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Season 5


(Why is it(1)

The room was so quiet that Cherry could have heard a pin drop. The only sound though was the rustle of paper moving as pen scrawled across it. It filled Cherry's heart with pride and happiness to see her son study so hard.

"Mommy," Joe called cheerfully to his mother. "I've finished all my homework." He closed his exercise book with a big smile adoring his face.

"Wow, that's very fast," Cherry praised her boy. "You've finished so early. Let me help you check it." Cherry picked up his exercise book and began perusing it. Her pride grew as she saw he had only made one single mistake.

Joe watched his mother reading through his sums. "Mommy, as long as I'm with you, I can do things well," he told her, his voice a little higher and more infantile than usual. He was having a hard time hiding his distress at seeing his beautiful Mommy so thin. He could see the worry in her eyes and could only wonder what was concerning her so. 'Daddy is always there for Mommy, ' Joe thought to himself. 'He loves her and protects her. So, why does Mommy look so worried?'

Cherry smiled, laying her hand gently on the top of his head. "Joe, do you like Miss Amy?" she asked softly.

Joe hesitated. "Mommy, are you talking about my piano teacher, Miss Amy Xu?" Having considered, he could only think of one Amy, who was his piano teacher, with that name.

"Yes," Cherry nodded.

"Of course!" he responded in a perky manner. "Miss Amy is super nice. She is very patient and gentle in our lessons."

He hesitated again, but quicker this time. "Mommy, to be honest, Amy is better than some of the teachers at my school."

His response relieved Cherry, especially for the news she had the opportunity to break. "Well, I've got something to tell you about her," she cooed. If he liked Amy this much, surely Joe would be very happy after hearing her news about Amy.

"Okay, I'm listening, Mommy," he replied. He stared at his mother intently, wondering what she wanted to tell him. Cherry paused for effect. "Amy and your Uncle Derek are together," Cherry said, beaming.

"Really?" His eyes and mouth widened. Joe couldn't believe his ears. 'How is this possible?' he wondered, 'When did Amy even meet Uncle Derek?'

"Yes, my darling," Cherry replied. "Maybe after Uncle Wilson and Auntie Selina's wedding party, it will be Uncle Derek and Aunt Amy's turn."

Joe moved quickly to an open space in the room and began jumping on the spot in excitement. "Mommy, that's great!" he exclaimed, "I'd really like it if Uncle Derek and Miss Amy are together. They are such a great match. Uncle Derek is gentle and nice, just like Amy. They must be very happy together," he finished, still jumping.

Her heart overjoyed at the sight of her son's excitement, she looked at him adoringly. "You look so happy to hear this news," she cooed gently.

"Of course, I'm happy, Mommy!" Joe declared, becoming out of breath with all his jumping. "Derek is Daddy's best friend, and Miss Xu is your friend. I'm really happy to hear this." Jackson and Cherry's young son's bouncing voice echoed about the room.

"Alright, alright, then." Cherry waved her son to stop jumping. "I've just shared the news with you. I think you'll be even happier at their wedding party.

There'll be a lot of candy to eat there," she remarked, pulling him to her side.

"Mommy, I'm going to eat a lot of candy there, and we can celebrate all together," Joe informed her firmly.

A doting smile adorning her delicate face, Cherry shook her head with amusement. "Okay, okay. Do what you like."

"But Mommy," Joe's face fell as he looked up at her, "I can't take my piano lesson tonight," he told her in a sad but adorable way. Since he was here with his mommy tonight, he couldn't take his piano lesson at home.

"Don't worry. It's okay. I've already talked to Miss Xu, and she'll make up this lesson in your next class," Cherry reassured him. His distressed face made her realise just how cute this little boy in front of her was. And just how much he closely resembled his father. They had the same deep, dark eyes and handsome face. Each time Cherry looked into her son's face, she couldn't help but think of her husband, Jackson.

"Oh, thank you, Mommy!" Joe wrapped his arms around her. "You are always so considerate. I love you so much!" He let go only to kiss her on the cheek.

"I love you too, my dear Joe. You're the apple of my eye, and I feel so lucky to have you with me." Love for her son reflected in her eyes and her tone held a tenderness she saved specially for Joe.

"I feel very lucky too, Mommy. I'm happy every day," he told her, grinning toothily as if to prove his point.

Cherry was never lonely, in part for her son. Life just seemed easier because of him. It was all so much better compared to those five years she was abroad alone with Joe. She had no reason to give up now; she knew that now. Staring into the sweet face of this little mini-Jackson showed her that. She would face up to all the problems now.

That evening, everyone gathered at the dining table to eat. Jean helped Joe fill his plate with vegetables.

"You should have more vegetables, Joe. They're good for your health," Jean told him with a concerned furrow in her brow.

Joe nodded at his Aunt. "Thank you, Auntie," he said obediently.

Watching her sister and son interact, Cherry took a bite before asking, "Joe, do you like the dinner your Auntie cooked?"

"Yes, it's really yummy," Joe murmured with food in his mouth. "Auntie is really good at cooking, just like Lily at home."

"Well, now that I have such high praise from my loving nephew, I'll have to cook more for you in future," Jean replied, a big smile crossing her own delicate face.

Guilt stabbing her uncomfortably, Cherry looked at Jean. Her elder sister kept looking after her all this time. But being the elder sister, Jean shouldn't be acting like a servant of the family. Cherry felt apologetic.

Suddenly putting down her utensil, she took Jean's hand in hers. "Jean, I want to thank you so much for taking care of me."

"You are always welcome, dear sister. Now that you're living here, I'll take responsibility to take good care of you, " Jean smiled gently.

"That's really nice, Auntie, " Joe declared loudly and happily.

His praise delighted Jean very much. Children are always honest to their feelings and Joe's were especially important to her. She loved kids, and Joe was definitely her favourite.

Mond continued to eat silently. He did listen to their conversation; how could he not? He was sitting at the same table. But he didn't know how to involve himself, so he continued to eat silently.

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