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We present a superconducting device showing a clear parity effect in the number of electrons, even when there is, on average, a single nonequilibrium quasiparticle present and the parity of the island switches due to quasiparticles tunneling in and out of the device at rates on the order of 100 Hz. We detect the switching by monitoring in real time the charge state of a superconducting island connected to normal leads by tunnel junctions. The quasiparticles are created by Cooper pairs breaking on the island at a rate of a few kilohertz. We demonstrate that the pair breaking is caused by the backaction of the single-electron transistor used as a charge detector. With sufficiently low probing currents, our superconducting island is free of quasiparticles 97% of the time.