Chapter 1: Jacob's Depression

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A door slamming in the distance jolted Jacob from his sleep. While he waited for the pounding in his chest to pass, he heard distant yelling that confirmed his suspicions. Must be my neighbors fighting again. Dammit.

The young man stretched on his bed and pulled his cellphone out from under his pillow. He'd slept through the entire morning, only ever getting up to use the bathroom. After clearing the notifications on his phone, he tossed it over on the other side of the bed. 

Jacob was only moments away from returning to his slumber when an alarm went off on his phone. He slid his arms around the bed until he found the aggravating device. Silencing the reminder that he set for his therapy appointment, he rolled out of bed, groaning the whole time. Even though Jacob had slept for almost twelve hours each day of the past week, he was physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted, and he knew there was no relief coming any time soon. Tomorrow, the day after that and every day next week, he'd wake up and continue the cycle of drowning in his depression. That was unless he decided to do something about it.

Jacob couldn't escape the compulsion to fantasize about how much simpler it would be if he could just stop waking up. He was sure it would be a blessing, but for some inconceivable reason, he just kept opening his eyes every morning. Letting out a heavy sigh, he walked out to the living room of his small apartment and lit his last joint.

Looking around, he took in the current state of his small apartment. Clothes, bottles, cans and to-go boxes littered the floor, and his stained sheets desperately needed to be washed. The terrible smell of the residual smoke mixing with his funk was enough to make his eyes water, but Jacob didn't have the desire to clean anything. He simply wiped the tears from his eyes and pulled on the pair of jeans that he left lying on the couch before shuffling back into his bedroom to look for a shirt.

Standing in front of his dresser, he caught sight of his reflection. He stared at the pimples decorating his caramel brown skin and his jet-black Afro that had grown out to be about three inches higher than the two inches he normally kept it at. His beard needed a trim. The hairs were uneven and sticking out in random directions. Sighing and shaking his head, he fished out the last clean shirt from his dresser. Pulling it on, he walked out of his apartment headed for the bus stop.

****

Sitting in the lobby of his therapist's private practice office, he thought about how pointless his existence was. He was twenty-two years old, and he had absolutely nothing going for him. With no family, no job and no dreams, Jacob wondered what the point in continuing to live could be when he had absolutely nothing to look forward to. It only made sense for him to prematurely end his misery.

His therapist, Simon, was a short West Indian man from Trinidad in his late thirties who had expertly assisted him in navigating his grief after he tragically lost his family a few years ago. During the last session on Tuesday of last week, they were working through creating some new life goals, and by the end of the last session, Simon had been pleased with how well Jacob was progressing.

When Simon went to the waiting area to usher Jacob in for his session that Friday, he could smell the strong scent of weed emanating from his client, and he was already disappointed. From his uncoordinated walk to the therapy room as well as his bloodshot eyes, Simon knew Jacob was already so high that the session wasn't going to be very worthwhile. He decided he would at least try to get to the bottom of what happened before he sent him home.

After Jacob finally made it to the sofa having been guided a bit by Simon so that he didn't accidentally damage anything, he rested his head on the back of the sofa and closed his eyes.

Simon sat in his chair directly across the room from Jacob, and when the younger man didn't try to start conversation, he decided to initiate the discussion.

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