What's The Opposite of Schadenfreude?

Greg stared into his weak rum & coke and swished the ice around.

(Why am I even here?)

Well, his friend was getting married. Of course he had to show up.

He downed the last of the sub-par drink, and surveyed his surroundings. The amateur DJ armed with cheap speakers and “Wedding Playlist ’97” had somehow motivated everyone else onto the dance floor. Everyone and their partners; smiling, happy to be together.

The only singleton in the place was Greg. Of course.

(How did I fuck it up this time? She wanted to go with me, I thought. Then the inevitable last-minute cancellation. Someone interested in me? Too good to be true, clearly.)

He looked at the placard at the untouched table place next to him, “Guest of Gregory Parker”, and sighed. The fancy calligraphic lettering was almost mocking. Not that it was real. Just a computer font ink-jetted onto mass-produced paper. Was anything here real?

He glanced again at the dancers. Their happiness; that was real.

(Why can’t I ever feel like that?)

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