John meets up with Brian at the rehearsal for The Sound of Music. He's not all that into musicals, but he promised his friend, and he's got to meet Emily someday.
As the group is singing about following your dreams, John thinks about the lines for a moment.
Then, Brian brings over Emily and introduces her. She's a little shy, but excited for the play.
Emily invites John to come see the play that weekend. Since Marisol is busy hanging out with Birdie on Saturday, he doesn't see any reason to trek into Boston—it's not like his dad will miss him.
Perfect. Emily says he can come on Friday and then hang out with them afterward.
Brian offers to drive Emily home, really just as a ploy to show off the fact that he has a car to her freshmen friends.
In the car, she asks John who he's taking to prom. To be honest, he hadn't planned on asking anyone, since he wasn't even planning on going himself.
Emily can't believe it. She's more excited for prom than anything else, especially since she's a freshman and none of her friends are going.
Happy to get home, John brushes off the idea of prom. Besides, his mind is preoccupied with the fact that his mom is exercising on her stationary bike, which she hasn't used since his dad left.
She's not even embarrassed by it, and explains that she has to get in shape for the wedding—people will be looking at her.
John tells his mom that he's not going to his dad's this weekend so he can see Brian in the play. She's surprised he wouldn't want to go hang out with his dad.
At first, she seems a little flustered, but then she says it's no problem. John figures she has Al over on weekends and that they like a little privacy.
As she gets the chili out of the freezer for dinner, Anne asks John to grab the butter for the cornbread. He accidentally drops it and she says she'll clean it up.
Really, though, John knows she wants him out of the kitchen—being together in that small space means they might unintentionally bump each other, and his mom couldn't have that.
In his room, John reads the next issue of No Regrets and learns about Diana's positive attitude. She explains the title comes from the idea that she always wants to be looking at the future and hoping, not looking at the past and regretting.
John thinks that's an interesting idea, especially from someone whose mom died, so he decides to write her a letter about his life.
In it, he tells her about how his dad left and his mom got depressed. He admits it seems like his life isn't as bad as hers, but it still stinks. How can he not get down so much?
Then he tells her about his zine and Marisol's and encourages her to check them out.
He signs it with his real name. Why not? It's not like he'll ever meet the girl.