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In Search of Happiness

Short story By: Secret Solace

A young man's quest to find the woman of his dreams. He calls her "happiness" because she is the only one who fills his heart, his life, with meaning. And yet... she is only seen in his dreams.

Is it possible to know someone before you actually meet them? To be matched by destiny, fated by love, and bound by blood could be considered... true love.

Then again, it could also be the torment of loneliness.

Submitted:Dec 20, 2011    Reads: 63    Comments: 4    Likes: 1   

.oO ~ ~ ELUSIVE DREAMS ~ ~ Oo.

It's such a difficult thing... like a fading memory, slipping away from his grasp. He fights against the waking feeling of reality. Her silhouette retreats from dawn's light, taking all feelings of warmth, love and happiness. Only cold sweat of his legs, tense pounding of his heart, and pale visage of his face, welcome him back to the real world. Slowly, his dreaming brown eyes open. The living sensation of nerve-endings spark awake, tingling throughout his slightly tan skin. His muscles flex and bulge as new blood floods his brain.

Like a shock to his heart, Sam clutches his chest in pain, realizing she's not with him. She's a dream so wonderful... he wished it would never end. He felt so at peace, sitting next to her as she played the piano in his fantasy. The soft smile of her lips, the warm glow of her aura, filled him with so much peace and contentment. The last thing he could remember was her delicate hand caressing the sandpaper texture of his chin. Why are dreams so much better than real life?

In that one moment of timeless eternity, there was more love, more passion, and more meaning than all his young years of life. Sam rubbed his almond eyes clear, focusing on the prison of his existence that was his room. He wanted to know who this girl was, and if she was someone he's seen before. Could she be the memory of an old friend, perhaps an ex-love? Sam was neither gorgeous nor fugly. Yet, he's had his fair share of dates among the opposite sex. Maybe it was his cute confidence that drew women and men alike? But his shy demeanor prevented him from achieving true Casanova status. Still, he had no regrets of missed opportunities, happy in the fact he wasn't walking around on borrowed time from some STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease).

Sam did have one desire he struggled against. He wanted a family. To see newborn eyes open for the first time filled him with such pride. It tickled his heart to hear the awkward sound of a baby's laugh. After 2 years, he would have the father's privilege of hearing their mispronounced words like... "chakate!"

"No baby, it's Cho-Co-Late!"

Then they would amuse him by pronouncing it wrong again. "Chakate!"

Sam could imagine a life with their family dog, knocking over his son as they played in their backyard. He could see his young daughter, making mud pies, learning skills to become a future housewife, or career woman. The pleased look of his wife made him feel like he'd done well. Their family wouldn't have to be perfect, just happy. After a few more years, he would be taking them to their first day of school. The sight of their fearful pre-school faces caused him to chuckle, knowing it was a right of passage into society.

Then he would quickly race home to add more members to their family by making-love to his beautiful wife. She might be getting ready for work, or doing house chores. But he was determined to squeeze in some private time for their intimacy. Of course she would pretend to refute his advances saying, "honey I have work to do!"

To which he would reply, "yes, you've been assigned to me. So you better get started."

She would laugh silently at his boyish seduction. Then her eyes would grow wide, seeing him unbutton his collar with undeniable passion. And finally, she would squeal playfully once she saw him move towards her. His hands reached out to her curvy waist while his eyes sent her naughty mental images. She would run away laughing, and him chasing her to the bedroom!

But this was just a dream, a fantasy, a life not meant to be. For Sam was not wealthy. He was not even working. When the economy crashed in 2008, he was laid-off like many others. He lost everything! His new house was foreclosed, his car repossessed, and his retirement fund stolen by bankrupt corporations. Like many, he never thought things could get so bad. And he cursed himself for not preparing. The unemployed days turned into months. Soon all his savings was gone. Sam sat in his one-bedroom apartment, eating ramen noodles, contemplating what went wrong. Then he realized it was better he suffered alone than see his fictional family endure this hardship. The sight of his young son and daughter, weak from hunger, unwashed faces, shivering from cold... caused him to tear grudgingly, knowing their lives were in so much pain. And then he would have to face his wife, loyal to the end, yet dying just the same.

What was his dream, his joy, his happiness, would actually become his nightmare today... had he started a family. Perhaps, it's better he was too shy to begin. Maybe destiny spared him the suffering of others he loved so dear. The only thing that makes his life bearable now is seeing her in his dreams. For there, she is safe, happy, healthy, and without struggle. Only in his dreams could he giver her the life she deserved. If only he could embrace her just once... for real. To know how much he loved her, without even knowing her name. This alone would allow Sam to die happy.

The soft kiss of her lips would satisfy his starving mouth. The warmth of her embrace would purge the shivering cold from his body. The happy smile of her eyes would renew his will to live.

"Where are you happiness?" Sam cried to himself.

There have been several potential mates. His wandering eyes met theirs on occasion. Still he refused to engage in a serious relationship, knowing he could not provide the basic necessities. What could he offer besides unwavering faithfulness and unyielding love? No, he had to deny his own needs for them. And in doing so, he died a little each day, wondering what is the point? Why should he keep on living without love, without happiness... without her? His life had no more meaning. The slow addiction of depression was infecting his spirit. Instead of dying from disease, he was decaying from loneliness.

"Where are you happiness..." Sam sighed defeat.

(Sam began talking to himself)

"Don't be so selfish, you hopeless romantic. There will always be good times and bad times. You're perception determines your reality. You need to focus more on the good and less on the bad."

"Suuuuure, easy for you to say. I have nothing good to focus on."

"What about that pretty girl at the store? You know she likes you."

"Yeah? So?"

"So you have nothing to lose."

"Except looking like a foolish loser."

"So it's about your cynical pride?"

"Hey, it's all I've got."

"Come on, I'm sure you can at least giver her company, make her laugh?"

"Yeah, but she is not... her."

"Oh god, not the dream girl again!"

"Look, you don't understand how she makes me feel."

"That's cause she's a DREAM!"

"No, I believe there is someone out there. I've dreamed people I have never seen before and then I end up meeting them in the future."

"Dude! Seriously, you need to get out and start living. Otherwise you'll end up an old man, miserable, and unhappy."

"To late, I'm already there."

"Okay then, have it your way Mr. Pessimistic."



(End of Sam's conversation)

Who knows why we continue on living. Maybe it's hope that drives us.

Sam got up from his bed, forcing himself to generic cereal, and started another day of job hunting. He had to take showers sparingly to keep the water bill down, and shaved only once a week. Sometimes he looked like a hobo. The only thing missing was a cheap pair of recycled clothes and some worn-out dirty shoes. At least, he didn't smell like a garbage dump. He detested bad body odor. Sam had the rare fortune of not smelling bad. His natural scent was still pleasing, even after his workouts. He kept his body in shape and hygiene clean. After all, he was an executive of a fortune 500 company and had his own home business. But all that changed so suddenly.

"Okay Sam, time to go claim your destiny." He looked in the mirror, trying to find the former greatness he once knew.

He went to the library to check his email.

All of them went something like this: We regret to inform you... We are looking for someone closer to our qualifications... We are sorry to inform you... You're application has been declined... The position has been filled...

After several rejections, Sam lost his stamina to read anymore. He just wanted to go home and sleep into an early coma. But sleep would not come easy on a hungry stomach. And he would have to pay a humbling visit to the soup kitchen before noon. His once bright smile and confident attitude was now broken, tired, hungry, lonely and without happiness.

The last email was from his brother... regarding their mother.

(Letter to Sam from his brother Derrick)


Mom died. She had a heart attack. She was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital. You would know that if you were here! Instead, you wallow in self-pity. I kicked you out because I wanted you to change. Why can't you just believe in God and let him help you? This is why you're suffering you know. God's love is for everyone, even a nonbeliever like you. All you have to do is accept him and believe. Instead, you embrace science with their psychological explanations about gay and lesbians and all kinds of filth. I know you said you're not gay, you just support their rights. Just remember what the bible says.

Revelation 3:16 - So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.

Leviticus 20:13 - If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them

You should know, Mom kept asking about you before she died. IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!!!

The funeral is this Friday. I do NOT expect you to be there.


(End of Letter)

Sam cringed his eyebrows, trying to hold back a wave of tears. Anger turned his face red, as his pain, his frustration, and his sorrow boiled up inside him. It's been almost a year, and this is how his brother addresses him... with news of their mother's death? Sam wasn't even gay and yet he got so much grief for trying to understand them. He was the most loyal Christian when he was young. But that was until he discovered the truth about religion. Being analytical made him question things, which eventually led him to research the origins of the bible. Ultimately, he denounced his faith, saying it was an archaic dogma written by many authors to control those who would not comply with their rules. He lives a moral life. But that wasn't enough for his religious brother. His fake tolerance was just as hurtful as his bitter condemnation.

"Don't give in!" Sam whispered to himself. "Derrick is grieving and looking for an outlet."

The former Christian, realized how irrational people behave when they are in pain or fearful. He also knew how jealous his brother was of him. Their mother always favored Sam over Derrick. She embraced his inquisitive spirit, and his love for life. Theirs was the Cain and Abel story remade in modern times... without the murder plot.

Funerals are for the living. The dead do not benefit one way or another. Sam knew it was best not to attend. He might incite a fight just for being there. With so much emotion and turmoil soaking the room, all it would take is a spark of vengeance, a touch of ill-will, and all hell will break loose!

Sam knew he would not be able to say goodbye to his beloved mother. He was not there when she died and it devastated him! It was a sentimental emotion, but Sam was still human, sensitive like everyone else. He ran to the bathroom after closing his email. Then he threw up! Sam could barely breathe as he tried desperately to steady his emotions. His mother was dead. His brother despises him. He was hungry, tired, and now emotionally exhausted. His heart ached as if a knife was repeatedly plunging through it! A silent scream choked in his throat as he stared into the abyss of the toilet, wishing he could drown himself in the shallow pool.

This was just too much for him. Sam didn't want to live in this cruel world any longer. Death it seemed was a welcome dream...

So he gathered up his composure and staggered out of the restroom, thinking about the gun he had at his apartment. Sam hated physical pain. But it would be a brief price to pay for relief. He tried to breathe slowly but the air felt so thin, knowing today was his last day to live. His steps toward the library exit seemed sluggish and weak. His home, his gun seemed so far away.

In his daze, he bumped into a blonde-haired girl.

"Oh excuse me. Do you know where the computers are?" She asked politely.

As Sam looked up, he swore he was dreaming! Her aura felt like the girl in his dreams. Maybe he was delusional. Maybe he finally lost his mind and was going crazy.

"Hello? Computers? Are you okay?" She smiled sweetly.

"Uh... Yeah. There're over there." Sam pointed out their direction. "Are you real?"

"Hahaha!" She laughed. "You're strange. But I feel like I know you." She cocked her head at him.

"I know EXACTLY what you mean." Sam smiled back. The look of her soft eyes soothed his pain away.

He escorted this new girl to the computers where they ended up talking all day and getting to know each other.

HAPPINESS it seems, may have found him, just in the nick of time.



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