I slumped into the sofa, exhaling my breath like a sigh. The dark room surrounded me with an air of melancholy; the mood was depressing. The neighborhood began to become noisy with the dogs barking; there was probably someone strolling down the road. Something slipped through the postal slot in my door and fell to the tiled floor. It was the postman. I got to my feet and numbly walked to the envelope lying on the floor. I picked it up and found it to be unmarked. I tore it open to find a letter addressed to me. It said:
It’s not common for me to be saddened for any matter, but that is how I feel since we have not met for a great while. We spent a lot of time with each other but recently, I think you have been absent. Therefore I have taken the liberty to pay you a visit today. If you are willing, answer the door when I knock, will you? The time of my arrival is when you have finished reading this letter.
The doorbell rang.
Joy? This couldn’t have been happening! But if Joy was behind that door, how could it accuse me of being absent? Was not Joy absent? The sadness of life, the nostalgia of the past, the despair of pain, and the tragic events of every day, how could Joy even exist?
The doorbell rang again.
Could Joy even be real? The world is becoming worse and worse. There was no reason to be happy. Evil is rampant, and good is withering away; how could Joy even show their face?
The doorbell rang a third time.
I grabbed the door and pulled it open. A woman stood there with a broad smile on her beautiful face. Her matted blond hair was soaked in the outside downpour. It was raining cats and dogs. She wore white jeans with yellow sneakers that matched her blouse. I was perplexed at her appearance.
The wind surged through the neighbourhood, but she stood there, enduring the gusts of wind. She extended her hand, “Hello, Kristian. I’m Joy.”
I turned around and said, “You can come in.” I slumped on the sofa again, and Joy walked in, closed the door to keep the wind from blowing in. She then sat on the couch opposite me, her smile still radiant.
“Can I help you?” I asked with a hint of hostility. The letter that was given had added to my indifference to someone I didn’t even know. She had accused me of having a problem and then blamed me for having it. Joy wasn’t going to get the good side of me.
“Maybe I should ask you that?” Joy quipped.
“I don’t need your help. You have been absent from my life for so long that I’m fine without you.”
Joy look around the dark and gloomy living room, “Seems like it.”
“Being alive and living are two different things.”
“I haven’t been absent from you, Kristian, you have been absent from me.”
“What nonsense!” I spat.
“If you have been thirsty, it is not because the water hasn’t come to you, it is because you haven’t been to the water.”
“There we go again,” I remarked, “It’s all my fault!”
“Most of the time, people don’t like me.”
“I don’t blame them.”
“They love the sadness,” Joy continued, “They love to feel melancholy, the nostalgia of the past. They listen to the songs that make them sad because they somehow find it relatable. They think that their life is a path down a gloomy forest; the mist of despair blinds them from me. They become addicted to depression, they tend to love the pity party they constantly celebrate. They don’t want me because they either feel they don’t deserve me or probably because if they did have me, they might lose me.”
“I know many have believed in you, Joy. They revolved their entire lives around you, and guess what happened?” I stood up and stuck my finger into her face, “They had tragedy strike them! They had to face death and pain, where’s your joy now, huh?”
Joy sighed, “If there were no tragedies, I wouldn’t be here now, would I?”
I, Joy, cannot be defined unless sadness exists. I cannot be chosen if depression wasn’t real. I am here so that even amid pain and tragedy, I can still impact your life. People usually mourn over the dead; lately, many have been grieving over life.”
I sat in silence, my mind struck with the absence of words. Joy was right. I was on the wrong side of my emotions; instead of enjoying life, I mourned it.
“I’m really sorry,” I said.
“You have only yourself to apologize to,” said Joy, “You were the author of your own pain.”
Joy got up to leave. She arrived at the door.
“Thank you,” I said.
She turned to me and smiled, “You can thank me with your constant invitations. I would like to be in every part of your life…”
She opened the door, and the sun shone inside with brilliance, lighting up the room. Joy stepped outside as the light grew brighter, and she disappeared into the sun’s radiance.
And for the first time in a long time, I smiled…