We All Have That Uncle
“Dating any cute girls there, Chuck? Let me guess, still single?” Uncle Steve says, his oversized smile stretched across his oversized face.
Let me guess, you still weigh 350 pounds, I think.
“Nope, no dating luck for me.”
“That’s a shame. Well, see ya next Thanksgiving!” Uncle Steve slaps me on the arm and lets out a big portly laugh.
Truth is, I am dating someone, but it’s not a cute girl. It’s a boy. Something I avoid telling the chief homophobe of America.
My mom enters the dining room with two Banana Cream pies and sets them down on the table in front of us. One is in a red dish, the other yellow. One is with nuts, the other without.
A group of cousins runs through the dining room and into the kitchen.
My mom turns back towards us and stops. “Hey, why don’t you two come in the front room? Everyone’s out—"
“I’m just trying to figure what we can do to help Chuck here find a girlfriend. Isn’t it a little sad that year after year he’s here by himself? I mean don’t you want grandkids at some point, Gina?” Uncle Steve says.
“Chuck will find someone when the time is right,” she says, giving me a knowing look.
“That’s right,” I say, with a forced smile.
“Sad,” he says and directs his eyes to the pies. “Hey Gina, which one of these is nut-free?”
My mom glances at me again, then back to Uncle Steve. “Red dish,” she says and disappears into the front room.
The red dish is not the nut-free pie. I saw Aunt Tina make it. My mom saw Aunt Tina make it. I’m pretty sure my mom even helped her. So why—
Uncle Steve scoops up a large helping of the pie from the red dish.
I consider stopping him, then think back to the glance my mom gave me before lying to him.
I exhale loudly. “Good talk,” I say, smiling, and leave for the kitchen. The rest of the group is in the front room watching football, the kids are outside. I notice Aunt Jenny’s purse on the kitchen counter. It’s wide open.
Pretending to wash my hands, I peek inside her purse. Right there, on top of everything else, is Uncle Steve's EpiPen in a blue leather case. I look around again, making sure I’m alone in the kitchen, and slip it into my pocket.
I pour myself a cup of coffee and step outside to watch the kids play in the snow. They are building a snowman. A big snowman. Almost as big as—
A loud crash comes from inside the house.
“Oh my God—Steve!” Shrieks Aunt Jenny from the dining room.
I clench the EpiPen in my pocket and exhale, watching my breath float aimlessly through the air.