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   Chapter 1983 Blood Is Thicker Than Water

The Substitute Bride By Mi Lu Characters: 12304

Updated: 2019-12-13 00:16

"Clark, Shirley, Grandma bought these presents just for you. Come and take a look!" Melissa eyed her grandchildren anxiously as they stood in front of her. Nervous as she was, she was hoping for a positive response.

Clark and Shirley's ears perked at the mention of presents, and they immediately jumped at the sight of the wrapped toys. Their eyes brightened, hands clapping together as they hovered around her to get a better look at the gifts.

"Thank you, Granny!" Clark was quick to thank his grandmother as he rushed to grab a handful of toys under his arm, fingers grazing on their plastic material. Shirley followed suit, copying her brother as they raced into their bedroom.

However, the two children didn't play with them immediately. Instead, they stashed them carefully with the other toys they had received beside their beds. Then they headed back into the living room.

During that time, Sheryl was walking Melissa around the apartment they were living in, pointing at where everything was. Though there wasn't much to walk around, Melissa had to admit that the place was really well put together.

"Though the apartment isn't big, it is very cozy," Melissa admitted. The elderly woman smiled, feeling imaginary needles pinching her cheeks as she forcefully did so. After parting from the children for so long, it felt as if she was unfamiliar with them, and she couldn't help but be embarrassed by it.

"It is. I was searching for a place for so long. If it weren't for Isla, I wouldn't have found this place!" Sheryl shook her head, and a chuckle slipped from her lips as she told the story. Once they returned to the living room, she motioned to the couch. "Where are my manners? Take a seat, Aunt Melissa. You must be tired." Sheryl offered her hand and led her to the couch. Melissa sat comfortably, glancing at the picture frames that were propped up on the desk beside her. It didn't take long before Clark and Shirley joined them.

"Mom! You would not believe what happened at school today!" Without giving anyone a chance to butt in, the young boy quickly chattered on about how he had helped a girl from his kindergarten class, puffing his chest in pride as he threw his hands up in the air animatedly.

"Really? Clark, I'm so proud of you!

A true gentleman." Sheryl couldn't help but praise him, ruffling his hair and ignoring his protests as she did so.

"Mom," Shirley butted in. "I did a great job too, you know. I was cheering for him." She held her two hands up in the air to do a cheerleader pose. It was one that amused all of them. The girl beamed, hoping to receive the same level of praise that her mother was giving to Clark.

"I'm proud of you too, sweetie." Sheryl ran her hand down the strands of her daughter's hair, bringing the two children closer to her. They all laughed, leaning in together as if they were about to take a candid picture.

At their embrace, Melissa couldn't help but feel left out from the mother-and-children bonding. Her fingers twisted the stray fabric from her shirt, suddenly taking an interest in the lint on her pants.

'If I had just treated them better, maybe we wouldn't have ended up this way, ' Melissa thought bitterly. 'No use thinking of it now. It's not as if I could change the past.'

"Well? Clark? If you're such a gentleman," Sheryl said, tapping his nose. "Don't you have something to tell Grandma? She did buy you guys all those presents." Feeling the growing tension in the air, Sheryl couldn't help but withdraw from her kid's embrace and stare pointedly at her son.

Melissa flushed, immediately cut from her thoughts. Noticing the awkwardness in the air, she brought

n of his age. Some might say he was more empathetic to the things that were happening around him. In that sense, a part of her had a feeling that he still wasn't done with what he was trying to say earlier.

"What's wrong, Clark?" Sheryl had already brought Clark out of the bedroom, pulling him aside so they could talk seriously.

"Mom, I know you were lying," Clark said blatantly. "But that's okay. I forgave Grandma already."

"What are you talking about?" Sheryl couldn't help but think about the exchange she had had with her children. Was there anything that had sparked their attention? Anything that had made them doubt what she said? All the questions faded to the back of her mind when Clark started to respond.

"Grandma treated us badly, not because of her illness, but because she doesn't like us." Clark continued, his voice laced with understanding, "But Grandma has become nicer, and she cares for you too..." He gave a toothy grin. "That's why I forgive her."

'He's so observant...and so kindhearted, ' Sheryl thought, feeling her lips quiver at the thought. He really was more mature than his age.

She forced her lips to stop shaking, and she mouthed the next words as steadily as she could. "I'm really proud of you today, son." She smiled softly, putting a hand on his cheek.

He beamed. "I'll be going to bed now, for real this time," he added at her pointed look. "You should get some rest too. Goodnight." Standing on his toes, Clark kissed her on the cheek before making his way back to his bedroom, without saying anything more.

Sheryl couldn't help but sigh.

'Clark is definitely like Charles while Shirley is the complete composite, ' she thought fondly before shaking her head.

Though his maturity was definitely something to be proud of, she hoped that Clark would also learn to have fun and not just worry all the time. Then again, she couldn't help but be proud of the both of them–proud of what they'd become and how much that they'd grown.

"Ms. Xia! It's late! What are you doing still up?" Joan was a night owl, usually wandering around the apartment at night. She was surprised to see Sheryl still awake, given that by this time, she and the kids were usually asleep.

"Don't worry about me, Joan. I'll sleep soon." Sheryl made her way up to her room with a smile. "You should get some rest too." Though she still wasn't sleepy, Sheryl shut the door behind her, not wanting to worry Joan.

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