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Where Happiness Was Not

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A man’s house burnt down the day he beat his son to death. How it started was unknown, but many people had their suspicions. The house was only talked about in hushed voices. There was anger there. No one dared be close.
The boy’s body was found on the basement floor. A pool of blood surrounded his delicate head. His cold-eyed, bruised faced was still and pale. His body frozen like cement. A soul too young. A life taken away too soon.
They said the man was found crouching next to his dead son. His ragged clothes suggested he hadn’t been out of the house in a long time. His tear stained face held an emotionless stare. Nothing suggesting his or someone else’s actions. No relief, no joy, no guilt. No nothing. But the strange thing was not the burning house, not the man, not his face, but the boy. The boy’s eyes. His lifeless, forrest green eyes.
If you look someone in the eyes you will notice these little white specks. Some say they’re the specks of light, just playing tricks on your eyes. Some disagree with that, suggesting that they’re the light of your soul. But I believe they’re something different altogether.
They – to me – are the specks of happiness. Of all the laughter you’ve expressed throughout your life. Not fake, not forced, but real. Where you can’t stop. Laughter that makes you cry. Bend over. Real laughter. But, with the boy, the boy who deserved much more, he had no specks of happiness in his eyes. And that is sad. He lived and died without them. They were never there. They never appeared. Not once. The boy was never truly happy.
The father was never charged with the murder of his only son. Days turned into weeks, into years. It slowly faded away from the news and the headlines. Slowly he and his story were forgotten. Other things became important. Droughts, terrorism, celebrities. He, just like everything else eventually, was forgotten. Left behind. Thrown under the bed with broken toys and old friends.
The man lost a lot. More than you could possibly imagine. He lost his home, his life, his smile, his personality, his will to live. He lost his son, but overall he lost himself, and that is the worst thing you could possibly lose.
Now he sits in a finely carved rocking chair of his – a possession that is worth very little, but meant a great amount of sentimental value to him. He sat there every day for the rest of his life, from dawn till noon. He sat there and stared at the blank wall opposite him. It looked as though he was looking right through it; past anything we could see, something that only appeared in his eyes. Something only he could see.
He looked past everything, right into his son’s eyes. There were no specks of happiness in his eyes anymore, they were gone. Forever lost. They left a long long time ago.



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