Joy stared into her closet, not knowing exactly what was appropriate for a rape counseling meeting. She settled on a plain blouse and slacks with flats. She was getting really anxious as it grew closer to the time for her to leave. But after the wine incident, she didn’t want to pop pills in front of Daniel. She didn’t know why she had kept them a secret from him in the first place. But now she would feel a bit awkward bringing up the subject.
They had had a nice, quiet lunch at a local Italian place. While she only truly felt safe with Daniel, she was still reticent in their relationship.
She sat on the bed next to Daniel, who had been making patient notes while she got ready. He put the work away when she sat down; he was very conscientious regarding patient confidentiality.
“You sure you’re okay doing this? You are probably the most private person I know and I cannot image how you are going to share your experience with strangers. I’m not discouraging you; just trying to be realistic.” Daniel asked looking Joy directly in the eyes.
“Yeah, I’m starting to not feel so sure about this. I would just feel like I was flaking out on Deanna, and I don’t want to be that kind of person. Maybe it’s like AA; you don’t have to share.”
Daniel laughed. “Joy, I think I have forgotten just how whimsical you can be. I truly hope it is like AA and you ‘don’t have to share’ because you are so the most unlikely person to attend a self-help group.”
“I wish I could just spend all my time with you; I’m always okay just being with you.”
“Jesus, Joy; that is the sweetest thing you’ve ever said to me. You know, I could get Owen to cover my patients for a week or two if you really want me around.” Daniel offered.
“That is the kindest offer, but Owen wouldn’t do your patients justice; he just isn’t the therapist you are. As much as I would like to climb inside your skin right now and hide out for a few weeks, I’ve got to stand on my own two feet and figure things out.” Joy leaned into Daniel and kissed him on the cheek. He turned his face so that they were kissing on the mouth. Joy started to feel aroused, which made her think of the rape, so she broke off the kiss.
“I’m sorry Daniel. It’s not you, you know that, right?” Joy asked in a husky voice deepened by the threat of tears.
“Baby, it’s all good. I know it is going to take time, and we’ve got all the time in the world. I’ll be here right by your side every step of the way.”