“Not really,” I said. Jenny retrieved a cherry, brought it to her smile, and bit the fruit from the stem.
A moment later, while Jenny was mid-chew, Jane turned to her and, in a casual tone, said, “Now, let me tell you why I don’t eat those.”
Jenny’s jaw dropped and her tongue jutted out, as if to keep the remaining bits of cherry in her mouth as far from her esophagus as possible. Jane was rocking left to right from the force of her howls, tears cascading from her eyes. Jenny uttered a desperate, guttural “Why?” which sounded more like “Angh?”
Jane was gasping for breath between exhalations of mirth. When it looked as if Jenny might vomit for fear of the unknown “reason” not to eat the cherry she’d already begun digesting, Jane showed mercy. In a squeaky wheeze amid chortles and chuckles, Jane revealed, “There is no reason.”
Jenny finally closed her mouth. Jane, looking more pleased with herself than she had in weeks, broke into a fresh fit of laughter, so sincere and unrestrained, that Jenny turned to me and smiled in the knowledge that her plan had worked.