A/N: I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write chapter four but I just wanted it to be perfect. Charlene is probably my second favorite character, tied with Julia of course. =]
Charlene walked in the front door of her home. She still lived at home with her parents and her baby brother. She never married so she helped her mother raise her siblings. The youngest was her brother Harold Thomas who had just turned seven. How could there be over twenty year difference between Charlene and Harold Thomas? Many people asked that question. All of the Frazier children lived within the Poplar Bluff limits and visited home quite frequently. They were always a close family.
"Mama?" Charlene called out.
"Charlene?" A voice replied. It wasn't her Mama, but it was still somebody Charlene was happy to see. She walked into the kitchen.
"Carlene?" Charlene hugged her younger sister. "I'm so glad to see you. I've certainly missed you."
"I've missed you too." Carlene replied.
"So, how's married life? The wife of a used car salesman." Charlene asked. Carlene smiled and shrugged.
"Oh you know. Same old stuff. Dwayne Dobber thinks he's everything and he has to realize he's not." Charlene grabbed a hold of Carlene.
"I can't believe you're actually married." Charlene said. "It was just you, me, Mama and Daddy for a long time."
"You can't forget Odell and Harold Thomas. You're the oldest and I'm the second youngest." Carlene stated. Just then, Emily walked in with Charlie. She's the wife of Charlene's brother Dwayne and Charlie is their daughter who was named after Charlene.
"Carlene! I didn't even expect to see you here." Emily exclaimed.
"She's surprised us all." Charlene looked at her. "Does Mama know you're here?" Carlene shook her head no.
"I used my key and let myself in." Carlene replied.
"So Ionie isn't here?" Emily asked.
"What's wrong?" Charlene questioned.
"I have to pick Margaret Ann and Dwayne Junior up from school and then go pick up Dwayne. His Mama said she could watch Charlie." Emily sighed and Charlene took Charlie.
"I'm sure Carlene and I could take care of her. I may not have my own children, but I can watch my own niece. I have been here and helped Mama raise the others- including Dwayne." Charlene said with a smile.
"Oh alright." Emily smiled and handed Charlie to Charlene. "I really need to go." She rushed towards the door. "Thank you." And Emily disappeared outside.
"Can I hold her Charlene?" Carlene asked.
"Sure. You are close to being a mother than me." Charlene replied. Carlene put her arm on Charlene.
"You'll get married Charlene. It'll be okay. Don't worry about that." Carlene stated and Charlene sighed. Then, the front door opened.
"Are you here Charlene?" Their mother asked.
"Charlene?" Harold Thomas called out. Ionie and Harold Thomas Frazier walked into the kitchen with paper bags full of groceries.
"Carlene!" Ionie said and went over to hug her, but she was careful because of Charlie.
"Hi Mama." Carlene replied.
"Where's Dwayne?" Ionie asked as she put away the groceries.
"He has to work Mama. I think he was nervous about coming to see you and daddy anyway."
"Nervous? Now I don't believe that. Why would he be nervous?" Ionie asked. Charlene looked between Carlene and Ionie.
"Come on Harold Thomas. Let's go wash your hands before dinner." Charlene said.
"Alright." Harold Thomas said excitedly. "But I don't need help." Charlene smiled.
"Alright, but I'm here just in case you do need help." Charlene said and they walked towards the bathroom. The front door opened and Harlene entered with her husband Dennis and their four children- Mindy, Danny, Jess and Edward Lee.
"This house sure is busy today!" Charlene exclaimed happily. She hugged her sister. "Hi guys." Harold Thomas opened the door and water was all over the counter and flooding the floor.
"I need help." Charlene and Harlene laughed and went to help Harold Thomas. Charlene turned off the water and Harlene took some towels and started to clean off the floor.
"Come on Harold Thomas." Charlene picked him up after they cleaned off the floor and walked into the kitchen. Ionie leaned down to his level.
"Harold Thomas, what did you get into? You're soaking wet."
"He had a little mishap Mama. We cleaned it up." Charlene said. Ionie looked up at her.
"Okay, well go change your clothes and then we'll eat." Harold Thomas rushed out of the kitchen. She didn't have any intention of ever leaving Poplar Bluff. Why should she? She had her parents, and her brothers and sisters. She worked in a lawyer's office as a receptionist. What more could she possibly ask for? She had dreams of going to Atlanta, Georgia; but there she had nobody and couldn't go so far away from everybody. That would be crazy, wouldn't it?