CRASH! The computer flies through the window. The woman stands there, hair flying everywhere, the look in her eyes, insane. Her brows lowered in a scowl, lips peeled back in a growl, teeth bared, she looks like she is hyperventilating. Her body is shaking uncontrollably in rage.
Suddenly an ear-splitting screech splits the air, sounding disturbingly like a banshee. She is looking wildly around for something else to throw through the window, but suddenly, she turns around and runs out the office, nobody tries to stop her. They don’t care, they avert their eyes.
Outside, she starts running down the road, as if she was trying to get away from something. What is she running away from, who knows, nobody cares.
After a long distance of running this way and that, with no purpose in mind, she starts to slow down, her legs are burning. Her lungs feel like they are on fire, she can’t breath. Stopping, she bends over and leans her hands on her knees, trying to take a breath, but an overwhelming feeling of helplessness overtakes her, memories flood back.
She has been having a lot of nightmares lately, have had little sleep, her suppressed memories trying to surface, things that she thought long-buried and forgotten about. She doesn’t want to remember, NO! NO! NO!
She screams again, her hands, fists in her hair, on both sides of her head. Shaking her head. The knot in her throat, thickens once again, she doesn’t want to cry. Stop being so weak, she yells at herself. Taking in deep breaths, she tries to calm herself, it is not working. For to long, she has pretended that everything is OK, trying to keep emotion out of her life.
After years of burying things in her mind, it is about to snap. She is having a breakdown of enormous proportions, every little thing, triggering anger, hate and resentment. She has been unhappy for so long, and there is nobody to talk to. As she had kept to herself, made no friends.
Her whole life is a sham, a lie. This is not what she had planned on doing, while she had studied. She has felt for long time now, that she is walking through life, asleep. Letting life slip away from her, same routine everyday, work, clean house, sleep. Over and over again.
Nearly everyday, she hears about how she doesn’t matter, how her work doesn’t matter, nothing she does matters.
She finds herself on the beach, how did she get here, she thinks. She must have still been running. Kicking off her shoes, she wiggled her toes in the sand and starts to walk down to the water’s edge, sitting down, she leaned her elbows on her bent knees. Staring out to sea, she starts to sob, shoulders shaking. Why is she here, she thinks, what is she supposed to be doing with her life.
This can’t be it.
Suddenly, she stood up and started walking into the sea, deeper and deeper, until she was waist deep in the water, the water feels wonderful, nice and cool. Deeper still she goes, the waves are growing bigger, she started bobbing in the water with the waves, up to her neck now.
Kicking out, she started to swim further into the sea. She thought she heard a whistle, but kept swimming. Her clothes started to feel heavy, and she stopped to take her clothes of, just keeping her underwear on. Then swam even further.
After awhile, she turned around, looking to the shore, it seems very far away. Wow, she didn’t know she had swam so far. It looks like someone is waving their arms on the edge of the beach. What do they want?
She screamed suddenly, looking panicked, she was sinking down into the sea. She was flailing her arms wildly, trying to keep her head above water. Her head kept being submerged with every wave, salt water going into her eyes, she was battling to take a breath.
She felt like she was going to die.
Something has grabbed her leg, she kicked and kicked, trying to get it off, it was dragging her down, drowning her. She was getting so tired, thought she heard a rhythmic noise, coming from somewhere close. But couldn’t see anything, through the salt in her eyes.
She was giving up, letting go. She started to sink down into the belly of the sea, not fighting it. Fishes swam passed her head. Looking down, she saw a deep sea diver, limp, but one hand clinging to her leg. She couldn’t save this diver, it was a shame. We will be going down together.
The light started to fade from her vision, her lungs burning with the overwhelming need to take a breath. She couldn’t hold her breath any longer, and bubbles escaped from her mouth, her eyes following the bubbles slowly making their way up to the surface of the sea.
She closed her eyes. The divers hand started to let go.
“Wake Up!” someone was patting her back.
Her body in a spasm with the need to breathe, she coughed up salt water. She could feel warm sand on her cheek, where she was lying on her side on the beach.
“You are OK, we are taking you to hospital” said the disembodied voice.
Voices faded in and out, she caught scraps of conversation, about the diver, …he had a problem with his tank… Something had gone wrong… he is in the divers bubble, because he had the bends… he is alive….
“Hullo” a deep voice.
Struggling to open her eyes, she couldn’t get her brain to wake up.
“Good morning sleepy head, you need to wake up” the deep voice.
Blinking, eyes hurting from the sharp sunlight streaming though the window. She opened her eyes and stared at the man standing next to her. Trying to speak, she realized her throat is dry, he was there with a glass of water. Taking a couple of sips, her throat felt a little better.
“Who are you?” She asked, looking at him quizzically. He didn’t look like a doctor.
“I am the diver” he paused. “You saved my life” He said.
She was dumbfounded, “no” she denied. “I didn’t do anything.”
He explained to her what happened. He went diving, and realized that his tank was malfunctioning, and leaking oxygen. He had tried to get to the surface as fast as possible, without endangering himself. But the oxygen finished long before he could get to the surface. And had started to pass out, when he spotted a pair of legs above him. He had managed to rise up some more, and grab hold of her leg. When the life guards came to save her, they saved him as well. If she hadn’t been there, he would have died.
“Would you like to go for coffee? It was no mere coincidence that we met in that exact spot, what are the chances?” he smiled at her.
Hope blossomed in her chest. She smiled back.
“Well, in my mind that is what happened. “
Zero to Hero