Tiffanie Tai grew up as the youngest of three girls.. Her sisters Maple and Carolyn knew she was spoiled to core; her father (a college professor) encouraged her to question anyone’s logic or beliefs. Carolyn (the oldest sister) resented Tiffanie in every way. She resented the fact Tiffanie got all the attention, resented how much prettier she was and she resented the fact that she constantly challenged her “alpha” status. (Much to her father’s delight) This resentment only got worse when Tiffanie became closer with her sister Maple. Maple, the middle child of the three, seemed to have the biggest heart. Her mother would joke “I wondered where Carolyn’s heart was and he (God) gave it all to Maple.. I’m surprised there was any left for Tiffanie” Carolyn never laughed at that joke but Tiffanie and Maple did. As the years passed by, the sisters grew into young women. Tiffanie and Carolyn grew far apart at this point, only being held together by the love of Maple. The middle child didn’t play favorites. She was a great buffer between her sisters. Until Maple took ill. Bringing the family together under clouds of uncertainty. Maple stayed as strong and as warm as she could despite the excruciating pains she was feeling in middle of her back. “There will be many tests to see what we can find” the doctor said. During this time; Tiffanie and Carolyn only left the hospital because their father made them. Carolyn’s boyfriend drove the sisters home. Tiffanie watched them make out in the car from her bedroom window. Tiffanie didn’t think they saw her but Carolyn did spot her over Brandon’s shoulder. Looking to embarrass her younger sibling, she intruded on her privacy by barging in her room. “Don’t you knock?” Tiffanie says calmly. “Don’t you mind your business? “Carolyn responded. Afterwards.. A short silence passed by before a very bold Tiffanie spoke again. “I just was wondering if those big beautiful lips were finally going to get kissed” “Tiffanie! You’ve got a crush on my man!?!” “Calm down” Tiffanie says. “He’s too goofy and too old for me you have just been making the boy wait so long… I was just curious is all” Carolyn cuts her eyes at Tiffanie and Tiffanie cuts her eyes back before Carolyn remarks “You mean once you go black, you never go back?” At that very moment, the sisters enjoy their first ever laugh together without Maple being around. They embrace, they cry, they talk. All night in fact. Until Brandon picks them up from the airport the following morning. Judging from what Tiffanie heard from the back seat, Brandon was clearly upset about Carolyn not letting him spend the night while their parents were at the hospital. “I’m really over the both of y’all” Tiffanie spoke up from the back seat as they argued. It silenced the car. Until Carolyn’s phone rang at least. “Yes we’re on our way!” Carolyn shouted into the phone. Tiffanie knew it was Mom that called so she didn’t ask. By the time they got to the hospital Maple had already gone to Ultrasound for a renal biopsy. The doctors said she had an “aggressive” tumor on her back. They were pretty sure it was cancer, but they had to get a biopsy to be certain. Her doctor said regardless of the biopsy results, Maple would need a kidney donor immediately and it would be difficult to find a Match so quickly. One by one Carolyn, Tiffanie, Dad and Mom tested to see if they were a match for Maple and none of them were. Carolyn then asks Brandon to test, which he did. The family found out the next day that he in fact was a match! However it was of no consequence. Maple died in her sleep the following morning. The radiologist performing the biopsy “nicked” her renal artery. Causing her to bleed out while she slept. All Tiffanie can remember is how she argued with the Radiologist that performed the biopsy. Saying she thought “It was too soon for Maple to go home. Yet they discharged her anyway. He was a black man. Tiffanie also remembers how Brandon’s results came back, and that he was actually a perfect match to donate a kidney had Maple lived. Yet after the day he was tested, Carolyn never heard from him again. He was also a black man. No one in the family expected Brandon to do such a thing as to donate a kidney just on the strength of a new relationship with Carolyn.Yet they didn’t think he would take the test and then “ghost” the entire family either. Brandon never called back after Carolyn left message that Maple died. Thus begins Tiffanie’s journey as she deals with this trauma. Her trauma manifested into xenophobia (a fear of black people) which a physiologist Amber Love Smith helped diagnose and get her through. Her trauma and pain manifested in a distrust for men. She was bi-curious anyway, but her pain speed up that curiosity putting her in Amber’s bed far too quickly.

The Character of Tiffanie Tai & the importance of a good Backstory.