He wore a poker face. I couldn’t tell if he was kidding, serious or playing some kind of complicated mind game. My brother didn’t blink. I held his gaze, but my right hand crept along the table top until it located the knife I’d used to cut the turkey.
It came down to this. My mother, as usual, had cooked waa-aay too much food to be consumed in a sitting. She always aims to provide for us, to make sure we had leftovers to last a week whenever we visited. My brother and I were now arguing about who had to take home the brunt of the leftovers.
My brother complained that he still had two roasts in his refrigerator from the last two times he’d visited. I also had a roast sitting in my fridge, but I wasn’t going to reveal he had me beat two to one in the roast department. Instead, I sliced off the leg from one of the two turkeys my mother had cooked and added it to his pile, daring him to naysay me.
I saw his lip tremble and I thought he would break. Instead, he grabbed the remainder of the mashed potatoes, leaving me with the stuffing… oh God, the stuffing…there was so much stuffing…
We went on like this, divvying up the leftovers until only the four pies that comprised the dessert were left. And that’s when he said something that knocked me off my game and totally threw me.
“If you don’t really want any of the pies, I’ll take them all.”
Wait, what? I don’t get any pie? What was he trying to pull here? I stared at him, slack-jawed.
“No, seriously. I’ll take all of them. You don’t have to worry about it.”
Now I really wanted a pie. I almost appealed to my mother, tattling that he was taking all the pie. And then it dawned on me. “Is this some kind of weird reverse psychology move?”
I saw his left eye twitch.
+ + +
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