I cover the saucepan, letting the onion cook until it is tender. From time to time, I stir it. For good measure, I mix in chili powder and flour.
Ma comes in just as I start whisking in her chicken broth.
“Oh no!” She purses her lips in disapproval. “Why are you wasting it?”
“Relax Ma,” I say. “I know what I’m doing.”
“Yes, Ma! This is going to be great over chicken and rice. Mole sauce celebrates the flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine. And it has a special nutritional ingredient, which I find absolutely essential for my diet these days.”
“Which is what?”
She raises an eyebrow but says not a thing.
Meanwhile, I increase the heat and cook until the liquid is reduced. Then I remove it from the heat, whisk in large chunks of dark chocolate. As they melt, I season the sauce with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper.
The aroma is simply exhilarating. When I pour the sauce over chicken and rice, the only thing Ma says is, “Mmm.”
“Have a seat, Ma,” I say, carrying both plates to the table. “Today, we’re going to have a gourmet meal.”
“Yes,” she says, looking at Browny, who is licking a drop of the sauce on the floor. “I’m hungry.”
We eat. We lick the plates clean. We hug.
Then she says, “This was delicious. Give me the recipe.”
“I got it from Michael,” I say.
And she says, “Oh, him.”
A moment later, she adds, “I’m glad you’re not seeing that guy anymore.”
Rebellion quickens my heart. “Oh, Ma,” I say. “What d’you have against him?”
And she says, “Just like your Pa, he can’t stick too long with one thing.”
“You’ve convinced me, Ma.”
I dab the chocolate from the corner of my mouth, rise up, and call his number. After all, it’s time for a new beginning.
(Volume I of Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance)
Ash finds herself in the ER diagnosed with coma. She has no memory of what has happened to her, but what she can do--despite what everyone around her might think--is listen to the conversations of her visitors. Will she survive the power outage in the hospital and then, being kidnapped out of it?