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 Season 7

Episode 5

(Out of reach)

"Mom!" Rick called out towards Abby. "This is Shirley. She's my new friend,"  he continued.     

Abby looked at him hesitantly, unsure how to answer. She knew right away who the little girl really was. Fate was so ironic!     

Shirley also wasn't shy at all. She kept staring at Abby with her big, bright eyes, which made Abby's heart melt.     

She decided to kneel down on the ground beside the two kids and join in their games. Playing with them made her feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Amy came over and laid down a plate of fruits nearby the children. With a tender smile, she commented, "Look at you, fooling around with them like a child."   

 Abby looked up and raised her eyebrows in acknowledgment while softly voicing, "Mom..." She then promptly stood up, wiped the sweat off Rick's forehead, and cautioned him, "Be careful, please; don't go too wild."  

Rick was a bit different. His precarious health and his previous surgery meant that he would exhaust himself quicker than other children. Therefore, he had to take it easy when playing.     

Abby sat next to Amy on the couch and, looking in Shirley's direction, she asked, "Is this Autumn's child?"   

 "Yes,"  Amy answered smiling. "She looks very much like Autumn, doesn't she?"    

"Yes, she does,"  replied Abby reciprocating the smile. "I didn't expect to see her and her daughter again..."    

Caught in her memories all of a sudden, Abby bowed her head and inquired, "Mom, Autumn was pregnant with twins. Have you ever inquired on the whereabouts of the other child?"    

Amy sighed loudly and reminded her, "As you know, she has lost her memory. How could I ask her about that? The last thing she needs is more confusion or worry."   

 She was right. Abby nodded and pondered out loud, "I wonder how the other child is doing now."  

Back at the hospital, Charles showed up with Charlie to check on Shirley, when he was greeted with the news that Shirley and Sheryl had already checked out.  

   Disappointed and stripped of all hope, Charles couldn't even fake a smile any longer. He and Charlie left right away to Shining Company, where Charles handed Charlie over to Alice to take care of him.    
 He then strode over to the meeting room, where one of his managers was waiting to report to him on the latest state of affairs. However, Charles's blank stare that day disconcerted the manager, who was wondering if there was something wrong with his presentation. He was having such a hard time, in fact, that he put down his laser pen and paused for a short moment.     

The air conditioner was blasting cold air, but the manager was still sweating. 

Feeling as if the walls were closing in on him, he wiped the sweat off his forehead and nervously addressed Charles, "This is the situation, Mr. Lu. Would you..."    

"Not bad,"  Charles interrupted. With a sheer disregard toward his planned presentation, Charles asked, "How's our women's wear brand doing?"  

"The preliminary design draft has been completed. You will get to see it in a few days. If there are no problems, the next step is to find a manufacturer, start production and then enter the market in a month,"  explained the manager. One month felt a bit too long for Charles.   

  Frowning, he continued questioning, "How about BM Corporation?" The manager had to be honest about their competitor's success. "BM Corporation's Spring and Summer Fashion Show has received a lot of praise. By now, they have half of the market share, and the remaining half is split between several old fashion factories."   

 Noticing Charles discontent, he scrambled to address his concerns, "Mr. Lu, it's not an easy task for us to crack into the market at this time. The emergence of this BM Corporation was so unexpected that we haven't fully prepared for it."    

"Then prepare quickly,"  revolted Charles. Fed up by their excuses, he mockingly commented, "All it takes are some minor challenges from a newcomer to get you all frazzled and gasping? You have no spine? We are an elite company, not a nobody."  

The meeting room was quiet after Charles' words. Yes, BM Corporation had just entered Y City, but they were experienced in fashion, unlike Shining Company which had no solid background in that industry.     

After a small pause, Charles decided to set things straight. "Mr. Zheng, one month is too long. Before leaving work tonight, I want the new design draft on my desk. Do you understand?" Mr. Zheng did not dare to say another word. With a quick nod, he agreed to Charles' request.     
After the meeting, Charles went over to David's office and instructed him to send Charlie back to Dream Garden. He needed to get closer to Sheryl as soon as possible; so he had to go all out.   

  Noticing his long face, David decided to investigate. "Mr. Lu, Alice and I went to the BM Spring and Summer Fashion Show." Charles gave him a half smile, as he could guess where David was going with that statement.     

Alice and David couldn't believe their eyes at the sight of the last model in the show. Once all the models came out on the runway, they couldn't stop staring at Sheryl. Was she really Mrs. Lu? He couldn't have been mistaken.   

Seeing that Charles figured out his doubts, he indirectly inquired "Did I see right?" Charles continued smiling and encouraged him, "Be straightforward David. What do you want to know?"    

"That woman… Is she really Mrs. Lu?" David finally let out. It wasn't only that he was confused. He also felt sorry for Charles. What a contorted situation he was in! First, there was Leila who had been involved with him, then came a son out of nowhere and, as if that wasn't enough, Autumn suddenly showed up too. How could he cope with it all?  

   "Yes, she is,"  Charles replied with a subtle nod. He had no intention to hide it. However, the lack of excitement in his voice was obvious. He was upset because Sheryl didn't talk to him. He had no clue what to do about it.    

 Realizing David's confusion, Charles proceeded to explain, "But she isn't the same." He paused in search for the best words and then went on, "Autumn has lost her memory. She doesn't remember anything prior to three years ago, including me. But worst of all, she has been pushing me away and I'm not sure what to do about it."  

In spite of his disillusionment, Charles was not a quitter. She was his wife, after all, and he was determined to get her back. It was just that he had never romantically pursued nor been rejected by anyone before. Those were two foreign concepts to him, and he wasn't sure how to approach them.     

"That's not a bad thing actually,"  uttered David to himself. He then looked over to Charles wondering if he had heard him.     
"What do you mean?" asked Charles with a cocked eyebrow. David's remark almost made him mad.    

 "No, I didn't mean that,"  David justified himself. Seeing Charles' confused look, he hastily clarified, "I mean, when you married Mrs. Lu, you two had never seen each other before. You jumped right into married life. Yes, you still fell in love with each other, but you missed out on the whole dating before marriage part. Now that Mrs. Lu can't recall anything, her appearance could be a heaven-sent opportunity for you. You could court Mrs. Lu and make up for all the romantic things you two never had together."

   Charles' face lightened up briefly. He had not thought about it that way, but David had a point. His only concern was that he had zero experience in courtship. He found it a bit funny, in fact. There he was, one of the biggest business magnates out there, and yet, when it came to matters of the heart, he was a novice.     

He hesitated for a few seconds and then reluctantly commented, "I suppose I could. David, how did you and Alice do it?"

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