“The Struggle” – Part Eight

by Mark Essem

JACK’S ROOM – NIGHT

(Jack is lying on the bed, reading the book about setting goals and positive thinking. He gets a piece of paper and starts making a list of goals.)

“1 – stop and stay off drugs and alcohol; 2 – Math and English; 3 – job; 4 – Own place; 5 – driving licence.”

(Jack starts sweating and shaking. He looks and the bottle of vodka. He picks up the book, opens it at the page he is at and puts the book covering the vodka, with the front of the book facing him then lays down. He curls up in a ball, sweating, shaking, and in pain.)

JACK’S ROOM – NIGHT

(Jack is in bed, sweating and shaking.)

JACK’S ROOM – DAY

(Jack is doing press-ups and sit-ups.)

JACK’S ROOM – NIGHT

(Jack is reading the book. He’s nearly finished it. Next to him, is the Math and English books with pieces of paper that’s he’s been writing on. He finishes the book, rolls over, and looks at the bottle of vodka then rolls over, facing the other way.)

/HOSTEL KITCHEN – MORNING

(Jack is in the kitchen. He starts pouring the vodka that is left down the sink, and then throws the bottle in the bin.)

COLLEGE – DAY

(Jack is at a computer, doing a Math and English test. He leaves the college holding his results pass.)

STREET – DAY

(Jack is walking back to the hostel. As he’s looking around, he sees a pub with people drinking outside. He sees a shop. He’s getting the urge to drink. Then he sees a gym. He goes into the gym.)

GYM – DAY

(He walks to the counter.)

Jack: How much is it to use the gym?

Worker: £20 a month.

(Jack gets out £20.)

Jack: Sign me up.

END OF PART EIGHT