To everyone in the room, she seemed like a normal girl, wearing Vans, blue jeans and a red hoodie. Her hands were both raised high above her head, swaying to music from her iPod. Sierra's body molded the jeans nicely. No one knew what was on her iPod, but it was mostly French music and several types of electronica.
The bus was crowded and warm. But all eyes were on the girl that could dance like an angel. Large but rounded and almond-shaped blue eyes were closed and occasionally opened. Everyone was drawn to her beauty, the light from her soul, her strength, her body moving as only a dancer can.
Sierra was in her zone, anytime she had her music. That's all she needed. It's what kept her alive. It made her feel safe. Feeling alive and safe were needed after the bank incident. Sierra had been in her bank as it was getting robbed. The bad guys had held her hostage, held a gun to her head, took away her safety.
Therapy hadn't worked, or maybe it was the therapist. She got direct deposits and used an online bank now. She avoided going into banks and most places, until she felt safe again.
The bank robbers had been rough, cruel, savage even. Her dreams had become nightmares overnight. But Sierra had saved everyone in the bank that day. She stood up to them, was the only one brave enough.
They had taken everyone's cell phones, or so they thought. Sierra had an old flip phone that she had kept for sentimental reasons. It had voicemail and pictures and video of her best friend who had died two years earlier. She never took calls on it but kept the service, to save the memories of her best friend, Georgina.
It was in a secret pocket of her red hoodie. It had taken all of her nerves and reserve to call the police. Her mouth was dry and her heart had pounded out of her chest. She had known that it would be life or death if she hadn't called them. Her instincts and gut knew that she'd have to be the hero. She'd had to save herself and the others. It was powerful and yet not comfortable in knowing that. But letting anyone down wasn't an option.
Her act of courage saved everyone in the bank that fall day. Two of the three bank robbers died from gunshot wounds from the SWAT team. They were never going to give themselves up. They didn't get to spend any of the money they had stolen. Their lives were lost in vain. The third bank robber was in a maximum prison. He was on suicide watch and in solitary confinement. He refused to answer most of the questions to law enforcement.
He had a lifelong sentence. He wouldn't know freedom anymore and there was zero chance for any parole.
Sierra pulled the bus cord and got off on her stop. Books and movies were her new best friends. She was looking for inspiration for courage again. She needed to get out of her self-imposed prison of safety. Breaking free of it wasn't possible just yet. It would be, in her own time.
For now, it was her and her cat, working at home remotely.