Ice and Fire

Chapter 88 An Unexpected Meeting

Joe Shen grabbed Wilson's hand, playing excitedly in the park.

"Uncle, I want to play with that, " he said, letting go of Wilson's hand and running to the outdoor exercise equipment installed nearby.

"Easy, Joe!" Wilson was afraid that the naughty boy would hurt himself.

Joe played with the equipment in glee, and from time to time he talked with other kids in the vicinity.

Wilson's phone rang suddenly. He took it out to find that it was a friend calling. It felt like some urgent business. Seeing Joe having fun with other children and many parents standing by, Wilson decided to walk away for a little while to answer the phone.

He shouted to Joe Shen, "Joe, be careful! I am walking over there to answer a phone call."

"Okay. Go ahead, " said Joe, waving his hand without turning around to see his uncle, and then continued to play.

Wilson went ahead with it.

Andrew and his butler sat down on a bench. It was a hot day and the butler was worried about his lord's health. He said, "Sir, please wait for me a little while. I'll go and get some bottled water. We've forgotten to bring some from home."

Andrew showed no objection and said, "OK."

By the time Joe Shen had tried all the equipment, he had grown a little tired. He wiped his forehead to find sweat in his hand.

He looked around and saw a bench on which sat an old man. There was extra room on the bench for him to get some rest while he waited for his uncle.

He walked over to it.

Andrew was enjoying the view of the park when his expression changed suddenly as he saw a boy approaching. He could not believe his eyes!

The boy looked just like Jackson when he was little!

Andrew watched Joe walking closer and finally taking a seat on the bench.

The longer Andrew studied the child, the more he felt that the boy resembled little Jackson.

It was unbelievable!

Joe Shen did not notice that the old man was staring at him until he sat down. He also caught the amazement in the man's eyes.

"Bo...boy", Andrew could not help asking, "What's your name?"

"I'm Joe, Sir", answered Joe politely. Somehow he felt that the old man was very amiable.

"Joe, " repeated Andrew to himself.

"Yes, " Joe Shen nodded.

"You look just like my grandson, when he was little, " marveled Andrew.

Joe Shen beamed. "Ha ha ha! Am I good-looking?" (PS: He is just as narcissistic as his father)

"Ye-yes", Andrew nodded. He could hardly turn his eyes away from the boy. There was an unspeakable feeling in his heart and he even wanted to hug the boy. How strange!

Just then, Wilson finished his call and came back to see Joe Shen chatting with an old man on the bench. He hastily walked up to them.

"Joe, why are you sitting here?" asked Wilson gently.

Andrew looked up and saw Wilson, whose striking and noble appearance gave the old man a great first impression.

Wilson and Andrew nodded to each other as a silent greeting.

"I'm tired and decided to rest here, " said Joe Shen.

"Let's go and find a cafe, " suggested Wilson.

"OK." Joe Shen stood up obediently. He bid farewell to Andrew, "Goodbye, Sir."

"Goo-goodbye." Andrew felt exhilarated having met and talked with the boy. Somehow he was a little sad to see the boy leave.

As Wilson and Joe Shen disappeared from sight, a flicker of disappointment crossed his eyes. Although the boy closely resembled his beloved grandson, he could not possibly be his great-grandson. The boy's father must be a highborn. Andrew did not know why he had not met the man before, for he would have recognised most of noble young men in this city.

When the butler returned with a bottle of water, he saw Mr. Andrew staring somewhere ahead, but there was no one there.

"Sir, what are you looking at?" The butler was curious.

Andrew shook his head and said, "Nothing. I just feel that I'm old and know little of excellent young men in this city."

The butler did not understand what Andrew was saying, but he assumed that his lord was missing his grandson again.

"Sir, now the world belongs to the young men. We might as well rest and watch Jackson and other young men like him build their career" said the butler.

"You're right, " agreed Andrew. He arose and said, "let's go home. I want to rest. Call Jackson and tell him to come home and have dinner with me tonight. It has been a long time since the last time he came home."


Cherry drove to the graveyard. The route was still clear in her mind, even though five years had passed by. She would never forgot it since the memories of Emily weighed heavier than anything in her heart.

She pulled up at the roadside, took out a bunch of white chrysanthemum she had just bought, and walked towards Emily's grave.

Seeing Emily's photo fading under the sun, Cherry could not help but weep. She still clearly remembered Emily's young face, and the way she walked, spoke and laughed.

"Emily, I miss you very much."

Cherry sobbed. So many things had happened in the past five years, and she had no friend to confide in when she was abroad. Emily was the only person who really understood her. She had decided that she would visit Emily's grave as soon as she returned to this city, and tell her everything.

"Emily, I'm back and I'm not leaving anymore. I'm sorry that I've been away for so long. I hope you'll forgive me. I kept thinking about you, even when I lived far away. I miss Stephen too, who has been really helpful", said Cherry.

She recalled the time when she had to run away from this city and began talking about it.

She said slowly, "I was pregnant the last time I visited you before I left. Stephen helped me. I owe a debt of gratitude to him."

"Emily, I have a son now and you're his aunt. His name is Joe. He is a naughty but a very good boy. In the past lonely years, it's him who has kept me company. He is all I have now. He has his father's good-looking appearance. You would have liked him if you saw him."

"Emily, do you know what is the biggest pain in my heart has been all this time?" She paused for a moment and then continued, "I really want to forget him, the man who I walked down the aisle with. But I can't. I just can't. His image lingers in my mind all the time."

"Do you know that I missed him every night and sometimes I even cried for him. I felt so tired of taking care of Joe, even when I had Wilson to help me. I always dreamed of him coming back to me and hugging me.

But that never happened. He was never with me, let alone hugging me. His heart doesn't belong to me."

She took a deep breath and said, "He's probably with another woman now, isn't he? Of course, he is. He's so good.

Emily, I haven't told him that he has a son. Stephen is the only one who knew I was pregnant at that time, and I believe Stephen would not betray me, so I think Jackson is still in the dark about Joe.

I don't mean to tell him either, because I don't want Joe to be involved in this family conflict. You know, since I married into the Chu Family, I discovered that the Chus had been hiding something. But Jackson was different. When I lived with him, I never felt that he was a scheming man. That's why I fell in love with him and I still love him.

Emily, I don't know if I'll come across him in this city some day, but I think we might as well be strangers. I just want to love him silently and stay away from him because he loves someone else and I am insignificant in his life."

She did not know how long she stood there, and refused to leave even though her leg numbed up with the prolonged standing.

Suddenly, she noticed that a black figure was coming slowly towards her, and it looked kind of familiar when she saw the silhouette from the corner of her eyes.

She jerked her head around, recognising who it was.

It was John, and when he came closer, he shouted in surprise, "Cherry, is that you?"

John had been wondering who was standing on the Emily's grave when he was on his way here. He had thought it was Stephen because only Stephen and he would visit Emily's grave from time to time, but as he neared, he found that it was a woman. Who was she? An idea that she was Cherry had flickered in his mind, but he kept telling himself that it was impossible until her familiar appearance came into sight. She did not change much and was as simple and young as she used to be.

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