Gina stopped walking and stared down at her hand that was deep in her black PVC knee length jacket pocket. The rain streamed down her arm and tried to enter via her wrist but the tight fit stopped the droplets from doing so. Her phone had a crack down the side which would facilitate the demise of its function if any sniff of water was to enter. Now was not the time for such things. She dismissed the voice questioning her lack of focus to have already got it fixed as it had already been three months since it bounced down the stairs of her apartment building and into the wall. It was now ringing and she had to answer. Looking around Gina could see a doorway underneath a destroyed canopy which gave her just enough protection to answer the phone without it being drenched in the downpour. She ran over only just missing a car as it glided by on the road, the rain hitting the ground almost drowning out the whining of its electric motors. The front bumper banged the heel of her shoe as she landed on the pavement. She turned round to shout some obscenity but was too late to be heard and slammed into the wall with an explosion of air from her lungs. She looked in panic at her hand hoping she hadn’t damaged the phone in the collision. It was still vibrating. At least that was still working. Now in the doorway and huddled over in some vain attempt to provide a little more protection from the rain, Gina removed the phone from her pocket and slammed it into her head.
“Are you there yet?”
“Just round the corner.”
“Can you see a blue eCar? Reg TTY 788?’
Gina looked around and then realised the car that nearly knocked her down was parked up about 20 feet down the road, the rain almost making it impossible to make out the registration. She squinted her eyes and held her hand up to her face to shield herself from the falling water.
“Yes it’s across the road”
“Go to it and give the book to them”
“That’s it you are done.”
“My seat is ready?”
“Yes. I’m sending you the ticket number now. Good luck”
The phone rang off and the phone then lit up with a message. It was the ticket. A ticket to a new life. A new beginning. Just four months in hyper sleep, a month on the station to acclimatise then a short two week trip to the planet's surface. Vince was waiting. Gina put the phone back into her protective pocket and inserted her hand into the back pocket of her combat trousers just to make sure the book was still there. She then turned around making sure the road was clear and ran across the road and up to the car. The lights were off and it was difficult to see anyone or anything inside. She pressed her face against the side window. A face lit up with light from a phone and through the water covered window she could see her face on the screen. The man turned to her, pressed a button and the window whined down about six inches.
“You have the book?”
“Yes…” She paused and looked like she should make some sort of deal to ensure this was the end of it but she had no choice. She had to trust this person would sign it off. She had to say something but before she could the man replied as if her could read her inaction
“You don’t have any choice. Give me the book and this will be all over.”
At that moment Gina relaxed into the moment. This was all she could do. She reached back into her pocket and removed the little black book and pushed it through the opening in the window. The man held it. Gina held it. He smiled “Remember this moment and don’t ever come back” Gina let go. The man quickly turned to a page he obviously knew and then called someone and spoke a code from the book. He then threw the book onto the passenger seat and continued the call. He nodded a few times and Gina looked at him as if to say bye but he waved her to stay. The man nodded some more and then looked to the passenger seat and picked up what looked like a metal wallet. He opened it up whilst still on the phone and thumbed through a thick wad of cash. “Yes I can cover that.” The man hung up and then counted out some money. “It’s your lucky day. Twenty thou from Killian”
“What? Nah I don’t want anything from him. I’ll owe him”
“Not this time. He said say Hi to Vince. He owes him”
The man thrust his cash filled hand through the window opening and Gina stared at it. That much cash would change everything for them. She couldn’t believe the change of heart after all she had to go through to get that book for him.
“Take it. You’ve earned it”
Gina grabbed the now sodden wad and thrust it deep into her pocket. The man closed his window and slowly ascended into the sky. Gina stood there staring up into the darkness. The cold spikes of rain fell on her face. She enjoyed it for a second. Smiling to the rain gods she took her hand from her phone pocket and wiped her face, rubbing away the last two weeks with the rain. The raindrops fell. They slipped down her PVC jacket. Along the creases and crevices of her shiny coat. Small droplets began to drip into her pocket and onto the inner sleeve, the material absorbing the water and inadvertently protecting the phone. Gina turned to walk to her new life with Vince her partner, turning her back on her past as one drop fell straight past the jacket, straight past the inner sleeve and onto the corner of the phone. It slowly made its way to the crack where it slipped in like some demon snake. The light of the phone flickered a little and tried to stay alive but then faded. The shorting phone began to warm up against the leg. Gina stopped walking because she already knew it was over.