She had waited for an hour. Jen looked down at her watch for the 20th time. 12:25. Late, he was just late. He was not bringing the cops. Jen had this little thing where two voices in her head argued over what to do. She knew one was her conscious and the other was "her" voice. So far, all she had found out was that she had a mean conscious.
I thought this was a bad idea...
Oh, not you again.
What? I'm sorry, but I just think that was extremely stupid! You didn't even know him for more than three days! How could you just invite him over like that? Stupid, stupid...
I don't think he'll turn me in.
Hmm, let's say he does. First, you told him you hated the government. STUPID IDIOT PERSON! You can get banished just for saying that. He could have been lying the whole time! Did that ever occur to you? Of course not! Then, you invited him here. You gave him instructions on how to get up here! Even if the Police don't come barging in, like I think they're going to, you're going to give him three of the most controversial books, from the government's point of view, which he can turn in! He might be working with them right now! In fact, he probably is! Of all the people in the world, I got stuck with YOU. That's it, you're getting banished. No doubt about it.
Maybe I want to get banished.
Yeah, I mean, I know I'm going to eventually. Everyone who goes against the government gets caught. And, maybe if I'm banished, I could find some other city. A free city. A place where I can live happily.
Okay, okay, and how are you going to survive in that deep, dark forest?
Well, I'm more prepared than anyone who was ever banished. I've read almost every book here. I know enough to survive for a long time. I might just live permanently out there.
Yeah, yeah, whatever. And, pray tell, how are you going to use those "book smarts" when you have to face a predator, like a bear or a wolf?
I'll make a weapon.
Oh, that's smart. Give the stupid, lovesick person a weapon.
You know, I don't think, as my conscious, you should call me stupid. You're supposed to tell me what to do.
I do! BUT THE ONLY WAY YOU EVER LISTEN TO ME IS IF I YELL, AND SCREAM, AND INSULT YOU!
At that moment, Jen heard a knock at the window. She spun around. There he was, just smiling at her. She ran over and opened the window. He fell in. Hard. As he stood up, he looked around. His mouth fell open, and he began shuffling through some of the open boxes near him. "Are-are these books?"
"Uh, is this, uh, what you wanted to show me?" He went around the room, picking up books and trying to read them.
"Yeah, it kinda is. I found the key to the attic years ago when I was younger. I've been coming up here to read ever since then."
"Oh." Azriel was speechless. He walked around for a moment. He looked at her and pointed to the books in her hand. "What's that?"
"Uh, yeah. Listen. I need you to take these." She handed him the books. "Read them. Please. Take as long as you want to read them. Don't let anyone find these, alright?" He nodded. "Do you want to stay here for a while?"
"No, I, uh, should probably get home before the patrols start their rounds."
"Right." He climbed out at waved good-bye.
I'm telling you, he is going to turn you in.