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Mislead

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When Alisha was first presented with that work project, she thought it'd be as tedious and recurrent as the other ones. But everything changed when she met her teammate, someone who, at first glance, seemed terrible. John wasn't used to working with that kind of person because, in his mind, anyone with a better financial income was superior to him. With different backgrounds and personalities, both characters discover, at the end, that they are exactly the solution to their problems. Family rejection from one side and financial struggle on the other. Despite their fear of working together, they come to the realization that, no matter what kind of issue you go through, you can always overcome it.

Chapter 1: Unexpected meeting

It wasn't the first time Alisha had broken a wrist. As a kid, she managed to invent a new bicycle maneuver on which she could ride it with no hands and, with some magic, no pedals. In a 6-year-old's mind, everything is perfectly possible. Her parents somehow encouraged her to do whatever she thought was possible. Their intention, though, was for her to take it as a life lesson for the future she is about to face in the present moment. And no, I am not talking about the bone.

December 15th, north of Canada. It's Christmas time, and as usual, all the neighbors are getting ready for the season where magic is all over the place. Lights, music, happy conversations, and cold. Well, it's Canada. Alisha wasn't a real fan of the cold, especially when it came to temperatures below 50 °F and a heater that wasn't doing its work properly. Her dad said he was going to replace it soon. "But with so much work", he says, "there's rarely time to take care of small things." He said she could use the fireplace downstairs and sleep on the couch while he couldn't fix the issue.

The mother, Mrs. Anderson, had no clue about the situation. Three months have passed since she couldn't survive a car crash. "If only that semi driver wasn't so irresponsible", Alisha used to think. Despite the tragedy, a broken bone is what she has left in memory of that day. Energy and motivation to keep up with normal life responsibilities were always available for her, considering that she had been taught this unconsciously since childhood. She was doing fine. After a few restless nights and crying sessions with her dad, life's natural laws would push her through.

"You're still here?", asks Mr. Anderson, after calling Alisha in her room for breakfast around an hour ago.

"Sorry, dad. Almost done here." She was reviewing her emails and her last projects. Working for such a big company came with lots of responsibilities. This time, she has been assigned to design a sketch of a virtual chat application for mobile phones and desktops. What caught her attention, though, was that she had to do this with someone from another department. "Mistaken?", she thought. But no. That was just the beginning of an interesting, life-changing story.

Alisha felt like her days had been repeating themselves for the last few weeks. Same pattern, every day. Wake up, eat, work... And sleep. User Experience Design wasn't her field, her mom used to say. "At least she has a job", Mr. Anderson added.

It's time to head out. Everything is white, including her car. Not because of the color, but because of the snow covering it. She used her gloves to remove the snow from the door handle and somehow managed to get in. On her way to work, Mrs. Anderson's memories were the only thing she could ever think about. The fights, the hugs, and the moment of the crash.

At the office, a piece of paper was waiting for her on her table. On it, a message reads, "Straight to the meeting room." Mr. Williams way of speaking to the employees was through pieces of paper and never text messages. That's funny of him to do, since that was a tech company. In there, almost every chair was occupied by teammates working on the same project. It's common that many departments work together on the same idea, but in that specific case, Alisha had nothing to do with the back-end. That is, how the application is developed.

She compliments everyone in the room with a forced smile and sits in one of the chairs. On her side was an empty chair that was about to be taken by John, who managed to get there 20 minutes late. As soon as her eyes crossed his, there was a sudden feeling of completion. As if on him was a certain type of device that could determine she was looking for that kind of feeling, and he could provide it. Soon, they'd discover the device was the warrior soul he had been carrying all the way to that point in time.

He compliments everyone in the room with a forced smile and sits in the only chair left. John and Alisha had lots of differences. Their appearances, backgrounds, and musical interests. Both have been shy people all their lives. Alisha had a way to manage her shyness when it came to work-related issues. John always took everything to a personal level and was considered a cold person. "Robots are machines; act like human!", he used to hear from his mom. It's not a surprise that he chose a career in technology.

After three hours of meeting and an awkward feeling coming from Alisha, Mr. Williams asked for her and John to stay a little longer. He explained to them that he put the two in the same project with the same task to test the abilities of both parts. "You know, developing a new app comes with challenges. And I know that the two of you will do great work!" He left, saying nothing. Both John and Alisha's hearts started racing, and a weird feeling was in the air.

"So we're going to work together." She took the first step toward facing that challenge, considering it was a work-related issue.

"Yeah!", John said with a forced smile, not even looking at her. "Maybe we can meet someplace and start talking about it."

Despite the fear of the judge due to his awkwardness, he had to make it. It was the job he chose, and he couldn't turn back now. It was the shortest and weirdest conversation of their lives. They have decided to meet in the cafeteria during the one-hour lunch break. Everything was about to change for both of them. Alisha would discover a new way to look at things, and John would have the opportunity to work through the traumas that led him to this behavior.

Chapter 2: Discovering

Fortunately, the cafeteria was in a closed environment where the Canadian winter's cold couldn't get in. Alisha and John began their conversation, both always keeping in mind that they had to do it because of the development of the project. The racing hearts decided to calm down. It felt like they had controlled their subconscious mind and could now manage to stay relaxed, at least to the point where they'd be able to talk without stuttering. They are sitting at a table, facing each other's eyes, and saying nothing. Alisha took the first step at the office, and now she was expecting John to do the same. Incredibly, he asked her if she wanted something. That was unexpected behavior coming from him. What may have led him to this kind of action?

"Yes. Maybe a coffee could do well", Alisha replied. Considering she was a coffee fan, anything that had coffee involved would do. That was good for John. He was five years younger than Alisha, who was twenty

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