Rich boy Michael Corinthos and down-to-earth teacher Willow Tait first crossed paths at a bereavement group. He was mourning the loss of his son Jonah, while she was struggling with having given up her son, Wiley, for adoption. Little did they know just how complex their situations were. Why? Well…
See, wicked Nelle Benson — aka the mother of Michael’s son — had swapped their alive child for the dead, adopted son of her best pal Brad Cooper and his none-the-wiser hubby Lucas Jones. (Why? Long, long story!) Which meant that Brad was raising Michael’s son, with Willow completely unaware that her child had passed away.
Mix It Up
Michael soon found himself drawn to Willow, but she was already dating his pal, cop Harrison Chase. Being the gentlemanly sort, Michael backed off and instead pursued up-and-coming model Sasha Gilmore who, just to keep things interesting, was pretending to be the long-lost daughter of Nina Reeves… when not dressing up as a superhero.
Who’s Your Daddy?
Sometimes, that’s a question soap children shouldn’t ask. Because it turned out that Willow’s babydaddy was cult leader Hank “Shiloh” Archer. When Michael’s younger sister, Kristina Davis, got involved with his cult, Willow scored big points with him by helping her see that Dawn of Day was a dark, dark place.
What’s In a Name?
Eventually, everyone learned that the baby they’d been calling “Wiley” was actually Michael’s son, Jonah. This left Willow to process the devastating news that the child she’d given birth to was long dead. Rather than confuse his son, Michael opted to continue calling the boy “Wiley” and suggested Willow remain in his life as a mother-figure.
Thanks, But No Thanks
With Nelle determined to gain custody of Wiley, attorney Diane Miller suggested Michael take a wife, pronto. Sasha? Not so fast, given that she’d been busted for fraud thanks to the whole pretending-to-be-Nina’s-daughter thing. The next obvious choice? Willow! But she declined the offer, what with being in love with Chase and all.
On Second Thought…
Determined to protect Wiley from Nelle, Sasha and Chase pretended to be having an affair, thus freeing a devastated Michael and Willow to enter a marriage of convenience. With friends and family in attendance, they tied the knot at the Quartermaine mansion, home to many a happy couple over the years.
A graduate of the never-say-die club, Nelle kidnapped Wiley while everyone was distracted by the 2020 Nurses Ball. Michael rode to his son’s rescue, earning in the process his first real kiss from wife Willow. (Fun fact: Thanks to Covid protocols in place at the time, we never actually saw the pair lock lips.) A day later, he suggested she adopt Wiley to secure her place in the boy’s life.
What Color Is Love?
Painting Wiley’s room turned into something a whole lot more when the couple’s much-discussed annulment papers arrived… and led to them confessing their true feelings and making love for the first time! Everything was going swell for the pair until…
Reunited And It Feels So… Meh
The truth (about Sasha and Chase’s non-affair) set Willow free (of her marriage to Michael). Going through with the annulment, the formerly-weds tried reuniting with their former partners. Sasha and Michael quickly realized they were no longer as into one another as they’d once been. As for Chase and Willow…
The Things We Do For Love
Believing Chase was on his deathbed thanks to having been poisoned by bad guy Peter August, Willow agreed to become his bride. After the wedding, it turned out Chase had actually only been on his sickbed. Rather than lose his new wife to her former husband, Chase faked his paralysis a while to keep her from walking out.
Having realized that they’d never stopped loving one another, Willow and Michael decided to tell her recovered husband the truth… only to find out that he’d known they were still in love for a while. Soon after, Willow got yet another annulment and moved into the Quartermaine gatehouse with Michael and Wiley.
‘Back Off, Granny!’
Nina accidentally discovered that the supposedly-dead Sonny Corinthos was alive and living as memory-addled Mike in a town called Nixon Falls. Ultimately deciding to keep this news to herself, Nina began to fall for the dimpled Don. Once Sonny regained his memory and returned to Port Charles, his feelings for Nina complicated everything, including her desire to have a relationship with Wiley, her grandson via the now-dead (or so they say) Nelle.
The Other Mother
Just before dying, Willow’s supposed mom, former Shiloh acolite Harmony, revealed that she’d actually stolen the girl from her biological mom… Nina! With whom did Harmony share this news? Carly, who had about a zillion reasons to hate Sonny-stealing Nina and opted to keep this information to herself. For Willow’s own good,of course. Or so Carly told herself.
It was a good news/bad news scenario for Willow, who found out she and Michael would soon be giving little Wiley a brother or sister… but that she also had leukemia! To protect her unborn child, Willow opted to postpone undergoing chemotherapy or telling anyone — including Michael — about the cancer.
Beat the Clock
By the time her progressing illness basically forced Willow to fill Michael in, her situation had grown dire. With her health rapidly failing, they began praying for a potential bone marrow donor. Ironically, Carly’s new beau, Drew Cain, spearheaded the search for Willow’s birth mom, his girlfriend blocking his efforts every step of the way!
Too Little, Too Late?
When at last Carly found out about Willow’s condition, guilt propelled her to immediately reveal what she knew. Nina rushed to her daughter’s bedside, only to have Willow coldly reject her. The ailing young woman did, however, agree that if her new mom proved to be a potential donor, she’d accept her life-saving bone marrow.