Rain's Song

By Chyna Rose

Disclaimer: I don't own Cowboy Beebop.

The rain cascades down the windows of an abandoned building. I watch from the shelter of a doorway. She's late -if she's coming at all. In the rain- swollen streets a black umbrella floats by. Old and broken; a lot like me.

I take a final puff from my cigarette and put it out in the empty soda can someone left near by. I begin to wonder if she's going to show at all, and reach for another cigarette. Damn. I'm all out. I'll have to remember to get more when I get the money.

She should've been here by now. It's what we agreed on, after all. But then, when has she ever been reliable for anything other than disappearing with the cash and appearing with trouble. Could've sworn I had another pack on me.

The wind picks out a melody as I watch the wooden sign of the store across from me swing. Julia. I wonder what happened to you. Why did you leave? Where did you go? Did I scare you away?

That sign. It's shaped like a fish. Probably a bar. Where is she? I'll give her five more minutes and then I'm leaving. She did say fifth street, didn't she? Maybe she's in the bar.

But I've been waiting here for hours. I haven't seen anyone go in or out in all that time. I look at the can, overflowing with my cigarette butts. There's nothing left of them, but I wonder if I could get just a little bit more from them. I really should quit.

We always throw away things that are useless or used up. Could that be why you left me? Was it because you had no more use for me? Or was it because there was nothing left of either of us? What did you see when you looked into my eyes? I pull my collar higher and find a cigarette. Within seconds, I've lit up again.

I see her walking in the rain. Finally. She looks completely miserable. Her purple hair hangs limp against her head, and she looks like she's dragging an invisible bag on the ground. In other words, she looks like a drowned rat. Probably would deck me if I told her that.

"You're late."

She pulls herself under the overhang of the doorway and grabs the cigarette out of my mouth. She takes a long drag without looking at me.

"Any luck?" I ask. She ignores me for another drag on the cigarette, blowing the smoke out in my face.

"Only the bad kind."

"Jet's not going to be pleased."

"Is he ever?"

She puts the cigarette out in the soda can. The rain hasn't let up. But at least it hasn't gotten worse. Sometimes I think I'm chasing a ghost. Your ghost. You never could stand rainy days. Seems all I ever run into is rain. I keep hoping I'll find you. But a part of me keeps saying that's pointless. You're already dead. And I should follow in your footsteps. I don't listen to that part of me much.

Julia. I still hear your song on the wind. But in the end, I know it's the wind and not you. And maybe someday I'll find you. Or at least what happened to you. Until then, I'll keep looking. For you; for fugitives. Something to keep me busy and even bring in enough to pay the bills.

"Come on Fae. We better start heading back."

Another broken down umbrella floats by and I snag it before it goes out of sight. Doesn't look too bad. It'll keep most of the rain off at any rate. You'd say it was kinda fitting. An old discarded umbrella for an old discarded man. But we both still have our uses. Just like the can that became an ashtray.