“Good night.” Steve blew her a kiss then shut her door.
Kylee leaned against the wall. What I’m going to do? Her co-worker, Charles, went on about his fabulous therapist at work. Maybe she could help me.
The next morning, Kylee asked Charles about her. At lunch she gave Ms. Trina
Merinburg a call. When her secretary answered, Kylee hung up. Could she really help?
She had to do something so she dialed the number again.
“Jim wants you in his office.”
Stacey’s interruption forced Kylee to end the call.
All day she worried. She didn’t want to shatter Steve’s dream of being together.
That evening she finally got a hold of Ms. Merinburg, but the first available appointment was a month away. With disappointment Kylee set her phone down on the coffee table and walked away, but it rang. She rushed to answer it.
It was Ms. Merinburg.
“Dr. Bob Flander is a colleague of mine and he could devote all the time you need.”
Kylee took his number and agreed to call.
Her first appointment was all about her background. She withheld the real reason for being there.
The following week Dr. Flander asked about a boyfriend and Kylee lost it. “In a week and a half I’m going to have to climb into a tiny basket that’s going to sway aimlessly in the wind with a big flame hanging over our heads threatening to consume any mistake on our part. If I lose my balance I will tip over the edge. I will then fall slowly to my death.”
Dr. Flander calmed her. “I have just the technique for you, it’s call the Emotional Freedom Technique, also know as EFT. Any psychological problem can be healed by this tapping method that manipulates pressure points on various areas of the body.”
“So this is an alternative medicine thing?”
He smiled. “Yes, this method hits the same meridian points as acupuncture.”
Kylee wasn’t sure about this odd affirmation technique, but at least it was something.
“Now remember your tapping should be solid but not hard.”
She accepted the idea that she was clearing emotional barriers. He had her practice with her simple addiction to chocolate. It actually helped. The remaining visits consisted of rehearsing the approach. Kylee felt confident that she had armed herself with a solution to this phobia.
Dr. Flander’s reports of success eased Kylee’s nerves when Steve picked her up for the trip. He introduced her to his crew and then they caravanned to New Mexico.
With the extra attention Kylee received from Steve and the crew, her fears were soon forgotten.
Hot-air balloons crowded the field.
“Ready to work?” Steve’s excitement fueled Kylee’s hope until he questioned her. “Are these straps from the yellow container?”
She couldn’t remember. “I think.”
“Here, give them to me. You help flatten the balloon so we can get it into the air.”
A heaviness settled in her chest.
He kissed her. “I’m glad you’re here.”
She smiled, “Me too,” but her words felt empty.
Tugging on the silky material made her heart race. The enormous size of the balloon interfered with her memory. What EFT tap comes first?
Before Kylee knew it the balloon danced in the air.
“Into the basket, my love.”
Kylee tried to look calm.
Oh yeah. Kylee remembered she needed to rate her paranoia. She whispered to herself, On a scale from one to ten, I’m this afraid of heights. She swung her leg up over the basket’s edge, which tipped. Instead of keeping her number in her head, she yelled, “Eighty-six.”
“Eighty-six? What’s eighty-six?” Steve asked while catching her.
“I accept myself,” she said, “I completely accept myself.”
“I hope so because you’re beautiful and smart.”
Zoning Steve out, Kyle tapped her hand on the edge of the basket, then she tapped above her eyes with both hands.
“Are you okay,” Steve asked. “Do you have a headache? I can grab some aspirin?”
Kylee just moved to tapping under her nose and chin. Steve looked at his crew, who watched her hit hard. When she pounded with anxiety over her collarbone, Steve tried to grab her hand but Kylee raised her arm and tapped under her armpit, “I accept myself.”
A test on the flame valve lifted the hot-air balloon off the ground. Kylee fell backward and hit her head on the basket. She was out cold.
“Sweetheart,” Steve said cradling her head in his hands.
When Kylee came to, her head spun. Everyone stood over her.
She jumped up and flashed a cheesy grin. “What a great ride! You’re right Steve, nothing like sailing in the sky with the clouds. Very magical.” She squeezed Steve’s hand lovingly.
He glanced at the others then said, “We haven’t even lifted off the ground yet.”