Hindu Ladies For Black MenbySamuelx©
Sitting in the university library, minding my own business. Just like a good student. That's what I was doing until she came along. Who am I talking about? Ajooni Patil, or AJ, as I call her. Hello boo, she said, wrapping her arms around me, and gently kissing me on the cheek. Her lips pressed against my cheek sent a thrill down my spine, in the most pleasurable way possible. Good to see mamas, I said, looking her up and down and grinning wolfishly, as is my custom. What are you looking at? AJ asked, and grabbed the mouse from my hand, clicking on my Facebook page.
I recently 'liked' a picture a lady friend posted. AJ's eyes narrowed, and she pointed to the picture of a big-bottomed, dark-skinned Jamaican chick in a White bikini. My former high school classmate Jacqueline Vermont. We went to Prom together. She lives in Winnipeg now. Um I can explain, I said sheepishly, a bit troubled by the smoldering anger in Ajooni's eyes. Unlike her picture right now, AJ said through gritted teeth. Gulping, I did as she asked. This isn't what this looks like, I told AJ as she rolled her eyes. My name is Marcel Charles, M.C. to my friends, and I'm an MBA student at Carleton University in the City of Ottawa, Ontario. I'm dating the most wonderful gal in the world, Ajooni Patil. Indian girls don't usually go for brothers, except in that movie with Denzel.
When I met AJ at a basketball game pitting Carleton University against the University of Ottawa, sparks flew between us. Truth be told, she made the first move. Hello fan-boy, she said, looking at my Marvel Comics Blade T-shirt. I'm a fan of Wesley Snipes, I said bashfully, blushing as the pretty Indian gal smiled at me. Damn she's smoking hot! Five-foot-nine, curvy and busty, with long Black hair, light brown eyes and dark bronze skin. And she looked awesome in a blue T-shirt and Black jeans. Grinning at me, she told me that I looked good with my superhero T-shirt. Damn, this chick knew how to make a brother blush. I've always been shy when it comes to women. I'm six-foot-one, dark-skinned and somewhat chubby, and I speak with a thick French accent. An accent I would do anything to get rid of, for it marks me as 'other'.
Before we get going, here's a little about me. I was born on January 31, 1990 and raised in the town of Jacmel, Republic Haiti, and moved to Ontario, Canada, with my parents, James and Leanne Charles in the summer of 2006. Eight years later, I still sound like a foreigner, though I've become a Canadian citizen. Although AJ and I are both immigrants, we're from radically different backgrounds. She was born in the City of Toronto, Ontario, to immigrant parents from the region of Goa, Republic of India. This gal is Canadian through and true. AJ played hockey in high school, loves the Toronto Maple Leafs and considers Prime Minister Stephen Harper one of her heroes. AJ's parents, Dhaliwal and Amina Patil practices the religion of Sikhism originally but AJ considers herself an atheist. Me? I believe in only two things, the Lord Jesus Christ and the beautiful game, which is soccer. As a recent immigrant whose family went through hell before we got our citizenship rights, I'm not in love with the conservative government and its anti-immigration stance. As you can see, we're very different people.
Our first dates were awkward, but charming, now that I think about it. AJ was new to metropolitan Ottawa, and I delighted in showing her all the hot spots, few that they are. I took her dancing at Mansion Night Club downtown, and the Silver City movie theater and the nearby Gloucester Mall became our favorite hangout. For the life of me, I can't imagine why someone from a lively, racially diverse and fun place like Toronto would move to boring little Ottawa. Whenever possible, I like to escape to either Toronto or Montreal. What can I say? I love big cities. AJ and I began chilling together, and got to know each other better.
I considered myself lucky that AJ took an interest in me. A few months before I met AJ, I got dumped by my Haitian ex-girlfriend Nadine Toussaint. We'd been together for eleven months when she dumped me out of the blue. Apparently, she considered me boring and dull, and felt like our relationship was going nowhere. A week after she dumped me, I saw her at the Saint Laurent Mall with an Italian dude. Shock of a lifetime for me, that's for damn sure. I'll be honest with you, I didn't see it coming. Nadine's betrayal shattered a part of me. I've always been a nice, friendly and easygoing guy. To women, a nice guy is useless and safe. They prefer the bad boy type. Well, I'm a Black male. I can't behave like the roughneck, thuggish type simply to impress females. It might get me shot. I'm a minority in a town full of trigger-happy cops.
Like every couple, AJ and I have our ups and downs. I do wish she'd stop with her jealousy and hissy fits whenever she seems me talk to another female. I was invisible to the ladies at my university and at my church in Nepean until I began dating Ajooni Patil. Seriously, university-educated Black men who are gentlemanly and God-fearing are not what most women in our communities are looking for. We're considered safe and boring by them. The moment I had AJ in my life and we started showing up places together, all of a sudden a lot of girls noticed I existed. The young Black women in my church took notice of me for the first time ever. See how that works? I was thrilled to be dating someone as beautiful, unique and intelligent as Ajooni. Seriously, I practically worshipped the ground she walked on. So why was she tripping?
We need to talk, Ajooni said, gripping my shoulder a bit roughly and snapping me out of my reverie. I got up, and reached for her hand but she rolled her eyes and I shrugged. We walked out of the library and hit the tunnels leading to the university center building. We sat at a table in a corner of the atrium, and Ajooni unloaded on me. I'm feeling dissatisfied with our relationship, she said, crossing her arms. I took a deep breath, and looked into Ajooni's lovely eyes. Talk to me sweetie, I said, gently reaching for her hand. AJ looked at my hand laying on hers, and pursed her lips. You're always looking at other women, she said, and you're not paying attention to me.
When those words left her exquisite lips, I stared at AJ in open shock. I love you AJ and I don't know what other women you're talking about, I said, with some indignation. You've added four girls as friends on Facebook last week alone, AJ said, in a tone filled with accusation. I smiled. Two of them share the same last name as me and they're my cousins and the other two are my friends, I replied in an even tone.
Anouskha shook her pretty head, twirling a curly lock of hair in her finger. You got an answer for everything today, she said icily. I willed myself to be calm. Seriously, I hate it when she gets like this. I guess I'm not enough for you, Ajooni said, and got up. Baby please don't go, I said, and watched in horror as she pulled her hand from mine. Goodbye Chuck, AJ said, mischief twinkling in those eyes of hers as she walked away. I hate it when people call me Chuck, and she knows this better than anyone.
I stood there, my heart thundering in my chest, watching as Ajooni walked away from me. She disappeared among a throng of students heading downstairs. Fuck, I said. How in hell did everything go so wrong? Head down, I went back to my seat inside the library's third floor. For a long time I sat there, staring at my screen. Then I remembered that it was mid-December, and like everyone else at U of C, I had finals. I did my work, then logged off and went home. I took the number four bus from campus to Rideau, then headed to my east end apartment. I live in the VAJer parkway area, not the nicest neighborhood in Ottawa but rent is cheap. My parents live in Orleans. I love our old house, located off of Jeanne D'Arc, but I wanted to live on my own so I moved out a while ago. I love my folks, but I needed my own place.
I lay on my bed that night, deep in thought. I couldn't stop thinking about Ajooni Patil, and our relationship. I honestly and truly love that young woman, but she doesn't seem to reciprocate, at least not to the same extent. It's funny how certain things become clear in hindsight. The first time we went out, she was so wild and outgoing, and I was so damn shy. Can you believe that she kissed me first? Yup, I remember it like it was yesterday. We were coming out of the movie theater, and just talking about nothing, really, when she planted one on me. The feel of her soft lips against mine, her slender arms around me...if I live to be a hundred, I'll never forget.
I also remembered the one time we had a strong disagreement. Well, prior to today, anyway. It was about six months ago. Ajooni and I were coming home from a trip to Montreal, and ran into a group of South Asian guys at the bus stop near the Rideau shopping center. They stared at AJ and me, and I guess they didn't approve of a Black guy hugging an Indian gal at a bus stop. They started speaking in Hindi, and whatever it was, it didn't sound good to me. Judging by the expression on Ajooni's face, she didn't care for it either. Finally, she just about had it and said something to them in Hindi. The look in the South Asian guys eyes let me know they meant business. One of them stepped toward us.
Back off if you know what's good for you, I told a tall, bearded South Asian dude. Fuck you nigger, he told me with a smirk. My balled fist struck his jaw before I even thought about it. Staggering backward, he nearly fell before one of his buddies caught him. Charlie let's leave, AJ said pleadingly. I glared at her, filled with outrage. I'm not afraid of these clowns, I said. The guy I just decked rallied his buddies around him, and together they surrounded us. They grabbed me and started roughing me up. I fought back as hard as I could, but five on one are lousy odds. Everyone at the bus stop was staring at us, and next thing I know, the police showed up.
When I tried to explain what was going on, a tall White policeman with a beard glared at me with such hostility that I fell silent. Taking her cue from this, Ajooni spoke to him, explaining what happened. I stood by silently, feeling angry and helpless. In the end, the cops ordered us to disperse. Ajooni and I took one bus, and the South Asian guys took another. That could have gone better, I quipped, looking at Ajooni. I never thought you were so immature and impulsive, she shot back. As you can imagine, the ride home wasn't a smooth one.
Yeah, I am fond of Ajooni, and I will defend her with my life. Sometimes I find it hard to say no to her. I definitely should try to be more assertive when it comes to my dealings with women. It's my parents fault, in a way. They raised me too damn well. A God-fearing, upstanding citizen, with a bit of the Dudley-do-right deep inside, that's me. Sometimes I feel like a man out of place. Giving up my seat for a lady on the bus, opening doors for older women and for children, not a lot of men my age do these things. What can I say? I am what I am. I'm not perfect but I am a decent man. I care for Ajooni, and I've literally bled for her. If that's not enough for her, if she doesn't value me to the same extent...well, there's absolutely nothing I can do about it.
I woke up the next day, and went to my ten o'clock exam. We had three hours to do it but I finished early. I called Ajooni, and left two messages on her cell phone. She didn't return my calls or my texts. I grabbed a bite inside the university center food court. Afterwards, I went to the movies at Saint Laurent Mall's theater. It's cheap Tuesday, the day I traditionally take Ajooni to the movies. I sat in the theater after purchasing tickets for The Best Man Holiday. It's finally in Ottawa.
The movie theater was packed with people, mostly Black, though there were a few Whites and Asians here and there. Man, the theater was couples galore. I saw a plump Black lady with an older White guy, a light-skinned Black guy with a curvy, dark-skinned sister and right before I sat down, I also saw a tall, athletic young Black woman with a White guy dressed like a homey. Interesting couples. Of course, it's a couples movie...
I sit through the previews, then walk out. All of a sudden, I can't stand to be in here. Not without Ajooni. We've sat in this very theater many times, watching countless movies. We're movie buffs, my sweetie and I. I exit the theater, all of a sudden feeling light-headed. I can't stand to be among all those couples in there, and I can't stand to be away from AJ. I look at my phone, and she's yet to reply to my messages. So predictable Charlie, came a feminine voice behind me. I whirl around, and gasp. AJ, I say, stunned. There she is, my sweetie. Looking rather gorgeous in a Black leather jacket unzipped over a red tank top, short Black skirt and thigh-high boots. Hey boo, Ajooni replies, grinning.
I am quite shocked to see her, just standing there near the escalators leading to the movie theater's front booth. I knew I'd find you here, Ajooni smiles. I am glad to see her, but after the fight we had, I'm cautious. Hello AJ, I say, tight-lipped. Ajooni walks up to me and hugs me as if nothing had happened. We need to talk, I say at last, taking a deep breath. Ajooni smiles that fearless smile of hers and claps me on the shoulder. Stop stealing my lines boo, she laughs. I look at her, and shake my head. That infectious smile of hers is catching me. So you're not mad at me? I ask her, still cautious.
Ajooni tenderly looks me in the eye. I love you Charles and I guess I have to cope with your imperfections, she shrugs. Then she kisses me. I kiss her back, passionately. I'm sorry for the fight yesterday, she says, her eyes boring into mine. You're forgiven, I smile, gently patting her ample derriere. I just worry sometimes that you're going to leave me for a Black chick with a huge ass, Ajooni says, looking strangely vulnerable as those very words leave her lips. I love you for everything you are not just your butt and I would never leave you, I whisper into her ear.
Smiling, Ajooni and I hurry to the box office, where I get her a two-dollar ticket. Hurry up the movie is starting, the plump White lady behind the counter tells us. Ajooni and I look at her, then at each other and smile. We always show up on Black time for important events, Ajooni grins, and I roll my eyes as we hurry into the theater. We find a spot all the way upfront, as is our custom. As we get ready to sit down, the movie starts and Taye Diggs comes on screen, which causes Ajooni and the other ladies in the theater start whistling and loudly hollering. Oh man, I grumble to myself as I plop down in my seat.