Charles once had a family. It was a family with a father, a mother and four children.

Charles's father earned his living by labour. As the role he played in the family was so essential, he considered himself the king. No one could possibly survive, if one refused to rely on him. In the family, he had power, privilege and respect. He was also strict with his four children and sometimes mean. Charles came second after his elder sister, Rose and was followed by Ann, his little sister and then Samson, his little brother. Being in the middle, he himself always slipped his parent's mind. To him, love was far from his reach and delicate. So was his sister, Ann. Both of them were tired of being sandwiched in the middle. Rose and Samson, on the other hand, were treated differently. Rose was considered the most intelligent and mature girl and could help the family with something. Since their parents were not well-educated, they relied on her so much that she got the right to decide, make choices, and bargain with their parents. Samson was the youngest among the others, both in size and age. He got a lot of attention from his parents. He still needed help to button his shirts and tie his shoelaces. He could not take care of himself properly. Unlike his mature brother and sisters who would argue with their parents, Samson could be dealt

with easily.

Rose was a talkative person, willing to express herself, never tried to hide anything. Having no fear of anything, she was strong willed and tried to stick to her own principles. Charles could not figured out how she could develop such a character in their family circumstances.

Charles, on the contrary, possessed none of Rose's personality. He received no attention and no affection from his parents. He never volunteered opinion or idea. He never thought of persuading others to follow or believe in his own way as if he was born to obey and comply. In the family there would only be two streams of thinking and opinion. One was from their father, the king, the other one was from his elder sister.

Ann resembled Charles to a certain extent. She was a conservative girl in some ways and sometimes she was quite brilliant dealing with people. She was determined. She always tried to equal with her sister in anything. She would like to have the same rights as her sister and play the same role in the family as her sister did. Her attempts at equality often caused disputes. .

Samson, the youngest, was only seven years old. He was the quietest and most peaceful in the family. He didn't bother the others, and they in return didn't bother him.

Charles's mother was a typical housewife. She did all the household work. Since there were four children, her love was shared by each of them.

Charles resented for how little he was offered. As usual, he did not express this. His mother was not the kind of mother who would protect or support her children by all means. Instead, she always stood by her husband whenever and wherever. She would not bother herself to offer excessive love to her children. Preparing dinner and serving her husband with rice was the image of her deep in Charles's mind.

Charles's mother was diagnosed with cancer following a physical examination. She stayed in hospital from then on. She had radiotherapy treatment in a special room. Charles, his sisters and brother were unexpectedly calm and made no violent reaction. The relationship was supposed to be close between mother and her children. No one could tell the reason behind the calmness among themselves. His mother was lying there on a white sheet of cloth. They paid visits to her whenever there was time. It seemed as if it never came to an end. "What is an end ?" Charles always asked himself.

It was the second year after Charles's mother passed away. More and more

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