Joy had finished dressing and sat back down on the exam table. How could she possibly face Daniel? That animal had torn her world asunder; the evidence of all that had happened would surely be written all over her face. Just as she thought this, there was a tap on the door and in rushed Daniel to her side.
“Joy, baby, how are you?”
Joy sat in awkward silence, looking down at her hands in her lap, feeling overwhelming shame wash over her.
“Joy, don’t hide away from me; you don’t have anything to be ashamed about. This monster attacked you, you didn’t ask for this; please just don’t shut me out.” Daniel’s pleading tone had Joy leaning her body against his, and before she knew it, she was sobbing uncontrollably.
“Daniel, I don’t know how all this happened. I am so sorry for all the trouble and embarrassment.”
Daniel gently lifted her chin and waited until her eyes met his. “Joy, you don’t have anything to be sorry for. I am just so damn sorry I wasn’t there to protect you.” Daniel grabbed a box of tissues and Joy took several of them to wipe her face; a face that felt even greater shame at his proclamation.
“Where’s Ben?” Joy asked, desperately trying to change the subject.
“I had my parents come by and get him. I didn’t know what kind of shape you’d be in, and I didn’t want him to see it. So I thought a night out with Grandma and Poppa would be ideal for everyone.”
“That was a great idea. He doesn’t need to know anything about this. It is not like he would even understand it all. I can honestly say that even I don’t understand all that has happened.” Joy stood and threw the used tissues in the trash. Just then Dr. Robbins strolled back into the exam room.
“Well folks, it looks like we collected a good deal of forensic evidence that will be on its way to the state police forensic lab for analysis. Mrs. Jamison, leave the dressing on your neck for tonight and remove it tomorrow and keep the area clean and dry. Your personal physician can remove the sutures in seven to ten days. As far as your vaginal injuries, here is a prescription for the vaginal cream I mentioned, plus one for moderate pain relief you can take as needed. You should make an appointment with your personal OB/GYN for follow-up, and nothing in the vagina until then. There is a rape trauma counselor here to discuss those emotional issues we talked about earlier. She and your husband have already spoken. I can send her in while I sign off on your discharge papers.”
“No, I just want to go home right now. Perhaps she could leave her card or her information and I can get in touch with her later.” Joy said as she looked down at her feet. How could the doctor come in her talking about all that stuff in from of Daniel? Did she have no say in what went on in her life anymore?
The doctor left and Daniel spoke. “Joy, you may not feel up to it now. But the rape counselor, Deanna Johnson, is really nice and someone who could really help you with all of this.”
Joy sighed. “Fine. I’ll be sure to give her a call when everything settles down a bit. I just want to go home and take a nice long shower. As it is, we have to wait for the police detective to come by and take my statement.”
“He was already here. I told him it would be more appropriate for you to give your statement tomorrow when our attorney could be present.”
“What? Why do I need Jeremy with me when I did nothing wrong?” Joy stated, feeling anger for the first time since the whole thing had occurred.
“For just that reason, Joy. You need to go over your statement with Jeremy so he can give you the appropriate guidance for when you’re talking to Detective Mullins.”
“Detective Mullins, Deanna Johnson; how is it you know everyone involved with what’s going on when you don’t even know what was involved?” Joy asked resentfully.
“Joy, I know you’re upset and have had quite a lot to deal with today. Why don’t you give me those prescriptions and I’ll go get them filled while you wait for the nurse to check you out. You know, I know how difficult intimacy is for you, so all of this must be unbearable for you. I am here for you one hundred percent and we will get through this.” Daniel stated and kissed to top of her head as he left to go to the pharmacy.
Joy was left with the thoughts of all that had happened. Daniel may be supportive now, but if he ever found out the secret she was harboring, he would never look at her the same again.