JOURNEY DOWN A HARD ROAD

Chapter Four: Lunch

After half an hour, Dr. Benson went up to the apartments, knocking on each door to tell his guests that it was time for lunch. Jenny and Susan didn't answer their door, so he checked the second floor.

They were seated at one of the tables playing a game of dominoes.

"Brunch is being served now, ladies," he told them. "Remember, this is Sunday so it's mandatory today.'

Susan swept the tiles into the box with a huff and stormed over to the elevator, muttering in frustration.

"We'll play again after lunch," Jenny told her.

"Okay," Susan agreed, sullenly.

Jenny waved to Bryce as the walked into the cafeteria. He was already sitting at a table with Lisa, Paul, and Winston.

"We saved you two a couple of seats," Winston said. "Please, join us."

Jenny sat next to Bryce. There wasn't room next to her for Susan, but there was room next to Winston.

Susan pouted. She wanted to sit next to Jenny.

Seeing what was going on, Bryce sighed and moved to the spot next to Winston, giving Susan the spot next to Jenny.

"Thanks, Bryce," Jenny told him. "So, how's your apartment?"

"Small," Bryce told her. "But it'll hold two comfortably."

"I'm guessing that all rooms are identically furnished," Winston said.

Dr. Benson drew everyone's attention to himself as he stood at the front of the cafeteria. There were four others with him, two dressed in scrubs.

"Again, I'd like to welcome each of you to the Harrisburg Center," he told them. "Earlier today you met Nurse Taylor. Now I'd like you to meet some more of our staff."

The first to step forward was a man of forty. He had bright blue eyes and brown hair and was dressed in a pair of faded jeans and a blue polo shirt.

"My name is Steven Adams," he said. "I've been a counselor at Harrisburg for three years. My main field of study is post traumatic stress disorder."

The next was a Black woman in her late twenties with a stern smile and horn-rimmed glasses. She was dressed in jogging pants and a light-weight shirt.

"I'm Dr. Maggie Wilkins," she said, in a friendly tone. "I'll be keeping all of you in shape. Those of you who can't exercise now will have me for physical therapy as time goes by." she looked meaningfully at Bryce. "We'll get that leg and shoulder working in time. You just wait and see."

Dr. Benson waved to those who were not dressed in scrubs. "This is Jack Moll, Joe Flanigan, Meagan Mulroon and Lionel Mulroon. They are our orderly, custodian, and cafeteria staff. When you've finished eating, please check the schedule on the lunchroom wall. Please note that exercise is a mandator activity unless you are physically unable to do so. The other activities listed are semi-voluntary I say 'semi' because you are each required to do at least two non-exercise and non-brunch activities each week. That is all for this week, since we had an introductory Group earlier today. Also, something not listed on the schedule. I make a weekly run to the grocer's each Saturday afternoon. I know you're not ready yet. But when any of you feel you wish to begin filtering back into visiting public locations, if you wish to do so, you may accompany me and aid me in the shopping."

Bryce and the others shrugged at the idea.

"That is all," Dr. Benson reiterated.

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