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"I don't get it," Abby sighed, trying to decipher the pantomime. "Either I'm some kind of bird, or you're trying to tell me someone in the family is dying!"

Jake smothered a laugh.

Then John started humming the wedding march and Abby finally understood.

"Oh, no!" she gasped. "Our wedding anniversary! It's tomorrow!"

"Your very first anniversary," John pointed out.

Abby glanced at her young husband, who was silently sitting beside her at the table.

"I'm sorry, Jake," she mumbled. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"We'll talk about it later," he responded with a patient smile.

"I realize I'm early," announced Terry, reaching for a small album beneath his chair, "but I wanted to give this to both of you now, instead of this evening. It's only a few photos I took of your wedding," he explained.

Jake opened the small picture album so Abby could also see. Oddly enough, this was the first time that either had ever viewed the photos, for neither Jake nor Abby had ever asked to see them.

"I know they're not very good," Terry apologized awkwardly, "but my camera phone doesn't take great pictures. The video I took with my camcorder didn't turn out very well, either, so I just printed out a few frames and added them with the others."

"Thanks, Terry," said Jake, trying to manage a happy smile. "This was very thoughtful of you." Jake looked over the few pages that comprised his wedding album, and handed it to Abby, who was strangely quiet.

"I thought that you'd want to get this over with now, instead of at the party," Terry explained.

"Party?" asked Abby, looking up from the pictures of what was supposed to be one of the happiest days of her life. "What party?"

"This evening," said John with a smile, "your family is throwing you and Jake a party. I know today isn't your real anniversary, but Terry and I have a busy work schedule tomorrow."

"Thanks, Dad," she smiled weakly. "It sounds great." Abby numbly looked back at the photos Terry had taken of their wedding day, and her heart sank even lower.

As if Jake were entertaining similar thoughts, he quickly pushed his chair away from the table and started clearing the dishes.

John and Terry talked a little while longer, and then went off to work in their office down the hall. Izumi remained to chat with Abby, but when one of the triplets began to cry, it quickly sent the remaining two into the same frenzy. Hearing the loud commotion of his aunts, Ricky blinked opened his eyes and peered up at Jake. Seeing no reason to fuss, the boy promptly went back to sleep.

Izumi wanted to stay and visit with her daughter, but her three smallest girls were demanding their share of breakfast, so the busy mother had to hurry away and go nurse them.

Shaking his head, Jake scraped small bits of leftovers into the garbage disposal, while Abby continued to sit at the table, still looking at the photos.

"Please," Jake begged her, "put that album away."

"They're pretty dismal, aren't they," she responded, understandingly.
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