Katerina Romanova was an honour roll student and always helped out around the house when she didn’t have homework or violin practice to do. When her parents were too busy, Katerina looked after her younger siblings and even taught her baby sister how to walk.
Griffin began having a mid-life crisis shortly before Katerina’s milestone birthday. He spent the family’s entire savings to purchase a resort and run it as the family business.
By the time Katerina graduated from high school, tension was brewing in the home. Griffin was contemplating a divorce, among other life-changing possibilities, and Katerina wanted to live her own life. She started working at the family’s hotel and saved money to get her own place.
Her first step toward independence was to move into a one bedroom house across town. It was nothing special, but Katerina loved her first home because it was her own private space.
Katerina kept in touch with her family and continued to work in the hotel to support herself. That is how she came to meet the man who would change her life forever.
It was a sunny Spring morning when Johnny walked into the lobby of the hotel and put down his luggage by the front desk. Katerina smiled and greeted him, “Welcome to Romanova Tower, how can I help you?”
“I have a reservation,” he said, “for Johnny Coldtrain with a silent D.”
Katerina was confused. “What?”
“My name is pronounced like ‘Coltrane’ but it’s spelled C-O-L-D-T-R-A-I-N, but the D is silent,” he explained.
Katerina entered his name in the computer and found his reservation. “Yes, I have you here,” she confirmed. “You’re in Room 9. If you like, I’ll send someone to bring your things upstairs for you.”
Johnny thanked her and she started up some small talk with him. “Are you in Lucky Palms for business or for pleasure?” she asked.
Katerina wasn’t used to hearing that answer, so she was a little tongue tied for a moment before she said, “Well, if there’s anything you need, don’t hesitate to ring the front desk. In your room, you’ll find a brochure highlighting some of the best businesses and venues in town. We can also provide you with tickets to local concerts and events.”
Johnny thanked her again, then grabbed his bags and carried them to his room without any assistance. Later in the afternoon, he went back to the lobby.
“Hello, Mr. Coldtrain with a silent D,” she greeted him.
He smiled at her and walked around to the side of the desk to speak quietly with her. “I was looking through that brochure you told me about and saw there’s a coupon for free drinks at a bar. Would it upset your boyfriend if I asked you to join me for a drink?”
“I don’t have a boyfriend,” she confided in him.
“How perfect!” he remarked. “Should I take that as a yes?”
Johnny’s confidence won her over immediately. “I’d be happy to have a drink with you,” she replied. “I just finished my shift, so if you don’t mind waiting for a moment while I change my clothes, we can take my car.”