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"Oh my god," my mom exclaimed, "this is so good!"

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"Oh my god," my mom exclaimed, "this is so good!"

Dad nodded with her, agreeing. "This is definitely one of the best appetizers I've ever tried."

Mom handed me a piece and I took a bite out of it. I had to agree, it was delicious. Mom moved on and held out a pepper for Nevaeh to take.

I watched as Nevaeh shook her head, an obviously fake smile plastered on her face. "I'm not hungry," she whispered, "I had a huge dinner." She put an emphasis on the huge, and my mom seemed to believe it. I had to admit, Nevaeh did make herself seem very believable. If I had never found out through the diary, I wouldn't have ever figured out.

I turned and nudged her, "Eat a piece, please. Just a tiny one." 

Nevaeh's eyes hardened and she gave me a 'don't start' look and I sighed. I needed to figure something out soon.

"Are you sure?" Mom asked her, "You don't want a small taste?"

Nevaeh's expression softened slightly and she shook her head again. "No thank you, Mrs. Rivers."

Mom raised an eyebrow, "Lisa."

She flushed, "Sorry Lisa."

Arianna jumped up, trying to grab a piece but she was too short to reach the tray. She pouted, crossing her arms over her chest. "Gimme, gimme!"

Mom shook her head with amusement and broke off a small piece of the pepper. She moved towards Ari, feeding it to her.

Arianna's eyes lit up and she beamed up at Nevaeh, "This is yummy, Nev!"

Nevaeh blushed, "Thank you, Ari."

At the use of her nickname, Ari's smile grew even wider. She grabbed Nevaeh's hand and tried to pull her. "Come see my room!"

"Not today, princess," dad interfered, "Maybe next time, yeah? It's way past your bedtime."

Arianna sulked, "But I'm not tired..."

My mom smiled, pointing to the stairs. "Off to bed, sweetie."

"Fine..." she whispered, and then perked up. "Bye Nev!" She spun off, running up the stairs.

Still a bit frazzled, Nevaeh blinked. "She'll go to bed, just like that?"

Mom and Dad chuckled in unison and I responded, "She likes being independent."

"Oh," Nevaeh stated, "I wish I was like that as a child. My mom and dad had to read me a book otherwise I wouldn't fall asleep and they... they..." she trailed off, struggling with the last bit. I watched as she cleared her throat, looking back up and smiling. "Anyway, yeah. I wasn't really an independent child but I try to be now."

There was a bitterness in her tone and I seemed to be the only one who noticed it. She caught my gaze and gave me a timid smile.

"So, Nevaeh," my dad started, "Do you have any hobbies or interests?"

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