Happy is always afraid of crowded places, or situations where she could be potentially embarrassed or panicked. Having been a shut in NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) her teenage days, she has developed agoraphobia. Due to that, she couldn’t bear to go outside her house but she had to as she has office work. All she does is play games and watch anime during her free time and is not socially active. Her grandmother is worried about Happy’s situation. 


Happy was buying groceries. She was in line for the counter when she noticed a brand new lip balm beside her cart. She looked at the lip balm for a minute and then decided to buy it for personal purposes. She happily put it in her cart.

The person in front of her was finally done, it was her turn. She took out all the things in her cart and the cashier started to scan all the items. The bill was 44.7 dollars. Happy took out her coin purse. She handed the money to the cashier. 

“Maam, you need five more dollars.” The cashier said gently. Blood rushed towards Happy’s face. She was embarrassed. She looked inside her coin purse but there was only a single cent in her coin purse. 

“uhm, take out the ketchup please.” The cashier smiled and took out the ketchup. 

“You still need three more dollars ma’am.” The cashier said again. Happy’s mind was in shambles. She was so embarrassed! She looked around and saw that the person next to her was looking at her intently. 

“Excuse me, miss, hurry up. We don’t have all the time in the world.” The next person said rudely. Happy felt like crying. Oh God, what should she do? She was in a panic that she staggered a bit. 

“Come on miss.” The other customers started complaining also. 

Happy closed her eyes to prevent the tears that are about to fall from her eyes. Then she had an idea. She looked at the monitor and saw what was the most expensive item in her cart. It was lip balm! 

“M-miss cashier, take off the lip balm please.” The cashier nodded and smiled. 

“That would be 25.7 dollars maam.” She quickly paid the bill and ran out. 

“Humph, buying groceries yet have no money.” she heard. Happy lowered her head in shame. This was why she hated society. 

When she arrived at her house, she immediately ran off to her room. Happy’s room was completely dark. Only the night lamp was on. Happy quickly turned on the TV and watched anime. She immediately calmed down. Her previously palpitating heart was now calm. As expected, only anime was her comfort.

The next day, Happy got up from being seated and stretched her limbs. She binge watched an anime series the whole night and didn’t get even a wink of sleep. 

She took a bath and put on her work clothes. She rushed towards her workplace. To be honest, she didn’t like her work. Encoding might seem to be an easy job at first, but there were too many files to be encoded for her. The stress of being pressured by her higher ups are piling up in her brain. 

“Why are you late?”

“Encode this. I want it this afternoon.”

“Make. a powerpoint for the presentation of your group. Tomorrow is the deadline.”

“Give the report to me at nine A.M.”

Blah blah blah…

Happy panicked. 

“Where’s the report I asked last week?”

“Did you submit the manuscript today?”

‘Please… Let me rest for a bit…’ she thought. The workmates who nagged her kept on nagging. It’s her phobia again. This damned phobia always gets the best of her. 

“Could you guys at least give her time? Or else I wouldn’t hesitate to report your negligence to the higher ups.” Chase, her office mate said to the others. Happy looked up at Chase. Her head blanked out for a minute.

“What could you report?” one of the office mates asked, snickering at Chase. 

Chase pointed at one woman who had a red lipstick, “seducing the department manager for more bonuses,” Then Chase pointed at one man, “negligence of work.” 

Both were startled. 

With a ‘humph’, both walked out. The others got a glare from Chase, then they also retreated. 

Happy lowered her head in shame. “Thank you.”

Chase smiled. “It’s okay to have fears, but don’t let them ruin your life.” Chase patted her shoulder and walked away.

She stared at Chase’s back for a while. His words sank in her heart. She clenched her fists. She must conquer this fear !

The following days, she worked diligently. Not missing a single file. Always on time for work. Confident towards her presentation. The buzzing feeling of her phobia gradually went off. Because as soon as she felt her fear rising up again, all she needed was to remember Chase’s words of encouragement.


All of us have fears. Some fears are not useful, but some are. By conquering your fear, you’ll achieve a more blissful life. As for Happy, conquering her greatest fear is the best goal to achieve. Not only did she have a good life, but she also had achieved a comfortable life wherein one can do whatever she/he wants.

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