In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 11

In the Morning, I'll Say Hello is a yuri comic I wrote. I can't draw, so you'll have to settle for reading the scripts! >_< Enjoy chapter 11 (of 82)!

In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - by Jaime Lustig

Chapter 11

"Rumors - Part 1"

In Hatsue's bedroom. Hatsue is still looking flushed and teary eyed from prior chapter. Eriko and Hatsue are sitting at a small table in the center of Hatsue's room. Hatsue isn't making eye contact, she's looking down, Eriko is looking off to the side. They’re just sitting there awkwardly, not saying anything.

Hatsue: "I'll...I'll go get us some tea and snacks."

Eriko: "uh, okay."

Hatsue gets up and leaves the room.

Eriko (to herself): “So Tetsu-kun is her brother...and not her boyfriend? The way she lets people talk, the way she comes to school with him. If it isn’t true, if they’re not dating, then why has she let those rumors go on?”

Eriko looks around the room. There are tons of cute posters and stuffed animals, more like a little girl’s room than a sexually active teen’s room.

Eriko (to herself): "It’s much cuter than I would have thought. I guess I expected it to look different with the way she and her friends are always talking about dating and makeup and guys. But it's just!"

Hatsue comes back in the room with the snacks. She sets them down and pours the tea.

Eriko: "thank you."

They sit in silence and eat, it's still awkward. 

Eriko (to herself): “Didn’t we come up here so she could explain things? I want to ask, but I know I shouldn’t.”

Hatsue (to herself): “I brought her to my house and up to my room so I could finally tell someone...but...I just can’t seem to start. How do I tell her I’ve been lying to everyone all this time?”

Eriko and Hatsue together: “Umm...”

Eriko: “No, you first.”

Hatsue: “No, it’s okay...what were you about to say?”

Eriko: "Oh, um...homework?"

Hatsue (looking a bit relieved): "Yeah, I can help you with the math lesson you slept through, you know, before the science class you missed when you went to the nurse's office. Oh, I guess I can help you with that one too..."

Eriko throws a stuffed animal at Hatsue in jest and laughs.

Eriko: "Jerk!"

Hatsue hugs the stuffed animal tight against her chest.

Eriko (to herself): “What’s she thinking?”

Hatsue is just quiet still, looking down into the stuffed animal.

Hatsue. "I'm so sorry for falling apart downstairs. I can’t imagine what you’re thinking...what you must think about me.”

Eriko: "It’'s okay. Don’t worry about it"

Eriko (to herself): “I still don’t really understand what’s going on.”

Hatsue: “Tetsu...he really is just my brother.”
Eriko: “He’s not your boyfriend?”

Hatsue: “Of course not, he just pretends, to help me out.”

Eriko: “But why?”

Hatsue: "You must think I'm so disgusting.”

Eriko (to herself): “I’m the one who’s a mess, and she's always been so kind to me. I have to let her explain at her own pace.”

Eriko: "I...I’m sure you...have your reasons.”

Hatsue "I'm sorry for lying to you. I’s just that...”

Hatsue sort of looks off into the distance. Some more awkward silence between them. Hatsue doesn't look at Eriko while she speaks.

Hatsue: "So, earlier, you asked about love. I really don't know anything about love. I may talk big at school but if anything I probably have more questions than you do."

Eriko: "I...doubt that.”

Eriko thinks about Yuka, her smile, her neck, her ear poking out from under her hair when she's sitting at her desk, her hands...

Eriko (to herself): “What do I want with her? Why can’t I stop thinking about her?”

Eriko: “I don't really know anything..."

Eriko looks down and runs her hand along the injuries on her other arm.

Eriko: "...about anything..."

Hatsue: "Sometimes I think I only know what not to do.”

Eriko: “But you’re...beautiful...all the guys...they must want to be with you?”

Hatsue: “Well, the thing is...the truth is, that I'm really afraid of boys. They terrify me....I feel so small around them."

Eriko: "But the way...the way you talk...about boys...with those girls."

Hatsue: "Those girls...I don’t know why, really. They’re aren’t very nice either, are they?”

Eriko: "Then why do you waste your time with them?"

Hatsue: "Well, it just sort of happened, when I came to high-school. I tried so hard to put it all behind me, to be...different...and then they just glommed on to me. I felt special, even if it was fake. It was nice to have friends, finally."

Eriko (to herself): “I still don’t really get what’s going on.”

Eriko: "Are they, your friends, though?"

Hatsue: "Hmmmm, least they aren't my enemies, I guess."

Eriko (to herself): "Why would she have enemies? She’s so beautiful, smart, nice to everyone...she was even nice to me."

Eriko: “But you’re’re kind...”

Hatsue: "Don't talk about yourself that way! I know just how sensitive and sweet a person you truly are. Your scary delinquent act doesn't fool me!"

Hatsue smiles wryly at Eriko as she says this.

Eriko: (to herself): “I don't even know what's an act and what's the real me."

Eriko looks off to the side.

Hatsue: “No, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it that way...”

Eriko picks up another stuffed animal. Hatsue reacts as if Eriko’s about to throw it but Eriko instead hugs it herself and lets out a little smile while she’s holding it.

Hatsue (to herself): “She really could be beautiful if she smiled more.”

Eriko: “Thank you, I know...You’ve always been so nice to me, Fujimaki-san.”

Hatsue: "Please, will you call me Hatsue?"

Eriko: "What?”

Eriko blushes at this.

Hatsue (to herself): “I can’t believe she can look that cute, she’s so different than what I first thought.”

Hatsue: "Ha haha! I made Eriko-chan blush."

Eriko mutters quietly to herself:

Eriko: “Eriko...chan?”

Hatsue: "See, I knew you were really sensitive. It’s why we’re friends...real friends...I think?"

Eriko: “Friends...”

It's gone back to being a bit awkward again, more silence. After some time, Eriko asks:

Eriko: "Do to talk about...about your brother...?"

Hatsue: "You don't mind listening? It actually doesn’t really have anything to do with him, I just caught him up in my mess. I’m so ashamed...I’ve never told anyone other than him..."

Eriko: "You don’ don’t have to...”

Hatsue: "No, no, maybe it would be good to finally tell someone about things...

Hatsue (to herself): “This is it...this is why I brought you here, I can’t back out now. I just hope you won’t hate me...”

This backstory should be told in narration by Hatsue and fully illustrated.

Hatsue (narration): "When I was growing up, I was a bit of tom-boy. I loved playing outside, digging in the dirt, playing astronaut and space alien and I did it all with Ki-Kun by my side. He lived next door and we were like siblings. We played together, fought with each other, we went to the festivals together, we slept over each other's houses and even our families got along really well."

The above scenes should depict Hatsue and Ki-Kun as elementary school kids.

Hatsue (narration): "By the time middle school started, it began to feel like something had changed. He wouldn't talk to me when other people were around.”

Scene's of him ignoring her at school when she would come over to him, or wave in the hallway and he wouldn't wave back - he has some embarrassed and shy looks, especially when he's around his male friends.

His friends ask him if he knows her, if she's his girlfriend, etc... they’re teasing him and he just vehemently denies it.

Boy: "Do you know her?"

Kiyoshi: “No.”

Another memory:

Boy: "Are you guys dating?"

Kiyoshi: “Are you kidding, who would date her?”

Another memory:

Boy: "I bet you've kissed her already!"

Kiyoshi: I said I don't like her!”

In each of these, the boys are making fun of him. It's clear though that he's lying when he denies his feelings for Hatsue, but she hears him stay these things and is really hurt by it each time.

Hatsue (narration): “I started to think that maybe he hated me. I thought maybe I did something wrong. School was awful.”

Hatsue (narration): "But when he would come over after school or on the weekend, and it was like nothing had ever changed. We'd watch scary movies together or play videogames in his room for hours. It was just the two of us in our own perfect world. I thought we’d always be together like that. But when Monday came and we were back in school, it was like I didn't even exist. I kept trying to talk to him at school but I would hear his friends making fun of him for always being bothered by me, and my friends were always teasing me for liking him, so I stopped talking to him in school too."

A memory:

Hatsue: “Ki-kun, did you see that new movie that came out?” 

He replies sheepishly.

Kiyoshi (Ki-kun): “um, yeah...”

Random boy: “Oh, Ki-Kun...can I call you that?”

Kiyoshi: “Shut-up! Let's go.”

Another memory:

                Girl: "Have you told him how you feel?"

                Hatsue: "What do you mean?"

Another memory:

Guy friend: “Who's that girl that keeps talking to you?”

Kiyoshi: “Oh, umm, she’s no one...just someone I went to elementary school with.”

Hatsue (to herself): "I...I thought we were friends."

Another memory where a girl draws a "Hatsue & Kiyoshi" thing (like in a heart) on the chalk board. Hatsue sees it and is quickly trying to erase it as Kiyoshi and some boys come into the room.

                Boy: "What's that?"

                Hatsue: "Oh, nothing, just cleaning the board."

Two girls mimic Hatsue and Kiyoshi as she's finishing erasing the board.

                Girl: "It's Ki-kun! He's soooo dreamy"

                Hatsue: "Hey, stop it!"

Kiyoshi pushes past the other boys and runs out of the room. Hatsue slams the chalk down and runs after him. She grabs him by the arm. He jerks his arm away and storms off.

                Kiyoshi: "Get away from me! You're always bothering me!"

A teary-eyed Hatsue is standing there with people looking and snickering at her.

Hatsue (narration): "But I couldn't stop looking at him. I'd blush when he would make eye contact or when his name was called in class. I couldn't take my eyes off him. He was all I was thinking about.”

Scene’s of Hatsue heart beating, making the thumping sound just watching him as he’s doing random stuff with friends, or reading out loud in class, or playing sports outside.

Hatsue (narration): “That's when I began to notice how my heart would clench up in my throat, how it was hard to breathe when he was around, it became harder and harder to talk with him even when it was just us two alone. Our conversations got more awkward, there was more silence.

Scene of him playing video games while she's reading a book, they're in the same room but they aren't interacting anymore.

Hastue (narration): “Eventually we stopped spending much time together outside of school. I felt like I had lost my best friend, like I had lost part of me."

Scenes of them passing each other in the hall with their various groups of friends, no longer making eye contact. Scenes of them doing things independently on the weekends, seeing her playing video games alone with the second controller just lose on the floor, him playing sports with his friends.

Hatsue (narration): "In our last year of middle school we weren't talking or spending time together at all. But then the school festival came around. He was the leader of the class cheer squad. He looked so handsome in the uniform. Despite everything that had happened, I couldn’t take my eyes off him."

Hatsue (narration): "Then, during the after party, just like in some stupid manga, he pulled me off to the side and said he had something important to tell me. He wouldn't look me in the eyes. My heart was racing, I couldn’t believe that maybe this was really happening to me. Then he said it. He told me that he liked me, that he had always liked me. That he couldn't stop thinking about me and how much he missed me. I was so shocked, I was overwhelmed, as if I had just gotten the most important thing in my life back after thinking it was gone forever. I couldn’t help it and I just started crying. He started apologizing but I...I couldn't forget everything."

Kiyoshi: "I'm so sorry I ignored you. But you know how guys are, right?"

Hatsue: "Stupid..."

Kiyoshi: "What...hehe, uh, yeah, I guess I am pretty stupid for thinking you could still like me after that. You can just ignore what I"

He starts to turn away from her. Her eyes well up with tears.

                Hatsue (to herself): "Ki...kun..."

                Hatsue: "Wait!"

Hatsue (Narration): "We started going out that night. Things seemed really perfect at first. He started talking with me again at school, and we spent all our free time together again. Ki-Kun would get gently teased by his friends as we walked down the hall together. But he didn't seem to care anymore."

Friend: “Kiyoshi, did your girlfriend make you a bento again? I wish I had a girl who’d make me one.”

Kiyoshi: “You actually have to talk with one before that could happen.”

Friend 2: "hahahahahaha! Burn!"

Hatsue (Narration): "I'm ashamed...but I started neglecting my other friends. I was always eating lunch with Ki-kun, spending all my time with him. I didn't notice how jealous they were getting."

Girl 1: “She’s always too busy for us."

Girl 2: "I’d probably be like that too if I had a boyfriends like Ijiri-san."

Girl 1: "You're way better looking than Fujimaki-san, you could totally steal him away!"

Girl 2: "Ick, he's used now!"

Hatsue (Narration): " Still, I thought things were perfect between us."

Scenes of Hatsue and Kiyoshi hanging out together and going on dates. They look cute and in love, making shy eyes at each other, not quite holding hands, eventually holding hands, the first tentative hug...

Hatsue (Narration): "But that's when I messed things up. One night, after we had been dating for about a month, We were sitting in my room."

They’re sitting in front of her bed, leaning against it.

Hatsue (Narration): “All of a sudden he leaned over and kissed me. And before I knew what I was doing, I pushed him away.”

Hatsue : “STOP”

Hatsue (Narration): “It was like an instinct. I don't think it’s that I didn't want to, it just shocked me. It came out of nowhere. I just wasn't ready."

Kiyoshi is looking dejected.

Hatsue: "I'm so sorry, that's not what I meant to do."

Ki-kun: "Don't worry about it, just...pretend like it didn’t happen"

He gets up and leaves the room. She's just sitting there, slightly disheveled, feeling small and rejected.

Hatsue (Narration): "When I think about it now, he must have been really embarrassed. He didn't even say goodbye."

Young Hatsue touches her lips and is thinks to herself:

Hatsue (to herself): “How can I pretend that didn’t happen? It was my first kiss."

Hatuse (Narration): "Things only got worse from there. When I got to school the next day, it seemed like everyone was staring at me, pointing at me, laughing or turning away from me, even my friends.

Girls are whispering to each other, they make eye contact, then look away, laughing as they’re walking away.

                Girl: "Do you think?"

                Girl: "Did she really?"

                Girl: "Can you believe it?"

There are some panels where Hatsue's imagination is running away from her with dark scary faces pointing and surrounding her, making her feel/seem small, an embodiment of how it must have felt.

She goes up to some of her friends and says:

Hatsue: “Good morning”

Her friends completely ignore her and continue talking only to themselves.

Friend 1 (said to Friend 2): “Come on, it’s time to go."

Friend 2 turns as she's being led away by Friend 1 and whispers to Hatsue.

Friend 2 "Sorry."

Hatsue (Narration): “On my way into class, I saw Ki-kun with his friends, and waved 'hi' and went to run up to him like I always would, desperate for things to be normal...but he turned his back and kept walking off with his friends.

Hatsue (to herself): “Maybe he just didn’t see me.”

Whispers from others in the distance/background.

Girl: "She's such a tease."

Girl 2: "Walking in like nothing happened."

Hatsue (Narration): “When I was sitting in class between periods, the girls would gather together and every now and then I'd see them look at me, laugh, and go back to whispering. Even Ki-kun stayed with his friends the whole time. He wouldn’t make eye contact with me. It was all unraveling."

Girl: "Who does she think she is"

Girl 2: "I bet she thinks she's all grown-up now."

Girl 3: "Yeah, it's not like she knows everything."

Hatsue (to herself): "They couldn't...not me...I didn't do anything."

Hatsue (Narration): "Eventually I knew for sure, when it started happening with the other boys. I was walking down the hall alone when a boy I didn't know came up and asked me to go to karaoke with him."

Hatsue: “I’m sorry, I can’t.”

Boy: “Come on, it’s just karaoke”

Hatsue: “I have a boyfriend.”

Boy: “So what?”

Hatsue: “I can't. Thank you anyway.”

Boy: "What a waste, I thought you were supposed to be easy? Forget you."

Hatsue (Narration): “I didn't really know what he meant. It was about to become really clear though. When I went back to class, someone had written 'slut' on my desk. I looked around but no one would make eye contact. I finally found Ki-Kun's eyes, but they were cold and he just turned away from me.”

Hatsue is frantically trying to erase it off her desk. Tears forming in her eyes, one drops onto the smeared letters.

Hatsue (Narration): “No matter what I did, even my friends wouldn’t speak to me. When I needed them most they either ignored me completely, or made up excuses.

Scenes of her being ignored as she tries to talk to students between classes.

Hatsue: “Hey X-chan, do you have a minute?”

X-chan: “Oh, I’m sorry, I agreed to have lunch with M-san.”

Scene’s of Hatsue eating alone, walking alone, people pointing, laughing, whispering.

Hatsue (Narration): "It went on like this for days, being ignored by him, ignored by my friends, the sense that everyone was looking at me and whispering about me. I kept trying to call Ki-kun at home but he was always busy. I'd go over but his mom kept saying he was out with his friends.

Scenes of her dialing the phone, looking at her blank incoming texts and calls. Looking at her call log, all the times she’s called him with no response. Scene of her talking to his mom.

Ijiri (mom): “Oh, Fujimaki-san was it? I’m sorry, but he says he’s busy studying and can’t come down.”

Hatsue: “Oh, that’s okay”

Ijiri: “That stupid boy, he should at least come down when such a cute girl comes over.”

Hatsue: “Thank you, but don’t bother him, I’ll be going home now.”

Hatsue walks back down the street. She's touching her lips.

Hatsue (to herself): "Is it really over between us? Did I hurt him that badly? Was I so wrong?"

Hatsue (Narration): “One day after school, a girl called me over.”

Outside school, she's called around to the other side of a building in a slightly secluded place.

Hatsue: (Narration): “When I went to join her, several other girls came up behind me.”

The girls are circling around her, using their posture and body positioning to be threatening.

Random girl 1: "We have something to ask you."

Random girl 2: "Did you really sleep with Ijiri-kun?”

Hatsue: "Of...of course not!"

Random girl 1: "That's not what we heard."

Hatsue: "I swear, we didn’t, who would say something like that?"

Random girl 3: “Who do you think, stupid?! Ijiri-kun did, his friends made a bet with him that he couldn't do it, but with the way he’s been talking it sounds like he won that bet!"

Hatsue: "He'd never say that! We didn’t do anything...besides...he’s not like that...he'd never do anything like that..."

Hatsue's intensity and conviction is fading as she keeps talking, the realization building inside.

Random girl 1: "Are you calling us liars? Are you calling Ijiri-kun a liar? Wait ‘til his friends find out!"

Hatsue: "No...I mean, I didn't...he wouldn't..."

Random girl 2: “So which is it, is he lying or are you?”

Hatsue is almost mumbling to herself now.

Hatsue: “But he wouldn’t...”

Random girl 3: "Sounds like she's calling him and all of us liars. What do you think? Ladies?"

They tighten the circle around her. One starts pushing her, then they all start beating her up. She's left alone, laying out on the school yard, a bloody mess with ripped clothes, sobbing, alone.

(to be continued...)

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