetah print purse, and a leather black brimmed hat.  I completed the look with a burgundy lip, winged liner, mascara, and a gold link necklace.  My medium length hair hung bone straight with a part down the middle. Brown-skinned Baddie!

Two hours later, I nervously walked up the concierge desk in his apartment lobby. India really had me second guessing if this date being at his house was the right way to go.

Put on your big girl panties, Asia. You’re here now. If something seems off, just dip. I said to myself just before I knocked on his door. I don’t know why I was tripping. You had to be ID’d to even enter the premises … but still.

Jesus thank you … was the first thought that came to mind when Titan opened to the door. He was freakin’ fine. Titan’s caramel skin and dark brown eyes had me dazed for a minute. He was sporting a bald fade and an extended goatee. His full pink lips looked downright kissable. He kept it simple with some khaki pants, a jean button up shirt rolled up at that sleeves that exposed that tattoos on his forearms and top of his chest, and gray Yeezy’s on his feet

Future Bae is over here looking like Zaddy. I thought with a smile.

His apartment was gorgeous, like something out of Home Digest.  The floor-to-ceiling windows brought a totally open feel to the place.  Titan’s home was decorated in dark tones: black, different shades of gray, pops of silver and gold, and white. He even had a huge black and white photo hanging on the wall in his living room. The place felt masculine.

“Hey Asia. I’m glad you came ” he said with a warm smile as he led me into his kitchen.

“I’m glad you invited me.” I replied with a warm smile of my own. “But I could have sworn you invited me over for dinner.  I don’t smell anything cooking, in fact, it looks like you haven’t even started.” I noted wanting an explanation.

What the hell was going on here?

“Well, I remembered when we were at the happy hour at Kona Grill, you mentioned that you weren’t much of a cook. I figured today I could walk you through a few simple dishes while we listened to some jazz. Then, while the food was cooking we could either talk or watch a movie.  It’s your choice. After that, we could enjoy the meal we prepared together.” Titan replied.

People pay big bucks to have a chef teach them to cook, and here I was getting it for free. This could be fun. It was definitely something different. He wasn’t giving me a slick vibe.  His eyes didn’t look like they held ulterior motives, so I gave in. I disposed of my hat and cardigan, leaving them on his couch in the living room. Then went to sink to wash my hands and get started.

Making the meal was easier than I thought it would be. Titan taught me how to slice and dice.  I was nowhere near as fast as he was with it, but I was getting the job done. He even had me seasoning meats and making pasta sauce.  Baked chicken for me, panko crusted fish and shrimp for him,  meat-less lasagna, vegetables, and the store-bought caramel cake I had brought were on the menu. I felt accomplished by the time everything was in the oven.

“What’s next?” He asked.

“Let’s talk. I would love to know more about you.” Then I sat down at the dining room table.  Titan handed me a glass of white wine and he took as seat opposite of me.  I felt more comfortable at the table.  We hadn’t dated long enough for us to be cozy on the couch.

We talked for almost two hours.  Titan told me about growing up the son of a pastor, going back to his mother’s native land of Brazil during his summers as a teen, and being an Afro-Latino. I told him about wanting to start a travel blog, struggling with my Christian walk, and being an only child. We didn’t talk much about past relationships but that was fine with me. All the I wanted to know was that all of the “doors of his past” were closed. He assured me that they were. I was happy with that.

When our meal was done, he taught me how to “plate” everything. That just meant to strategically place each piece of food on the plate so that it looked nice, artistic.  He said that presentation was just as important as taste. Then we went back to the table, this time with our plates in hand.

“So, I didn’t ask you this when you first messaged me, but what made you join MatchMade?” I was genuinely curious. Titan was all of the that and some more of that. Why did he need help finding a mate.

“It’s not easy meeting people when you’re always in the kitchen. I figured I had nothing to lose by signing up. MatchMade isn’t a regular dating site, as you know. I know that everyone that is a member is interested in a relationship. The fee and interview alone make sure of it.” He answered.

I almost missed his response, because I was too busy replaying the way he chewed in my mind. How could someone eat sexy?? How was that possible? After he blessed the food, which was also sexy, he dug right in.

“What about you? What made you join?” Titan asked back.

“I want something real … lasting. I want a connection that’s deeper than just infatuation and sex, and like you I figured anybody willing to pay that price tag was serious.  Going on dates is easy for me, but a fulfilling relationship has been hard to come by. I figured I needed some help.” I answered honestly.  I wanted him to know that I was for real about pursuing a relationship. No games here.

He looked me directly in my eyes and replied, “We are on the same page. I want that too.”

 

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