FEAR OF FLYING

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fan Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A woman, burdened with the fear of boarding a plane, is convinced by her husband to try hypnotherapy, producing very unexpected results.

Submitted: August 26, 2015

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Submitted: August 26, 2015

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Emma Sloat was upset from the very moment she had awakened that morning. Her husband Morris had insisted that she keep the doctor's appointment that he had made for her, two months earlier.


The departure date for their European trip was fast approaching, and Emma's
fear of flying was something that had to be addressed. The idea of being off the ground, suspended in an enclosed compartment, made her feel ill with anxiety, and as a result, vacations were limited to areas that could only be reached by car.


This trip however, was something special. It would be a tenth anniversary celebration, with careful planning to European hideaways.


HYPNOTHERAPY! That's what Morris had told her, insisting that she keep the appointment with Doctor Norman Garitz. Once and for all, he said, Emma had to get over this nonsense. Their European departure was two and a half months away, and three weeks of therapy, two sessions a week was all that would be needed (according to the good doctor).


Sitting in the waiting room of Doctor Garitz's fashionable Fifth Avenue office, Emma nervously chewed on a thumbnail. There were no other patients in the waiting room, causing Emma to wonder whether the hour's drive in from Long Island had been worth it. As she checked her diamond brooch, making sure that the clasp was tight, the inter-com buzz suddenly sounded.


The receptionist stood up from behind her desk, and beckoned Emma , pointing to an inner office door.


Emma hated the man on site!


Dr. Garitz was a round little man with thick lips, thick bushy hair, and very thick glasses.


“Come in Mrs. Sloat,” Doctor Garitz said, gesturing to a leather chair on the opposite side of his desk. His hand was chubby, showing tufts of matted hair at the wrists.


Emma sat down, balancing herself on the edge of the seat.


“No Mrs. Sloat. You've got to make yourself more comfortable. Sit back, here, let me take your purse. May I call you Emma?” He placed the purse on an adjacent leather sofa. “We have to begin by making you totally comfortable . This is not hypnosis. You are not going to be put to sleep.


You are going to be an active participant in this procedure, and it is your thoughts that are going to make you comfortable"

.
Emma looked at him dubiously.


"Please relax, Emma, " he continued, "I will be helping you to quiet your conscious mind, while we focus on your fear...your fear of flying. You will be teaching yourself not to have panic reactions. You will think of things that make you feel good. Remember, that you are always in complete control. Your thoughts will be what creates your reality”


The more Emma Sloat looked at the little man, the more she hated him.


Then suddenly it came to her: Dr. Garitz was the spitting image of her first husband! She wondered why it hadn't come to her before.


That last evening with Brewster Sprats, her first husband, had been a nightmare. He had maligned her terribly, suspecting her of having an affair with his younger business partner ( she had) and accusing her of marrying him strictly for his money (she did--it certainly wasn't for his good looks!). But when he walked out of the house, he slammed the door on their one year marriage.


Because of their short time together, Emma was left with very little to live on. She was forced to move out of the house, and take a job as a children's nanny, working for the Wildink family across town, and living in their basement apartment.

.
On more than one occasion, at a mid-town shopping mall, she encountered Brewster and his fat new wife. She hated him even more. He was shorter and uglier than ever.


Then one day Emma met Morris Sloat. She was at an after-school children's pick-up site, waiting for the Wildink kids, when Morris suddenly appeared, awaiting his six year old grandson, a chore he enjoyed, as his daughter-in-law was finishing up with her apprenticeship at a local law firm.


For Morris and Emma it was love at first site. After a respectful courtship, and waiting the appropriate time (Morris’s wife had died the year before) Emma accepted his proposal.


Morris was a prominent art dealer, and his profession demanded that he make regular visits to European auction sales. He urged Emma to accompany him, but she could not consider it. She could not get on a plane again.


Emma Sloat's fear of flying stemmed from her childhood.
A particular flight with her mother and father, when she was a very little girl, remained a memory that could not be erased.
They were on a trip to the Azores when suddenly the plane flew into an air-pocket, plunging several hundred feet downwards, sending trays of hot and cold beverages and small carry-ons into the arms and hand-protected faces of screaming passengers. It was a horror that she would relive for years.


And now this! Sitting across from a man, that so much reminded her of Brewster Spats, her much hated first husband.


“Close your eyes, Emma. Now think pleasant thoughts. Something you are comfortable with. Nothing is going to harm you”


All Emma could think of was Brewster Spats. The man who tried to destroy her.


“Your'e boarding a plane, Emma. It's a beautiful day out. The sun is warm on you. Perhaps you're hearing soft classical music”.


Emma was on the tarmac lined up to enter the plane in front of her. She heard the chatter of the fellow passengers and the reeving up of the plane engines. Suddenly she saw, just a few people ahead of her, Brewster Spats boarding the plane. She tried to put that thought of her ex-husband out of her mind, but every time she opened her eyes, and looked at the bloated little man sitting across from her, Brewster's image appeared closer and closer. In her mind, she saw Brewster taking a window seat, and when she boarded the plane, the only available seat was right next to him.
She tried to relax her mind, but she knew, without a doubt, she had to imagine herself off that plane. She just had to. And very quickly !


“We'll have a more successful session next time, Emma” Doctor Sloat said. “The first time can be a bit trying.”
Emma tried to shake off the horrible thoughts that she had been having. She wouldn't take the doctor's hand when extended, once again.


“Our next appointment will have to be later next week” Doctor Garitz said. “I'm catching a flight to Miami tonight and won't be back for a few days. Just check with my receptionist on your way out."


Emma knew that she was not going to go back to Doctor Garitz. If she was never going to board an aircraft again in her life, that was how it was going to be. Just imagining her despicable first husband sitting beside her on a plane made her sick to her stomach. She and Morris could drive to nice places, have a wonderful 10th wedding anniversary without having to board a plane.


She was feeling better already. She would tell Morris that the afternoon went well. But really, she didn't want to go back. Perhaps a leisurely drive to The Catskills, would make a nice tenth anniversary holiday.


Early, the next morning, on his way to get the newspaper that had just been delivered at the doorstep, Morris was hoping that Emma might change her mind, and give Doctor Garitz another chance.

Their next door neighbor, Harry Feldstein, was standing in front of his own doorway, looking at The Daily Herald that had just been delivered.
He looked up at Morris, waved good morning and said, “Horrible thing about that late night flight to Miami."


© Copyright 2018 Lionel Walfish. All rights reserved.

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