Author & Blogger

Where Is Happiness?

This story is dedicated to every Lisa inside of us, still chasing happiness …

It was Friday afternoon which meant, “The weekend is finally here!”

Although I love my job and my patients, I could not wait for the weekend to start so I could escape to my secret world of happiness, and continue my conversations with Starry and Shooter like I’d been doing for the past couple of years, while conceiving my book How to be Happy.

I walked into the reception area of my dental office where Lisa—my last patient of the day—was waiting.

“Hi Lisa!” I greeted. “How are you?”

“Ahhh!” She sighed as she got up and followed me.

She placed her umbrella against the wall and her purse on the corner seat, then dropped herself on the patient chair. “I’m exhausted! I had a tough day at work”.

“Well,” I comforted her as I leaned back the dental chair, “the day is almost over. You can lie down and relax.”

“What are you talking about, Dr. Issa? My day is far from being over. I still have dinner to cook, kids to feed, cleaning up to do… Ahhh!”

“It’s Friday night!” I said. “Is John working late? Doesn’t he help you?”

“Oh yeah, John!” She said sarcastically. “You see John works hard and he’s tired. He needs to unwind. He needs to put his feet up and watch television. I just hope he’s too tired when we go to bed. I don’t feel like being the good wife tonight, if you know what I mean…” She laughed, then turned to the left and addressed my assistant, “what about you, Karen? How’s your love life?”

“It’s great!” Karen answered, excitedly.” I’ve been seeing this guy for almost two months now. His name is Brian. He’s awesome. He makes me happy! We have so much in common. Brian is the one. I can feel it.”

“… and you’re gonna marry Brian and live happily ever after, right?” Lisa asked.

Karen’s eyes glowed, and a big smile lit up her face.

“I surely hope so.”
“I envy you, Cinderella,” Lisa said, “but you know what? Maybe you should come over to my house tonight and see what ‘living happily ever after’ looks like.”

She laughed.

“I’d like to call Disney and ask them what happened to Cinderella after her wedding day,” she continued. “I’d like to know what living happily ever after exactly means… or is it just me?”

We all laughed.

Then I got busy with my dentistry, sometimes entertaining my audience (Lisa and Karen) with me doing all the talking, occasionally addressing Lisa and listening to her funny sounds and wordless answers that only a dentist can understand. Other times, I’d give her some quiet time to close her eyes and relax.

After the treatment was done, Lisa admitted that, despite the stressful noises of my dental tools and machines, she actually did relax. She said that her dental appointment was her only time off where she stopped and did nothing that day. Then she got up, rinsed her mouth, grabbed her umbrella and purse, thanked me, and started to walk away.

Suddenly she stopped, turned around, and said with a tone of longing, “you know, Dr. Issa, I miss my Cinderella days when I still dreamed and hoped to find happiness sooner or later. Now it is later, and I still don’t know where happiness is. It’s not at work or at home. Nothing and no one makes me happy.”

She stared at me for a brief moment, although I was not sure if she was actually seeing me. “Where is happiness?” She asked. “Where can I find it? Where should I look for it?”

There was complete silence in the room, except for the falling rain slamming the window, before these words were heard:

“Up here! Look up here…”

Read the next chapter now.

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