"Congratulations, you are going to be an uncle . . . Again!"

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Never in my life have I ever worn such a pathetically fake smile. I am such a phony right now. The only thing that is actually makes my smile real is when I glance at my nephews. Ethan keeps begging Sabrina to let him sit in my lap, while Micah sits next to my mother. I want to give in and tell Sabrina to let him, but I know she is trying to teach him table manners. Across the large, round table, Jacks and Sabrina sit huddles together as they whisper in each other's ears. Karissa's parents sit next to her left, my parents to Jacks' right. Micah is between my mother and me; Sabrina is sitting to my right with Gil next to her. Ethan is between them, trying to grab at the food on the plate. He is not being horribly loud, but the other people in the restaurant keep looking us.

"Ethan," Sabrina scolds in a kind voice. "I need you to stop behaving like an animal and be a good boy for Mommy."

"But Micah gets to sit with Grandma!" he whines, grabbing at the tablecloth. "Why can't I sit with Uncle Eric?"

"Because Uncle Eric does not need a five-year-old making a mess in his lap, while he eats. If you don't stop giving me a hard time, I will not let you have dessert."

Sabrina looks to Gil for help. He stands, taking Ethan under his arm and takes him to the other side of the restaurant, towards the restrooms. Sabrina sighs, rest her elbows on the table, letting her head fall into her hands.

"He's terrible," she groans, running her fingers through her dark hair as she looks up. "I am so sorry that he is ruining dinner."

"He's a boy," Mom says with a gentle smile. "Having a girl first would have been better, but you can't plan it. You are doing your very best, sweetheart. It's hard being a first-time mom."

Sabrina nods, "At least I can trust Gil to help me out," she says with admiration, taking a deep breath. "He's a wonderful father."

I zone out the rest of the conversation, moving my vegetables around my plate with my fork. I don't know why I keep doing this to myself, but I glance across the table at Karissa's smiling face. Neither she nor Jacks' have said anything to the rest of the table. I look away when Micah tugs at my shirt.

"What's up, bud?" I say, leaning down to hear him whisper.

"Can you eat my broccoli?" he asks, cupping his hands around my ear. "Mommy said if there is not more food on my plate, I can have chocolate cake."

I glance at my sister. Her attention is on her phone right now, perfect opportunity. I grin at Micah and put my index finger to my lips. With a subtle glance around the table, making sure no one sees the crime I am about to commit. I swipe the three pieces of broccoli from Micah's plate and place them in mine. He giggles into his hands before climbing down from his chair and going to tub on Sabrina's arm.

"Mommy, Mommy!" he says with a wide grin. "My plate is empty! Can I have cake now?"

"Your plate is empty?" she asks, looking up from her phone to see his plate. "Hmm . . ."

My sister gives my plate a glance and arches her eyebrow.

"Eric," she says, with a knowing smile. "Did that broccoli magically appear on your plate, or did you swipe it from Micah's plate?"

"I have no idea what you are talking about," I reply, stabbing my fork into one of the mini trees and putting it into my mouth. "As I recall, you told Micah he could have cake if his plate was empty."

"You're a terrible influence . . ."

I glance over at Jacks who is smirking at me. I look away, putting on a smile as I shrug. Sabrina shakes her head, smiling as she takes Micah into her lap and places a slice of cake in front of him. Micah claps his hands before using his kiddy-fork to take a bite. Gil returns with Ethan a moment later.

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