It took a couple weeks to settle down in between seeing clients, moving furniture from the lakeside home into their Seattle residence and getting Jacob accustomed to attending daycare. It was Angelique's turn to retrieve Jacob from daycare, and as soon as she opened the door to the private practice office, Jacob sprinted inside.
"Daddy!" he screamed, tackling Simon while he was kneeling to wipe the bookshelf in his therapy room. "Look! I was a good boy."
Simon poked the yellow star stuck to Jacob's shirt. "Oh, did you get a sticker for behaving well today?"
"Uh-huh. I got i-scream too," he lisped, bouncing from one foot to the other.
"What happened to it?" Simon teased, straightening out Jacob's shirt. "I want some too."
"Oh, sowwy, daddy. I ated it all." The boy's expression of contrition was so comical that irresistible amusement touched Angelique's lips.
"That's okay buddy," Simon said, standing up. "Would you like to color while Mommy and I finish cleaning up?"
"Okay," Jacob replied.
Simon set him up with a sheet of paper, some crayons and one of his clipboards, and for a while, Jacob contentedly doodled on the floor.
The therapists had a lot to get done. Their office needed a good deep clean and Simon and Angelique figured they could knock it out in an afternoon. They swept the hardwood floors, vacuumed the dusty carpeting, and re-arranged some of the furniture. When they took a break to check on Jacob, the boy sat on Simon's therapy chair with his leg crossed, zealously writing something on his sheet of paper.
"What are you writing, Jacob?" Angelique asked, entering the room with Simon behind her.
"I'm a terapist, mommy," the tyke enthused. "Like you and daddy."
"Yes, you are!" Angelique gushed, immediately pulling out her phone and taking pictures then switching to recording a video.
"Can your daddy be your patient?" she asked, and Simon looked to Angelique, embarrassed to be put on the spot like that.
"Yeah!" Jacob answered, so Simon played along and sat on the couch, waiting for his two-year-old therapist to acknowledge him.
"Ask him how he's feeling," Angelique said, crouching to get a better angle for the video.
"How you feel, daddy?" Jacob repeated, looking over the clipboard that was bigger than his head.
"I feel really happy," Simon said and smiled into the camera.
Jacob scribbled onto his paper, and then looked to Angelique. "What next, mommy?"
"Ask him why he feels like that," she suggested.
"How come you happy, daddy?"
"I'm happy because I have a family that I love more than anything else in the world," Simon said, his voice cracking as tears pooled in his eyes.
"You need a hug, daddy?"
"Yes," Simon whispered, and Jacob hopped off the couch.
"Let me get some of that too," Angelique said, ending the video as she and Simon embraced with Jacob tucked securely between them.
Simon took it all in. The genuine happiness at the end of a journey that started in that very same therapy room. The family they were—bonded together forever.
And so it happened; the trio went on with their lives, a happy couple with their precious son, ready to tackle whatever was thrown at them—ready to take on anything as long as they had each other.
I woke up one day with a dream that I couldn't stop thinking about. I had to write about it to explore the world that my subconscious had created. I had so many dreams for this story, and even though it took me nearly two years to finish it, I am so proud of what I managed to do. Still, Jacob's Regression would not exist without the support of so many people.
Thanks to my undergraduate professor who gave me the name Mr. Hammond when I used social media to get help with naming, my college friend who let me use their last name for Dr. Kelly, the villain of my story and my other college friend who let me use their middle name for Sophia, Jacob's grandmother.
To my first lover, thank you for making me feel so wonderfully human, loved, treasured and valued in a way that prompted me to find the artist inside of myself.
To my therapist, who didn't shame me when I finally confessed to using your personality and the sum of our interactions as a basis for Simon and his relationship with Jacob, I owe you a debt of gratitude for the positive direction that my life has taken in the last two years. Months before I started this story at twenty-two, I was as hopelessly depressed as Jacob, and I have no doubt that our therapeutic relationship saved my life. You gave me the space to be a blocked writer during depressive episodes and an excited chatterbox when inspiration struck in the midst of hypomania. Your support enabled me to explore an unfiltered fantasy and create a world where I felt just as safe and supported as I did at each and every session.
To my close friends, family, professors and teachers who read the first few chapters and listened to me talk about this story for hours on end, you gave me the courage to share my writing with the world. Without your encouragement, Jacob's Regression would have remained locked away inside a protected word document forever. Thank you to my two friends who helped me build the lakeside home, your home décor knowledge breathed a breath of fresh air into those opening chapters.
I also want to thank my readers on wattpad and archiveofourown. Your comments regularly inspired me to continue writing even when I feared I had outgrown this story as a writer. I cannot put a number on how many comments I have screenshotted and saved to an album on my phone for when I feel like a dreadfully incompetent writer.
I am especially grateful to those of you who have been with me since the very inception of this story. I still remember what it felt like posting the first chapter and promising myself that I would be happy if just one hundred people read it. Then, weeks later, I had thousands to tens of thousands, and now hundreds of thousands. It went from an unlikely dream to a lived reality of having fans who would instantly vote/comment within seconds of uploading a chapter. It was such an affirming experience that has shaped me as a writer in more ways than I think I even know. Thank you for believing in my dream.
Ambrose · Apr 19, 2021I'm so glad to find your story here. I read it once at Wattpad, but feel it is unnecessary hard to find the right stories there. Your story is great in how it goes in depth with the description of the regression, the feelings involved as the state of mind before, during and after. It really has the right dynamic. A real pearl! Thank you for it as for the honest acknowledgements at the end!