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Season 5

Episode 20

(Mommy, I am fine(1)

Cherry rushed home that afternoon, and breathed a sigh of relief to see Joe happily watching cartoons in the living room. Still concerned, she blurted, "Joe, what happened today?"

"Don't worry, Mommy, nothing happened." Reassured Joe as he ran over to his Mommy. He smiled, "I knew you were busy at work and you would be tired, and didn't want you to exhaust yourself, so, I called Uncle Bill and asked him to pick me up after school. See? Here I am safe at home!"

"Really? Nothing happened?" Cherry asked again. Her heart hadn't stopped pounding with fear since Joe called earlier and told her to go home after work. He said Bill was collecting him after school, which left her worried that something had happened, so, she rushed home to check on him. To her surprise and relief, she'd found he was relaxed, and plopped out in front of the tv.

"Nothing happened," said Joe smiling, "Mommy, your son is very clever! Why wouldn't I tell you if something had happened?"

That put Cherry's mind at ease, and she finally stopped worrying. Looking down at her contented son, Cherry couldn't help but shake her head and reprimand him, "Do you know how worried I was when I got your call? I thought something happened."

"But, now you see, I am really okay! Everything is good, Mommy!" said Joe impatiently waving his hand.

"Joe, get over here and show proper respect to your Mommy!" Cherry knitted her brow, pretending to be mad at him and said, "You're such a brat, letting me worry for you like that!"

Joe took his Mommy's hands and with a tone of reverence declared, "Long live my Empress Mother!" he peered at her before he added, "Will you sleep on the couch with me tonight?"

"You brat, what are you up to? Be careful that your father doesn't find out. Or he will punch you when gets home." Cherry smiled, lightly scolding Joe.

"Well, I don't think Daddy will punch me! He's reluctant to hit me, because he loves me dearly!" said Joe in a confident manner.

"Now, listen carefully, Joe. You are my son. I went through a lot of pain to give birth to you. So, you must be responsible and tell me anything that happens to you, okay? You mustn't hide things from me, understood?" Cherry instructed her son.
"I know, I will. You are the greatest mother! I will be alright." said Joe, as he beat his chest. He then continued, "Do you know who I am? I am the son of Jackson. I am awesome and no one would dare to hurt me!"

When she heard the funny voice Joe spoke in, and saw his incorrigible expression, Cherry suddenly laughed. She felt lucky to have such a lovely son.

Cherry straightened herself out and ordered, "Joe, it's time to turn the TV off now, and get upstairs to start working on homework. I'm going to cook dinner while we wait for your Daddy to get home."

"Yes, Your Majesty!" Joe bowed, folding his hands in front as he did, and then darted up the stairs.

After watching Joe disappear upstairs, Cherry headed into the kitchen and started preparing their dinner.

When Jackson finally got home, he heard Cherry busy cooking in the kitchen, so, he changed into a pair of cotton slippers and headed to the kitchen.

He smiled contentedly as he quietly stood behind Cherry taking in the serenity of the domestic moment, before enveloping his arms on her waist, and resting his head on her shoulder.

Cherry almost jumped, but she knew the familiar warmth of the strong embrace was Jackson. After a second, she warned him, "I am cooking here, so you need to back up a little, or you might get splattered with burning oil."

"I'm not worried about being burnt, as long as I'm with you," Jackson whispered into Cherry's ear. No matter how busy he was, or tired he felt, as soon as he was home and breathed in the scent of this woman, he relaxed, because she was the refuge for his heart.

Cherry smiled and turned her head, planting a kiss on his cheek and directed him, "Dinner will be ready soon. Please, go upstairs and ask Joe to wash up and come down to eat?"

"Okay," replied Jackson smiling as he gently kissed her forehead.

Joe was bent over his desk, busily drawing something when Jackson got up to his room.

"Joe, it's time for dinner. Get cleaned up and come downstairs." Jackson relayed his Mother's directive.

Hearing his Daddy's voice, Joe whipped around in his seat and happily shouted, "Come here, Daddy. I wanna show you what I drew."

"Let's have a look at it." Jackson said as he walked over to look at the drawing on the desk.

"It's our family, Daddy! Look! Here's you, and this is Mommy, and that's me there, in the middle!" Joe told his Daddy proudly, smiling and pointing out each detail of his drawing.

"Hmmm, and why are you standing in between your Mommy and I?" Jackson stared down at Joe with a cocked eyebrow, as he asked, pretending to need an explanation.

"Because half of me belongs to Mommy and half of me belongs to Daddy." explained Joe innocently, with a childlike tone.

"Don't you agree, your Mommy belongs solely to me?" asked Jackson.

Joe shot his head up, and glared at his Daddy telling him in a very serious voice, "Daddy, do you remember the condition we talked about? Where is my sister? Mommy won't be just yours until you give me a sister."

Jackson smiled at Joe's comment, tousling his hair and said confidently, "Okay, just you wait for the good news then. Now, we have get downstairs for dinner."

"It's ready?" asked Joe.

Jackson nodded, "Yes, and Mommy ordered me to get you."

"Oh, okay, we better listen to Mommy," said Joe looking up at his Daddy as he tucked his hand into Jackson's, "Let's get downstairs."

As the small family sat around the table eating, they chatted about the day. Cherry asked Joe, "How was school today?"

"Pretty good! I had a good time playing with my classmates." Joe commented indifferently.

"But, are you studying hard? That's what I wanted to know." Cherry's voice seemed a little stern.

"Mommy, I already learned the material we are being taught now. I know it, even without extra studying. If you don't believe, just wait for the exam results. You will see, I will be the number one student again!" Joe bragged with confidence. When he lived abroad with his Mother, his Grandpa and Uncle had him learning ahead of his grade, and he believed he knew so much more than his classmates.

Inside Cherry was proud of Joe, but she didn't show her true feelings on her face. Keeping a serious tone, she said, "As a student, you need to keep working hard at school."


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