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Season 6

Episode 42

(Bonding over chess)

Gary noticed the deep interest shown by Charlie as he stared at the chessboard. He wondered if the young boy knew how to play the game. The older man came closer and asked, "Charlie, would you like to play chess?"

Charlie nodded and his eyes lit up at the question.

"Well then, let me teach you how it's played," Gary offered. He asked the boy to sit on his lap and patiently explained the chess pieces, how they moved, and the rules of the game.

To his surprise, the child was very responsive and quickly picked up the game. Finally, he challenged Charlie to play a game.

"Great!" Charlie exclaimed excitedly. Since he had just learned how to play, the little boy was not equal to Gary's prowess in the beginning. But as they continued playing, Gary felt somehow challenged. And he was even about to lose this game to a child, even if playing chess had long been just a hobby of his.

As their playing progressed, Charlie impressed his great-grandfather with his seriousness. He carefully thought of his moves and seemed to be developing strategies.

It was then that Gary realized he and his great-grandson had forged an inexorable bond between them.

"I lost the game," Charlie told the old man. As much as he hated losing, the child had to concede defeat.

But Gary suddenly said, "There is hope for a reversal." While analyzing the position of the pieces, he urged his great-grandson to try.

Charlie looked up to Gary, and with all seriousness said, "I better accept failure gracefully."

While playing chess with his great grandfather, Charlie kept glancing at Leila, who was chatting with Chris happily and paid no attention to the conversation between Charlie and the old man.

Gary had to admire Charlie's resolution and decision. It impressed him very much that at such a young age, the boy behaved maturely.

"Tell me, do you like this chess set?" he suddenly asked the child. After spending time with Charlie, he made up his mind to give his favorite set to him.

However, the boy was too well-bred to grab his offer although he wanted nothing more than to accept it.

"Do you like play chess?" Gary prodded him. The old man wanted to hear the boy say yes.

A little shy, he admitted having a love for the game even when no one took time to teach him to play it.

"Since you love it, you deserve this gift," Gary said. He began to pack the chess pieces and handed the board to Charlie. Gary challenged the boy, "Improve your skills and then play with me again."

"Thank you! I appreciate it very much," Charlie beamed. The boy felt like he had received a treasure.

"Charlie! Return that prized gift to Mr. Lu immediately!" Leila's voice jolted both Charlie and Gary. But with the demand to give back the chess set, she offered, "Return that, and I will get you a new one later."

"It is only a game for the child," Chris spoke up. "When Charlie grows up, he will be entitled to all our family properties," she told Leila.

But Leila was adamant. "It is too early to be talking of those things." She refused to give the impression that if she married into the Lu family, she would be exploiting their properties.

"I don't wish to hear any more of it!" Gary said loudly. He was annoyed with Leila's reaction. "It's just a chess set!" The old man lowered his tone. "Charlie has every reason to accept it."

Turning to his great-grandson, he said affectionately, "Please accept it to honor our promise of playing chess again."

"Okay," Charlie said simply. Deep inside, he was smiling triumphantly.

And so it was that Leila had to resign herself to Gary's decision. Chris was pleased and motioned everyone to the dinner table. "Nacy's dishes are ready. Let's all go and have dinner."

"Good," her grandfather said with a smile. He took Charlie's hands in his, and with great affection asked, "Tell me, what do you love to eat?"

The two may have only spent an hour together but the bond forged between them was evident.

Leila, who had lived with Charlie his whole life, never had that opportunity to become close to the boy. Seeing the boy and his great-grandfather already close was upsetting.

During dinner, Gary plied Charlie with all kinds of food. It surprised him to discover that the food Charlie loved eating were the same ones Autumn fancied. He couldn't help blurting out, "Charlie enjoys the same food Autumn loved."

"Grandpa, please watch your words," Chris cautioned. It distressed her that Gary was insensitive and had to say such things. "Why did you have to refer to Autumn all of a sudden?" she asked.

Gary realized his mistake as he noted Leila's uneasiness.

"Leila, please forgive my grandpa for his careless remarks," she apologized. She moved to comfort the other woman, who paled at hearing Gary mention Autumn. "Are you all right?" Chris asked.

Leila was starting to feel the futility of trying to pass herself off as Charlie's mother, knowing the boy was Autumn's flesh and blood.

Gary's casual words brought her back to reality.

She was fully aware of the blood relation between Charlie and Autumn, although no one else knew the truth.

"Are you okay?" Chris asked again. She was beginning to worry about Leila and tried to lighten up the mood. Finally, the other woman said, "I am fine, thank you."
Charlie couldn't help but be curious about the conversation among the three adults. "Great-grandpa, who were you just referring to a while ago?"

"Oh, forget that," the old man dismissed the inquiry. He now wanted to steer away from the issue and picked up two sweet and sour ribs to put on the child's plate. "You can enjoy as much as you like!" Gary said brightly.



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