Sharon had just sat in the black leather love seat in the living room when her cell phone rang. The phone was on the dark-brown oblong coffee table in the centre of the room. It was lying next to Andy, her husband’s phone. The table was standing on an off-white shag rug. A glass vase with red and white artificial flowers and a few figurines also decorated the table.

“Who’s calling me now? It’s dinner time?” she said aloud.

She was wearing long grey joggers, a white T-shirt and a grey sweater.

“But we’ve just finished eating, so what does it matter?” Andy said.

He was sitting in the three-seater chair in the room and wearing a long sleeve black thermal top.

“It matters because it’s dinner time, and no one should be calling anyone at this time,” Sharon replied, looking down at the unfamiliar number on the phone’s screen.

“Then don’t answer it.” Andy moved his brown eyes from the evening news on the tv screen to look at her.

“Well, since you suddenly don’t have an issue with people calling during dinner, here you go, you answer it.”

Sharon whipped her arm through the air with the phone towards him.

Andy leaned forward and took the phone. It was in a white polar bear case, and within seconds he was saying, “hello!”

Sharon was of average height but was an inch or two taller than Andy. Her hair was braided and styled in a bun, and it went well with her small oval face.

“A free cruise ship to the Caribbean for two?” Sharon heard Andy ask in a conversational tone.

“No, no, no.” Sharon mouthed, shaking her hands vigorously in front of her face.

Andy ignored her. He got up from the chair, walked out of the living room, passed the dining room and entered the master room of their two-bedroom apartment.

Sharon frowned as she got up and took the tv remote control from the chair Andy was sitting in and turned up the volume before dropping back into the love seat.

About ten minutes later, Andy returned to the living room, where a faint smell of fried fish from their dinner lingered.

“Here you go,” he said, holding the phone out to her, “she wants to talk to you.”

“Who is it?” Sharon mouthed, frowning as she took the phone from him.

Andy resumed his seat in the long leather seat.

“Hello?” Sharon asked into the phone.

“Congratulations! You and your husband are on your way to the Caribbean on a cruise ship. Yay!” the unfamiliar voice on the phone exclaimed. Then in the background, a celebratory air horn sounded.

“Now, you just have to give me your credit card number, and you will be all set,” the woman continued.

“Wait, my credit card?” Sharon asked.

“Yes. Your husband accepted our offer, and he said you would give me the credit card info,” the upbeat voice continued.

“Why do I need to give you my credit card information?” Sharon asked, getting up from the chair.

“Your husband will fill you in on all the exciting news, but now we need to close this time-sensitive deal.”

“Let me just ask my hus…”

“Are you a killjoy?” the woman suddenly asked in a flat voice. 

“Excused me?” Sharon asked, stopping in her track.

“Yes, you heard me. You are one of those killjoy wives who suck the joy out of their husbands, aren’t you? Your husband only wants to grab a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you and him, and you just can’t let him have it, can you? Why would you do this to him?”

“I am not doing anything to anyone …”

“Then just give me the credit card info.”

“No,” Sharon said.

“Killjoy! Bye, Mrs. Killjoy! I feel sorry for your husband.”

The call ended, and Sharon turned to face Andy, who had muted the tv and was looking at her questioningly.

“Why do you always do this to me? Why do you always make me out to look like the bad guy?” Sharon demanded.

“What are you talking about?” Andy, who was now sitting at the edge of the chair, asked.

“You always do this to me,” Sharon continued, replacing her phone on the coffee table before dropping herself into the love seat. She looked at him through her piercing light grey eyes.

“What are you talking about?” Andy asked again.

Sharon took a deep breath before saying, “why did you tell her that I would give her the credit card information?”

“I did not tell her that.”

“What?” Sharon asked.

“I did not tell her that.”

“She said that you did.”

“Well, I am telling you, I did not say that to her.”

“Then why did you give me the phone?” Sharon asked.

“Because she said she wanted to ask you a few survey questions, and you usually like taking surveys.”

“What?” Sharon asked, “she didn’t ask me any survey questions.”

Andy sighed and passed his right hand through his black short curly hair.

“When I answered the phone,” he said, “she told me that I won a free trip to the Caribbean, and after I asked her a few questions, I told her I couldn’t accept it. She thanked me for my time and asked if she could ask my wife a few survey questions if you were available.”

Sharon sucks on her lower lip as she reads her husband’s oblong face.

“Well,” she said, “after I would not give her the credit card information, she accuses me of being a killjoy.”


“Yes. She was verbally abusing me just now.”

Andy sighed loudly and shook his head as he muttered, more to himself than Sharon.

“Sometimes I’m so gullible, it’s astounding!”

He got up and went to stoop in front of her.

“I’m sorry honey. I didn’t know she would have done that. Are you okay?” he asked, looking up at her.

“I guess,” she said hesitantly and sighed.

He slowly raised to his feet. Then taking her hands, raised her to her feet. They hugged each other.

A few minutes later, they parted, and they sat together in the long chair with his arm around her shoulders.

“Sharon?” Andy asked.


“What did you mean when you said I always make you out to be the bad guy?”

“You know,” she said, raising and dropping her shoulders.

“No, I don’t,” he replied, shaking his head.

“Well,” she said, turning her body to face him, “you usually get excited about something that we can’t afford, don’t need right now, or something else, and I’m the one who always has to point out that we can’t get it right now etc.”

“I don’t do that very often, do I?” he asked, frowning.

He continued before she could answer. “I know that once in a while, I go off, and you have to pull me back to reality, but I never think of you as the bad guy. At those times. I see you as my wife who helps to keep me grounded.”

“Really?” Sharon asked, looking him in the face.

“Yes, really,” he said, leaning in and kissing her briefly on the lips.

“Then why do you call me a killjoy sometimes?” she asked.

“I’m just joking. I thought you knew that.”

“I did,” she said quietly, “but after talking with that woman just now, and with us been a little upset with each other before the phone call, well…”

Andy’s cell phone on the coffee table rang and both of them locked eyes on it.

“Who’s calling me now? It’s dinner time?” Andy asked before they burst into laughter.

About A. M. Linton

A. M. Linton is a wife and mother of two.  She is also the author of Torn Between Love, Religion and Responsibility, A Little on Puberty for Boys and A little on Symptoms Associated with Menopause.  A few of her short stories were also published in The Barbados Advocate Newspaper.

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