IN LOVE WITH A SOLDIER
(Saying sorry in his heart (1)
Cherry stood in the courtyard and watched as Mond turned and left the premises, and her eyes widened with surprise.
She was very familiar with his physical profile. She remembered seeing him before. He was the mysterious man that was with Sally five years ago.
It seemed that he and Jackson had known each other for quite some time now, and she had also known him earlier.
Cherry wasn't aware that she had been standing outside for such a long time until a gust of cold wind awoke her back to reality. She shivered from the cold and decided to get back into the warmth of the house.
As she turned around towards the door, Cherry saw Jackson waiting for her. He had her coat in his arms ready for her to put on.
"What are you doing here alone?" asked Jackson in a gentle tone.
"Oh, I was just about to go back in," said Cherry in a guarded tone.
"Well, it's colder than usual tonight, why don't we go in," said Jackson.
"Okay," agreed Cherry.
After entering the house, Cherry immediately went upstairs to check on her son. When she opened the door, she saw Joe, her son sitting on the bed. He was busy playing with his computer tablet.
"Joe," Cherry called out gently, as she stepped into her son's room.
Joe looked up and gave a quick glance at his mother, and then lowered back his head not wanting to cut his concentration on the game that he was playing, at the same time saying, "Mommy, you are here."
"What are you doing? Why aren't you asleep?" asked Cherry. As she walked over to his son's bed and sat beside him, she saw that Joe was completely immersed with the game on his tablet.
"I want to play some more games. I don't need to get up early tomorrow, it's the weekend, so I can sleep in." Joe said casually. Cherry considering Joe's argument paused for a moment and thought, 'If I permit Joe to stay out late, it will be very difficult for him to get up early the next day.'
Cherry gently said to her son.
"Joe, you are right, tomorrow is a weekend, so you can sleep in an extra hour tomorrow. However, we have guest arriving, so you still need to get up early."
"I know. It's that nasty woman who embarrassed you last time?" replied Joe with a hint of annoyance in his voice.
"I only want Cousin John to come, and no one else, just him."
Joe didn't care much for Lucia, in fact he never liked her presence in the house even when his Great-Grandpa, Andrew had explained to him that Lucia was his Aunt, his relative. But young as he was, Joe never regarded her as a relative. He was very much aware how Lucia always looked at his Mom with resentful eyes.
She never hid her hatred towards his mother. To the boy's mind, a person who disliked his mother was not a relative nor a friend, such a person had no right for his attention or time. Cherry looked at her son, she was aware how Joe felt and why. She pulled her son close to her and said, "Joe, she is your Aunt, and you need to be polite to the elders, show respect.
You know this, don't you?
When she arrives tomorrow, you can't be stubborn, you need to say hello to her and her families, because she is your elder and relative."
Cherry felt a little uncomfortable as she spoke those words to her son. She felt guilty, because she was forcing Joe to be a dutiful son when she herself wanted to do nothing with Lucia. She still remembered how Lucia treated her and her son; Lucia looked down on her.
However, Joe was young, she could never teach her son how to hate people, how to hate Lucia. Cherry wanted Joe to grow up into a good person, a person who didn't hate but instead showed compassion, the exact opposite of Lucia.
Joe paused the game and raised his head. He looked at his mother earnestly and said, "Mommy, I don't want anyone to bully you, that woman is bad, she is a bully. How can I be kind to her?"
Looking into her son's eyes, Cherry could see the ray of stubbornness, the same streak of stubbornness that Jackson had. These two people were so much alike, they stuck to what they believed in no matter what the consequences were, they obsessively did what they wanted to do. "Joe, can't you just obey me and not argue?"
"I will." said Joe, nodding his head.
"Then, behave the way Mommy has told you. You will be polite and say hello to Aunt and Uncle tomorrow, then you can play with Cousin John if he comes here too. You have to remember that you can't lose your temper, that you need to always be polite to our guest, our relatives and that this is our home and we are the host, we have to welcome their visits here," said Cherry.
Seeing his reasoning would not win the argument, Joe finally surrendered and agreed with his mother. Joe, with an unenthusiastic voice replied "I got that, Mommy, I'll do what you said, and I'll be polite."
"Well, good! I'm proud of you," said Cherry with a smile on her face.
When Joe saw the smile on his mother's face, he immediately threw his tablet aside and gave her a comforting hug. It was a very tight hug, an embrace that showed how much Joe loved her mother.
He got down to her ear and asked, "Mommy, do you think we are happy now, you and me as well as Daddy?" Cherry was taken aback by her son's question.
How could he ask such a question? And how should she respond to it, since she didn't know the answer either? Were they happy? Was she happy?
She didn't know if she was happy with Jackson, with living in the Chu Family, but she knew that she loved the man.
Jackson, had always tugged at her heart.
Joe didn't hear his mother's answer, he was waiting for Cherry's response to his question. Not getting any reply he continued to say, "Mommy, I hope that you and Daddy will be together forever."
"Silly boy, aren't we together now?"
Cherry said with a smile and gently rubbed her son's head.
Joe didn't speak any more. He thought about what Mike told him that afternoon, that his Daddy was surrounded by dangerous people, and that he and his family were in danger as well. Mike also expressed that he was worried about him. Joe was worried as well.
Joe released his hug from his Mommy and looked at her, wearing a different facial expression. The little boy's demeanor changed from serious to a carefree child once more. He looked at his Mommy and said, "OK Mommy, I'll sleep after I finish this game."
Cherry, still not convinced and worried that Joe would stay up late, said, "Don't stay up too late."