Well, he could always spend the night at the library.
It was raining, in a vertical-ocean sort of way. And Gabe didn’t have an umbrella. Not that an umbrella could’ve actually helped, but it would’ve turned stepping outside into something a little less like committing suicide.
Gabe pressed his forehead against the library’s glass doors and wondered if this was what it felt like to be marooned.
He didn’t mind getting wet, normally, but if he walked home he wouldn’t get wet–he’d get drenched, saturated, completely and utterly waterlogged. And so would his books.
That was the real problem. Unlike Gabe, books did tend to mind getting wet, normally. But perhaps if he wrapped them in his jacket and ran home, they would . . . be slightly less wet. Well, he could always spend the night at the library. He’d have to hide from the librarians while they were closing up, but how hard could that be? Sure, they’d caught him the last time he’d tried it, but this time he knew better than to hide in the fiction section. Non-fiction was safer–perhaps the cooking section?
"Wet out, isn’t it." Engrossed in plotting his evasion of the authorities, Gabe hadn’t noticed the man standing at his shoulder.
"Yes," Gabe managed an amused smile, although his first instinct was to flee; something about the other man was . . . off. He stood too close, leaning ever-so-slightly toward Gabe, face unreadable. Gabe shifted his books so they’d be slightly better protected if he had to make a run for it.
"You don’t have a raincoat."
"No. . . ." The wall against Gabe’s back was depressingly solid, and the doors swung in, not out, so no easy exit there.
"Here." In one swift motion, the man tossed something at Gabe, opened the non-obstructed door, and stepped out into the rain. Without thinking, Gabe grabbed the object before it could hit the floor, and then stared at it in surprise.
It was an umbrella.
No need to spend the night anywhere but home.