Joanna| Beginnings

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Licking her lips nervously, Joanna reached into her bag and pulled out her therapists card she hadn't used for quite a while, now creased and fuzzy at the edges. 

She eyed the number at the bottom before shaking her head and shoving the card back into her bag, right at the bottom. 

I can do this, she told herself, it's just a game.

Then lifting her fist, she rapped on the chipping warehouse door. A moment passed before the rusty hinges creaked as the metal door was pulled open. A tall, willowy blonde woman stood in the opening, she looked to be in her late thirties. A moment of stagnation passed before Joanna mentally shook herself and cleared her throat.

"Um...I'm here for the inauguration?" Joanna breathed, her voice barely above the human hearing range.

"Are you asking or telling me?" The blonde woman asked, amusement crinkling the corners her cloudy blue eyes.

"Um, telling?" Joanna replied in the same intonation of doubt before she gave herself a mental slap, "Telling. I'm telling you."

The Woman's eyes crinkled again, "Ms. Dash, do come in. Almost everyone is here."

The woman moved back and opened the door wider as indication for Joanna to enter. This was what she wanted right? She brought her self here to play the game and win some serious money. One foot in front of the other and she would be through the door into whatever was on the other side. Easy. So why did she hesitate, her body leaning forward then back, why did it feel Like she was about to enter through the formidable gates of hell?

But like the inescapable pull of gravity, she had to do this. For her mother and brother. For herself.

"Today would be most preferable, Ms. Dash." The woman said, her just as blonde eyebrows raised.

Joanna clenched her fists and walked forward and through. The metal door shut with a resounding thud. Joanna cursed herself when she jumped at the sound. Act more like a scared rabbit why don't you. Either the woman didn't notice or she chose to ignore it.  Probably the latter.

The sharp click of heels, and Joanna's own squeak of converse  filled the long fluorescent lit hallway. Joanna shrugged her bag higher up her shoulder and looked around the surprisingly clean floors and walls. Too clean. The bolted doors on either sides of the hallway made Joanna summon up images of dodgy mental asylums.

Glancing at the blonde walking at a brisk, determined stride ahead of her, her finely tailored pencil skirt and silk pearl blouse looked out of place in the surrounding. Joanna didn't even know what to address her as. And she didn't feel like asking at the moment. Was she a pawn of the game or was she part of the head?

Joanna quickened her pace to catch up with the woman. Conversation was none existent between them as they turned another corner and down a longer, dimmer passage. One tube light on the ceiling was flickering on and off. Joanna shivered, even though it was quite warm inside.

Down the passage was a huge wooden door. Joanna's heartbeat sped up as they approached it. The woman turned to her, gave a smile and pushed the door open.

Joanna immediately heard several voices coming from beyond the passage. 

"Go on, acquaint yourself. We'll begin shortly." The woman said, gently but firmly pushing Joanna through the door and shutting it without another word.

The chatter in the room went silent. 

Joanna, with her back still facing the inhabitants, sucked in a breath and slowly turned around.

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