This story is by Joe Bunting and was part of our 2021 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
“Nothing. Just insurance stuff,” he said. Months later I found out from my mother that it was a letter from the insurance company, that they were denying his claim, that we had two more months until we were on our own, the disability ran out, but even then I could see he was stressed and he must have seen I was getting stressed seeing him stressed because he set the letter down. “Hey come here,” he said waving me over. I sat next to him and he put his arm around my shoulder and pulled me into his chest which had dwindled so much I worried I’d break him. But his grip was strong and it felt good even though boys at that age feel antsy when they’re held it did feel good.