It happened One Day on the Couch
A Smuthunter Story
“Alright Terri, just clear your mind and…”
Terri was stretched out on the couch, yoga pants and tank top hanging off her lithe body. She was skinny in that fit sort of way that girls who love cardio and salad were, and that was her problem. Melissa watched her close her eyes and sort of squint like she was wringing out her brain like a wet washcloth.
“Actually, you know, let’s move over to the recliner.”
Melissa watched her pretty blond friend stand up and stretch out a little as she walked the few paces over to the plush black leather chair. One of her instructors, a women named Whitney who had the most amazing hypnosis technique, told her that having your subject move after they think they’re settled is a good way of reinforcing the authoritative modality of the hypnotist. Terri would need the nudge; she wasn’t exactly the highly suggestible type.
“You know,” Melissa sort of laughed when she continued, “I used to think these were just grandpa chairs, something you’d fall asleep on while you were watching football. I mean, you know what I mean, you’ve seen that before right?”
The question with the affirmation attached to it, and the evocative imagery of lazy and peaceful moments was purely intentional.
“Well, I had to get one at the end of my last series of classes because they’re so comfortable.” She was creating the expectation that the chair would be a pleasant experience, and once Terri was settled, Melissa would reaffirm the expectation.
Terri reclined and pulled the handle. The chair clicked back and she stretched her arms over her head again.
The pretty blond had little nervous motions she was working through.
The stretch shifted the soft blue fabric of her tank top, her breasts pushed together, accidently enhancing her cleavage. She had a full enough chest for a skinny girl. It was something Melissa had noticed when they first met.
That was something girls noticed about each other all the time, a fun little secret they would share with boys for a cheap laugh and a glimpse into the world of women.
They had tried a little bit of hypnosis a few weeks before in the break room, and while Terri had a little bit of success, it didn’t work as well as either one of them had hoped. Trying again at Melissa’s was actually the slightly too stressed out blonde’s idea. A way to get Melissa some more practice, a way to help Terri relax, a way to become better friends.
Terri didn’t know what Melissa had done to their co-worker Jay, and they weren’t quite good enough friends for that talk even though Terri had unwittingly played an important role in how it all came together.
“My uncle always fell asleep on the recliner to get out of helping clean up at holidays.” Terri smiled and laughed as she said this. She was following the subtle bait the hypnotist had offered, her mind associating like experiences with the chair.
“I bet you would too if you ever had a turn to get the chair wouldn’t you?”
Melissa played with the small sparkling crystal hanging just above her breasts. She was in a long gray skirt and a thin white sweater. Her hair was up, her glasses were on, and even though this was a casual girls day in, the look and the manner were an important part of creating the right environment.
Before her friend could answer, Melissa let her voice bathe in the tender warmth of nostalgia. “I bet you would probably have been woken up to help clean up, but that’s what I love about being an adult, being in charge of your life, your days, your choices. I think it’s easy to forget we’re the ones who make our own time to relax, our own time to decompress.”
She watched Terri sigh a slight resigned sort of sigh. Melissa knew she’d have to pay more attention to Terri’s body language than her words, since she would say the right things, the things she wanted to feel while what she was feeling would feel wrong, or foolish, or like she wasn’t being cooperative.
It just came with the territory, Terri was a Type A person a doer, a do it right the first time kind of girl so she would
“This is your time to decompress Tammy, your time to relax. You’re comfortable here, you can let yourself relax.”
* * *
Melissa’s voice really had a charm to it. It was gentle and easy to listen to, warm and really understanding. Terri felt the sweetness in her friend’s words.
It was nice to be understood, finally.
The last few guys she dated weren’t very decent listeners. They were all just high power alpha male, full-speed-ahead guys that didn’t understand how her little stresses were all adding up into a bigger and bigger ball of tension.
Yoga, cleanses, living gluten free, none of it cut any of her worries down.
And, it wasn’t exactly easy for her to stay friends with other women either. She had a few girlfriends, but most of them lived out of state, or had kids now and had become “boring” for lack of a better term.
It hadn’t taken long for her and Melissa to start having lunch once they started talking, but girl friendship was a minefield. You never knew if you were friends or “frenemies”, whether or not you were spending time together because you were in the same place, or because you liked being around each other.
Terri had a good feeling about Melissa though, she seemed pretty genuine.
And also, and this was kind of terrible, even though Melissa did have a killer rack, she was still a plump girl, and there would be no guy competition. If a guy thought she was cute, there’s no way he would be into Terri’s type, and she knew perky blond was a lot more popular than, well, Melissa.
At least, that was the safer bet.
But, as Terri felt the soft black leather of the chair under her arms, she tried to think about the first thing Melissa said, “Just clear your mind.”
It was a wonderful idea, a clear mind. But, if she could do that, then her life would be so much easier.
“This is your time to decompress Terri, your time to relax. You’re comfortable here, you can let yourself relax.”
There was a lull in the way those words rolled out across her mind, and Melissa was right, she really was comfortable in the chair.
“Like when you lower yourself into a nice hot bath, and your muscles melt on their own, and your eyes close all on their own, muscle memory, instinct.”
Terri felt her eyelids close as she let out a sigh. It was so easy to picture that experience. It was muscle memory.
“I love taking baths.”
Terri smiled, and agreed.
“I do too” were the first words she had said in the last few minutes. Then she realized how quiet she had been and started to say thank you.
All of this human warmth and the way Melissa was almost leeching the tension out of her with her soothing voice and it really was helping Terri to decompress.
But, before she could get the words out, Melissa’s voice came across her in another warm wave.
“You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to. This is your time and we’re here to help you relax. If you’re feeling good, or thankful for this experience, then instead of trying to clear your mind, maybe you can simply soak in these good feelings.”
It was so easy for her to imagine soaking in the warmth.
“You could fill your mind with these good feelings, letting them fill you like hot water in the tub. Sometimes, when people have a difficult time being peaceful with themselves, it’s easier for them to think of abstractions, to create a little distance.”
Terri found it easier and easier to follow Melissa’s reasoning, feeling the inherent logic of her statements building to some answer she couldn’t quite grasp yet.
“Take a deep breathe in Terri, and as you exhale, imagine your feet feeling a soothing warmth building in them, imagine them filling just like the cool white bathtub fills with relaxing hot water. Like tipping your toes into the tub and feeling the relaxation spreading as you sink down.”
Terri tried to sort out the two separate images, but found herself pulled into the clear sensation of warm relaxation.
“The heat sinks down through your toes and up into your ankles, relaxing more and more as you sink in, relaxing more and more as the heat starts to rise. Let yourself feel the warmth massaging the balls of your feet, each toe loosening one by one, ten tense toes melting down as the warmth goes up, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one, and all the stress in your feet is gone, just warmth, just relaxation now. It feels nice doesn’t it Terri?”
She realized she had dipped into daydream and wasn’t sure what Melissa was asking. She sighed a little, feeling the smile one her face widen just slightly.
“Sometimes when we realize we’re relaxing we can lose the feeling, and we try to chase it, but it flickers away like our shadow, or the a candle’s flame. When I sink down into the warm hot water, I love lighting a candle and watching the steam float up and up, just like you can let your relaxation float up your calves, and deep into your thighs, unlocking all those muscles, letting the heat sink in, like a key in a lock, like you can unlock all of the tension in your legs with a nice deep breath in, and a long deep breath out.”
The pretty blonde didn’t decide to take that breath, but as the air left her lungs in a long slow sigh, she felt every muscle from her hips to her toes loosen.
It felt nice, and unknown to her, when she realized that if she continued to let this happen she would feel even better, she was doing just what Melissa wanted her to. She heard the next few words, remembering a sense of warmth melting the tension in her stomach, and then she drifted away.
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