“They said that, but do you really believe it’s true,” said Caroline as she sipped on her chai latte. We were sitting in one of those hipster coffee shops that seem to spring up out of nowhere; the ones that draw the bearded and delicately tattooed for a while before erasing itself from all existence.
Caroline was enjoying her warm and spicy tea while I was trying to ignore the gawping stares that were directed my way.
“I mean, I think an extra hand would be useful, don’t you think?” Caroline continued. “How often have you said that? That you could ‘use an extra hand around the house’?”
“Yes Caroline,” I responded. “But this one is growing out of my head. What use is an extra hand if it’s bursting out the side of my temple?”
“Well…I don’t know, I mean…well look, will it hold my cup?
Before I could respond, she leaned forward and gently nudged the hand with her mug. She jumped backwards in surprise when it took the cup from her and held it aloft.
“Oh!” she said, clapping her hands in delight. “See? A cup holder!”
I could feel the weight of the full cup of tea gently pulling my head to the side where the hand was holding it. I was seething. Did she think this was funny?
I’d woken up three days ago with a hand growing out the side of my head. I didn’t know where it came from or why it was there. I can’t go to work, my boyfriend won’t see me and my life is in ruins. Caroline had convinced me to come out into the open so she could help me come up with a plan. It had become obvious five minutes in that she only wanted to gape at the thing and maybe revel in my misfortune. She’d always been a bit jealous of me.
Now she thought it was cute to use this random, unwanted appendage as a cup holder. I looked at her with fury in my eyes. She might have been my oldest friend but, at that moment, I wanted to slap that silly little smile right off her face.
I geared myself up to give her a what’s what about her obvious delight at my predicament. She wasn’t even trying to hide her glee as she sat forward in her chair, squinting up at the hand, a smug smirk on her face.
Then, just like that, without warning, the hand launched the cup at Caroline, the steaming hot tea splashing over her neck as she screamed in pain and surprise.