Three Young Sisters
The photograph has a deckle edge that had been blunted from being pulled in and out of the enveloped that contains it. Droplets of rust-coloured stains smudged its border. On the back, written vertically in blue ink “幼小三妹姐” – three young sisters. The picture shows three children standing together under the eaves of an old tile-roofed house. My mother was 8 years old in the photograph, her siblings 10 and 6. One of the sisters is standing in the front, with her hand crossed behind her back, she, taller than her, was standing a bit far back, their gazes fixated upon the camera. She had a bright smile on her face, awkwardly, as children often do when posing in front of a camera. The three sisters, gathered, at the order of their parents, who had borrowed the camera from a family friend to take this photo on National day, had stood side by side, united, in front of the house that would carry all their memories and longings for the charmed childhood life with no return.