One. I glance under the table at the white knuckles on my tightly fisted hand.
Two. I lift my eyes to focus on the far wall of the restaurant.
Three. I try taking a deep breath.
Four. Burning pain spreads through my lungs.
Five. The fiery sensation in my chest moves to the back of my head.
Six. I take a sip of water and find it hard to swallow.
Seven. I’m not sure about the reason for choking but I suspect it’s more about my anger and less about my beverage.
Eight. I clear my throat.
Nine. I smile a little across the table.
Ten. I hope that the pain in my voice isn’t too obvious as I say, “I remember that.”
Counting to ten might help control my outbursts of anger but it does little for the bitter fury beneath the surface.