Open Your Heart Ch. 02bySamuelx©
Sitting next to Leslie Hennessy on a bench inside the Saint Laurent mall, I felt happy for the first time in forever. My name is Daniel Heureux. Young Black man of Haitian descent living in the City of Ottawa, Province of Ontario, while attending Carleton University. And I'm not what you'd call lucky in the realm of love and romance. In fact, I'm coming off something rather painful. Yet today, I feel so damn happy I can barely contain it. My friend Leslie Hennessy and I went to the Blair movie theater to watch the sequel to Sherlock Holmes, then we had dinner together inside the food court at the mall. Now, after browsing through various stores, we are sitting on a bench, quietly enjoying each other's company.
Like any gentleman should, I dressed neatly for our 'first date', so to speak. Black leather jacket over a red silk shirt, Black silk pants and Black Timberland boots. I definitely think that it's a Haitian thing. We Haitian men always dress up for every occasion. For our date Leslie Hennessy showed up in a navy blue sweatshirt over a White T-shirt featuring Rob Zombie, dark blue jeans and gray sneakers. Every day casual wear, yet she looked really lovely in it. When we met outside the Blair movie theater, she greeted me with a smile and a simple hug. Leslie linked her arm with mine and we walked into the theater together. We had a good time. Now we're at the mall, just talking about stuff.
I'm taking four classes this semester. Criminal Law One. Intro to Sociology Part Two. Sociology of Deviance. Criminal Psychology. It's not easy being a Law student at Carleton University. So much paperwork, and endless lecture halls taught by women and men who obviously like the sound of their own voices. It's a drag but I know what I'm doing it for. I want to get my bachelor's degree in Law from Carleton University. The bachelor's in Law program at Carleton University only takes three years instead of the standard four that most colleges and universities in North America require. That's why I chose it. My program is really fast and expedient. Next, I want to go to the University of Ottawa School of Law. I want to do big things with my life, folks. Have a stellar career. Become the Johnny Cochrane of Canada. All this I shared with Leslie. My cute, blonde-haired and blue-eyed lady friend listened attentively as I told her about my hopes and dreams. Never one to talk about myself too much, I was touched by the attention she paid to me. And I wanted to learn more about her too.
Leslie Hennessy brightened up as she told me about her 'adventures' in the Sprott MBA program at Carleton University. She really liked her classes and found the professors at Carleton far more relaxed and open-minded than the ones at the University of Ottawa. According to Leslie, faculty at U of O were really elitist. They knew they taught at a fine school and carried themselves that way. Yet students and professors at Carleton University were just as smart and far more personable. I smiled when she said that. I knew Ottawa University was full of stuffy people but I had no idea things were that bad down there. Wow. Leslie laughed, and changed the subject. She wanted to know more about me. Hmmm. I was kind of hesitant to broach that subject with her. Contrarily to what women think, every man's favorite subject isn't himself.
I don't like talking about myself much. Where to begin? I'm Daniel Heureux. Born in the Trou-Du-Nord region of the Republic of Haiti on the first day of February 1989. Son of Eugene and Beatrice Heureux. Just another tall brother living in the City of Ottawa, Ontario. I like video games, comic books and shows with a legal bent such as Law & Order, Dexter and Criminal Minds. The law has always fascinated me. While other guys watched BET and ESPN growing up, I was deep into CNN. And Law & Order. Yeah, I'm a different kind of brother. And let's not forget that I'm a designated hitter on the Carleton University men's baseball club. I played varsity ice hockey for all four years in high school. I was the only Black guy on the team but that didn't bother me because I really loved hockey. I ignored the taunts from the White guys who called me a weirdo and the Black guys who accused me of 'acting White'. I just did my thing. I took up baseball as a club sport at Carleton University because I needed a new challenge. I think I'll always love hockey.
While I sat on the bench with Leslie Hennessy, whoever runs the Saint Laurent Mall played this song I absolutely love. It's called "Undisclosed Desires" by a band called Muse. Instantly I smiled. Leslie Hennessy saw the smile on my face. She grinned, and asked me if I liked the song. I closed my eyes and nodded. Something about this song just speaks to me. Without even thinking about it, I got up and took Leslie's hand. In a moment of uncharacteristic boldness, I pulled her closer to me. Leslie looked at me, not startled or surprised, just sort of gently amused. I asked her if she knew how to slow dance. Laughing, she leaned closer to me and told me that she could slow dance her ass off. I smiled. Nice to hear. And just like that, we began to slow dance. Oblivious to everyone around us, we slow danced in the mall, just a few steps from the East Side Mario's restaurant. The music stopped, and now they were playing "In The End" by Linkin Park. Leslie and I kept on slow dancing. And when we finally stopped, people around us started clapping.
Leslie and I looked at each other, grinning. Hand in hand, we walked through the mall. We went downstairs, and caught the OC Transpo bus number ninety five to Hurdman Station. From there, we caught the number four heading to Carleton University. The whole ride, we kept talking and laughing. Once on campus, I walked her back to her residence. I said goodbye to her in the Haitian custom. A hug, and a kiss on the cheek. I know, some of you feel I should have done more. I'm being honest here. All this is true. I like this girl and I don't want to fuck things up. We're off to a nice start and I want our relationship to go somewhere. Wish me luck. Peace.