Suspicion by Sarah LeHan

‘Did you add sugar to this tea?’


Her face is obscured by the rim of the cup. All I can see

are her eyes, frozen, fixed

on me. I haven’t seen them that wide since

that bear stole our toothpaste out in Californ—


No. Never mind. Her eyes remained steady then. She blinked,

zipped up the tent, returned to sleep.


But she doesn’t blink now. She doesn’t blink.


‘Did you add sugar to this tea?’ She repeats. Her intensity

drills through my cloud of steam.


‘I didn’t add anything.’ I say.


‘Are you sure?’ she says. ‘Are you lying?’




‘“No” meaning what? That you’re not sure?’


‘That I’m not lying. I haven’t touched it, you know that.

You saw me emerge from the den when you called.’


‘But it tastes so sweet.’


I check the label. ‘It’s herbal tea.’

I turn it towards her. ‘No sugar. See?’


‘But it tastes so sweet.’


‘It's steeped.’


‘But it tastes too sweet.’ She scowls. She’s had enough.

She crosses to the sink, upends the cup.

For a second, the steel turns—red? purple? burgundy?

No matter. It wasn’t the color of toothpaste.


I left her then, read my book, went to sleep.

But the next morning I came downstairs to see

two ice cream cartons in the bin, empty.


I sighed. They should be in recycling.