UNCLE MATT? Paul and Ethan were safely ensconced in the backseat. It had taken Matt the better part of fifteen minutes to secure the car booster seats into place. Who the hell had designed these things NASA? Whats up, partner? You know what McDonalds has right now? I already authentic cheap nfl jerseys told you. Were not going to McDonalds. Oh, I know. Im just saying. Uh huh. You know what McDonalds has right now? No, Matt said. You know the new Shrek movie? Yes. They got Shrek toys, Paul said. He means McDonalds does, Ethan chipped in. Is that a fact? And theyre free. Theyre not free, Matt said. They are so. Its in the Happy Meal. Which are overpriced. Overwhat? Were not going to McDonalds. Oh, we know. We were just saying. They got free toys, is all. From the new Shrek movie. Remember when we saw the first Shrek movie, Uncle Matt? I remember, he said. I like Donkey, Ethan said. Me too, Matt agreed. Donkey is the toy this week. Were not going to McDonalds. Im just saying. Cause Chinese is good too, Paul said. Even though they dont got toys. Yeah, I like spare ribs. And dim sum. Mom likes the string beans. Ugh. You dont like string beans, do you, Uncle Matt? Theyre good for you, Matt said.Ethan turned to his brother. That means no. Matt smiled, tried to push away the day. Paul and Ethan were good for that.They arrived at Cathay, an old-fashioned Chinese restaurant with the retro classics like chow mein and egg foo young, cracked vinyl booths, and a grumpy old woman at the front counter who watched you eat as if fearing youd pocket the utensils.The food was greasy, but that was as it should be. The boys ate a ton. At McDonalds, they picked. They managed maybe half a burger and a dozen fries. Here they cleaned the plate. Chinese restaurants would be well served by handing out movie tie-in toys.Ethan, as always, was animated. Paul was a bit more reserved. They had been raised in pretty much the exact manner, the same gene pool, and yet they couldnt be more different. Ethan was the cutup. He never sat still. He was messy and lively and shunned affection. When Paul colored, he always stayed in the lines. He got frustrated when he made a mistake. He was thoughtful, a good athlete, and liked to cuddle.Nature waaay over nurture.They stopped at Dairy Queen on the ride home. Ethan ended up wearing more soft vanilla than he consumed. When he pulled into the driveway Matt was surprised to see that Marsha wasnt back yet. He took them inside he had a key and gave them a bath. It was eight oclock.Matt put on an episode of The Fairly OddParents, which was pretty funny on an adult level, and then convinced the boys using negotiating skills picked up in legal pleadings across the state to get into bed. Ethan was afraid of the dark, so Matt turned on the SpongeBob night-light.Matt checked his watch. Eight thirty. He didnt mind staying later, but he was getting a little worried.He headed into the kitchen. The latest works of art by Paul and Ethan hung on the refrigerator by magnets. There were photographs, too, in acrylic frames that never seemed to hold the photos in place. Most were halfway slipping out. Matt carefully slid the images back where they belonged.Near the top of the fridge, too high for the children to reach (if authentic cheap nfl jerseys china not see?) there were two photographs of Bernie. Matt stopped and stared at his brother. After a while he turned away and picked up the kitchen phone. He dialed Marshas cell.Marsha had caller ID and answered, Matt? I was just about to call you. Hey. Are you at the house? We are. And the boys are bathed and in bed. Wow, youre good. I thank you. No, I thank you. No one spoke for a moment.Matt asked, Do you need me to stay awhile? If its okay. No problem. Olivias still in Boston. Thank you, she said, and there was something in her voice.He switched ears. Uh, what time do you think youll be getting Matt? Yes. I lied to you before. He said nothing. I didnt have a school meeting. He waited. Im out on a date. Not sure what to say to that, Matt went with the reliable Oh. I should have told you before. She lowered her voice. Its not a first date either. His eyes found his brothers in the photograph on the refrigerator. Uh huh. Ive been seeing someone. Its been almost two months now. The boys dont know anything authentic cheap nfl jerseys from china about it, of course. You dont have to explain to me. Yeah, Matt. Yeah, I do. He said authentic cheap nfl jerseys for sale nothing. Matt? Im here. Would you mind spending the night? He closed his eyes. No, he said. I dont mind at all. Ill be home before the boys wake up. Okay. He heard a sniffle then. She was crying. Its okay, Marsha. Really? Yeah, he said. Ill see you in the morning. I love you, Matt. I love you too. He hung up the phone. It was a good thing, Marsha going out. It was a very good thing. But his eyes drifted back toward his brother. Unfair and wrong as it was, Matt couldnt help but think that his brother had never seemed more gone.