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 Season 6

Episode 97

(More than a thousand days and nights)

Sue stood holding the door in one hand, frowning at Charles and Charlie. "You've followed me?" Sue spoke angrily. She was surprised to see that Charles had followed her in spite of the rude and insulting words she had hurled on him. 

Despite all the care and caution she had taken to avoid them, they had managed to find out the whereabouts of Sheryl and Shirley. And here they were standing right in front of her outside the hospital room.    

 "Sher,"  Charlie greeted Sheryl. Charlie sneaked into the ward from under Sue's arm as she obstructed the way for them. Charles was still standing at the doorway waiting to enter.    

 Sue vented her anger at him and said, "Can you for once understand what I have said? I've told you to go away. Stay away from Sheryl. I mean it. Can't you take my words seriously?"  

Charles frowned at her slightly and responded, "I'm here to visit Shirley."    

The girl lying on the sickbed was his daughter, and he was in no mood to waste time quarrelling with Sue.     

"To visit Shirley? Why?" Sue continued with the sarcasm in her voice, "What kind of relationship do you have with Shirley? Why do you care about her so much?"   

 "She's..." Charles nearly blurted out "she's my daughter", but finally he held his tongue.   

  "Mimi, let him come in." Sheryl's voice cut through the argument between them. It was really awkward to create a scene in a public place with so many people passing by. Besides, he visited Shirley out of kindness, so it would be impolite to stop him at the doorway.     

"But..." Sue stood still and was unwilling to let him in. At last, Sheryl stepped in and pulled her aside. "Come in,"  she said to Charles.   

Charles walked in and stepped ahead towards Shirley's sickbed. Charlie was already there. He bent over his sister and asked, "What happened to you?"    

"Charlie, don't stand too close to Shirley,"  Sheryl cautioned Charlie, who was standing by the sickbed. "Doctor said she had a flu. You need to be careful,"  she continued.    

 Sheryl did not even look at Charles who was standing by Shirley's bed. She turned her face to Sue and said, "You need to go back home, remember? 

You've taken care of us all day. Go home right away and take a rest."    

"But here..." Sue eyed towards Charles and looked back at Sheryl. She was worried about Sheryl because Charles was there.     

"Don't worry. I can handle this." Sheryl continued calmly, "Besides, Amy will come here soon. Take it easy. I will be fine."    

Hearing this, Sue heaved a sigh of relief. She looked at Charles with glaring eyes. Then she turned around and left.  

"Shirley... Is she okay?" Charles asked Sheryl with a concerned voice. She smiled and said, "Yes. She is fine now."   

 "That's good." Charles felt relieved. He heaved a sigh as he released his frown. Charlie still bent over Shirley's sickbed, talking with Shirley happily. Sheryl frowned at Charlie and pulled him away from Shirley lest he got infected with flu.     
"Charlie, you stay here and stay with Shirley. Dad has something to talk to Sher." Charles looked at Sheryl. She was the love of his life, his wife and soulmate. But now, how indifferent she had become! How harsh it sounded when she called him Mr. Lu! She even asked him to maintain distance from her. It was the worst feeling to be treated like a stranger by her.     

Sheryl stared at Charles with a surprised face. She didn't want to talk to him. But he grabbed her wrist and took her out of the ward before she could open her mouth to refuse him.     

Charles held her wrist tightly as he pulled her out of the ward not realizing that it could even hurt her. Sheryl flinched her face out of pain as she tried to free herself from his grip.   

"Let go of my wrist." She twisted her fist and tried to get away from him. But Charles just kept pulling her ahead with a grim face as if he didn't hear her. She was in pain and embarrassed to be dragged like this in front of so many people in the hospital. After struggling for a while, she could not help yelling at Charles, "You... You hurt me."    

Her words brought Charles back to his senses and he released her hand immediately. He stood in front of her and didn't know what to do. He asked in a soft voice, "You... Are you okay?"   

 He looked at her wrist that had gone red and a little swollen from his tight grip. He felt repentant and sorry to have inflicted pain on Sheryl. He stood there apologetic with pain in his eyes.    

 "Am I okay? What do you think?" Sheryl angrily continued, "Mr. Lu, we really have nothing to talk. Let me go."    

"Sheryl!" Charles called her name all of a sudden in a depressed voice. Sheryl felt uneasy and flurried immediately at the sound of her name. There was a sense of despair and pain in his voice that stirred her from inside.   

It was the first time that she saw Charles down in spirits. Somehow she felt sorry for him.    

 "Mr. Lu." Sheryl cleared her throat and continued, "Maybe I did something that makes you misunderstand me. But I just want to make it clear to you that in my eyes, you're just Charlie's father. Nothing more than that. So your acts really harasses me."    

"Harass?" Charles felt shocked and kept silent for a few seconds. Sheryl's words pierced him like sharp arrows. He sneered at her and asked, "Do you mean that my acts of chasing you makes you feel harassed?"    

"Chase?" Sheryl looked at Charles who was standing right in front of her with a really earnest look on his face. She never expected him to express his feeling in such a straight forward manner. She never wanted this come to a confrontational level. But now, there was no escape for her. She had to face it. "Mr. Lu, I don't understand what you mean by saying that. I'm Shirley's mother, and I have a fiancĂ©. And you... You're Charlie's father. You not only have an estranged wife whom you can't forget but also have Charlie's mother. I don't know why you said that to me. It's no good for both of us, right?"  

"FiancĂ©?" Charles narrowed his eyes and stared straight into Sheryl's eyes. The grit and determination in his eyes made Sheryl's voice waver as she spoke. He sneered and said, "Sheryl, I've known one thing for sure ever since I have met you. 

You are the one I am looking for. I will never be able to love anyone else apart from you in my lifetime. So why can't you give me a chance to compete with Anthony? For once? Please!"   

 "Mr. Lu, don't make things hard for me." Sheryl lowered her eyes as she looked away from Charles's eyes. "I have no feelings towards you."  

  "Affection can be built." Charles moved closer to Sheryl step by step and looked at her affectionately. "I can see that you just treat Anthony as your family. I have seen, you don't have any special feeling towards him. You cannot deny it."   

 As he paced ahead towards Sheryl, she kept stepping back unconsciously. 

Finally, there was no space for her to step back. She stood with her head lowered, her back against the wall and trapped between Charles's arms.   

If she raised her head, she would see Charles's chin. She could smell the scent of his body which was very familiar to her. Again that dilema took over. She could feel a strong pull towards him. She didn't dare to look up. She blushed red and her heart paced faster. She could not understand how to conceal her feelings in front of him.     

"Sheryl, do you know what is love?" She heard Charles's voice from above her head. His voice sounded deep. She shut her eyes tightly. She was scared to raise her head. With her head still lowered, she reached out her hand and tried to push Charles away. But as soon as her hand touched Charles's chest, his hands covered them. The warmth of his hands made her quiver.     

Holding Sheryl in his arms, Charles had a strong urge to kiss her hard to punish her for disappearing for about three years. But finally he stopped himself. He stared at the vulnerable girl in his arms who was completely oblivious to the reality. How could she have forgotten everything? Absolutely nothing seemed to remind her of the past!   

Sheryl blushed and finally gathered strength to push him away. "Release me. Let me go. Please,"  she said.    

 "Let you go?" Charles smiled bitterly. 

"Sheryl, I've been waiting for you for three years, more than a thousand of days and nights! Everybody believed that you were dead. But I had faith that you would come back. And now you have come back, but you ask me to let you go. What is your heart made of? Stone?"

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