Positively Responsible

Submitted into Contest #76 in response to: Write a story told exclusively through dialogue.... view prompt



Positively Responsible

“Jay, I worked hard on this budget.”

“I know you did Beth”

“Then why don’t you want us to follow it?”

“I like most of it, but there isn’t anything in it for fun”

“Fun? I can tell you what isn’t fun, getting heat or electricity shut off, or no food in the house”

“That’s what I mean, the entire budget is bills, bills, bills.”

“That’s not true, there is a nest egg account for later”

“Later, but we need to live now”

“That’s what I’m trying to do, let us live comfortably”

“So you are saying as long as we work and pays all the bills, put the rest in a savings account, that we are comfortable?”

“Yes, don’t you?”

“That is not living, that is existing”

“What’s the difference?”

“The difference Beth, is memories?”

“What are you talking about”

“Okay, let’s say we spend the next 5, 10 or 15 years following this budget. And then we are sitting at the table looking at our bank book.”

“Yes, it will be good”

“When you look at the deposits what are you going to think?” 

“I am going to be proud and excited.”

“No, that is what you will feel, not think.”

“You are confusing me.” 

“I am going to look at it and think- yep, that’s when we worked all week and paid the bills, oh and look the next deposit, we worked all week and paid the bills, OH here’s a good one, we worked all we, paid the bills and bought new work shoes. That was a good week”

“You are being silly”

“Am I?”

“Yes, you act like being responsible is a bad thing.” 

“That’s not what I mean.”

“Then what do you mean.”

“I love the fact that you are so mature and responsible, you keep me on track, but you need to let go a little, we need to enjoy what we worked for, enjoy life.”

“I do enjoy life”

“Really, all of it?”

“I love being with you, I love our house. I like my job.”

“So do I, but there is more out there we can enjoy together”

“But that takes money”

“Not everything does, and there are many other inexpensive things we can do.”

“So you are saying just rip this budget up and go crazy, have fun, pay the bills willy nilly.”

“NO, now you are being silly, all I am saying is we alter the budget a little.”


“Let’s keep the bill payment plan, that’s good, but use some of the savings to enjoy life, then we are both happy.”

“What do you want to do with it?” 

“Let’s make coffee, sit down at the table, see how much we have each month and decide together what to do, okay”


“Okay Beth, you first, what kind of things would you want to do?

“I’m not sure, I never really thought about it. This is your idea, you go first.”

“Okay, I would like us to convert the spare room, into a hobby room.”

“But where would guests sleep?”

“We have been in this house for three years, how many times has anyone stayed over?”

“Once, I see your point, but what do we do with the bed?”

“Lets sell it and get a murphy bed or sofa bed, then we still have a place IF anyone needs it, it’s more practical to have a room we can use three hundred and sixty five days a year rather than once every three years.”

“And it wont cost anything to change it.”

“See we are having fun already.”

“Yes, it is an exciting idea, what kinds of hobbies?”

“Well it can be a multi hobby room, painting, drawing, sewing, writing, reading anything really. The possibilities are endless.”

“Oh I haven’t painted in years, as a matter of fact I think my easel is in the garage.” 

“There you go, I remember you were pretty good at it too.”

“Awe so sweet, thank you. And I bet you still draw pretty good.”

“I can’t wait to find out.”

“Okay, this is good.”

“A good start you mean.”

“You have another idea?”

“This takes care of home, but I still want us to go out at least once a month.” 

“Wow you have really been thinking about this haven’t you.”


“Okay let’s hear it”

“Dinner and a movie or walk in the park.” 

“Okay, I think we can fit that in the budget, what else?” 

“I would love to take some sort of night class together; you know one night a week.” 

“Cool idea if it isn’t too expensive, but what?”

“What do we both like?”

“That’s easy, art, gardening, animals, t.v., cooking.”

“Why not how to build a garden, or gardening, mainly herbs or something like that and then in the summer, make a garden in the back yard?”

“Yes, and then that is one more thing to do together.”

“Now I am excited.”

“You know when you first started this conversation, I was afraid we were going to spend the night arguing, but I was wrong, I had forgotten how to play, you reminded me, thank you.”

“I am so glad you like the idea, to be honest, I was a little afraid I would get total resistance.”

“In the beginning I was going to say no, glad I didn’t”

“Me too.”

“So, mister planner, what’s our next move?” 

“Lets make the list, organize what we really want and what it will take to do it.”

“Okay and we can look online for courses available.”

“And we can go into the spare room, plan it out.”

“Put an ad online to sell the bed, and price the replacements.” 

“We have a busy weekend ahead with all this to do.” 

“You get the tape measure, I’ll get some paper, Lets do the room plan first!”

“Okay, Okay, wow you certainly are in a hurry, and that smile on your face is as beautiful as I remember”

“I know, we haven’t really done a lot of that lately have we?”

“Nope, but now we have a whole new reason to smile.”

“And a whole lot of new memories to make.”

“I love you”

“I love you too.”

January 11, 2021 21:40

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Rhonda Allen
20:39 Jan 18, 2021

Thank you C. Jay Loren. I found this to be so true during 31 years of marriage. Glad you enjoyed it.


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Crystal Lewis
13:00 Jan 18, 2021

I love it! A heartwarming story and a reminder that sometimes you just need to sit and calmly and openly talk to your partner when you aren't happy or want something to change instead of sitting and simmering in it. Well done. :)


Rhonda Allen
21:32 Mar 27, 2021

Thank you C. Jay I agree, I learned this during my 31 years being happily married. Im glad you liked it.


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Rhonda Allen
21:32 Mar 27, 2021

Thank you C. Jay I agree, I learned this during my 31 years being happily married. Im glad you liked it.


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Rhonda Allen
21:32 Mar 27, 2021

Thank you C. Jay I agree, I learned this during my 31 years being happily married. Im glad you liked it.


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