No. 384

After Rich had racked up more than a hundred dollars in library fines, they suspended his card. That didn’t deter him, though, from finding another way to borrow books.

He had managed to jimmy the lock on the woman’s-bathroom window. At night he slipped inside and simply stole the books that caught his fancy. He was doing well for himself, filling an entire bookshelf in his apartment in a little under two weeks.

Everything was going swimmingly until one Saturday night when he ran into a problem he hadn’t foreseen.


He made his way through the window as usual, making sure beforehand that there was nobody else around who might see him. As he dropped to the floor on the inside, he froze. He thought he heard breathing from one of the stalls.

Creeping forward, he paused in front of the closed door. He took a deep breath before pushing it carefully, with one finger. It swung open.

“Alright, you’ve got me,” she said, resigned to her fate.

Rich almost pooped himself. There was a girl in here! He stumbled back in surprise.

“I, uh,” he managed to say.

They looked at each other. Then the truth of their mutual situation dawned on them.

“You’re not supposed to be here,” they said in unison, each pointing that the other.

Rich tried to think of an excuse in a hurry. “I’m the janitor,” he stammered feebly.

She rolled her eyes. “The janitor that sneaks in the window. Right.”

“I, uh.”

“Yeah, save it,” she told him as she closed the distance between them. “I’ll just be straight with you. I’m here to borrow some books.”

“You mean ‘steal’,” Rich corrected.

“That’s such a dirty word.”

Rich shrugged and scratched his head. “Well, I suppose we’re here now,” he suggested.

“Might as well.”

They left the washroom. Rich held the door for her. They parted and each went to their favorite section.


The heist was completed in minutes, and afterwards they returned to the window.

The girl threw her haul out and was quick to follow it. As Rich was steadying his books on the ledge to make his escape, she stuck her head back through and smiled at him.

“Same time next week?” she suggested coyly.

Rich was not expecting this offer.

“I, uh.”

“That’s a ‘yes’,” she called back to him as she disappeared into the night.