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Assignment Part III Opening Scene: Introduces protagonist, secondary characters, a setting, tone and foreshadows primary conflict. The dark, smoky underground subway stairwell smelled of gasoline and burning coal. The air he breathed scratched his throat, stinging his teary eyes. He reached for the pocket outside his backpack and gripped his water bottle in need of a drink. But as he brought it around to his mouth the short succession of coughs busied his mouth. Fumes stung his nostrils and throat as he gasped for more breaths. Rays of sunlight glistened above him. Attempting to stand up from the charred staircase leading up to the street, he suddenly fell back with a dizzying thud. Blurry-eyed and dazed, he heard his shatter proof water bottle slip away, rolling down the stairs, metal against cement, soon to be a part someone else’s destiny. When his eyes opened, affixed he saw the white ceiling of his room. The beige bedspread covers thrown off; his own body heat enveloped him. Daylight shown into the room. He rose to a sitting position with sweaty palms, mopping back the wispy hair from his damp forehead. Another bad dream. He fell back, dropping his head on the pillow and sighed in relief. “Don’t take the subway today, Rita.” Jay stood with his back to her at the sink, scrubbing soapy suds onto a Corelle cereal bowl. He turned his head slightly to glance at her hurrying into the kitchen, swinging her chutney green Tumi backpack onto her shoulder, the ‘Your Mind Matters’ hand sanitizer holder swaying with momentum. “What now, Jay? Don’t tell me you had another daydream about some subway bombing or something?” He shut off the water faucet, turned and stared momentarily. Wait how did she know? Shaking his head to clear the coincidence. “You have to believe me. I’m serious. Find another route. Take the bus,” he insisted. “But what is going on in the subway? You know it's the quickest way into work and I am already running late.” She pleaded with a grimace. “You’re too much!” “Rita, why don’t you trust my intuitions?” He had flung off his apron, walked towards her and looked at her eye to eye, waiting for her reply eagerly. “It’s just not safe for you!” Being intentionally dramatic. “I can’t be late today,” she reasoned, turning to get her Nalgene bottle. “I promise to get ready early tomorrow so I can figure out another route to work. Okay?” And she rushed out of the kitchen fluttering a stack of graded papers on the round glass breakfast table by the kitchen door. The front door had slammed shut by the time Jay made it to the foyer in attempt to try again. Rita’s sixth sense touting husband gets her thinking almost every day. Why do his little insights and daydreams about what terrible thing is going happen bother me so much? She thought with a slight shrug. Stop Rita, clear these thoughts from your mind. Focus on Andy and Dina -and their marital issues. Get yourself together. After separating from his abusive, dominating wife and leaving his Jersey City home, Dr Rita Kapoor Kaur’s new client Andy, moved into a moderately sized studio apartment in the heart of Rego Park on Queens Boulevard. It had been two weeks now. Soft spoken and unassuming, with the mind for mathematics and logic, Andy had finally listened to an old college friend about seeing a counselor. Rita’s sessions with him began, relying on cognitive behavioral therapy to rationalize negative thoughts. Andy dreamed of start life anew, living for himself without the back lash and trauma of emotional abuse. “Good morning, Andy. How did your week go?” began Rita smiling enthusiastically as she welcomed him into her office, then taking a seat and turning towards him as he stretched back into a recliner. “Morning doctor. It went well. Much more peaceful now. You know, without Dina around.” he calmly replied with a soft grin and a pause. “But you'll never believe what I read about you on our global news chat. I am amazed at the lies! Andy chuckled. “Really? About me?” Rita’s attention heightened as she briefly held her breath. Her heart skipped a beat as she tried to seem indifferent. “Were you ever married to a multimillionaire who was convicted of fraudulent dealings? “ Andy asked incredulously, amused at the ridiculous idea but curious all the same.