A Waltons Story
(The Waltons Fan Fiction)
By: Kristi N. Zanker
Disclaimer: All publicly recognized characters, settings, etc. are the property of Lorimar Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. I, in no way am associated with the owners, creators, or producers of The Waltons. No copyright infringement is intended.
John-Boy jolted up, startled by the rapping of someone knocking at the door. Thoughts of Elizabeth scattered and the rain cloud reappeared. He stood up, rubbing his forehead, and unlocked the door. Another shock made its way through him as he gazed at who stood in front of him. His throat closed up; John-Boy couldn't speak. He wanted to shut the door right then and there, but he didn't.
"Daisy," he said, still sounding hoarse. "What are you doing here?"
"John, I'm probably the last person you want to see. But I—I need to talk to you. Please."
"You're right about that, you are the last person I want to see. How can you even think of coming up here like this? Do you realize how long it's been?"
"John, I know—"
"You know...you know you shouldn't have come here. If it was a week or two after you shoved me away, maybe, just maybe I would let you back into my life. No, but you had to—"
"John, please! I really want to talk to you. I mean it. Please, let me in."
John-Boy sighed and opened the door wider, still not sure what to think.
"It's so dark in here," said Daisy.
"Let's keep it that way. I'm not feeling the greatest right now."
He stood in the middle of the living room, as far away as he could from her, while she was inches near the closed door. He didn't offer her a drink or any food. John-Boy just waited, with his arms folded, hoping she would say whatever it was and get out.
"John, please listen to me. I'm so ashamed of the way everything happened. After Melissa's father, it's hard for me to trust men. But I know now that I can trust you and only you." She paused for a moment and then continued. "John, so much has happened since…" her voice trailed off.
He wasn't sure, but he thought he heard her start to cry. John-Boy paced the floor, letting the words sink in. Melissa's father hadn't even entered his mind. He turned to face her.
"I'm sorry you went through such a hard time, Daisy. I didn't stop to think of the ordeal you went through with that scoundrel. But I'm not sure I can take this. I still love you…but I just don't know anymore."
"I love you, too," she said. "My life has been miserable without you. You know that my mother passed away. So I have Melissa on my own now. I don't regret getting to know my daughter, but I realized what a mistake it was not to let you know her too. I have been spending so much time trying to make up for what I was running away from. So, my past has caught up with me. I'm trying, but I was so devastated with Melissa's father."
John-Boy still did not say a word. He stared at her, wondering if she was telling the truth. She went on.
"You and your family are so wonderful, John. To be able to get help from your family after what happen between us…I was so afraid and so alone. Even if your mother did not like the way things ended with us. She was so good to us, and Melissa more so. I'm truly blessed John; I realize that now."
"She's always like that," John-Boy said of his mother. "But Daisy, in your letter, you said Mary Ellen let you live at her house for free—"
"Your mother was so kind to us. Mary Ellen was—"
"You did not give me a chance. And it hurt me too. I still cannot get over it right now."
John-Boy breezed past her and sat in the kitchen chair where he had written his letter to Elizabeth. In his mind, he said he would mail it on Monday.
"I know, John, I know. I deserve everything that you are saying. But please understand how I was feeling too. I never stopped loving you and I just want to have another chance with you."
He wasn't sure if had heard her right. A second chance?!
"A second chance?" John-Boy said, almost in a whisper. He wondered if Daisy even heard him. He felt his anger rising slowly. Stay calm, he told himself. His father's inheritance of rage continued to creep up.
"Dammit Daisy! How dare you say that to me!" he shouted. He pounded his fist on the table, and accidentally pushed Elizabeth's letter onto the floor. He bolted out of his chair and went over to where she stood by the door. He stood in front of her. A look of fear fell on her face. For moment John-Boy thought she would open the door and run out. An easy escape.
"You just pushed me out of your life, once you found out your mother adopted your daughter. You made the final decision without consulting your future husband—me!" He pointed to himself. "How do you know it wouldn't have worked out for us; tell me that!"
The look of fear still lingered along with a glance of surprise. He'd never spoken to anyone like that before. Daisy began to quietly cry and John-Boy ignored it. He didn't want to fall for anything.
Suddenly, he heard Bing Crosby on the radio. He had forgotten the radio was even on. Right then, he wanted to hurl it out the window. Instead, he brushed past Daisy and turned it off.
"John, please, won't you try?"
John-Boy stood there, frozen. He didn't know what to say anymore. Still angry, he went over to the door, and opened it. Daisy slowly went over to him.
"If you change your mind, I'm at the hotel on—"
He barely heard what she had said. He slammed the door behind her. He knew he shouldn't, but he went into the kitchen, wrenched open the icebox door and took the last two cans out. He sat at the table and drank the two beers as if the world was coming to an end. He felt worse than he did before. He cursed to himself for doing this, drinking again. John-Boy pleaded in his mind that he would never do this for a third time. He was sure of it. Besides, there were no cans left and he knew he would not go get anymore.
John-Boy went into his room and fell on the bed, thinking about the past fifteen minutes. Sleep enveloped him before he could make up his mind on what he should do.
When John-Boy woke up, he rolled over and picked up the alarm clock. It was late in the afternoon. He had been asleep for three hours. When he sat up, he noticed something was different. He couldn't figure it out at first. It was after he went into the bathroom and washed his face. That was when he noticed it.
In the past few months, John-Boy hadn't taken a fair amount of time to clean anything. He left dishes in the sink for days, and clothes on the floor. He knew he'd left his pajamas on the floor earlier this morning. And the green towels he'd used were gone. Dark blue clean towels were in place of the dirty ones.
"What's going on here?" he said to the reflection in the mirror.
To be sure he wasn't crazy or dreaming, he went into the kitchen to see if the dirty dishes were still in the sink from the last week. They weren't. He heard the sound of a page turning. Someone was in here. Just then, he noticed how bright the room was. They had pulled the curtains apart. John-Boy's hangover lingered on, but he wasn't as sick as he was this morning. Still, the late afternoon sky was startling.
He whipped around and saw Daisy sitting on the couch, reading a book. She must've cleaned everything.
"Daisy, what are you doing here? How did you get in?"
"You gave me a key, remember?"
Right at that moment, he wished he hadn't given her a key. After they had gotten engaged, he had given her an extra key to his place. A few times a week, he'd come home to find her cooking dinner for him. Now, for her act of kindness, the most he felt he could say was at least "thank you." He had said the rest three hours ago.
"Daisy…I want to thank you for cleaning up everything. It hasn't looked this way since before we left for Waltons Mountain. I appreciate what you did. But I can't help thinking…if this is your way of trying to get me to give you a second chance, well, it's just not going to happen."
"John, I meant what I said earlier."
"I know, it's just that…I feel I've given in too much. I'm not going to get hurt again this time."
"I won't hurt you. I love you."
"How do I know that?"
John-Boy walked over and sat across from her in a chair next to the radio. To him, Daisy still looked very beautiful. Her hair was slightly longer from what he remembered, with tiny curls framing her face. The pink flowers that dotted her blouse brought out the blueness of a robin's egg in her eyes. Her hands were clasped together on her beige skirt. There were dark circles under her eyes.
"I shouldn't have pushed you away," said Daisy. "What happened with Melissa's father was so long ago. When I was at a theater or the restaurant, I wouldn't let anyone get close to me. That is until I saw you come in and dance with me for ten cents. I thought maybe I should give him a chance. You were so sweet to me during the marathon dance. I've made one mistake after another."
"I guess we've felt the same way these past few months, haven't we?" said John-Boy. "Daisy, something keeps telling me not to give you a chance. But there's a small part of me that is saying yes to that chance. I mean, you did come here and clean up." John-Boy laughed. "I don't know of anyone else who'd do that. I think I may have to go with yes."
Daisy stood up.
"But wait, if you hurt me again, I really mean it, I won't come back to you. Please understand that."
"John, I promise."
Daisy hugged him. It felt so good to have her close to him. John-Boy slowly put his arm around her and held her tight. John-Boy reached over and turned on the radio. The song "Where or When" came on and Peggy Lee's sensuous voice filled the room.
"What a perfect song," he said, smiling at Daisy.
He may have appeared in high spirits on the outside, but his stomach still twisted and turned. The mixture of alcohol and the earlier confrontation with Daisy pulled at him. He wanted to believe her.
"Daisy, would you—like to dance?" John-Boy asked.
"I'd love to."
He stood up, held out his hand and Daisy took it. They both moved to the middle of the room. Daisy put her arms around him, and rested her head on his shoulder. John-Boy held her close, as they slowly swayed back and forth to the music.
"Every time I dance with you, I think of the marathon," John-Boy said. "My Mama wouldn't let me go. But I went anyway."
"Oh, I'm so glad you went, otherwise I wouldn't have met you."
She lifted her head and kissed him lightly on the cheek. John-Boy did not kiss her back. The pit in his stomach told him not to, not yet. He had to be sure she was going to stay.
After dancing for about a half hour, they sat on the couch again and talked about their three lonely months. Daisy told John-Boy that her mother's house sold well and she had enough money to move back to New York and rent an apartment until she found a job. She told him about Melissa becoming more grown up everyday, and yet how turbulent her short life had been so far, and how she planned to make things right for her.
He in turn told Daisy of the struggles with his writings, and the depression he felt without her beside him. He was honest. Every bit he told, even down to the drunkenness and hangover, he felt the heaviness in his stomach lift. If he hadn't felt comfortable with her, John-Boy wouldn't have told Daisy anything. He felt ashamed about the drinking the night before.
"Don't feel ashamed," said Daisy. "There's no need to."
"But you can't come up with anything good if you're like that. Then again, I couldn't write anything before then."
"You'll write again."
"When will you be moving back?"
Copyright © 2005 by Kristi N. Zanker
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