Joy’s chosen way to forget about the trial was to immerse herself in the coming holidays. Her childhood memories always had her father working hard through the season. Her Mom had made the best effort she could, but they didn’t have much. It wasn’t until Joy went away on scholarship to college that she saw kids that came from all different backgrounds. She was never ashamed of her humble upbringing, but she’d be lying if she denied envying those who had more.
When she was a junior, she’d been called to the Dean’s office. Her parents had been involved in a head-on collision with a tractor trailer truck. The driver of the truck was found to be at fault as he had been drinking. There was a suitable settlement that would take care of Joy for the rest of her life if she was thrifty. She let the lease on their apartment expire, donated most of her parent’ belongings to charity, and buried herself in her studies.
The following year she met Daniel and she fell head over heels. His parents had taken to her and practically adopted her. He loved her deeply and really had no choice but to marry her. Money hadn’t been an issue while Daniel worked hard to build his practice, and now they had a comfortable living.
Now that they had the means, Joy tended to be a little over the top regarding the holidays, especially since they’d had Ben. It started with Halloween and went clear through to the New Year.
This year Ben wanted to be Bob the Builder. So Joy had spent two weeks putting that outfit together perfectly. As she and Daniel walked him around the neighborhood, they smiled with enjoyment, as Ben’s excitement was contagious.
Joy wanted to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving this year, as the trial would begin in December. She put out an entire collection of stuffed holiday bears all over the house. She had a tall spruce delivered and set up in the foyer, and a smaller one set up in the family room. She also had bough upon boughs delivered to decorate the banister, the fireplace, and pretty much anyplace she could drape them.
The foyer tree was the fancy tree; all gold and silver ornaments and ribbons. The tree in the family room was decorated with ornaments to enchant a little boy. Joy set up the Christmas train around the tree so that when Ben looked up he would be mesmerized by all the twinkling lights.
Daniel was easy to buy for; the latest electronics never failed to put a smile on his face. Joy had also bought a pretty expensive watch for him and had it engraved with all my love, Joy. She wanted to give him something special that he would have with him every day that would remind him of her and how much she loved him.
Joy had bought a few gifts for Ben, but she and Daniel liked to shop for the majority of his presents together. She was just glad to have a few presents for them both wrapped and under the tree. It made life seem normal.
But life wasn’t normal. This trial was quickly approaching and her apprehension grew every day that it drew closer. Dr. Mayer had really been no help; in fact he was downright squirrely. His single-minded determination that she come clean with Daniel undermined any therapy she was supposed to be getting from the man. She’d break it off entirely if it wouldn’t arouse Daniel’s suspicions. For now, she was stuck with him.