The next morning, Valerie woke up after Johnny had left for work, feeling much calmer about their entire situation. He hadn’t arrived home until early that morning, but when he did get in he woke Valerie up to apologise for being so late; apparently there had been a talent scout at his open mic, and Johnny spent the whole night networking with the scout’s agency.
He was so thrilled, he pulled Valerie in close and kissed her passionately. “This is our chance, Val,” he told her. “Finally we’ll have some more money coming in to make room for our baby.”
The experience had left Valerie almost giddy as she thought about their future together, expanding the house to have a real bedroom instead of just a bed, and a space for Baby to call their own. Things were really going to be okay. “Happy love day, Johnny,” Valerie whispered as he held her close.
“Happy love day, Val.”
She headed out for the rest of the morning to do some fishing, and even decided to try and make a new friend. Valerie and Aadhya didn’t immediately hit it off, but they exchanged phone numbers so at least they could stay in touch. She gave off an evil kind of vibe, but things had been getting a little lonely with Lily so busy working with her husband to expand their empire into Oasis Springs. Valerie had spoken to her friend on the phone the day before, and Lily had told her all about how they were planning on gaining a monopoly on all the juice businesses as a starting point. It was really hard to take Lily seriously when she spoke about the plans she and her husband had for Simsville.
It wasn’t a great day for fishing, as it turned out. Perhaps Valerie had turned up a little too late in the day for anything to bite, so she decided to head back home empty-handed and get to work on her garden. Her flowers were coming along nicely, and she’d even found some roses to plant! She’d planted them a little too late to have them in time for the Love Day tradition, but at least they’d be there for next year. Without knowing when, Valerie had begun to think that Johnny would definitely still be around by then.
After Valerie had harvested all of her plants, Johnny arrived with a rose for her. “I know it would’ve been nicer to have a home-grown one, but… I hope this does just as nicely. Happy love day, Val. We may not be ‘in love’ but I do care about you. Besides, we have a bond now, a bond that will never be broken, and we’ll always be each other’s family.”
“Thank you so much, Johnny,” Valerie replied, taking the rose from him and inhaling its scent deeply. “It’s so beautiful! I actually wanted to ask you something about our arrangement here.” She was nervous, but Johnny had been so sweet all day, she was sure her instincts were right.
“What is it?”
“Well, we’re going to be parents soon, and I grew up with married parents who loved each other, and I was thinking, wouldn’t Baby be better off if we were together? And I mean, we’re already living together and sharing a bed, so why not make it… less casual? Johnny, will you be my boyfriend?”
He didn’t even use words at first. He simply gestured at Valerie and groaned as he rubbed his temples. “I’ve been giving you the wrong signals, clearly… Look, I don’t want any more than this, Val. I mean, I want us to save up some money so we can build a room for Baby when they arrive but ultimately I still have a life in Oasis Springs to return to.”
“O–Oh. Okay,” Valerie said, surprised by his rejection. After a moment, though, she felt anger beginning to build up inside her. “Wait, though. If you don’t want anything more than our casual arrangement, why are you still treating me like you care? Why do you kiss me? Why do we share a bed every night? I thought you–I thought you cared!”
Johnny’s temper rose up higher than Valerie’s quickly, and he found himself shouting without realising it. “Plum it, Valerie! We have feelings for each other, obviously we do or we wouldn’t even be in this situation! I share a bed with you because it’s nice. We WooHoo because it’s nice. I kiss you because you’re nice to kiss, I’m sorry if you’re too stupid to have realised all of that! I thought we were on the same page, you know. I can’t believe what a plumming idiot I’ve been.” As he finished speaking, Johnny stormed off into the house, leaving a hurt and mildly confused Valerie alone in the garden. She’d been expecting a yes, but she could have handled a no. She wasn’t expecting him to get so angry at her, though. It was all a little too much for the pregnant sim, barely out of her teens.
Exhausted by the whole experience, and by Johnny waking her up at five in the morning, Valerie lay down for a nap. It took her a while to drift off, as his words kept going around her head, but eventually tiredness overtook her worried thoughts and pulled her under.
Meanwhile, Johnny had locked himself in the bathroom to make a phone call. “I need to see you,” he said with quiet urgency, “can you meet me at Rattlesnake Juice in half an hour?”
“Of course, Johnny. I’ll be waiting,” came the response. He slipped out of the house quietly so as not to wake Valerie from her nap, and began his journey back to Oasis Springs, making one brief stop on Magnolia Promenade along the way. He hadn’t planned this, but he knew it was what he had to do. He needed to get out, and so did she. His thoughts were racing the entire journey, as he anticipated what he was about to do. When he finally arrived, he found himself a little sweaty but pulled himself together outside the bar before stepping through the doors.
Johnny walked straight up to Katrina and got down on one knee, pulling out the ring he’d bought on the way over. “Katrina, we’re both miserable, but we have a real shot of happiness together. I’m begging you, Kat. Leave Don and marry me.” The words came out faster than he had planned, but he was still pleased with himself. He’d expressed exactly what he’d intended to. Katrina stood there for a moment, her face unreadable, and Johnny found himself holding his breath without realising it.
“Johnny, I… no.”
Note from the Author: Next chapter is out on the 28th at 7pm GMT! Let me know what you thought of this chapter 🙂