He was sitting there in the group, observing everyone silently. Every once in a while, he would pass a witty comment that generated some heartfelt laughter before going back into his zone. All of them seemed happy. Their faces were glowing as they sipped on their choice of coffees or inhaled their brands of cigarettes.
He liked being with these people. They brought him happiness, despite the fact that almost all of them had hurt him at least once. Yet, the feeling of familiarity and nostalgia had always kept them together, even in rough times.
He closed his eyes for a second, losing himself in the aromatic wafts of freshly brewed coffee. The cool air gushing from the Air Conditioner situated right above his head was oddly comforting. He looked around.
Each table in the cafe had almost the same atmosphere. Prim girls wearing florals or blocks, with intricately painted eyeliners on their eyelids. Boisterous and loud boys with the translucent clouds of smoke hanging above them. Each one of them waiting for their turn in the group to vent their hearts out or dictate an anecdote to their personal audience.
His eyes returned to his own party. Everyone looked happy.
Happy on the outside, he thought. He had known them for a while now and was not careless enough to mistake this jovial crowd for what it appeared to be. Every one of them was fighting their own battles.
Some of them were trying to make their mark in the corporate maze of capitalism. Others were still trying to move on from heartache. Some, like him, were just lost in a web of uncertainty gripping their lives. All of them, bound by their egos. All of them, caged birds living in an illusion of freedom.