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“So,” Winnie says to me, snuggling even closer, “tell me four things about you that are the truth and one that’s a lie.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Four things that are true and one that’s a lie,” she repeated quickly. “It’s a game. I have to decide which one is a lie. Here, I’ll go first,” she added. “I learned to read when I was three, because I’m a Virgo I’m highly reliable but somewhat fussy, my parents celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary on June eighteenth, I’m allergic to strawberries and I’m a huge Star Wars fan.”

Each of Winnie’s five declarations were delivered equally and I smiled in response. “Okay. Am I supposed to tell you mine now or am I supposed to guess which of yours isn’t true?”

“It doesn’t matter,” she said, sipping more wine. “What would your preference be?”

“I think I want to guess first. Do you just want me to guess or should I tell you my thought process? And how will I know if you tell me the truth concerning which one is a lie?”

Winnie turned her head toward me, mouth open wide, eyebrows drawn together. “Ow! I think you just said that you don’t trust me. I’d be hurt but I guess the whole point of this is lying so I’ll let it go. How about if you write down your answer, I write down mine, and then we exchange them without looking at them prior to any discussion?”

“Deal,” I said. “You got paper and a pencil?”

“I do, but it’s inside. Will you wait for me?”

“With bated breath, whatever the hell that means,” I assured her.

“Right back,” she said, placing her hand half way up my thigh and squeezing before kissing me and quickly rising.

I again took an opportunity to watch her caboose pull away from my station and thought about her five items. I had a theory as to which one was a lie but I wasn’t sure if I believed what I did because of evidence or if I wanted the one item to be a lie. In either case, Winnie reappeared at the door, told Cerveza, “No, kitty has to stay inside,” made her way back to our little nest and laid a folded piece of paper on the table next to us. “That’s my answer,” she declared. “Now you write yours down and we can discuss your little theories.”

I did as I was instructed and then folded the paper before laying it on the table. “Okay,” I began, “first let’s eliminate two. My theory is that the first and last answers will always be truthful, therefore I think you did learn to read when you were three, although we’ll have to explore just how three you really were, and I think you are a Star Wars fan. Didn’t everybody look old in The Force Awakens?”

“Happens to the best of us. Carrie Fisher turns sixty this year. Rogue One should be out for Christmas. Go on!”

“So, that leaves us with astrology, allergies and anniversaries. I know you’re fifty so a sixtieth anniversary makes sense and somehow kidding about a food allergy is just creepy so I’m going to go with you lied about your horoscope thing. Furthermore, I think your lie was really, really sneaky. I think you are a Virgo but that you do not believe that your astrological sign controls who you are. How’d I do?”

“Admirably. I’m really glad you went through your thought process because next time I play this game I’ll have to remember that not first or last thing. And how do you know I’m fifty?”

“You told me so. Early this winter after we’d just started to get to know one another. You said you’d turned fifty on your last birthday and since you didn’t say you’d just turned fifty I figured that a little time had to have elapsed, so September made a lot of sense. I figured you went with your real astrological sign and September is for Virgos. My mom’s birthday was in September, that’s the only reason that I know that, by the way. Please tell me I’m right?”

“Well, mostly right. I mean, spot on for me, I think it’s all a bunch of hooey, but astrological signs almost always go from like the twenty-first or second of one month to the twenty-first or second on the next. I’m barely a Virgo because I was born on the autumnal equinox.”

“How nice of your mom to give you an easy to remember birthday. My mom’s was nine, nine, twenty-nine so that was about impossible to forget. God I’m glad you don’t go for that astrological clap-trap. Hooey, as you said.”

“Do you want to read my answer?” she asked.

“No. I trust you. Want to read mine?”

“Nah. Your turn.”

“Okay, but first, how three were you when you started reading?”

“How would I know? It’s just something I was always told, that I started reading when I was three. Next time I talk to my mom I can ask her if you’d like?”

“Think she’ll remember?”

“Hey! She’s only eighty! She does alright for herself. Better than Dad.”

“Cherish them. It sucks losing them. Trust me. Okay, so four truths and one lie, huh? Fine. Coming right up.”

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