Looking at all the families and couples that came to the bar he slowly began to understand . Her anger, her resentment, her vicious ways must have come from disappointment. His lazy father that preferred drinking to working, the dingy flat, the cheerless life they lead, must have caused it. The priests that had taken him in with his little brother talked a lot about forgiveness. Seventy times seven, they said. He thought of his little brother, of how much he loved him and of how grateful he was that he had managed to protect him. He would make everything into a game, pulling faces, making jokes, until his little brother's tears turned to giggles. He told him to work hard at school so he could be free, that was the way, not to get in with a bad crowd like he had .His brother was his reason to survive. Every Christmas now, he stayed in Paris with his brother and his lovely family, his wife Sophie and little Maxime and he felt the glow of a great achievement. No-one would ever know how much it had cost him. Oh yes, looking at the families and the couples he could at last understand his mother. But he wasn't ready to forgive her yet.
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