Authors: Dontá Morrison
“Thank you.” He said with a deep dimpled smile.
After the shower Tyrin sprawled his naked body facedown across the bed, allowing himself to air-dry. The hot water, combined with the makeup session had done its job and he was dozing off. Khalil wasn’t tripping because he had gotten his as well; so life was all good at the moment.
He walked about the room getting stuff together for his trip. He was a whiz at packing and knew how to fit a number of different outfits into a small case. His early days working in the industry were spent being on call, which meant always being ready to go when the phone rang; a talent he still possesses.
He stood over the bed in his tan cargo shorts, navy blue tank top, and blue Polo deck shoes. The Fendi travel bags, along with the platinum commitment band on his right index finger, were the only signs of wealth he had to offer. He liked for people to underestimate his value, so he tried to dress as low key as possible. However, best believe that when it came time to trump the scene, Khalil Alexander knew how to rock a nice fit. “I’m packed.” Khalil said to a quiet room.
Tyrin had drifted off to sleep and the light sounds of his breathing were filtering throughout the room. He had an easy day today; just a few layouts for an up and coming R&B group. He knew that he needed rest so he tried to take advantage whenever he could.
“Tyrin, I am about to go, wake up.” he whispered softly as Tosha lifted her head to see what all the fuss was about. “Wake up!” he said in a firmer tone. Tyrin jerked awake and looked around the room in fret; before realizing it was Khalil talking to him. “I’m about to head to the airport. My flight leaves in two and a half hours and hopefully I don’t get stuck in traffic.”
“Baby, don’t go.” He whined, as he laid his head back on the pillow.
“You plan on paying the mortgage and car notes by yourself?” Khalil jokingly asked.
“Need a ride to the terminal?” he responded with eyes closed and a smile on his face.
He leaned over his naked Adonis, kissed his lips, and reinforced that he try to get plenty of rest. He grabbed his bags, headed out the door of the bedroom and a weary eyed Tyrin covered himself with the sheet and went back to sleep.
There was nothing like driving down Pacific Coast Highway on a clear day. From the highway the Pacific Ocean actually looked clean and inviting; in reality it was a sewage lot that many locals found pleasure in inhabiting. However, California did have the best weather, not too hot and never too cold. There was a reason that the nation flocked to California in the summer, and today was a perfect example of how weather in June should be. It was days like this that really made him wish he had more free time to spend with Tyrin. It was a perfect for a picnic, barbecue, or some other outdoor activity; but when work calls what can you do?
As the jet-black 320CLK Mercedes-Benz convertible gently coasted along the highway, its hurried driver was bobbing his head in rhythm to a new track by an east coast brother who was singing about a married woman he wished he’d never met. As the raspy voice bellowed through the speakers, it dawned on him that there was one person he had to call before he left town. He lowered the volume and called his favorite woman in the world.
“Taist of Style, how may I assist you this morning?” the receptionist asked.
“Hi Stacy is my mom available?”
“Hey Khalil, how are you today?” She asked in her normal, I hope you’re not still gay because I want to be your wife, tone.
“I’m well, just trying to get to the airport before I miss my flight.”
“Oh, OK. Let me transfer you. Have a safe trip and come back in one piece.” She chuckled to herself and proceeded to transfer the call.
“This is Vanessa.”
“Hey sweetheart, where are you?”
“On the 405 racing to the airport. I couldn’t remember if I called to let you know I was going out of town.”
“Yes. You told me two days ago. What time is your flight?” she asked.
“11:40” He answered.
“Khalil, it’s 10:00 and you are still on the 405? Are you near the airport?” She asked in a worried, yet annoyed tone.
“Yep. I have about 4 more exits. Why do you sound irritated because I’m rushing? You sound like Spencer. Anyway I was just calling to keep you in the loop about my whereabouts, that’s all.” Khalil responded.
“I appreciate that. Where is Tyrin?”
“At home sleeping.”
“Why didn’t he drive you to the airport?’
“Because I’m not sure if I’m coming back Saturday morning or late Friday. And, I would prefer to have my own vehicle available in case of a sudden change.”
“Who are going with again?”
“Spencer, Lea, and Kerrion. I know they’re all probably there waiting for me, but I don’t care, I’m the boss.” He said in a cocky but playful tone.
“And where are you guys headed to again?”
“I thought you said I told you all about this trip?” Khalil questioned.
“You did, but I was on my way to church at the time and I’m so busy praying for you that I don’t hear half of what you tell me sometimes.” She nonchalantly responded.
He let out an annoyed sigh and asked, “How do you know what to pray for if you don’t listen?”
“The Lord tells me.” She gave a hearty laugh because she knew that would further irritate him. “Khalil, maybe if you would ask me about church sometimes, I would feel a little better about you not going anymore.
Here we go again. Khalil loves his mother to death, but sometimes she can bring up the Lord when he is not in the mood, and it gets on his nerves. He grew up in church; day in and day out he was at the House of the Lord. Out of respect for his mother he doesn’t argue the homosexuality topic- they really don’t bring it up at all- but she has a way of putting words into place that really bugs the hell out of him. Now that he is older he will go to church when time permits, but until he gets some clear answers to some of the questions he, he will do his best to avoid that place if at all possible. “How was church momma?” not that he was really interested.
“Good as always, Bishop really preached. Kerrion was there, shouting and hollering as usual. One day he will shout himself into a place of deliverance”
Vanessa Taist was a woman that had been through the fire and was not always the Saint of God she is today. She gave birth to him while in high school and they are extremely close. Her hard work and corporate backbone allowed her to climb the ladder of success and become a woman that is well respected in the field of interior design.
Khalil knows that his mothers’ tenacity throughout the years is what motivated him to become the man he is today. Had he not seen all she went through to get to where she is his life would have probably had a different, less successful, outcome.
The one person he would kill for was his mother. Even though she is against his choice to be with men, she has never turned her back on him. In fact, she is the one that designed the interior of him and Tyrins’ home. Her revamping of their Malibu thee-story dwelling took the value to the next level. Vanessa’s eye for design, color, and style made the once boring seaside dwelling a palatial palace overlooking the Pacific. She went all out not only for her son, but for the man he loves as well. Tyrin is as much a part of Vanessa’s life as he is Khalil’s, and they both refer to her as mom.
“How is Lauren, have you talked to her?” Khalil asks, trying to throw his mother off track.
“Uh huh, I know, let’s not talk church. But you will be there next Sunday for Alicia’s baby Christening, I don’t care what you say.”
“I’ll be there momma. She’s my cousin.”
“Now back to Lauren, she is fine, summer school is kicking her butt. I told her college wasn’t a joke, but she wants to be grown. I just listen to her gripe about it. All I know is that she better not be up there wasting my money.”
“You know how Lauren is. She whines with the best of them, but when it comes down to it she gets the job done. I’m going to try and visit her while I am in the area but I don’t know how my schedule is going to look.”
“Well give her a hug for me.”
“I will. I’m getting off the freeway momma, so I’m gonna let you go.” He maneuvered through the crowded freeway traffic in effort to make his exit.
“Alright, be careful and have a good time.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too. I’ll call you when I get back.”
He hung up the phone and focused on the fact that he now had to drive like a bat out of hell up Century Blvd to LAX, search for a parking spot at the terminal, run like Carl Lewis to the gate, and then listen to the mouths of his crew as they bitch about his tardiness.
Tyrin got about forty five minutes of rest before deciding to call the office. He wanted to see if any fires needed to be put out prior to his arrival. With the phone on speaker, he got out of bed and walked around the room contemplating an outfit.
“Good morning Is It Live, how may I direct your call?” Kim answered in her normal semi-seductive tone.
“Good morning Kim, this is Tyrin, how are you doing today?”
“I’m fine and good morning to you as well.”
“Umm, let me think. Craig, Koya, Manny, Tony, Trey, Dana is running late as usual, and myself.”
“Let me talk to Tony.”
“Sure, hold on.” The call was transferred and when Tony picked up, the sounds of Sisqo’s “Thong Song” was playing in the background. “Tony speaking. Who’s this?”
“What up big pimpin?” Tyrin asked while admiring the clear sky and sailboats coasting along the ocean.
“Ain’t nuttin crackin, just working on this calendar for Lisa Raye.”
“Don’t jack off on the prints. You know how you start reminiscing about her fine ass playing Diamond.” Tyrin joked.
“I feel you. You at the house chillin, I see.”
“Looking at the ocean, watching the boats go by. Any updates for today or is the calendar all you have on your agenda?”
“Yea, that’s all I know about. Craig answered a few calls this morning, so he may have some more orders that I’m not aware of.
When you bringing your ass in? I know you’re the boss and all, but damn, ain’t Khalil tired of looking at your crooked ass?” Tony asked.
“Fool you crazy, Khalil could look at me all day and night. Don’t hate because you ain’t found a honey yet that will love you like Khalil loves me.”
“Love and pussy is two different things altogether boss. As long as a brother is getting his dick moist every now and then, his heart doesn’t mind the lack of attention.”
“Whatever, man. Look I’ll be there in about an hour, so get all you’re playing out of the way before I show up. Transfer me to Craig.”
“Aiight big T, in a minute.” he said as he transferred the call.
“This is Craig.” A frantic voice answered.
“What up cousin, you sound busy.”
“Man, I am trying to get this flyer together for a party DJ Quik is throwing next month at the Century Club.”
“Is that the same flyer you were working on last week?” Tyrin asked out of concern.
“Yeah, but I need to add Suga Free to it. Last week they weren’t sure if he was going to be in town, but they just got word that he’s available. So long story short they need some changes done to the original format.” Craig answered in an exasperated tone.
“Is it under control? Is Manny helping you out? Where is Koya? Did Trey get the estimate from Jive on how much they want to spend on the new CD design layout for Joe? “Tyrin was in boss mode and hated that he had wasted time sleeping when there was work to be done.
“Everything is cool. I’m just unnecessarily letting this thing get the best of me. All in all I got it under wraps. Uhmm let me think, Koya is upstairs getting the studio ready for that shoot you guys have today with some group. Manny is helping Tony with that calendar layout. Trey has been on the phone all morning, so I really can’t tell you if he’s talked to Jive or not. Calm down cousin, don’t let my voice get you all frazzled and ready to come in here with your pajamas on.” Craig chuckled “I’m actually glad you aren’t here yet because you would just be in my way” he continued to joke.
“I’m about to get dressed as we speak. You know I ain’t trying to lose what I got, so I have to stay on top of y’all. Especially you, because you would fuck up, then cry and tell grandma on me after I fired you.” Tyrin jokingly responded, but meant what he said.
They talked for a few more minutes before ending the call. He tossed on a pair of black jeans, a gray polo shirt, and his gray Timberland boots. He went downstairs; made a turkey sandwich, grabbed a bag chips, a bottle of water, and was heading toward the garage when the phone rang. Thinking it may be Khalil he ran back into the kitchen and hurriedly answered it.
“May I speak to Tyrin please?” the male voice asked.
“Whom may I say is calling?” he asked in a rushed voice.
“Is this Tyrin Chase?” the voice was surprised and excited.
“Who is this?” Tyrin was not in the mood for games, especially when it came to men he didn’t know calling his house.
“Tyrin Chase, please.” The unidentifiable voice remained unchanged
“Alright, look player, I don’t know who you are and I’m trying to be polite, but I suggest that you state your business quick.” He looked down at the caller id and it read caller unknown. He took a deep breath before putting the receiver back to his ear. “You still there?” he questioned.
“Damn, don’t be so hostile black man.” The strange voice responded.
“Fuck this bullshit, I’m out.” Tyrin was about to push the end call button, but the voice on the other end yelled out a response that caught his attention.
“NYU class of 1992?”
“Who the fuck is this?” He yelled into the receiver.
“My name is Darion Carson.”
“I don’t know any damn Darion Carson.” Tyrin snapped. He was also thinking to himself,
‘Do I know this guy, I was in the class of 1992 at New York University, but that was almost ten years ago, and why in the hell would some guy he couldn’t even remember, be calling him like they are old friends’
. He racked his brain from the time he said his last response, to the time this unknown caller made his next statement. “You used to date my sister Déjà. Everybody called her Dee Dee.” Darion stated in an effort to make Tyrin remember.