I spent too long reading comics and my friends list, and left the apartment a couple of minutes later than I usually do. I didn't even give Lut my usual good-bye hug. No wonder I'm irritable today. I always make a point of hugging Lut before I leave the apartment, even if he's asleep and doesn't notice. Almost always, anyway -- since I didn't today. Pout.
I put on my trenchcoat before leaving, and reminded myself a half-dozen times that I wanted to bring my umbrella. Naturally, I forgot it.
When the elevator arrived, I held it a minute for a man I could hear coming down the hall, thinking, This is making me even later -- I'll miss the bus. He rounded the corner carrying a big red and white umbrella, which is when I realized I'd forgotten mine. Well, maybe the rain will have stopped.
A few floors down, a young woman wearing a short T-shirt that gaps above a hip-hugging white skirt that might've been sixteen inches long. Standing in my black trenchcoat, I find myself wondering if she even looked out the window before getting dressed this morning.
The elevator opens on the first floor, and I am greeted by the vista through the glass outer door of the lobby: more gray, pouring rain. I hesitate in the middle of the lobby, thinking,Maybe I don't want to catch my usual bus this badly. It's about a third of a mile to the bus stop, and there's no kind of shelter anywhere near it. The next bus -- If I've already missed the regular one -- isn't for another twenty minutes.
The man with the red and white umbrella says, "Excuse me -- you have quite a ways to walk, don't you?"
I look back at him, nodding, and he proffers his umbrella to me. "Here. I've got a dozen of these. Just take it."
I gaze at the umbrella, blinking. I should say, "I have one in my apartment, I'll just go get it." I should say, "No, I'm OK, really -- it's my own fault, I have an umbrella, I just forgot it."
But instead I say, "Thank you," and smile at him as I take his umbrella, before heading out into the deluge.
And maybe that's what I'm supposed to do, anyway.