Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

a not-so-happy story of how to grew up - 3volve by Josefina Gutierrez

From author Josefina Gutierrez, of “The Shadow of Loss”, comes a new New-Adult contemporary love story.


Published: July 14th, 2015

From author Josefina Gutierrez, of “The Shadow of Loss”, comes a new New-Adult contemporary love story.

I thought my life began when I graduated high school and moved far, far away—okay three hours away. But I was wrong. My life didn’t start until it almost ended.

I’m Cristal Escobedo, twenty-two years old and a former wild child who favors tequila far too much. But that all changed when life happened, and I ended up being responsible for my younger brothers. To top it all off, I think I’m falling in love with my best friend—dammit.

This is my not-so-happy story of how I grew up and got my shit together. My story isn’t filled with a bunch of pretty analogies or hyperboles. The people are real, the hurt is deep, and the love is complicated. People are flawed in the ways that matter; it’s what makes us human.


“Do you feel like you’re missing something?” Charlie asks with a stern voice, but underneath I can sense his gentle nudge.
I shrug, “My phone.”
“You were supposed to meet my assistant, because she scheduled a meeting with a job prospect.” He drops a stack of papers on my coffee table.
“Yes! See I remember that…I was just going.” I claw at the inside of my palms nervously, “I needed my phone first, gosh where is that thing anyway—” I trail off laughing awkwardly.
“Looking like that,” he points at my ketchup stained Atreyu shirt, with a mixture of amusement and disbelief. I knew I should have looked at my shirt closer, the smell test is never a sure thing.
“Well obviously not. Hello! Who do you take me for? I was going to change.” I backtrack from the living room.
Charlie counters me, walking towards me with his stern face. “So you didn’t forget about the meeting then?”
“Of course not! I am totally prepared,” I say bumping into the wall.
“Good,” he repositions me, turning me around, “because I would hate it if you were lying to me right now.”
“Good?” I question him, slowly walk to my room. He only says ‘good’ when he’s already onto me. Shit, he’s on to me! He’s going to see scruffy-face guy—then I’m going to get a lecture about my poor choices in men. Ugh. Now he’s going to give me a disappointed long face, with a ‘good’ to top it all off.
“So you didn’t get plastered last night?” Charlie asks. I can sense him trying extra hard to smell me from where he’s standing. I knew coffee was a good idea!
“Of course not!” I stop in front of my door, blocking it.
“Good.” He swats at me to move and I nudge over a bit.
I turn around exasperated. I can’t keep this up. “Okay, fine. I lied. I’m lying! I totally forgot about the stupid meeting, with your stupid assistant, about the stupid job,” I roll my eyes. “Alright, that’s not fair of me. Your assistant isn’t stupid,” I say moving to block the door again.
“Uh huh,” he says, reaching for the door handle. But I smack his hand.
“You know my room is such a mess. You know me. I can get dressed faster than you can say…”
“Good,” we both say together.
“Yes! See I know you,” I smile—but he isn’t having any of it. I open the door slightly trying to nudge myself in without letting on too much, but Charlie barges on through as if he owns the place, which sure he found the place for us, but I still pay rent.
I ready my defense, hoping to calm him down, when I notice scruffy guy isn’t in the bed anymore. Huh. Where the heck did he go? Oh, well, who cares, at least he’s gone.

“Why do you look so surprised? It’s not like your room has ever been clean. Get dressed we don’t have much time,” he rummages through my closet. Finally deciding on my nice blue suit, throwing it in my direction.

Charlie turns to his side, reaching out for me. I huddle closer to him. “Soon,” he says and I rest my head on his chest. “I’m really tired.” He closes his eyes and a silence overtakes us.
His face looks so gaunt. The afternoon sun blazing against his cheekbones. Whatever it is he’s keeping from me, it’s keeping him exhausted. I know he’ll tell me eventually, I just hope it comes sooner rather than later.
I place my hand over his heart. The gentle thumping of his heart soothes my discomfort. I almost forget the reason why I haven’t slept in this room. I haven’t slept in here in over a year, because it felt so empty, an unknowing abyss of guilt. Except for now. Except when he’s sleeping next to me. I focus intently on his steadied breathing, how his chest upheaves with every intake of breath. I close my eyes, more calmed than I was this morning.
Without knowing it, I fall asleep and drift off into my dreams. A peaceful dream world. A forgiving and heavenly dream where my parents comfort me. It isn’t just a repeat of the past. It isn’t about regret or grief. It’s just a moment where we sit on the living room playing Pictionary and eating pizza. Jeremy and Jeremiah are laughing, finishing each other’s sentences.
It’s the best kind of dream where you don’t know there is an end.
But there is.                                                                                                 
And when I wake up, it hits me.
All that I’ve lost.

About the author:
Josefina Gutierrez is a Young Adult eBook author, who resides in San Antonio. Josefina writes Young Adult Multicultural, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy literature in her free time when she’s not embarking on adventures with her son and gnomes Fitzgerald and Bartholomew. Her current projects in the works are a Fantasy dystopian series, a Mystery-Thriller eBook, and New-Adult Contemporary Romance.

1 comment:

Jan Lee said...

The entry to Add this book on Goodreads.... goes to the Author's page, not to the book.