A Sunny Day in Cairo

A Sunny Day in Cairo

“Oh for the love of…” Harry fumed. “Are you kidding me, JoAnne?”

“I’m sorry, Harry. I… I don’t know what happened. I had the tickets and the passports right here in this little pouch.” Harry’s diminutive wife pointed to the open suitcase sitting on the small bed in their hotel room.

“I can’t believe you’d lose something like this,” complained Harry loudly. “It’s just like you to screw things up!”

Small rivulets of sweat cascaded down Harry’s brow. The summer heat of Cairo did not mix well with his short temper.

“Maybe we could check at the front desk to see if anyone found them?” suggested JoAnne hopefully.

“They barely speak English down there and you know I don’t speak Arabian,” said Harry, waving her off.

“Arabic,” corrected JoAnne.


“Arabic. That’s what they speak here. You said…”

“It doesn’t matter,” Harry interrupted.

His loud Hawaiian shirt clung to his portly body. He removed the straw Fedora hat he’d purchased at a local market and ran his hands over the few remaining strands of hair that still sprouted from the top of his head. JoAnne stood silently, wringing her hands, waiting for her husband to speak.

“You know,” he began, pointing his finger in his wife’s face. “This is your fault. YOU need to fix this. You need to call the uh… what’s that… the embassy, right? Yeah, you need to call them and have them do whatever it is I pay them to do with my taxes!”

JoAnne nodded compliantly. “Ok, I can do that, Harry. I’m so sorry.”

“Yeah, yeah, you said that already. Jeez, don’t these people believe in air conditioning? It’s no wonder we beat them in the war.”

“We didn’t go to war with…”

“I don’t hear you making that phone call,” chided Harry.

JoAnne pursed her lips as she reached for the phone next to the bed. She knew arguing with her husband was pointless and it was best just to do as he asked. Years of frustrated marriage had at least taught her that.

Before she could lift the received, a sharp knock sounded at their door.

“Now what?” muttered Harry as he plodded towards the room entrance.

Harry swung open the door to face a dark skinned man wearing a bellhop uniform.

“Mr. ‘Arry Pulansky?” the man asked with a smile.

“Yeah, that’s me. Whaddya want?”

The man produced a small, dark blue fanny pack.

“Sir, this was found in the lobby. We believe it belongs to you.”

Harry looked down at the pouch with a grimace.

“Jeez, nothing’s safe around here. Someone probably tried to steal it.” Harry snatched the bag from the man and slammed the door in his face.

“Can ya believe that?” he asked, showing JoAnne the pack.

“Harry,” JoAnne gasped. “That was rude. You should thank the man for bringing that back!”

“Eh, whatever… he’s the one that probably tried to steal it.”

“Isn’t that your fanny pack,” asked JoAnne.

“Yeah, I totally forgot about it.” Harry pulled the zipper and emptied the contents onto the bed. Out fell two plane tickets and two passports.

“Well would ya look at that,” Harry exclaimed brightly. “Problem solved!”

JoAnne glared narrowly at her husband.

“What would you do without me, honey?” asked Harry smiling. “Say… why don’t we grab some lunch before we head out?”

JoAnne Pulansky breathed deeply and slowly unclenched her fists. As usual, she said nothing.




10 thoughts on “A Sunny Day in Cairo

  1. Wow, you really have to Hate Harry they way you wrote his character. Doesn’t know how to be wrong, blames everything on JoAnne, and never apologizes to her when it’s his fault the tickets/passports were lost. I hope JoAnne leaves him honestly. She seems used to putting up with him but one day she is going to explode and it won’t be pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just like the previous commenters, I too felt like it was pretty easy to hate Harry, which shows how well you’ve written him. I felt pangs of sympathy for JoAnne and I hope she one day finds the courage to walk away from this marriage into something else much better for her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jade. This was an exercise in character development for a class I’m taking so I’m glad everyone found Harry to be rather detestable, which is how I intended for him to be. At the same time, I tried not to go over the top and make him seem unrealistically bad. Just enough of a jerk that people might relate him to someone they know. I appreciate the comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahh, yeah it’s very easy to go overboard making a character too hateful or too angelic. I think you did well and it helps that JoAnne seems sweet and intelligent and yet stays with him. I think that adds a level of curiosity to the reader: was Harry like this when they first met or did circumstances harden him?

        Overall, nice job 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Fried Dog with a Side of Cockroaches – The Well of Fiction

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