Marietta suspected strongly by the end of the week, but had little opportunity to pinpoint any proof. She spent every spare moment with Henry in the subtle pursuit of slipping him up, jarring the conversation into unexpected turns. Yes became a rather indifferent okay or alright, no matter how many different ways she managed to ask for affirmation. He veered around plurals and possessives as if they were road kill.
How many balloons are there? she asked.
Eight, said Henry.
Not seven? It looks to me like there are seven.
Henry stiffened but didnt back down. Huh. I thought I noted one more.
You mean you thought you spotted it? Saw it, maybe? Noticed it, even?
Henry tied the balloons to the chair and turned to face her.
I didnt note it, he said.
And that was the end of that.
Marietta wondered if she was the only one to detect