2022 Writing Contest

We arrive back home, and I unlock the apartment before we all head inside. But before I get too far inside, I ask, "Can you two handle dinner tonight?" Josh nods his head yes before I continue, "I'll be staying at another job most nights, but I'll have dinner ready before I go" We say our goodbyes as I leave, Ollie closing the door as I go away. I make my way to the warehouse, as I arrive I tug off my glove. Stuffing the glove to my pocket I raise my metal hand to my face. Looking at the back of my hand, my reflection is slightly visible. I enter within the warehouse and begin my new job, it's more manual labor then I thought. Moving supplies and helping with those he's worked on, most of them appear to be gang members or those hurt by them. Eventually days pass and I get into this new routine I ask Doc, "What do you do when they can't pay?" Doc glances my way before responding, "They owe me favors, which I can call upon at any moment" A cruel system, but one I'm apart of now I still haven't told Ollie or Josh, it’s been difficult since I don't get much sleep anymore. But then I find a moment of relief when Saturday comes around again. Luckily Doc doesn't need me to work that day so I can spend it with Ollie and Josh. Once they wake up, I prepare breakfast with the glove off. It feels more, relaxing and easy without the glove. As I serve us breakfast, I feel their eyes on the hand. Once we all sit down and begin to eat, I ask, "have you two noticed something different about me?" Ollie answers, "Your hand is all shinny" Josh says, "Your hand is different" Well at least they noticed it. I ask, "How does it make you two feels?" Josh shrugs and Ollie says, "Confused" I ask, "Why are you confused?" Josh asks, "What happened to it?" I take a moment before answering, "I lost my hand" Ollie asks, "Where did you put it?" I chuckled before continuing, "I'm not sure, but I lost it. And now I have a new mechanical one" Josh takes a sip of water before asking, "Does it hurt?" I answer, "No, not anymore" Ollie asks, "Is that what your job is at night? Looking for your hand?" Josh glances at Ollie but I’m the one who gives him an answer, "Yes, in many ways that's what I've been trying to do" I say, "I didn't want to surprise you two" Josh says, "Thank you, but I'm not sure how I feel about it" Ollie says, "I think it's cool" I ask, "Doesn't it make me seem stronger?" Ollie shakes his head up and down fast as Josh answers, "Not really, lots of people have more than just a hand changed" I ruffle Josh's hair with the metal hand, and I can see how easily he is annoyed. It makes me smile as we continue eating. Once we finish and clean the dishes I announce, "today we're going to be hanging out and enjoying ourselves"