Hard to Breathe

    “Now explain again,” Bemmer said to his fellow companions. “Naze is Jet taking us to school?” The interns were walking to school with Jet accompanying them. “T.J. can’t take us because he’s got work today, Faye’s out gambling, Ed’s too young, the supernatural aren’t a good choice, and Spike has nai interest in us kids.” Mandy answered. “Uh-huh.” said Soot. “I know it sucks,” Mandy said. “But we’ll be at school soon.” The boys groaned. “So we’re stuck with grandpa?” Soot asked. “Nani was that?” Jet asked. “Nothing!” Soot yelled without turning around. “That’s nani I thought!” the kuro inu yelled. “Yeah whatever.” Soot mumbled. “Old fart.”

    The quartet made it to school. Jet sat down for a rest. The surroundings were really peaceful. The old inu just looked around. So quiet. So tranquil.

    Then something caught his eye. The hot Isamu-sama stood by the trees. Her beauty over-took him. Jet couldn’t help but stare. But yet, she looked so sad….

    Then, an older man came over to Isamu-sama. They both looked upset. Jet kept watching. “Nan’s wrong?” he thought. “I know I shouldn’t but….” Suddenly, the man raised his hand and violently struck the sensei. She fell to the ground. Jet became bitter. “Okay!” he thought. “That’s gone too far!!!!” The man raised his hand to do it again. But, another man stopped him. Jet sighed in relief. “That’s good!” he thought.

    “GRANDPA!!!!” someone yelled. Jet looked up. Soot was standing behind him. “Nani?” Jet asked. “Bai!” Soot exclaimed. (Bai= “Bye” in Jap.) “Oh…..bai.” the kuro inu said. Soot nodded. Then Jet got up and started walking away. But he stopped to one last look at the people. They were gone. So Jet walked on.

    In the principal’s office, the two men and the sensei met. “Isamu-san.” the principal addressed. “I am aware of your private life. But could you not display any violence on campus.” “Naze not?” Isamu-san asked. “We just don’t want a negative influence on the students.” the principal said. “Aw come on,” Isamu-san said as he grabbed his wife by the waist and held her tight. “The lady and I are in a romantic love affair! Aren’t I right, hon?” Her boss eyed the sensei.

    “It’s true.” Isamu-sama murmured. The principal was shocked. “There you see,” Isamu-san spoke up. “It’s all right. And besides, nai ichi saw us.” Isamu-sama’s boss nodded.

    Jet sat in the bar lost in thought. The lovely sensei plagued him. How can such beauty be misused by such hate? That was just a damn shame.

    “Want another drink, pal?” the bar tender asked. “Oro?” Jet asked as he snapped out of it. “So you want another drink?” the bar tender asked again. “Oh,” Jet said. “Hai, go ahead,” The bar tender complied. Nani could Jet do to save her?

    The answer came shortly. Jet was walking to the hardware store when he saw her again. Isamu-sama was sitting on a swing in the park. She looked depressed. Jet felt pity for her. But he knew he had to go on. So he did so.

    But hours later, Jet passed back that way again. There, Isamu-sama was still. Looking depressed on her little swing. The same pity from before came to Jet again. It tore at his heart. “Go talk to her!” his heart seemed to yell. He knew he had to get back to the Bebop. In the end, his heart won.

    Jet slowly approached her. She didn’t seem to notice him. “Just a few…… more……… steps.” the kuro inu thought.

    “Don’t come near me.” the sensei spoke up. Jet paused. The woman didn’t look up. Jet just looked but he continued on. “Go back!” Isamu-sama yelled. Jet still kept moving. Her heart raced. “Nani do I do?” she thought. Finally, Jet made it to her.

    “Nani do you want?” Isamu-sama wailed aloud. “Shhh.” Jet whispered. “It’s all right.” The sensei kept whimpering. The kuro inu waited patiently. The sensei finally quieted down. Jet waited a little longer. Then he asked: “Is something wrong?” The sensei shook her head. “Want me to take you home?” the kuro inu asked. “I can’t go home.” Isamu-sama spoke up. Jet was confused. “Naze not?” he asked. Jet was stunned. Before he could ask, the sensei said: “He has the key.” “You lost me.” the kuro inu said at last.

    “My husband owns everything,” Isamu-sama said. “The house, money, everything!” Jet listened with pity. Then he noticed something. “Can you look at me?” the kuro inu asked her. “Is anyone watching?” the sensei asked. Jet looked around. “Nope.” he said. “Are you sure?” she asked. “Hai.” said Jet. “All right.” Isamu-sama murmured. So she slowly lifted her head. Jet was in silent shock. The sensei had a big aka handprint on her left cheek. He could tell she had been crying. “Nani happened?” Jet asked. “I fell.” the sensei said. The old inu wasn’t fooled. “He hit you, didn’t he?” he asked. Isamu-sama nodded. “He’s abusive too.” she said. “I see.” said Jet. “Come with me.” Her eyes grew big. “Nani for?” she asked. “Just come on!” Jet exclaimed. Then without warning, he grabbed her by the hand and rushed with her to the bar.

    “Are you okay now, sama?” Jet asked the sensei. “Just call me Ume.” the sensei said. “All right, Ume.” the old inu said. Ume nodded. People were staring at them. “But I am nervous.” Ume said. “Hm?” Jet asked. “Naze?” The sensei swallowed hard. “You know the Isamu mafia?” she asked. Jet nodded. Ume leaned closer to him. “I’m Isamu-san’s wife.” she whispered. Jet stared at her. Ume grew worried. “He’s going to start avoiding me!” the sensei thought in fear. But instead Jet held her close. Ume’s heart skipped a beat.

    “Black-san.” she said. “Hai?” he asked. “Aren’t you afraid of me?” Ume asked. “Iie.” Jet answered. “Naze?” she asked. “I don’t know,” the kuro inu said. “Maybe I just like a damsel in distress.” Ume was moved deeply.

    “Are you sure you don’t want to walk you home?” Jet asked Ume. “It wouldn’t be safe.” she said. Jet gave a little smile. “Okay.” he said. “Bai then.” Then the kuro inu started walking off. Ume just stood there. This man…..

    “Black-san!” she cried out. Jet paused and turned. “Arigato,” Ume said. "For caring about me.” “Do itashimashite.” Jet said. Then he walked off.

See You in Space Cowboy