Soon it was time for Padma’s birthday and the going-away party for both of Katerina’s young sisters. She went to celebrate with her family.
After Padma blew out her candles, Griffin approached Katerina and asked her, “Hey, do you like my new spray tan? Does it make me look younger?”
“It looks great,” she answered politely.
“How are things going with that man of yours?”
“He’s so great, Dad!” Katerina gushed. “I know you’re going to like him. He’s a perfect gentleman.”
“He better be!” Griffin did his best impression of an over-protective father and demanded, “We better meet this guy soon.”
Katerina promised to bring Johnny home soon.
She enjoyed some of the birthday cake with her family and Vega couldn’t stop talking about going to private school. “I’ll get to wear a school uniform and everything!” she enthused.
“The other kids there will be a lot nicer too,” Katerina promised her. “I know you and Padma will make a lot of new friends, but don’t forget about your big sister, okay?”
After they ate, Svetlana spoke with Katerina and wondered, “How come your fellow didn’t come to our party?”
“I think he might’ve been a bit uncomfortable with them being aliens,” Katerina confided in her mother.
“What? You’re telling me you’re dating a racist man?”
“No, Mom! He’s not like that at all,” Katerina defended Johnny. “I don’t even know if that’s the reason he didn’t come. He seemed a bit surprised by it, is all.”
“I don’t know, Katerina.” Svetlana shook her head. “Do you even know anything about him?”
“I know plenty about him, and you can’t judge him before you meet him.”
Katerina broke away from the conversation with her mother to give a gift to Padma. “Here you go, I got you a surprise.”
“Thank you, Katerina! You’re the best sister ever,” Padma told her as she tore open her gift.
Griffin interrupted the girls. “I hear your fantastic man is a racist.”
“Dad, seriously!” Katerina snapped. “Why are you and Mom ganging up on me like this? Johnny isn’t a racist.”
“He better not be. I wont have my daughter getting messed up with someone like that! You know I would kill for my family.”
“This is too much,” Katerina said sadly. “I’m just going to say goodbye to the girls.”
“I’ll see you again soon, Vega,” she said to her sister before walking away from her parents.
Katerina gave Padma a quick hug before she left.
“Don’t forget to call me when you get to your new school.”
“I wont forget! I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Katerina went home and was feeling a little down until Johnny phoned to ask her how her evening went.
“I’m so glad you called,” she told him. “It’s storming like crazy tonight. Can you come over?”