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Drew raced to the nearest storage closet as soon as the bell rang. He opened his hand and Drew fell down into his palm.

“Well that went well.” Sage muttered.

“Sorry, I didn’t think she would get so close.”

“Whatever.” Sage grunted. “What are you going to do now?”

“I don’t know.” Drew said. He started pacing the length of the closet. “If we don’t meet with her she might tell someone. But if we do meet her, and she gets a closer look at you, she’s sure to realize that you’re real.”

“I can’t believe she noticed me breathing.” Sage said. “I was practically holding breath.”

“No you did great. It’s my fault.”

“Well at least we agree on that.”

Drew ruffled up Sage’s hair with a finger.

“I don’t suppose we can just leave?” Sage asked.

“No.” Drew said. “I can’t leave unless my parents call in, and they won’t unless I give them a really good reason.”

“I don’t want another person to know about me.” Sage said firmly.

“I know. I’ll just have to try and throw her off at lunch.” Drew said with a sigh. “But that’s two classes from now. Where do you want to stay?”

“Not where I was before. I had to dodge pencils the entire time.”

“Sorry about that.”

“Whatever.” Sage looked at Drew. “There.” He said pointing at the chest pocket of Drew’s uniform. Drew looked down at it. It was definitely big enough for Sage to fit. It was just a weird thought that he was going to have an entire person hiding inside one of his pockets.

“Alright, let’s go then before the next bell rings.”

Said bell rang.

“So,” Opal said. “You decided to show up.”

“Just to convince you that he’s nothing but a model.” Drew said. He sat down across from her, being careful as he moved so that he didn’t cause Sage to bounce against him too much.

“Uh huh. You already gave him food right?”

“He’s just a model he doesn’t need food.” Drew said. Actually he had already dropped a few bits of food into his pocket.

“Good.” Opal said. “Now, my dad’s a caretaker for one of the Borrower Sanctuaries.”

Drew blinked in surprise. He hadn’t known that there was a Sanctuary in his area.

“That’s how I recognized him once I knew to look for the signs.”

“What signs?” Drew asked.

“The small stiches in his clothing that no human could do, but were too handmade for a machine. The breathing. The sweating. Things like that. But that doesn’t matter, what does matter is that he trusts you.”

Drew frowned. “He’s a model.”

“Yes, yes, so you keep saying. Hopefully you’re more convincing if you actually have to convince someone else of that. Anyways, do you know how rare it is to find a borrower that actually trusts a human?”

“Borrowers don’t trust humans.” Drew said.

“Exactly, it’s so rare that I don’t think I’ve ever heard of one trusting a human. Even the one’s in the sanctuaries don’t really trust us. You also know how much money some people will pay for one right?”

Drew’s eyebrows came closer together. “Yes.”

Opal nodded. “Good. Have you registered him yet?”

“No,” Drew said, then caught himself. “I mean, he’s just a model, so of course not.”

“You need to.” Opal ignored his lie. “You know how the laws work right?”

“Sort of.”

“Alright, well basically, unless a borrower is under the protection of the government, or in the care of a human, they don’t have any legal protections. So say for instance that right now someone was to come along and get him away from you. You wouldn’t be able to call the police or anything. If you register him, and say that he’s under your care, then you could do something if something bad happens.”

“I’m telling you he’s a model.” Drew said in what he hoped was a firm voice. “But for the sake of learning more general knowledge, what exactly is involved with registering a borrower?”

“I don’t really know.” Opal said. “As far as I know, no one has ever done it before.”

“Why not?”

“Because the borrower has to go into a sanctuary to do it.” Opal said. “A borrower hasn’t ever come outside of a sanctuary once they’ve been put in.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because, it’s safe there.” She said simply. “Safer than anywhere else for a borrower to be. No human can get to a borrower that’s inside a sanctuary. Not even the caretakers like my dad. Once the borrowers realize that, they usually aren’t willing to come out again.”

“Not a single one has ever come out before?”

Opal shook her head. “There’s been a few time when a borrower went inside to register, but once they saw how good it was inside, they refused to come out again.”

“Which is why no one’s ever actually registered one before.” Drew said. “People know that they aren’t likely to see them again if they register them.”

“Exactly.” Opal said. “No one likes it, but it’s the only way that we’ve found to keep even a few of them safe. There’s so much we want to know about them, but they usually refuse to talk to us after they’re in the Sanctuaries. Because of the way the stupid laws work, if they get discovered the human who finds them can do whatever they want with them.”

“That’s not right.”

“I agree, and so do a lot of other people, but most people still think of them as nothing more than pests.” Opal looked away. “It’s not good.”

“Well, like I said, he’s a model.” Drew said. He took a slurp of juice. “So none of this matters.”

“You don’t get it!” Opal said loudly. “He’s in so much danger right now with you. Do you know some of the things that happen to them if they’re caught by someone who doesn’t care?”

“I won’t let him get caught. I’ll keep him safe.”

“You can’t.” Opal said firmly. “Not unless you plan on locking him up yourself. The only option is registering him. Plus, maybe we could learn more about them. If people realize that the borrowers are people too, we might be able to get the laws changed.”

Drew sighed. “If you were right, and he really was a borrower, then it would be his choice.”

Opal sighed too, and said, “I know. It’s just that I’ve never seen a borrower who actually trusts a human. Sage might be the first borrower ever who would actually register. Can you at least promise me that you’ll talk to him about it.”

Drew looked at Opal. He jerked a nod, but said, “He’s just a model.”

“I know.” Opal said. She then mouthed, ‘thank you.’

Well ... Opal seems to be on the side of the borrowers. The real question of course is whether or not Drew can convince Sage to register. We'll just have to see, he's pretty stubborn.


The Borrowers are property of Mary Norton
These characters and this story are mine.
Add a Comment:
jecka1021 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016
I don't like where this is going. I want out. Is it too late?
Firenze11 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016
Oh yeah, way too late. You're totally hooked. :) Don't worry too much though, there's almost always a light at the end of my tunnels.
Heroofthe13thDay Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I like her and I hope Sage stays with Drew!
Firenze11 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016
I like Opal too. As far as Sage and Drew are concerned, we'll have to see how things turn out. :)
YouAreCool10 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016  Student General Artist
I really like Opal! I hope nothing happens to Sage!
Firenze11 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016
YouAreCool10 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016  Student General Artist
Oh no.
Firenze11 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016
YouAreCool10 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016  Student General Artist
Firenze11 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016
You can do it!!!
LaEscritora Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Oooh, even more intrigue! I like Opal, she has her heart in the right place. It would seem Sage has some big decisions ahead of him...
Firenze11 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2016
Indeed he does.
Add a Comment:

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Submitted on
July 25, 2016


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