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The Art Student

derula

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Could it be true? Did she really lose them?

Her hands tightly clasping the edge of her portfolio case, she stared out the window. No one on the road. Nobody following her.

Nervously, she unfolded the large cardboard cover. Why wasn't she responding? Gently, she ran the back of her fingers down the cheek of one of the faces she had drawn. 'Soon,' she thought.

The bus slowed down, starting to pull over. She dared not look up, afraid that there would be one of them at the stop. Attempted to look inconspicuous. Probably failing. But this was her only choice Her only chance to move forward. She closed up her portfolio again as the doors slid open, and turned her head away from the aisle. 'Please, don't be one of them, and if you are... don't notice me!'

The passenger walked by her row without giving her so much as a glance. She breathed a sigh of relief.

Joanna knew nothing about Los Santos, and frankly, it was for the better. The less she knew about the city, the less it would know about her, she surmised. All she knew was that she would be waiting for her there. More than exhausted from her coast-to-coast trip, and sick of motel beds and greasy diner breakfasts, she would fall into her arms. And she would finally be more than just drawings and a voice...

Of course it wouldn't be easy! But it would be so much better to be in it together rather than being separated by a couple thousand miles.

And also - she sighed. It would be a fresh start for both of them. She had grown more and more distant to everyone at school. Little wonder, with what had been going on there on a daily basis. Everyone had been watching her. It had been so tiring. Not even the bathroom had been safe. There had always been someone there. Watching. Listening. It had been so hard on her.

But it would all change. They would simply disappear in the big city. Become invisible. Nobody would be able to harm them. Nobody would notice them.

There would only be the two of them.

Only Miryam and Joanna.

...right?
 

derula

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Only she wasn't there. Miryam was supposed to pick her up, but she wasn't there. Confused, Joanna wandered around the block. Not a trace of Miryam.

Distant roaring of a motorcycle. That must be her, right? She's just late. Yes, that must be it! Intently, Joanna watched the bike draw nearer. She was getting more and more excited. She hadn't even known Miryam was a biker, but it made sense now. Everything did. She'd probably just had important business to take care of.

The vehicle came to a quick stop, along with Joanna's heartbeat. Unable to bare the excitement, she could scarcely move. Then, however, something confusing happened. All she heard the rider's masculine voice yell was a dismissive "Fuck you!" before he took off. She didn't understand. It was supposed to be Miryam, stopping for her. Nothing made sense anymore.

~~

Joanna found a quiet place in a park nearby. Once again, she opened up her portfolio, leaning the open cover against a tree. She gathered all of her little sketches, drawings, and paintings, and set them up all neatly and upright. A few dozen Miryams were looking at her, all with that slight, unmistakable smirk. Joanna focused on the portraits, breathing slowly, intently, listening...

"...anna..!" breathing in, out "Joanna!" in, and out "Oh my god I'm sooo sorry!" she wanted to yell at her, 'where the fuck were you,' but she was just so happy to hear her voice again. "I'm... impossible. I should have been there. Are you alright?" She was not. "Oh no, I'm so sorry! ...here, tell you what. I'll make it up to you. Pinky promise? You come down to Bahama Mamas tonight at 4. Drinks are my treat. Okay? I'll meet you there. You up for it?" Joanna just nodded, tears forming in her eyes. Not like she could ever deny her...

~~

She was tired. She'd stopped at a general store on the way there, and gotten some fast food, but hadn't felt like eating or drinking. How could Miryam just... go to nightclubs, just like that? Was she not terrified?

Joanna decided to be cautious. She climbed the stairs opposite of the entrance and sat on one of the stone benches there. Or at least, she hoped they were benches. And she watched. One of all these people arriving at the locale had to be a beautiful young lady with purple hair, and once she spotted her, she would run up to her as fast as she could.

It felt like she'd been sitting there forever. Her buttocks were hurting from the hard, cold stone. Joanna had climbed down the stairs a few times, intending to just peek inside, just for a second. But she couldn't even bring herself to cross the road that separated her overlook from the entrance of the club.

Suddenly, she heard gunshots. Saw gunfire light up the sky. After the second it took her to recover from her shock, she started running north. Just to get as far away as possible, as quickly as possible. Her mind was so focused on that goal, she neglected to look left and right before crossing a road, and missed the beach buggy approaching at high velocity...

~~

Joanna wasn't sure how long she had stayed at the hospital, or how she even got there. She couldn't tell why, but something inside her told her that she cannot leave. Her legs were still hurting, she was walking with a limp. She had to sit down.

Eventually, her moment of rest was broken by an LSMS officer, who asked her if she needed any assistance, which she insisted she did not. 'It's not safe here,' she thought to herself, 'people are going to start asking questions if you hang around for any longer.' Joanna knew: she had to leave. But where to?

Outside MD, she briefly got to meet a gentleman who, after initially starting to complement her, subsequently noticed that her facial features didn't align with his perception of beauty, upon which he transformed his praise into a dismissive insult. "Fuck you, too," Joanna urged him, and limped away in the direction opposite to where he was headed.

After a short walk, she found a fountain, and decided to sit there and stare at the water for a while. The cool liquid felt good running over her bare feet. She could almost forget the pain in her legs like this! ...but she knew it wouldn't last. She had to keep walking. But... where to?

She had this feeling that she needed to get out of the city. She wasn't sure why, but she knew she had to. Glad that she brought her trusty old compass, she started limping north. One of the few things she knew about the island is that this would - eventually - lead her out of the city.

Along sidewalks, across roads - but carefully! - she passed all kinds of buildings, structures, bridges - and, eventually, found herself blocked off by a fence. Exhausted, she turned around and examined her surroundings. There was some noise - where there people there? she couldn't even tell. Her vision was getting somewhat inaccurate, and her hearing unreliable.

There appeared to be an entrance of sorts. Open. Inviting. She pushed herself into the interior, and immediately passed out from exhaustion. "Sleep now, Joanna... you are safe here..."
 
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AnimalWheat1102

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This is some amazing writing! I didn't want to interrupt the flow of the paragraphs but I have to give credit where credit is do. Can't wait to read more.
 
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derula

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This is some amazing writing! I didn't want to interrupt the flow of the paragraphs but I have to give credit where credit is do. Can't wait to read more.
Thanks for the support, I in fact wasn't sure if I should keep going with this. I do want to though, so I appreciate the feedback :)
 
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derula

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Joanna found herself in a little community. Surrounded by other people who were let down by the city, she was now living in the shell of an old bus.

It's not like everyone wasn't being very supportive. There was Johnny, a buff dude who lost everything to his gambling addiction. Charlene, an older lady who sought refuge here after her family had died in a house fire. And, of course, Sgt. Peters, a war veteran who had been forgotten by the government after returning to his home country. They helped her as her wounds were healing. They were acting like a family. And of course, Joanna did appreciate that. But regardless... she knew that this was not her final stop. She had to keep pushing.

~~~

"I'm sooo sorry," Miryam said in a very dramatic tone. "I didn't expect that... I didn't think I would lead you to..." Joanna rolled her eyes, knowing that she couldn't see her. "Don't worry about it, okay? I'm fine!" she insisted, which Miryam replied to with a sigh. "I just feel like... it's all my fault... and now I can't even come see you..." Miryam always had to be so negative, and Joanna had to pick her up again. "Hey! We'll be alright, okay? We can fix this..." Once again, Miryam responded with a sigh, seeming unconvinced. "...okay, what's your plan?"

~~~

"You really leaving us, Jo?" - "Do you think your little girlfriend can provide for you?" - "What has she done for you so far? It's her fault you ended up in the hospital!" - "Nobody cares about you like old Charlene does, you know this, right?" - "It's a battlefield out there. If you have to go, go, but I won't be the one who will drag your ass out of the mud when things go haywire! No siree!" - "What even is your game? Are you gay or something?" - "I already lost my grandchildren once, don't make me lose them a second time!"

Too much noise. Too much noise. Too much noise. Too much noise. Too much noise.

~~~

One afternoon, Joanna woke up from a nap, and the noise was gone. It was eerily quiet around her, in fact. Nobody in sight. No one to judge her. As quickly as she could, she used this chance to gather her stuff and just started walking. Northwards. She climbed some nearby steps, had some water and fast food she had brought, and off she went.

Having studied the map intently, she knew exactly where she was going. After a short uphill hike, she already spotted the famous letters on Vinewood Hills. That was her goal for the day.

~~~

20201024211833_1.jpg

A gentle breeze was blowing across the countryside as she got closer and closer to the giant capitals. The path was steeper than she had anticipated, but she had no choice other than to keep pushing. In moments like these, she liked to imagine Miryam's face, her gentle, supportive expression, bearing a slight smile. She could almost hear her voice: 'Come on, you can do it! I'm waiting for you! It's not long now! We will soon be together!'

She had expected the Vinewood letters to be more impressive from up close than they were from afar - but the graffiti on them and the signs telling her she shouldn't have come here were kind of ruining it for her. Or maybe it was her exhaustion. With thunder roaring over the city, she had to find some roof to sleep under.

~~~

Joanna woke up at 5:45 in the morning, near some kind of radio tower. Though she couldn't remember it, she must have climbed over the fence, and fallen asleep behind a corrugated-iron shed. She pushed herself up off the ground - she was hurting. She must have fallen last night, or... something. But it didn't matter, she had to continue her journey.

20201024225215_1.jpg

And down the hill she went, continuing north-northeast. Her compass and her sense of direction helped her find the way - though she did stop and ask at a gas station for confirmation, not that she needed it.

After hours of walking, but before the heat of high noon, Joanna finally arrived at her goal: Sandy Shores. Here is where the two of them had agreed to meet. Miryam had said, 'you'll know where to find me when you see the place! Just look around for a bit.' And so she did. There were some residential buildings, some stores, car rental... nothing that particularly stood out. Joanna had been looking for half an hour and was starting to get annoyed. Why couldn't Miryam just tell her where to go?

Then she saw it: the tattoo studio! Of course! That's so her! Joanna knew that that's where she would find her. She went straight there, convinced that's where she would find Miryam. She wasn't waiting outside the door, so she must have gone inside...

Joanna hesitated. Her heart pounding, she stopped in front of the door, handle in hand. Thoughts racing through her head, tumbling over each other. She wanted to open that door. She really, really did. But the noise... it was back, louder and harsher than ever before.

YOU KNOW SHE'S NOT IN THERE. COME BACK HOME, THERE'S NOTHING FOR YOU HERE. YOU DON'T EVEN WANT TO KNOW IF SHE EXISTS, DO YOU? YOU ARE SUCH A TRAIN WRECK. WHAT, ARE YOU GAY OR SOMETHING? I WON'T PICK YOU UP, NO SIREE! ALL OF YOUR ART, DID IT HELP YOU IN THE END? HA, YOU SO DUMB, YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW! DID YOU REALLY THINK GOING HERE WOULD MAGICALLY FIX SHIT? NEVER MIND, YOUR FACE UGLY AS FUCK. JOANNA, MORE LIKE STUPID FUCKING BITCH!

'SHUT UP! All of you, just... shut up! You know nothing about me, you're all lying! I don't need you, I never needed any of you! Just leave me alone... please!'

But this time, the noise... didn't go away.
 
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derula

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Distraction. Yeah. That's what she needed. And her art. She needed to see her face, right now. Hear her voice.

It was a new morning in Sandy Shores. She hadn't slept well, if at all. The noise had made sure of that. But that's life, right? Sometimes, things go well. Other times... well, this. It... happens.

She opened up her portfolio. Just seeing Miryam put a smile on her face. But... where was it? Her favorite painting - her masterpiece, if you will, appeared to be missing.

It couldn't be. Did she lose it? 'Nah,' she thought, 'it gotta be here.' She found a nice, open spot nearby, under a parasol. Lowering her portfolio to the ground, she knelt beside it.

Piece for piece, Joanna took her artwork and spread it out in front of her, securing it with rocks and dirt she could find lying around. Many faces staring back up at her, she had to find the one.

She scanned all of her pictures, over, and over, and over. Again and again, she checked her case to see if there were any she forgot. Where was it? She knew she didn't drop it. It had to be there!

~~~

Hours had passed. Judgmental voices had gotten louder and louder. Joanna couldn't keep doing this. Though she knew she didn't lose the picture, it also became more and more obvious that she would not find it this way. Carefully, she brushed the dirt off every single piece of paper, and put them back into her portfolio.

If she couldn't find it, she had to recreate it. Yeah, she would do that. She would just take a canvas and a brush and start-

Stupid, stupid woman. All of her art supplies were back home! She didn't even bring a sheet of paper or a pencil. What had she been thinking?! What kind of idiot would forget about what's most important to them?

A car pulled up next to her, breaking her self-deprecating trance. "Are you alright?" the driver asked with audible concern. "Uh-uhm, yeah, I'm fine," Joanna stammered in response. She didn't think she had sounded very convincing, but the stranger seemed to have bought it as he left with an understanding confirmation.

But she wasn't fine. Not without her 'magnum opus.'

~~~

"Sorry ma'am, fresh outta canvases," the store clerk joked. "Why don'tcha try the city? All kindsa stuff you can buy there!" Joanna nodded and, after some hesitation, asked, "Uh, when are you getting more in?" The clerk responded with a chuckle. "Ya gotta be new 'ere. Listen, ma'am. We don't got no art supplies here. 'less ya want a ball-point pen? Can sell ya that for a dime." But she declined that offer.

~~~

"Excuse me?" she asked the driver of the car that had pulled up next to her, right in front of the medical center. He had asked her a question, breaking her inward focus. "I said, are you a paramedic?" - "Oh, uh, n-no, I'm sorry." She genuinely was. Made the poor guy stop by walking in front of this building. "Uhm, but..." she couldn't let this chance slip. "Do you know where I would be able to find art supplies?" - "What supplies?" - "Art. You know, for drawing, or painting." - "Dunno, the black market?" The- what? Joanna was thoroughly confused by this answer. Maybe she shouldn't have asked. "Just kidding, I don't know, maybe try a general store?" - "Oh," Joanna replied with some disappointment, "sure... thanks." - "Yeah, no problem."

'Really, asshole? Guy had his passed-out friend on the passenger seat and clearly looking for medical attention, and you ask him for art supplies?' ...oh. Yeah, that did seem a bit inconsiderate, in retrospect. 'You worthless piece of garbage. You don't even deserve talking to her again. Maybe you should just give it all up.' No. No, you won't. I came this far. This far! I'm not going to just... 'Oh, you won't even need to give up anymore... because you already have.'

The noise... it was tiring. And the day had passed by very quickly. Joanna just wanted to lie down. Earlier, she had come by a rusty old wreck of a trailer - not very comfortable-looking, but a roof's a roof, right? Making her way back there, she tried to make sense of it all, and to hatch a plan for the next day.

If she would even wake.
 
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derula

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'What a fucking joke,' she thought, staring at the numbers on the ATM approaching zero. She knew she was eligible for UBI, but to actually receive that, it seemed like she would have to return to the city. A journey she did not want to have to make, but apparently, she didn't have a choice. Exhausted from another day of noise and trying to figure shit out, she decided to spend one last night in "her" trusty, rusty trailer before starting the hike down south.

Someone was blasting the radio in their trailer nearby. Reports of a "mysterious creature" appearing out in the wilderness and running off as soon as spotted alternated with recommendations for parents not to let their kids go trick-or-treating alone on gang turf. 'Figures,' she thought, 'bigfoot is real for only one day of the year, then these sheeple go back to their government-approved narrative of everything being fine.' But Joanna knew that everything wasn't fine.

Eventually, she must have fallen asleep in spite of all the noise and discomfort. Overall, it was a pretty quiet night out in Sandy Shores, though the chill of autumn could be felt even here, with no doors or windows isolating the crude interior from the steady breeze outside. She did wake up at one point during the night, when heavy raindrops were drumming onto the metallic trailer roof for about half an hour. But of course, this was nothing compared to the other noise she had to deal with.

At 5:00 AM, the first rays of sunlight finally woke her from her restless slumber. After half an hour of trying to go back to sleep, she stretched her arms and thought, 'might as well get going,' dreading pretty much one hundred percent of what this new day may bring. Part of her knew that she had no one but herself to blame for her situation. Joanna didn't like that thought, and quickly reminded herself that she was the victim, targeted by the deep state for the sole purpose of shutting her up.

So she began walking, along the road this time instead of across the hills. On her way, several people stopped to offer her a ride. It was sickening her to pretend like that was an okay thing for them to do. Couldn't they just mind their own business? Didn't they see she had shit to deal with? Couldn't they bother someone else? For a second, she wondered if she was being unfair to them. Maybe they were just being nice. But, who was she kidding. Nobody would just stop to help her out. That's not how this world worked, and she knew it.

After four and a half hours of walking, she finally made it back to Vinewood. She had taken a break to eat and drink, but she was hungry again already. She went to Pizza This..., which she now remembered was the same place where she had gotten food for her hike up north, and it was only two blocks away from the bank. After an early lunch and getting her UBI, she went shopping for art supplies, careful not to venture too far into the city, terrified of what might lurk within.

Joanna managed to find all she needed by early afternoon - but she was exhausted. She would not be able to walk back all the way, and even if she could, she wanted to arrive before dusk, which would have been difficult. Pondering whether to find a room in a motel or just sleep somewhere under the stars again, she walked by a rental service, which advertised that they would rent out bicycles. 'That... could work,' she thought, and she could definitely afford it now.

The way back was much easier - and a lot faster, too - even though the uphill parts were still a challenge. Over the course of the last week, she had been scouting for rental apartments in Sandy Shores, but of course hadn't been able to afford any. With her new-found (relative) wealth, however, she knew just the place to go: 9 Marina Drive, in the western part of town, behind the general store.

It wasn't anything fancy, to be sure, and the posters of half-naked ladies on the walls that the previous tenant must have put up weren't the pinnacle of classy... but she couldn't say she minded them if that meant she could finally sleep in peace. While the bed was nothing to write home about, it was still a giant step up from sleeping in a decomposing trailer half filled with dirt. After washing up quickly, she passed out the second her body hit the blanket.

It was so close to feeling like home.

Only one thing was missing.

Or rather, one person.
 
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Scar

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This is amazing character development, never seen something like this before. Stunning!
 
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derula

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Somehow, life was more stressful now, less calm and quiet than she had imagined.

Two days after Joanna had finished painting her new masterpiece on the wall behind her bed, Miryam had knocked on her door. They were both so happy. They hugged, they talked for hours. The following two days were perhaps the most blissful days of her life.

The problems started creeping in slowly after that. Of course, Joanna wanted to be supportive. She trusted Miryam, and when she told her that she absolutely couldn't leave the house or see anyone, Joanna made it her top priority to support her in that. When Miryam said she couldn't go get her UBI, she wouldn't cook, she wouldn't clean anything, Joanna did it all for her. Taking it for granted that that's what she had to do.

And yet, she wished Miryam would tell her why. Did she have some sort of condition? Did she have enemies here? Or was she just anxious? Every time Joanna asked, Miryam would brush it aside with that half-smile of hers Joanna couldn't resist. "I just need a break," "It's too hot out," "I've never touched a pot in my life!" Joanna knew that those were excuses, and she was worried. But she didn't want to pester her, afraid she would only cause her further pain.

So she did everything. She paid the rent, she cooked the food, she did the cleaning. Once a month, she would cycle across the desert to get her UBI and pick up some food along with it. But she wasn't feeling comfortable. Something seemed... off somehow. Sometimes, she could see it in Miryam's eyes - a deep sadness and anxiety that worried Joanna greatly. But there was nothing she could do but to keep pushing.

Often, when things inside got unbearable, Joanna would climb the staircase leading to the top of her flat roof. The view from there was amazing. She spent many nights there, taking in the Alamo Sea breeze, and watching the sun set behind the mountains of Blaine County. As she stood behind the railing, she would get the warm, fuzzy feeling that she so craved... as if being embraced by her guardian angel.

guardian.png
 
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derula

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She was scared again.

Scared to wake up, scared to go out there. Scared they would be waiting for her.

"Okay, why don't you tell me what happened? Slowly. From the beginning." Joanna looked down, feeling so ashamed. "I-," she began, close to tears again. But she knew she could tell Miryam everything. "I was just on my way to the bank, and you know, I wasn't expecting much traffic, so I didn't- ...maybe I made a weird turn or hit him or something, but before I knew what was happening, I found myself on the ground..." - "Were you hurt?" - "No, no... well, I mean I have a few scratches, but, but..."

Seeing that Joanna was about to start crying again, Miryam took her in her arms. "It's okay. It's okay. You're safe now, that's all that matters, alright?" - "Uh... well, yeah, but... the guy...!" - "What guy?" - "Who I ran into... who ran into me... whatever..." - "Did something happen to him?" Joanna nodded. "What did?" - "Well, he... he flew off his motorcycle and was flung across the road... he wasn't moving... I, I was so scared, I..." - "Was he hurt?" - "I... yeah. I mean, I, I asked him, but he didn't reply, or I didn't hear..."

Joanna was shaking as she retold the story. Everything had happened so quickly, she couldn't recall clearly what had been going on at any one point in time.

"...a car stopped. I went there and told them there was an accident. But... they left." - "What did they say?" - "I... I don't know. I don't know if they said anything." - "What do you mean, you don't know?" - "I, I can't remember! It all happened so fast... but the guy was still lying there!" - "So what did you do?" - "I, I got back on my bike and headed back for the medical center. It was just past the train tracks, so it's not like it was far." - "I see." - "But I didn't find anyone there! I went to the sheriff's department, there was someone there, but I, I couldn't talk to him..."

Why exactly? She couldn't remember. She tried to get in. She tried to get his attention. But something was... weird. And she couldn't quite tell what.

"...so, I went back there. Figured I had to do something. I couldn't just leave him there!" - "Right." - "But... strangest thing? He was just... gone." - "Gone? What does that mean?" - "I don't know. He... his bike was gone, too." - "Maybe he got better." - "No." - "Maybe he had somewhere to be." Joanna sighed. "Miryam..." - "Maybe he had to make it to an appointment." - "Miryam, please, not now..." - "Maybe he needed to go take his goldfish for a walk." - "Miryam, I swear to god..."

She wasn't in the mood for this. This was serious! Why did Miryam always have to be that way?

"So, what did you do?" - "I don't know. My... my brain just... froze. I just... just went back to what I'd been doing before, but... but I wasn't all there." - "Did you get the money? You know that rent is due soon." - "Yes, I-, I did, but-" - "Then everything is fine, right?" - "No, Miryam, nothing is fine! When I got back to Sandy Shores, there were... more motorcycles. There was a cop car next door. They're looking for me, they're... both... looking for me!"

Miryam gave her an incredulous look. "Both?" - "...yeah. The police. And, and the guy, he must have been in some kind of biker gang? They... they want revenge, probably. And the cops want to... punish me, too, I'm sure of it." - "For what?" - "I don't know, for fleeing a scene? I didn't- I didn't mean to, of course, but..." Miryam hugged her again. "Then you just tell them that. Right? You didn't mean to. You tried to go get them, even..."

These words were nice, but Joanna knew that that's not how things worked in the real world. And she knew that Miryam knew. But still... it was nice to hear.

"I don't... wanna go out there again." - "Then don't. We have the rent money now, right?" - "Ugh, about that..." - "Hm?" - "We... we don't have enough." - "What do you mean? We did the math, it should be enough!" - "Ugh, yeah, but... we forgot taxes." - "Oh." - "So... the new check should arrive in a couple days, and then I have to go again." - "That'll still be in time." - "Yeah, but... Miryam, I'm scared..." - "Aww... but you have to go, though, so... ugh, you know, just relax, lay low for a bit, stay inside... and then go."

Joanna had been hoping for a different answer.

"Uhm. Or maybe, maybe you could go? Just this once?" She looked at Miryam, who sighed. "I... can't." - "But... ugh, why?" There it was again, Miryam's dismissive smile that was... usually cute, but completely inappropriate right now. "I'm PMS'ing hard right now. Besides, it's your check, right? Wouldn't it be suspicious if I went to cash it?" - "I... I suppose you're right."

God damn it, why did she have to be so irresistible?
 
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Diabla

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Wow! Hands down the best character story I've read on here. You got some talent!
 
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derula

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Thanks for reading, and I'm really glad I could entertain a few people!

Maybe this would be a good time to explain, Joanna was a bit of an experiment, I wanted to see if people here would be interested in this kind of story, while also familiarizing myself with the game / the server a bit.

In the end, what I found is that it's hard for me to get into any real RP just by myself, and while I was having a lot of fun, I think I could perform a lot better IG when I have someone to do things with.

Which was the plan in the first place - before I was even considering doing this "test run," my SO and I had developed two characters, siblings, that we want to send to Los Santos eventually.

For IRL reasons we didn't want to start back then, when we knew the RP would be interrupted for months at a time. But those interruptions should soon™ be over, and then - I guess you will find us IG (and IC) :)

Depending on how it goes, and if there's any demand for it, I might be doing some creative writing for that RP as well, but it will probably be of a very different nature. We'll see.