There’s a theory saying that “when something bad happens to us, something good happens to someone else”, and another one which says that “every bad thing that happens to us will come back as a good thing on the future”.
On some nights, Makki wonders if someone right now is having the worst day of their life because of him, or if this is just the universe trying to compensate for the last two years.
“Do you think that there is a reason for happiness?”
Sitting down at his usual spot in the dressing room, he made that question to no one in particular while staring at the ceiling.
“Makki, why do you like to do such complicated questions out of nowhere?” Rather than an answer, that was Shun’s reply.
“He has to open his mouth as soon as his brain works, otherwise it will be wasted.” Kira didn’t even bothered to look in their direction, occupied in moving papers and notebooks between the locker and his school backpack. “Unfortunately, he doesn’t make sense even if all of his cells are doing their best.”
“Shut up, you two, I’m being serious here.” He raised a hand, gesticulating while speaking. “Like... Don’t you sometimes wonder why your life isn’t miserable and full of suffering or something along these lines? Have you ever heard about the happiness theories?”
“If I had the time to think about this stuff, I’d be grateful for being happy instead of questioning it or searching theories over it.” Shun was the first to reply again. “Actually, isn’t it just plain weird of you to do this? Why do you even wonder why are you happy? Isn’t it a good thing? Then just accept it.”
Probably it really was weird of his part, but Makki couldn’t get this sort of questions out of his mind. To someone who until the beginning of the current year only had a part time job in the convenience store, as good as left aside by his family, without any friends to count on, his daily life seemed too dreamy to be real. Having fun every day, smiling, laughing, what had he done to deserve that?
“I think it’s probably the second theory.” Kakeru opined between a forkful of spaghetti and a gulp of juice, later that night. “I don’t know about everything you went through, but it was harsh on you, wasn’t it? So maybe the universe is really trying to make it up for you. It’s some kind of weird karma, probably.”
“But what if it’s the first theory?” Makki was chewing on his beef while slightly panicking. “Imagine if someone lost their wallet just because Cat actually looked at me when I called his name today! It’s unfair, man. And I still don’t understand why all these good things have been coming my way lately.”
“It’s just like Shun said, just accept it. It’s better for you.” His friend had a slight smile on his face. “I don’t think it’s unfair for you to be happy, Makki.”
Makki didn’t completely agree with that, though.
Amidst another sleepless night (these were common, although less frequent as of the last six months), he was almost giving up on falling asleep, but wasn’t restless. It was a weird feeling. Even himself couldn’t believe in how calm he was feeling, yet couldn’t sleep. Was that a bad thing? Did it meant that somewhere, something good was happening to someone? Or was it just the universe giving up on recompensing him because he wasn’t satisfied? Or maybe his recompense was already over?
“Maybe I’m really too fixated in the idea of happiness”, he whispered to the giant teddy bear in the opposite side of his bed. “Is it because I’m not used to it?”
It has been so long since the last time he let himself be happy, to be honest. Between dropping out of school and moving away from home, there wasn’t much space for laughter. He had caused problems for so much people, like his parents, his previous friends or even his old teacher. These previous mistakes kept bothering him, every single day, to a point that he couldn’t stand those thoughts anymore.
Staring at the ceiling, the boy let out a deep sigh.
“Why can’t I just sleep already?”
He was the first to show up at Hollywood Tokyo on the morning, dark circles being quite prominent under his eyes.
“Makki, did you have trouble to sleep last night?” Tommy, who was stretching by his side, seemed very concerned.
“Kind of. Couldn’t fall asleep for some reason.”
“I see. This also used to happen to me a lot.”
“And what you did to make it stop?”
“Nothing. It happened naturally, just like lately I’ve even stopped having dreams.”
“You probably sleep like a rock, huh?”
“Maybe.” The lucky boy left out a quick laugh. “But I guess that most of this happened because I started to get less worried.”
“Really? You don’t look like someone who gets too worried easily.” Makki stopped his stretches, paying attention to whatever his friend was saying.
“Like I said, I used to.” Tommy also stopped stretching, sitting down. “When I was younger, I was very afraid of things, you know? I never really knew why I ended up on the orphanage. Bad thoughts like ‘maybe I have been left behind’, ‘maybe I wasn’t wanted’... They used to pile up on my head.”
The older boy stayed silent, listening with a heavy heart. He couldn’t help but kind of pity Tommy, but also could feel that his thoughts were relatable. Not strictly, but the general guideline was the same as his own old thoughts.
‘Maybe I’m not wanted anywhere. I don’t have a special place.’ ‘Maybe I should give up.’ ‘Maybe I’m not cut out for this.’
‘Maybe I don’t deserve to be happy.’
“But after a while I started to notice the feelings of those around me. The older kids who used to protect me, the younger ones who looked up to me, the caretakers who were so sweet with me... I came to the conclusion that there were people around me who wanted me. I was loved after all, so I started to calm down.” Tommy’s cheeks were flushed as he raised his voice. “S- Sorry! I ended up talking about some depressing stuff... Sorry, Makki, I don’t think this helped you at all, right?”
“No, it was helpful.” Makki interrupted the other boy’s embarrassed laugh. “Thank you for telling me about this.”
“It feels a bit good to let out in a while.” Tommy let out a deep breath. “Thanks for listening to me, then.”
Letting out, huh...?
“Then, Tommy. Do you think that there is a reason for happiness?”
“That’s deep, huh?” He laughed. “I think it depends from person to person. There are people who get happy seeing other people happy, people who are happy because they have things they like, people who...”
“No, not like that! I mean, do you think that there is a reason for happiness to exist? Like, for it to be a thing?”
The younger boy kept his silence for some moments.
“A world without happiness... would surely be unbearable. It’s impossible to live properly without being happy, even if you try to deny it.” Tommy smiled. “Happiness exists because it’s a fundamental part of this world. It exists because people need it.”
“What about karma and other stuff?”
“I believe in karma, but I think that the good things that come from karma are just an additional.”
“But what if someone doesn’t deserve to be happy?”
“I don’t think that such a person exists. But that’s relative too...” Once again, he gave an embarrassed laugh. “But I think that as long as this person makes someone else happy too, I think they deserve to be happy.”
“And what about someone not being allowed to be happy?”
“I think that as long as somebody wishes for you to be happy, you don’t need a permission to do it.”
“...!” What Tommy said resonated within Makki’s heart. It was true that the one who didn’t allowed his happiness was himself, and he didn’t thought about everyone else’s feelings. Like when Kakeru said it wasn’t unfair for him to be happy, it was something like that.
“I mean, I also don’t think that such a person exists, but... As long as someone is happy because of you, and this person wants you to be happy too... It’s all up to you. I know that for some people this is hard, but work for it from times to times is possible, even if only small steps are taken each time. Whoa, this got really deep, right? We should go back to stretching before the others arrive.”
The day ended surprisingly quickly, maybe because Makki was too immersed into his thoughts. His talk with Tommy had been very important to change some of his views, and made him think a lot about his own situation and attitude.
‘... As long as someone is happy because of you, and this person wants you to be happy too... It’s all up to you.’
There were people cheering for him, supporting him, wishing for his happiness, because he made them happy too. Not only his fans, but also his friends. He may have caused lots of trouble in the past, but that couldn’t keep holding him back. Soon, he could fix up what he had done, if the chance appeared.
If something bad was happening to someone now, that would be unfortunate, but now he was trying to believe in the second theory. Maybe even the universe wants him to be happy too, so why can’t he just accept what fate has in store for him?
That wasn’t a change that could be done suddenly, but he could start trying. Not for everyone else’s sake, but for his own. Even if he relied on others, his happiness should be built only by himself, that decision was something that only he could make.
“I should try... to take my first step...”
For the first time in a long while, he had a good night of sleep.