Johnny wasn’t doing so good.
After being rejected by Katrina he couldn’t face returning to Oasis Springs, and so he’d set up a new life in Willow Creek, away from the family who’d disowned him, and away from the love of his life who’d rejected him countless times. He ditched his bright, comedian-suitable attire for all black, and dyed his hair to match. He’d heard the Goth subculture was particularly popular in Willow Creek, so felt pretty confident he wouldn’t get strange looks in the street.
As often as he could, Johnny went to visit his daughter, Layla, who lived with her mother and stepfather, Gavin, in Oasis Springs. Katrina wouldn’t let him into her new house, but she couldn’t find it in her heart to deny him access to Layla; she wasn’t a monster, after all. So Johnny would spend his time on the sidewalk, teaching Layla some of his favourite foods, building up the relationship that he never wanted to have with Amelia. He hadn’t seen his other daughter since she was a baby in a crib.
He doted on her, worshipped her. She was the one good thing left in his life since Katrina had left both Johnny and Don for a complete stranger. He wished more than anything to have custody of Layla, but he knew there was no way Katrina would let that happen. Besides, his career hadn’t taken off like he’d hoped, and he could barely sustain himself as it was. Spending a few hours with Layla once a week, locked out of Katrina’s house, was the best he was going to get.
Katrina emerged eventually, and Gavin took Layla back inside without so much as a word to Johnny. Once they were alone, Johnny turned to the mother of his child.
“Katrina, I miss you more than I can say. Seeing Layla is one of only two joys in my life right now; the other is getting glimpses of you through that window. We are meant to be together, Kat. You know it, I know it, the world knows it,” he said, hiw voice sounding more whiny than he’d hoped it would. “Imagine what our life could be like, Kat. Just imagine it. You and me, Layla, even Shannon if you want. We could have a nice house, we could get a dog…”
“Shannon is doing perfectly fine with his aunts,” Katrina replied curtly, “and even if he wasn’t, he thinks Dina’s his mother. I don’t want to mess with that.”
“I know you only tell yourself that because Gavin didn’t want a Lothario in his house,” Johnny retorted, his anger flaring up at the man Katrina had chosen over him.
“Look, Kat, I’m begging you,” Johnny said as he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring he’d kept with him for years. “Tell that guy to plum off, marry me instead.”
“No,” she said, the annoyance in her voice clear. “For the love of God, Johnny, stop asking me. Despite what you think, Gavin makes me happy. I am happy. Can’t you see how happy I am here? ” Katrina rolled her eyes and turned to walk away. She hesitated for a moment as she thought of all the happy memories she had with Johnny, but he’d gone too far. She went inside without another word.
Johnny, feeling equal parts embarrassed and heartbroken, made his way home to Willow Creek. Things hadn’t gone well how he’d wanted at all. All he wanted was to start a family with the love of his life; was that too much to ask?
He didn’t notice Katrina until she tapped him on the shoulder; she must have followed him. He was at an utter loss for words. He didn’t know why she was there, or what she wanted him to say, or even what he wanted himself to say. He stared at her dumbly.
“Come on, show me where you’re living,” Katrina said, and she took him by the hand and led him towards the front door.
“Kat, before you come in, I just want to…” he paused, rethinking what he was going to say. “I need to apologise. I overstepped by asking you to leave Gavin, and by assuming that you weren’t happy. You’re a grown woman. You have the right to do whatever you want,” he sighed heavily, struggling to keep his emotions in check, “even if that doesn’t mean having a life with me.”
Katrina smiled faintly at him. “Thank you, Johnny,” she replied, “it means a lot for you to recognise that.” She looked as if she wanted to say more, and opened her mouth to continue, but stopped herself and shook her head. “I still want to see your house! Are you going to give me the grand tour?”
Johnny smiled, relief washing over him. He’d been afraid that he’d lost Katrina forever with his stupid behaviour. “Step right up,” he grinned, and led her into the kitchen. “You can see practically everything except the bedroom from here,” he began, pacing around the room. He gestured to his right and said, “kitchen,” then pointed to his left, “living room. That’s about it, really. The master bedroom is at the end of the hallway, and there’s a second bedroom but I don’t know what to do with it yet.”
Katrina suddenly realised something: he’d moved into a house with a second bedroom. He’d been hoping, all along, that he’d be able to give Layla somewhere to stay over. Katrina felt overcome with guilt and regret that she hadn’t recognised how unwavering his love for her had been, how he’d begged her to leave Gavin not out of delusion, but out of desperation. She hadn’t recognised that he’d never given up hope of a life with her.
She hadn’t planned on doing it so soon. In fact, she hadn’t even decided if it was definitely what she wanted; it had only been a throwaway thought, one she hadn’t given much consideration to. But she found herself dropping into a crouch regardless.
“Johnny, marry me,” she said simply, struggling to keep the tears back.
He took a moment to react, unsure of whether she was being serious or not. “Wh-what about Gavin?”
“I’ll leave him. I’ll get Shannon back, and we’ll finally be a family. Marry me,” she repeated.
The smile grew quickly across his face. “Nothing would ever make me happier,” he said, and he pulled her off her knee into his arms, unsure of whether he was laughing or crying.
They decided to live in Willow Creek; Oasis Springs held far too many memories for both of them. Katrina had a respectable amount of savings, and used them to find a house more suitable for a family of four than a tiny shack. Moving day came faster than either of them had been prepared for, but neither of them minded; it felt like their life couldn’t begin fast enough.
Shannon and Layla hit it off about as well as two toddlers could, sniping at each other on occasion but generally not complaining too much about having to share toys. Shannon seemed to take great pride in being an older brother, and adapted to finding out that Katrina was his mother, and not his grandmother, quicker than she’d expected. Perhaps it was easier to have this conversation while he was still quite young.
The two lovebirds could barely keep their hands off each other as they stood outside their new home, the last of the unpacking finished. “You’ve made me the happiest man alive,” Johnny muttered into Katrina’s ear. Now that she’d come back to him, he’d abandoned the goth lifestyle.
She giggled girlishly and pulled him in for a kiss. As they broke away she responded, “I only wish I’d had the sense to do it sooner.”
“I guess the next thing is to plan the wedding, then?” Johnny asked, staring at their new house. “Everything else seems to have fallen into place now.”
“I don’t want to wait,” Katrina said. “It’s been long enough, and we already have a kid together.”
She surprised him by pulling out a wedding band there and then. “Do you?” she asked, smiling widely.
“Yes, of course, I absolutely do,” Johnny responded, and she pushed the ring onto his finger. He was still somewhat stunned. He couldn’t believe all of his dreams were finally coming true; he was finally going to have the life he deserved.
Note from the Author: Hope you enjoy this update on Johnny and Katrina! MCCC got involved and the relationships exploded! Katrina married Gavin and she and Layla moved in with him, while her son with Don stayed in the old Caliente house with Don, Dina and Nina. Don got married to Mila Munch and moved in with her, taking the baby he had with Dina with him. So now Amelia has a half-sister who has a half-brother who has a half-brother/uncle! Complicated stuff… Anyway, sorry for being late with the update, but back on a regular schedule from here on out; next post will be Thursday 21st at 7pm GMT. See you then!