I walk over to my window, slide the curtains to the side and gaze out at the stars and the moon. They look so bright in contrast to the black night and black Atlantic Ocean.
Tired of sitting around and waiting for the sun to rise, I grab my keys and drive to the 24 hour diner down the street from my house. When I walk in there are three workers behind the counter and two customers sitting down in the booths. I walk over and sit at the very last seat of the counter.
"Traveling?" a heavy woman pouring coffee asks.
"No. I live around the corner."
"Can't sleep?" she asks.
"Something like that." I reply. She looks at me, waiting for me to order something to eat. "Oh, I'll have coffee, cream and sugar. Actually, black."
When she brings me my coffee, I down it and ask for another one. The second one I sip slowly. I don't particularly like coffee, but if I'm awake I might as well not be tired.
The bells on the door ring as the two people sitting in the booths walk out and later a man walks in and sits four seats down from me at the counter. By this point, I'm on my third cup of coffee and I've made friends with the heavy woman whose been serving me coffee, Janet.
"Hi hun." she says to the man who walked in, "How're you?"
"I'm fine, Jan, I'm fine." he replies to her and then turns to me and says, "You know, she asks me that question each and every night..."
"It's morning Danny." Janet cuts him off.
"She asks me that question each and every morning and each and every morning I give her the same response. I wonder if she'll ever get it."
"Get what?" I ask, curious.
"I wonder if she will ever get that I will never answer her question positively."
"Why aren't you ever happy or good?"
"Because I have nothing to be happy about."
"There's always something to be happy about." I tell him, wondering if I even believe that myself. He looks at me, smiles and then walks out. I don't know why, but I had a strange urge to stand up and follow him, so I did.
"Let me show you!" I yell to him as he gets into his car.
"Let me show you the happiness in the world!" I yell again.
I get another urge and I walk over to him and pull him out of his car.
"Come on. This is a beach town, there is so much to be happy about here."
We walk to the boardwalk and then onto the beach. I'm standing on the beach, flip-flops in my hand, staring out at the vast ocean.
"Do you ever wonder what its like out there?" he asks me.
"All the time."
After sitting on the beach for an hour, the sun starts to rise. The sky was painted red, yellow, orange, pink and purple. The waves crashed onto the beach and just skimmed our toes. I look over at Danny and a smile is stretched across his face.
"Are you happy?" I ask him.
"No. But I'm not sad."
"Then what are you?"
"Incomplete." He says quietly.
"What are you missing?"
"I'm not sure." He looks over at me. His face is illuminated by the fiery sky. He smiles at me, his eyes glowing. "Can you help me?" he continues, "Can you help me find what I'm missing?"
"Of course." I respond.
"You know, I used to be really happy."
"I grew up."