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(Her leaving (1)

At Jackson's house, Lily and Bill were in high spirits waiting at the door for Cherry's return. When Lily saw Cherry coming up the path, she rushed out of the house towards her.

She was relieved seeing Cherry looking better today, and her smile broadened the closer she got. "Ma'am, it's so great to see you home so soon!" Lily gushed happily.

Cherry nodded giving both Lily and Bill a smile as she took Lily's hand, she said kindly,"I'm okay, don't fret over me."

Even though Cherry tried to assuage her fears, Lily was a little worried about her, but she had to nod her head and pretend to wipe any apprehension away so Cherry wouldn't know.

Lily and Cherry walked into the house arm in arm with Jackson and Joe following behind silently.

"Ma'am, please rest on the sofa for a little while and I will prepare something for you to eat," suggested Lily as they got into the house.

"Okay, but don't make that much," Cherry replied.

As soon as Cherry was sitting on the couch, Jackson sat down next to her and took her hand in his.

"Babe, let Lily prepare enough food for you, even if you don't end up eating all of it, just in case, okay?" said Jackson, his eyes filled with love and concern as he silently pleaded with her.

"I don't want to waste any food though Jackson," Cherry explained.

"That doesn't matter right now," Jackson retorted.

Joe brought a cup of water, offering it to Cherry,"Mommy, please have some water."

Joe's sensible actions thrilled Cherry. She took the cup from Joe and said,"To my surprise, my son has learned how to take good care of others."

"Mommy, you always take such good care of Daddy and me, it's our turn to thank you by serving you well. Rely on us in the future." Joe's voice was full of innocent pride, and his words were warm and powerful.

A satisfied smile crossed Cherry's face, softening it. She had always regarded Joe as the most important person in her life, and today was no exception.

"Joe, go upstairs and relax, I will see after your Mommy and have dinner with her," said Jackson.

"Okay," Joe nodded to his Daddy, and said to his Mommy,"Mommy, I'll go downstairs if you need me."

"Okay, you go ahead, but don't play for too long," Cherry lovingly reminded him.

Joe was already running for the stairs as Cherry spoke, but, he stopped and waved to his Mommy as he said,"Okay, and I will do my homework in a little while"

Later that evening, Cherry and Jackson laid in bed. She snuggled in his arms while he stared up at the ceiling.

The mood in the room was dull and depressing, when out of the blue,"My darling?" Cherry's voice sounded much louder in the quietness of the room.

"Yes? what's is it?" Jackson replied immediately, a hint of concern in his tone.

"Will you help me deal with my sister's affairs?" implored Cherry. She had been dwelling on it all day. There was so much that needed to be dealt with, but in her condition, she didn't know how to face them. She could only ask Jackson for help.

Jackson stroked Cherry's arm lightly in a comforting way and informed her,"Mond will take care of the details. If there is anything you do not feel satisfactory, I will fix it. Don't worry about anything, anymore."

Since Jean had lived in Mond's home for a long time, it made sense to Cherry that he would handle the details, so, Cherry was relieved. Jackson went on,"Babe, do you want to attend her funeral?"

Cherry'ss heart was heavy with sorrow, and her eyes were glassy as she stared ahead blankly, lost in sadness. She wasn't sure whether she would feel up to attending or not, but if Cherry didn't attend, would there be a relative to attend?

Worried her emotions would get the best of her at the funeral, Cherry thought she should stay away. If she were to become stressed, it could harm her baby and cause more anxiety to Jackson and Joe.

Jackson waited for a long time but Cherry didn't answer him.

"Babe, I'll go with you to her funeral, if you wanna go. But, you don't have to, if you don't want to. We can stay home," Jackson told her. He would follow Cherry's lead on this.

After a long silence, Cherry shook her head slowly explaining,"It's not that I don't want to go, but, I'm afraid that I will be too depressed to control my emotions at the funeral."

When Cherry had finished confessing, she flung her face into Jackson's chest and closed her eyes, quietly breathing while trying to stop the tears threatening to spill over again.

While rubbing her back lightly Jackson consoled her by softly reminding her,"It's okay Babe, I will stay home with you, and Mond will deal with the details."

"Darling, please don't leave me alone, I am frightened," pleaded Cherry. The world appeared so dark right now, and she was feeling too afraid to be alone.

"Don't be afraid, Babe, I am not going anywhere. I am here and will always protect you," Jackson comforted her. He could feel Cherry trembling in his arms, and he worried about her health. He hugged her to him, firmly, trying to give her his strength and warmth.

Cherry wrapped her arms around Jackson's waist, soaking in his warmth and enjoying the closeness. She felt secure that she wasn't alone.

Sitting in a corner of Jean's darkened room, Mond clutched a piece of paper in his hand. There were three sentences written on the paper.

I wish Cherry could forgive me for all the things I did.

I love Joe and always pray for his happiness.

I hope Mond will put down hatred and find his way back to love.

A tear slipped from Mond's eyes and rolled down his face as he stared straight ahead. 'One of Jean's hopes was for me to give up my revenge and live with love in my heart. Jean, I did! I gave up my revenge and Jackson and I are brothers again, but, where are you? Won't you come to make sure the relationship between Jackson and I stays harmonious? It's the only way your dream can come true!'


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