"And how does that make you feel?"
Fred sighed. Ever since his girlfriend had made the decision to become a psychologist, she'd been way too focused on "feelings" and "talking". It made him ill. More ill than the undercooked chicken in front of him.
"Fine, just fine," he mumbled around a mouthful of pink, chewy poultry.
"It doesn't upset you that they undercooked your chicken? It doesn't make you angry that they would try to harm you in that manner?"
"Nope. I like undercooked chicken," he said, taking another big bite.
The waiter came up, moobs poking out through his too-tight button-up white shirt. "How is everything?"
Fred held up his plate. "Delicious. The chicken is undercooked."
"Oh! Oh my. Let me just take that for you, sir. I'll get you a new plate. I'm so sorry."
"Not a problem at all. I love undercooked chicken."
"Um, really? You know it's unhealthy, right? You could get food poisoning and stuff."
"What? Are you serious? I don't believe you. I've eaten raw chicken since I was a little boy having lunch with my grampapa."
Both the waiter and Fred's girlfriend gasped, neither registering the heavy dose of sarcasm seeping through his voice.
Fred sighed. "Fine, take it back. Get me a steak this time. Medium."
The waiter nodded and took the plate from his hand. Fred reached for another roll and slathered it in butter.
"Are you using extra butter to hide your irritation that he took your chicken?"
Fred's eyes rolled involuntarily. She clearly saw, but didn't say anything, only waited for him to answer, staring at him intently, a forkful of Alfredo hovering dangerously over the table.
"No, Emma. No, I'm not. I just like butter. Butter is heaven and it makes my taste buds dance."
"Are you sure?"
"Absolutely. Here, try some."
She glared at him as he shoved the roll at her face. "No, idiot. I meant are you sure you're not mad."
"Emma, you know I'm not mad. It's not a big deal. Stuff like this happens all the time. Would you quit trying to make trouble where there is none?"
Her face turned red and she slammed her fork to the table. "I'm not trying to make trouble!" Her squeal echoed throughout the patio they were dining on, drawing stares from neighboring tables. "I"m just trying to help you express your emotions."
"Well, maybe my emotions are quite happy being hidden and unexpressed."
She stood up, slamming fork and napkin to the table. "Fine. If that's how you feel, then enjoy your lonely dinner."
He watched her stomp out through the gate that no one was supposed to use. The waiter had returned with a steak. "Uh, is everything alright, sir?"
Fred grinned up at him. "Oh, everything is just wonderful now," he said, tucking into his steak to eat in blissful silence.