ALISHA

Waking up in the morning, I was quick to get ready and get the hell out of my room. I had reached home late yesterday night, but I was pumped to go out and train. It was my life now, getting into the national team was my only dream. And I could go to any extent to grab my dreams in my hands.

“Hey.” Lauren high-fived me and I got out of the house.

“Wait.” Mike and Tyson caught up with us while Dimitri came out of the club. We were gonna jog around the beach today, and taking Mike and Tyson along wasn’t the best idea ever.

“Do you have any idea about the amount of people standing outside?” Tyson pointed at the gates and I shook my head. The curtains to my room were closed, so I never saw outside.

“Gosh, it was difficult to even get in.” Roo stated and Dimitri nodded. Alright, that meant lots of crowd.

“What’s today?” I raised a brow. I mean today was something to me, but not for them.

“It’s been three months.” Mike wandered off and my jaw dropped to the ground. I was trying to forget the entire morning that today it was three months since the attacks, three months since my life was crushed into pieces. Three months since hundreds of lives were destroyed, and other hundreds broken down forever. Three months since the biggest attack on innocent people, innocent kids after 9/11.

“Trust me, I haven’t forgotten.” I mumbled and ran my hand through my hair. I had cut it short because of the attack. How would they let me forget? How would my pulmonary fibrosis let me forget, how would my broken spine let me forget?

There was an awkward silence around me, and I decided to break it. I couldn’t let my life come to a standstill because of that one day.  

“Whatever, so what’s today gotta do with the crowd outside?” I asked and Mike seemed like I had just done the most unexpected thing. What did they want me to do? Cry, whine and sob about the attacks? Oh no, that was not happening anytime soon.

“They are here…for you?” Mike raised his brows at me and I rolled my eyes. Those people hardly helped me, but then I couldn’t help but feel loved and flattered. All of them being here to show their support meant so much to me.

“Let’s just train inside, can we?” I asked Roo and Dimitri, both of them nodding instantly.

“I’ll be sure to go up after morning training and…like smile…what am I supposed to do?” I asked, or rather rambled at Mike and Tyson. They both shrugged and went to the gate for updates. Whenever crowd gathered around our house everyone got extra active. More security, more rules and more attention paid.

“Alright, that’s for the morning.” Dimitri nodded and me got down from the beam.

“Lauren, keep up with the vault and you’ll be unbeatable. Alisha, the focus and determination you showed today being…well, today, was extraordinary. Good job girls.” He patted us both on the back and we flashed him a smile. He got out of the gym and I went to my bag. Checking the numbers, I was surprised to find them in seventies. The low was yet to hit mentally I guessed.

Me and Roo got out of the gym without talking much. Mike guided her out and offered to help her to get to her house safely. Apparently, the crowd had only grown since three hours ago, so I had to address them.

How to address crowds? - Alisha

You don’t have to…- Salman

I want to, please? – Alisha

Alright. Just be yourself, smile, wave, and enjoy. – Salman

You make it sound easy- Alisha

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