The wind pushed him, and Jake started walking again. “What if I don’t go back?” he asked the wind. “What if I just let you blow me around, and go wherever you take me?”
The wind didn’t answer, but the rain fell harder as Jake arrived at another corner. Across the street was the door to his pub. No, he thought, The Management’s pub. I’m just the bartender. I just do what they tell me to do. And what else could I do anyway?
He was who he was, and that had made him who he was: a Jake, chose and chosen. “That’s all I am,” he said as he crossed the street. “A nothing who does what he’s told.” His shoes squished as he opened the door.
Every chair, every bar stool, every bit of floorspace was packed with rump or feet. And in every murmur, every chat, Jake heard the regrets of people who wished they’d had a raincoat, or at the least an umbrella. He envied their regrets.
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