Author's Note: Thank you all for supporting this story. I never anticipated Jacob's Regression would be as successful as it is. For this chapter, I wanted to provide a content warning for the flashback scene. It covers pregnancy loss, and I know there's a chance a reader might still be recovering from the emotional pain associated with such a tragic loss. If you are out there, I hope that you are getting the support you need wherever you are, and I wish you the best on your road to recovery.
Lying on the bed in the hotel room with his wife asleep in his arms, Simon was wide awake and anxious. He was worried that he had made the wrong decision by supporting his wife's desire for them to become Jacob's caretakers. Certainly, this was something he wanted as well having had such a strong bond with the young man, but his duty was first and foremost to his wife. As her husband, it was his job to protect her, and he wasn't sure they were both emotionally ready to have a child in their home.
The married couple didn't have kids after 15 years of marriage, and it was not because they didn't want to. Rather, it was because their first attempt was so traumatic and disastrous that it took them years to process the emotional pain it left behind.
A few years ago, the therapist couple had moved to a lakeside house Angelique had inherited from her father when he died. Her dad had been a very successful medical doctor in upstate New York, and with some of the money he earned, he had invested in quite a few impressive pieces of real estate throughout the United States.
At the time, Simon and Angelique were in-between jobs having just left the mental health clinic they had spent many years working for. They were getting ready to make the transition to private practice, and they were sure the Washington home was an ideal location to build a new business and attract diverse clients.
The couple had been trying to conceive for some time, and right as they had just started to talk about making an appointment the following month at a fertility clinic, Angelique realized her period was late. The couple was overjoyed when the pregnancy stick showed positive for the first time. Simon and Angelique were so excited to be parents. It was part of the big dream to get married, raise beautiful kids and eventually grow old together.
With Angelique's inheritance and the money that they had saved up while establishing their careers, the couple was in such a great financial position that they decided to take a year off to prepare for the new addition to their family.
The prospective parents bought everything in preparation for their first child. By the time Angelique was in her last trimester, the lakeside house had been transformed into a home deserving of a childproof seal of approval. Simon had installed baby fences, wireless monitors and childproof cabinet locks throughout the house. Together, they had painted the nursery a neutral color choosing to keep the gender of their future child a surprise for the day of birth. They made sure the nursery was equipped with all of the essentials and more.
When Angelique was only one month away from her due date, they were as ready as they thought they could be. For the next 30 days, they planned to take things easy and just pass the time until their son or daughter was born.
It was on July 29th, that Angelique was one month away from her due date. That was the day Simon would never forget, July 29th, the day he almost lost everything.
Simon sat on his side of the bed browsing the channel guide waiting for his wife to finish in the bathroom. Every night, they would cuddle and trade the remote between episodes before falling asleep in each other's arms. It was their late night routine.
When he heard her entering, he enthusiastically called out to her. "Honey! You won't believe what show has a marathon tonight! It's Br-"
Because Simon was a devoted husband, he immediately detected the distress in her voice. Having been married for over 10 years, he knew before he even looked that the situation was grave for her to use that tone of voice.
But even knowing that didn't prepare him for what he saw when he snapped his head over to look at her. A few feet away his beloved wife was struggling to hold onto the bathroom door and standing in a pool of blood with more running steadily down her legs.
The remote fell from his hand and shattered on the floor when he dived across the bed to grab his cell phone. He rushed over to her, and with one arm he did his best to guide her to the bed while using his other to dial 911.
Holding the phone to his ear, he looked at his wife and did his best to try to reassure her, "Everything will be okay."
Tears began to fall from Angelique's eyes. "The baby..."
Simon put his hand against his wife's cheek and looked deep in her eyes. "You don't need to worry about that. Right now, we need to focus on you."
He felt his wife's body begin to tremble as she was wracked with sobs. After Simon ended the call with emergency services, he tightly wrapped his arms around his wife and rubbed her back while they waited for help to arrive.
When the ambulance was outside, Simon ran downstairs to open the door and direct them to the upstairs bedroom. When he returned with the paramedics in tow, Angelique was passed out on the bed. Even when the EMTs tried to wake her, she was unresponsive.
Riding in the back of the ambulance van, he watched in shock as the paramedics desperately tried to keep his wife alive long enough for her to be taken into emergency surgery. When they arrived at the hospital, he was left in the waiting area as Angelique was wheeled past the double doors and into surgery.
Simon was still in shock when a nurse approached him with a pair of scrubs. It wasn't until he looked down that he realized his clothes and body were covered in the blood of his wife and unborn child. Wordlessly, he took the clothes from the nurse and walked to a restroom where he robotically cleaned the blood off of his body and changed his clothes.
When he got back to the waiting room, he sat in a chair, unmoving, even when minutes turned into hours. It had been two hours before a doctor came to speak with him.
He immediately snapped his head up and jumped to his feet. "Y-Yes, that's me. Is my wife-Is she alright?"
The doctor took a deep breath. "Simon, your wife suffered from a uterine infection that caused the placenta to detach. We were able to stabilize her condition by administering antibiotics. Unfortunately, by the time she was able to get here, it was too late to save your son.
Simon instantly felt like a part of him had been ripped away forever. "My son...he's gone?"
The year after had not been better. Once Angelique had healed enough to fend for herself, Simon turned to work as his way of coping with the tragic loss of their son. He had dived head-first into building their private practice. Lost in relying on it as a coping mechanism, he didn't realize how he was distancing himself from his wife.
They had moved closer to the city hoping to escape the memories buried in the lakeside house and attract a large clientele for their new business. During the months that followed, he had focused on fixing up the new house and moving their stuff. Every day, he had a new project because doing nothing was just too painful.
While they were therapists themselves, their marriage wasn't immune to the trials and tribulations brought along by such a tragic loss. By the time the couple had realized they needed to see a counselor to help them work through their issues, they were hardly speaking to each other. It had only been around when Jacob first became his client that they had finally recovered from the ordeal, but still Simon was worried that it was too soon. He worried that maybe the old wounds might re-open for not just his wife but for himself too.
Looking at his wife sleeping peacefully and affectionately running his hand through her hair, he wondered if just maybe this could be a good thing for them. He wondered if having a tyke livening up the large lakeside home wouldn't be so bad. Closing his eyes and drifting off to sleep, he wondered if the part of his heart that he had closed off forever could re-open again.
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Jacob's RegressionScience Fiction
Can you imagine being forcibly turned back into a toddler? Such is the fate of actively suicidal, depressed and hopeless Jacob, a 22 year old from the US Virgin Islands. As a means of saving his life, his therapist, Simon and his therapist's wife, A...