"No!" he shrieked, jolting out of his nightmare. His heart felt like it was pounding out of his chest. His eyes darted around, taking in his new surroundings. He tried to tell himself that he was okay, and he was safe. But he knew it wasn't true.
He didn't even have enough time to catch his breath before Simon and Angelique came rushing into the nursery.
"Jacob, what happened?" Simon asked, scared and concerned for the boy.
"I need to get out of here," he pleaded, desperation bleeding through his voice.
"You need to be out of the crib?" Angelique asked, ready to acquiesce his request.
"No, I need to be out of this house and out of this life," he said, pausing and pulling at his Afro before continuing in a low tone, "I need to fucking die."
"Jacob...," Simon started with a look of sadness on his face. "You know that we can't let you do that."
"Then just get out!" Jacob demanded, screaming.
"We could talk about your nightmare," Angelique offered, trying to impart her motherly kindness to the boy.
"Leave," Jacob monotonously responded.
Simon put his arm over his wife. "Alright Jacob, we'll let you get back to sleep. Goodnight."
The regressed young man waited until his kidnappers had left the room to pull himself into a standing position using the bars of the wooden crib. Jacob's nightmare made him realize that waiting for an opportunity to escape was going to be more difficult than he originally imagined. The waiting game was dangerous, especially when he didn't know how much time he had left. He needed to escape as soon as possible.
Jacob tried to pull himself over the bars of the crib like he had done before, but it didn't work. His leg wasn't able to reach the top anymore. After a second lengthier try, he plopped back down onto the mattress and sighed. He assumed that Simon had likely changed the height of the crib after his earlier escape attempt.
Annoyed, Jacob crawled to the corner of the crib and tried to rip the sheets off of the mattress. He intended to create a makeshift rope, yet tug after tug on the sheets yielded no results. Somehow the mattress was secured in the crib, and the sheets were tucked below it.
Disheartened, Jacob curled into a ball. He knew escape wasn't going to happen while he was stuck in the crib. His mind kept going back to his vivid dream. He couldn't get the baby babbling out of his head. Shuddering, he resolved to escape the next day no matter what it took. He couldn't let them turn him into a baby.
He had gathered from their earlier conversation that Simon was going to be the only one watching him while Angelique was gone. This was the opportunity he had been waiting for, and he just needed the perfect moment to strike.
He spent most of the night going over all of his options for escape. He had thought about sneaking off with a cell phone to call for help, but he realized it would be a waste of time. When the cops showed up, they'd just tell them that he was advanced for his age, and the authorities would leave him with his kidnappers. After thinking about it for some time, he settled on just making a run for it, and if it came down to it, he decided that he would be willing to end his life rather than face re-capture.
Facing exhaustion in the wee hours of the morning, he finally dozed off, committed to his plan for the next day.
Simon and Angelique were in their bedroom, keeping an eye on Jacob from the baby monitor. They observed his frantic escape attempts, perplexed by the sudden change in his disposition. The therapist couple assumed that his nightmare must have been very traumatic, but they were left unable to assist him while he was angry and resistant.
"I'm starting to worry that he might need to be medicated," Simon whispered.
"It's only been a few days, and you've only spanked him once. I think he's doing well with all things considered," Angelique countered.
"It feels like it's been a week," Simon lamented, sighing.
"Kids will do that," Angelique said, laughing before continuing, "I'm sure in a few more days Jacob will calm down some like Mr. Hammond said."
"You're right," Simon relented. "The only thing we can do is be firm about the rules with him and hope that he learns."
"Yup," Angelique said, nodding. "Now, I'm going back to sleep. Jacob has already tried and failed to get out of his crib. He'll still be there in the morning."
"Alright," Simon agreed, cuddling closer to his wife.
The next morning, Simon and Angelique decided to have breakfast together before Angelique left for her appointment.
"I could just cancel," she offered, finishing her cup of coffee.
Simon reached over to grab the baby monitor, and they both looked at Jacob sleeping peacefully.
"We will be okay today. I will handle it," Simon said with a look of determination on his face.
"If you're sure, then I wish you good luck," Angelique said, standing and grabbing the keys.
"Thank you. Let's hope I don't need it," Simon said jovially, standing up to share a long hug with Angelique.
While Jacob rested, Simon busied himself with preparing for his phone conference and cleaning up the dishes from breakfast.
It was nearly midday when Jacob woke up. His legs were tangled in the sheets. He'd obviously been tossing and turning in his sleep, but he didn't remember having any other vivid nightmares. He only had a short moment to yawn and stretch his legs before Simon entered the nursery.
"Good morning, Jacob. I see you're finally up," Simon said, as he reached into the crib to pick the little boy up.
"I'm hungry," Jacob simply responded.
"Alright. Let's rectify that right away, but first I need to get you changed and ready for the day."
Simon placed Jacob on the changing table. In less than a minute, he had managed to put a fresh diaper on Jacob.
"I'm getting pretty adept at this," Simon boasted proudly, smiling down at the yawning toddler.
Jacob didn't respond. He thought it was best to keep his thoughts on how Simon shouldn't get used to changing diapers to himself. He didn't want to alert the man on his plan to escape before the end of the day.
"Alright, breakfast time," Simon announced, lifting Jacob into his arms.
"What am I having?" Jacob asked, feeling particularly impatient.
"I made you an egg sandwich since I know how you fancy your eggs," Simon said thoughtfully.
After Simon placed the little boy in the high chair, Jacob abruptly asked, "How long is Angelique going to be out today?"
"She should be back at around 3 o' clock, and I've got a phone conference around 1 o' clock," the older man explained, pulling a plate out of the cabinet.
"I see," Jacob responded, internally assessing how large of a window he had to escape.
He was slightly distracted when Simon put the plate with the hot sandwich on his tray. The smell made his stomach growl, demanding that he immediately satiate his hunger. For the next few minutes, his only concern was taking the next bite. By the time that he was done, his stomach was so full that he felt slightly bloated.
Simon quickly cleaned Jacob up while he was recovering from his meal. He refrained from lecturing the boy on eating more slowly. He resigned to simply waiting for him to realize that eating that quickly would make him feel sick and sluggish.
"How about some TV while I work on something?" Simon asked, dropping Jacob onto the sofa.
"Yeah, sure," Jacob responded, knowing he would need a moment to recover from breakfast.
When Simon changed the channel to a kid's show, Jacob intended to complain until he realized that it was a re-run of his favorite childhood cartoon that was playing. It was Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, and their adventure to have a picnic for that episode had just began. They were gathering the supplies and picking the perfect location for it, leaving Jacob overwhelmed with excitement.
As he got older, he had often returned to shows from his childhood to be disappointed as he had clearly remembered them to be more exciting than they were, but Maggie and the Ferocious Beast never disappointed.
Time passed so quickly while he watched the episode and by the time it was done, Simon was calling into his phone conference.
"Okay, Jacob. I'll need you to be quiet while I have this phone call. It's important," Simon explained.
"Gotcha," Jacob responded.
He went back to watching his show as another episode was beginning. In this episode, they were headed to the beach. It was another great episode, but by the end of it, all the talk about water was making Jacob need to relieve himself.
Turning to his caretaker and getting his attention Jacob begged, "Simon, I need to pee. Can you take me to the restroom?"
The older man pulled the phone away from his ear. "No Jacob. That is what the diaper is for. Just go and I'll clean you up in a minute."
"Fuck no," Jacob screamed, aggravated that Simon would say that so casually.
"Jacob! We've talked about the foul language. You'll be standing in the corner for the next five minutes while I finish my phone call," Simon chastised in a hushed tone while walking Jacob to the corner.
Jacob was fuming in the corner. He needed to go really badly, but Simon was being an asshole. He knew that Simon wouldn't enjoy being told to use a diaper, and he intended to show him how he felt about his order. I bet you won't like this.
With his attention focused on the phone call, Simon didn't even hear the ripping of the diaper's tabs as Jacob got ready to relieve himself in the corner. It wasn't until he smelled the strong scent of urine that he realized what Jacob had done.
"I'm so sorry. Please excuse me. I have to deal with this child," he explained to his colleagues.
"Jacob! I cannot believe that you just did that," Simon said turning the boy around to face him.
As focused as he was on Jacob's misbehavior, he wasn't prepared to defend himself when Jacob landed a particularly powerful kick to his groin. Immediately, Simon loosened his grip, and Jacob wormed his way out from under his arm to begin running straight for the front door.