Archived: Steven’s Story by Nicholas Guzman

Steven Garcia sat in his bed, another long night of drinking behind him.  He lay in his ratty old bed, staring at the ceiling.  The paint was cracked. His eyes followed the crack to the out-of-place poster that hid the hole he hoped the landlord would never see. The hole was the consequence of another binge and access to a gun. The next morning, when he was once again clear-headed, he was glad he lived on the top floor of the building. Who knows what could have happened if someone lived over him. Old stained curtains covered the windows just enough so the sun wouldn’t attack his eyes.

Weariness sat on his chest, holding him down.  He kicked his leg, hoping that momentum would help him sit up. Instead, a cramp grabbed his leg and squeezed hard.  It hurt like hell. 

He jerked his leg up hoping to stretch the muscle and work out the cramp.  He tried really hard not to let out a scream, so he wouldn’t scare his neighbors through the thin walls.  He wiped the tears from his eyes.

“Damn,” he screamed.  Steven knew that old Mrs. Jones down the hall would call the cops, but he just couldn’t hold it anymore. After a while, a long while, the cramp finally gave up its hold and disappeared.  He wiped the last of the tears from his eyes sitting up. He had to get outside into the warm sunshine and fresh air.

Steven stood up. Suddenly it seemed like the world was spinning around him.  His stomach turned and hurt. He stumbled to the bathroom.

The bathroom was dingy, mold surrounded most of the fixtures. The old claw foot tub was rusty.  He made his way to the out-of-place spotless toilet and dropped to his knees. The contents of his stomach rushed out of his mouth and into the open mouth of the toilet.  “God, I feel like crap,” he managed.

He tried to stand up. The walls still moved around him. The dizziness just wouldn’t leave him alone. His stomach flipped again and pushed what was left out of his body. He knew he wasn’t going to make it outside today.

The dizziness that he felt stopped. He saw everything around him become as still as he was. He stood up, feeling much better. He was happier knowing that the pain was finally gone. Steven left the bathroom. He walked into his living room.  A television, a bookshelf that was blanketed with dust, a ripped easy chair, and a lamp were the only furniture. His cellphone lay on the armrest of his chair. The dim light bulb flickered, trying its best to stay alive. Seeing all of his old furniture, he realized that he needed to buy new furniture, but he didn’t have much money. A sheet of paper lay on the floor.  He picked it up and read. “This is to inform you that as of this date, Patrick Garcia has ceased funding of the Steven Garcia Trust.” The letter was signed by dear old Dad’s lawyer. His dad didn’t even like him enough to tell him himself that he was cutting him off financially. The letter was dated last month. He decided that he needed to go to a newspaper stand and see if anyone was hiring. Steven looking out of his window said “I need to do what’s right for me”.

Steven grabbed his black shoes, the only pair without holes. He heard people walking, talking outside about a car, and how much fun it was, and the sound of the car engine humming. It was the first time in a long time that Steven got to feel what it was like to have motivation, he wanted to earn money. There was a calm that settled over him. He thought about how much better his life was going to get after getting a job. He slipped on his shoes and left his apartment to find a newspaper stand. Of course, he did the same thing yesterday.

Bio: I have been at Aims for two and a half years and this is my last semester before I graduate with my Associates degree in the English Liberal Arts program. I wrote this story in a Creative Writing class. My professor had us write a story that was fiction and I wrote about a situation that happens to some people in the world. My father was the reason for me getting into writing fiction. He wrote these stories before and he taught me how to make up characters and write about them. He also told me to write my ideas down on a piece of paper before I pick one to write a whole story about. Before I wrote Steven’s Story, I didn’t have any experience in writing stories at all but I did write poetry in some of my classes. I took the Creative Writing class because I had a few ideas on what I wanted to write about but I didn’t know where the stories were going to go.