Disillusion of Happiness

by Kaci Medling
Washington, United States
genre: General

Merse is sitting down in a chair across from his friend Pate who is stretched along a bench on the outdoor patio. There lights a small blue flame across Pate's new centerpiece to provide some warmth in the season's changing crisp night air. “Let me tell you I was such an overachiever in school until I realized it didn’t matter the way I thought it would. At least it didn’t make me happy, but back then I didn’t see happiness in my lifetime in any alternative lifestyle.” exclaimed Pate as she set her glass down on the table between them. 

“I never even cared to try at one point, no one cared to support me. I was literally looked over, but I wish I held onto my happiness more than following my friends and actually becoming depressed,” Merse replied rather comedically. 

“I didn’t have friends so I figured I might as well work and make money for my elders. Then they, well most of them and all at one point or another, turned their back on me,” Pate responded in the same casual tone that was drawn throughout most of their conversation. 

Merse admits, “my parents were extremely overbearing until it was just too late. I needed them to back off and listen to me more than some parenting books.”

“I was almost a monster to my family, because when they yelled I didn't cry, but that's because they didn't deserve to have the satisfaction to see me cry. It’s not a point of pride, but that they were trying to hurt me, in my perspective and maybe they were,” as Pate shares her view, she noticeably looks down and begins to slow down in the pace in which her words left her lips. 

“Saying “I love you” is really important to me, because at one point my family wouldn’t say it back to me. That’s when I knew they didn’t, it was at the time I really tried to set my own boundaries and I’ll admit it kind of blew up in my face a time or few. Now, especially with my grandmother aging, we make sure to say it as frequently as we can,” Merse shares. As it connects to Pate she looks over to see Merse looking up at the sky, almost lost in blank thought. 

After a pause, Pate speaks up “my family doesn’t really say I love you or spend time with each other outside of Christmas and Thanksgiving, there’s only 5 of us here and my mom doesn’t even talk to us anymore. I don’t really have a dad. I still don’t really have a full grasp on the concept of narcissism. Bless the lonely souls that sadly hit me as they were falling, it’s okay,” Pate ends in almost a passive tone. 

Merse rolls his head over to gain a full eye contact view of Pate and asks, “hm, where do you see yourself headed in life?”

Pate laughs softly at the question, “I don’t really know where I’m going completely in life, although I am the one to carry a detailed plan, I just still get really disillusioned by happiness. With so much family drama, my sibling relationships suffered, housing, financial support, just quite a bit.” Pate draws her legs towards her chest and hugs her knees.

Pate looks over to the side and continues, “I remember when I was proposed to. He just got done yelling at me to get out of the apartment, accusing me of stealing. I called his roommate and when we went upstairs to check on him, he found what he was looking for in his pocket and was crying on the phone with the suicide prevention line.” Merse looks at Pate deep in thought, as she envisions the stairs she sat on while in distress. 

Pate repositions herself and puts her legs on the ground while leaning forward at an angle to look at Merse to the side. “We took him to the hospital at his request, as we stopped at a gas station he came to the back with me. I was honestly still pretty scared from earlier, but he apologized and really just seemed so.. he presented me with this feather and asked if I would marry him,” Pate shifted to face Merse, no longer in the car-seat like position. 

As she grabs her glass off the table and swishes it around gently to hear the faint clinging of ice, she reveals, “I didn’t answer at the time, because I thought it just wasn't the right occasion yet. As we entered the hospital, he wouldn't talk to anyone but me, he kept forgetting things and couldn't answer the simplest identity questions,” Merse see’s a hint of left confusion over the ordeal. 

Pate takes a sip of her drink and stands up to do a slow yet short pace as she says, “As the nurses took him they asked who I was, I didn’t know what to say, I just said roommate. They went in and as they came back out. They looked really confused and said “I'm sorry he says he doesn’t know you'' and asked if I would go back to the lobby.” 

“I went back to his roommate's car who was lying on the hood. I asked him how he was feeling, he was really hesitant and then admitted he has received the most views he’s ever gotten on one of his new songs,” Pate shares as she makes a wide route to the chair next to Merse. 

As Pate takes a seat, she sits back, puts the glass back on the table. Staring at the dimming blue flame, then back at Merse. “I could feel his enthusiasm through his very settle expressions. He told me that he felt bad about feeling good at the time of what was happening around us. I just said sometimes things overlap, it's okay to indulge.”

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