Finding Her

Warning: May contain some language inappropriate for children.

In a sensory deprivation tank there’s a feeling of being utterly weightless.

Savannah’s ears buzzed to make up for the lack of noise. Her eyes fluttered in the darkness, searching for a crack of light. When they found none, she closed them mercifully. Those first few moments, her body went into full fight or flight response. Her heart thumped. Her palms got sweaty and her skin tingled. She fought the urge to bang on the doors and scream to be let out.

“Hello Savannah. It’s about time.” A bitchy voice interrupted her visceral response.

“Who are you?” Savannah asked into the dark, empty air.

“I’m you. Or rather, who you really ought to be.”

“Who I ought to be.” Savannah repeated, a sly smile spreading across her face.

“Yes, really, you are almost an embarrassment. I mean, not really, but sort of.”

“Hey, now that’s not nice,” Savannah defended, and realized she was imagining brick walls.

The other her laughed. “You can’t keep me in anymore, Savannah. It’s time for us to come together, for us to realize our true potential.”

“Our true potential?” Savannah whispered, almost in a trance.

“Yes, now listen to me. This job you keep dealing with, that saps so much of your emotional energy? Get rid of it. You don’t need it. And you seriously need to stop letting people walk all over you. It’s frustrating to me. I’d love to speak up, but you somehow have me so hidden deep in here that I can’t find the words.”

Savannah chuckled.

“Listen, it’s not funny. But you, you know, don’t you? You know that we weren’t meant for the crap you’ve been dealing with. Honestly. You know what you were meant for. But what are you so afraid of? That someone else won’t like it? Well, fuck them. No really. They don’t get to tell you what you should be doing. Listen to me now: You can do it. You are here to do it. You are meant to do it. Entertain. Make people laugh. Make ’em cry. Just fucking go do it already.”

A tear rolled down Savannah’s cheek. “I know,” she whispered, “I know.”

“Struggle is only part of it, sweetie. You don’t need it. Fuck, we don’t need it.”

“But what if I can’t? What if I’m just a fraud?” Savannah’s cheeks burned, her eyes flashed open.

“You can, don’t fear. And here’s the idea. Get off your ass. Yes I know it’s going to be hard. Harder than anything you’ve ever done, I get it. But you’ve got to do it, or you’re going to end up bitter and resentful. At me. And fuck, I’m not going to let that happen. So listen to me and listen to me good. Go. Do. It.”

The knocking started, and seemed to be far away. Then the lights: flashing in soft, easy-on-the-eyes tones. Then, just as Savannah was acclimating to those the doors opened, and with a whoosh all her senses were suddenly on high alert. Her palms started sweating again, her heart racing. But her inner bitch spoke first. “Calm down, and remember what I said. Now, go prove them all wrong.”

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