In many ways, at least on the surface, Jake is a success story.
He stays alive!
Jake goes to community college after getting his GED. However, poor study habits cause him to fail almost all his classes. Elan notices that Jake does pass his math courses with little effort. So, he encourages him to take the programming classes offered, which Jake enjoys and puts effort into learning. Jake then enrolls in a Coding Bootcamp with a (mysteriously acquired) scholarship. He does remarkably well.
After Bootcamp, Jake finds himself ill-suited for the regular job lifestyle, even the more flexible lifestyle of the start-up community. He ends up freelancing– working enough to take long breaks between jobs.
During one of his temporary hires, Jake catches the eye of the Chief Financial Officer of a well-known company. Jake moves in with the CFO/silver daddy and is currently living a lavish lifestyle. Jake often brags about this, saying he snagged a rich boyfriend too. And one who spends money on beautiful things, not like the modern-day Robin Hood Elan Rafa has.
His CFO does encourage Jake to quit smoking. But each midday before starting any jobs (if he has any lined up) and hoping the smell is gone before his lover comes home, Jake allows himself one long unfiltered cigarette. From the CFO’s penthouse balcony, he looks in the direction of the neighborhood he and Rafa used to run and fight to survive. Even with so little money and hope, he considers those the best of times. He misses Rafa. He misses that life. But he never admits this to anyone.
OK, that’s Jake. I’m trying to one of each main character eventually.