Johnny Casey launched into a fit of energetic coughing – a bit of bread down the wrong way. But the chat around the long dinner table carried on. Lovely. He could die here, literally die, on his forty-ninth birthday, and would his brothers, their spouses, his own wife, Jessie, or any of the children, even notice?
Jessie was his best hope but she was off in the kitchen readying the next elaborate course. He could only hope he survived to eat it.
A sip of water didn’t help. Tears were streaming down his face and finally Ed, his younger brother, asked, ‘You okay there?’
Manfully, Johnny waved away his concern. ‘Bread. Down the wrong way.’
‘Thought for a minute you were choking,’ Ferdia said.