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If anyone were to be asked if they knew him, they would reply, “Jerry who?”. It had been a few months since anyone who once knew the book-loving man about, and even longer since they had heard his name mentioned in a positive way.

Jerry was a 33 year-old man. He had, at one point, had what may be called a “perfect life”. He was married, had a child, and a high-ranking job. But that all came crumbling down years ago.

Sometime after Laura had left him, Jerry began showing up to work, drunk. Jerry’s subordinates tried to ignore it or work around him. But someone passed the world along to University Library Board. Jerry was given a stern warning. And, at first, it seemed as though Jerry was going to bounce back.

Unfortunately, Jerry went back to his old ways. Rare items at the library, and even at the Federal Museum, began to go missing. It didn’t take a genius to find the common denominator between the two places. The local PD handed the case off to the Federal authorities, who came down hard on Jerry.

Jerry was able to plead the case down to six months in county lockup, in exchange for turning on his fence and private collectors of illegally acquired goods. The time in jail did not do him any good.

It should go without saying that Jerry lost his job. In the finality of the divorce, Laura took the house. And Jerry had spent most of his money on the lawyer, the one trying to convince a judge to let him keep his son.

And so we find Jerry here, sitting on the side of his bed, staring at the floor. His life had been perfect. But he had lost it all. Or, he wondered, had he pushed it away. Perhaps the security, the good job, the home, the wife, the son, the love… Perhaps he felt he deserve it. And that’s why he made those choices. Because really, Jerry thought as he lifted his head to look out the window, that’s what life is about. Choices.

Jerry looked down again, at the revolver in his hand. With a deep breath, Jerry raised the gun to his head and slowly pulled the trigger.

And with that, for the first time in his life, Jerry gave up.

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