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 Season 6

Episode 9

(The man who resembles me)

Leila couldn't wait to be with Charles after Chris left. She had to pick up Charlie from the kindergarten at 3 o'clock that afternoon.     

Charlie's big bright eyes looked very similar to Charles' and Leila had grown very fond of the little boy. After picking up Charlie, she went to the market to buy premium cut pork ribs and chicken which were Charlie's favorite food.     

"Eat more,"  Leila urged Charlie as she saw him put down his chopsticks. Little Charlie resembled Charles not only in appearance but also in personality. Like Charles, Charlie spoke little but he was very smart for his age. He had a look of sophistication and had an air of royalty about him. His mind was sharp and mature for a three-year-old, Leila mused tenderly.    

 "If you like them, mom will make more pork ribs and chicken for you tomorrow,"  Leila told Charlie with a tender smile. Watching him sitting at the table looking all serious tugged at her heart.   

"I'm full,"  Charlie said, taking a small sip of water. He dabbed his mouth regally with the table napkin and made as if to leave the table.     

"Charlie, wait!"   

Leila looked at Charlie timidly and said, "I want to talk to you,"    

 Unbelievable as it may seem, but she always felt shy and humble in front of Charlie, a three-year-old boy. He never called her mom and she always felt like his nanny even though she raised him as her son from infancy.     

Leila sat up straight, trying to act strictly and remind Charlie that she was his mother. But Charlie's cold disdain as he regarded her made her change her mind immediately. She was intimidated by Charlie and knew in her heart that she would be just his nanny forever.   

Preparing some fruits and arranging them on a platter, she set them in front of Charlie. He ate the fruits delicately with his fork like nobility. 'Charlie looks so cute,' Leila thought staring at Charlie wonderingly.    

 He looked so cute that she wanted to hug him and kiss him but his distant air made her give up the idea. She knew that Charlie hated being close to anybody. If she tried to hug or kiss him, she was afraid that he would throw the fruits at her face, so she never gave in to this urge.    

 In order to keep the peace, she continued to sit motionlessly in her chair.    

 When Charlie was about to finish eating the fruits, Leila cleared her throat and said, "Charlie, do you want to have a father?"    

"No, I don't!"   

Charlie answered coldly without any hesitation.     

Hearing his cold reply, Leila felt embarrassed for asking.   

She explained to Charlie carefully, "If you have a father, he will buy you new clothes and toys. He can take you to all the places you want to go. He could also get someone to teach you how to play the piano. I know you wanted to learn the piano but our house is too small. If you have a father, he can buy a big house that can accommodate even ten pianos."    

"Did that man come back for you?"  

 Charlie asked, looking at her shrewdly.     "That man? Which man are you referring to?"   

Leila frowned, regarding Charlie with amazement and confusion in her eyes.

     "The man in your phone."  

 Charlie's face was inscrutable. "The man which resembles me,"   


Leila admitted reluctantly, trying to gauge Charlie's reaction. She was surprised to learn that Charlie had seen the pictures of Charles she kept in her phone. She kept Charles' photos in her phone and looked at them every night like a besotted teenager. She was embarrassed to know that Charlie knew about the pictures but never once raised the subject. "Charlie, that man is your natural father,"  Leila said seriously.   

"I know,"    Charlie replied in a bored tone, "I recognized him right away because he looks a lot like me."   

 "Oh… okay." Leila felt relieved at how Charlie received the information. Feeling a little anxious, she asked Charlie, "If he wants you to come live with him, will you agree?"    

"Why doesn't he come and ask me himself?"   

Charlie retorted imperiously.     

"Come again? What did you say?"  

 She wasn't sure she heard Charlie correctly.   

"I said, let him come and ask me himself!" Charlie said. "I want to ask him where did he go and how a father can leave his son,"    

Charlie stood up, his little body erect and proud. "It's time to go to bed. I'm going to take a bath now."    

His words shocked Leila. She couldn't believe that such words were coming from the mouth of a three-year-old. For a while, she just stood looking at Charlie's retreating figure, and then hurried to follow him to his door. "Charlie, do you want mom to run the bath for you?"    

"Leave me alone!"   

The door closed behind him with a slight bang.     

Leila felt despondent. She just wanted a cute, normal son but what she got was a cold, little boss baby.     

Charlie couldn't understand why he had no tender feelings for Leila. In fact, he hated Leila's intimacy and he found her touch repulsive.   

He had never called her mom and rejected her care out of instinct.    

 He took a bath and put on clean pajamas. He put the dirty clothes in the washing machine. After a while, he climbed on his bed and read a short fairy tale until he felt sleepy.     

His last thought as he drifted off to sleep was that he would leave this house and see the outside world when he grew up.   

  That night, Charles called Leila and asked her for a drink. She had just finished her chores and was waiting for Charles to call her. She tiptoed to Charlie's room to check up on him before she left home.    

 Every time Charles asked her to go out with him, he would drink and talk about Autumn and what happened in the past. 

She knew that tonight wouldn't be any different. She tried to humor Charles and pretended to listen eagerly to his every word. 'When the day comes that he will get tired of talking about the past, that day I will make my move,' Leila promised herself.   

These days Charles was just a shadow of the Charles she knew in the past. He still looked handsome and aristocratic but he was leaner and more gaunt. After a few drinks, he was reduced to crying and calling out Autumn's name repeatedly. The sight was heartbreaking for Leila to see.   

  Reaching out, Leila hugged him tightly, murmuring over his head softly, "Hush darling, don't be sad. I'm here."   

 Charles was too drunk and was unaware of his surroundings, but Leila's words seemed to pacify him. After a while, Leila drove Charles to his home.     

She came across Chris at the house. A servant came to take Charles up to his room at Chris' instructions. Turning to Leila, she said, "You've gotten close to my brother in a short time. You've been scheming long enough."   

 Leila reacted to the scorn in Chris' voice, "I think you have misunderstood. Charles invited me out for a drink. I didn't refuse him because he looked so sad and depressed. I hope you can help him to quit drinking as it's becoming quite serious. If he doesn't stop soon, it will damage his health."  

"I think you'd better take care of him yourself. I think there's no more chance that Autumn will come back to him,"    Chris said in a resigned tone. "If you're really serious about him, why don't you grab the chance tonight? You know what to do so he wouldn't find any excuse to refuse you anymore."

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