In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 18

"In the Morning, I'll Say Hello" is a yuri comic I wrote. I can't draw, so the best I can do is post the scripts here (unless you're an artist who wants to team up?!). Enjoy Chapter 18 of 82.

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

Chapter 18


Eriko is in her bedroom, trying to find something to wear. She's throwing various clothing items on the ground after holding them up to see how they'd look. She’s pulling at her hair in frustration as she goes between girlish impulses and feeling weird that she’s putting any thought into it. Should be done as a funny little scene.

Eriko (to herself): “Arghhh, none of this is right, none of these are cute. Cute? What am I thinking. I mean, not that it matters, or anything. Who cares if it’s cute or not? Arghhh!!! Whatever, I’ll just wear something comfortable.”

Heizo, down the hall, hears the clatter and her stomping around and throwing things and chuckles to himself.

Heizo: “Ahhh, to be young...”

Eriko takes off her current clothes. As she undresses, we see bruises, scratches, the scars on her back. She looks at her arms with their deep marks all over.

Eriko: “So ugly...who could love this...I hate my body...I guess I better wear something with long sleeves. So much for cute.”

She ends up coming out of her room in jeans, a shirt with a hooded sweatshirt over it, the hood pulled up. Her long hair showing out the front. Heizo looks at her and sighs a bit.

Heizo (to himself): "Why do you always cover yourself up?"

He goes over to her and hands her some money.

Eriko: “Wha...What’s this for?”

Heizo: “I want you to take this, and buy something beautiful to wear on your way over to your friend’s house.”

Eriko (to herself): "How does he know?"

Eriko: “Th...thank you, but I couldn’t.”

Heizo: “Yes, you can, and besides, you never let me spoil you."

Eriko: "You do so much for me!"

Heizo: "Then this is something you can do for me."

Eriko blushes.

Eriko: “Ummm, o...okay, thank you.”

Eriko (to herself): “something beautiful...?”

Eriko is on the train, it's mostly empty, it’s dusk, with deep rays coming through behind her. She’s sitting with her head turned to the side, resting on her arm which is also up on the back of the next seat. She’s staring to the side and out the window. Next to her is a small bag from a nice store. Her hood is up, but her hair isn't visible anymore. Her hoodie is still zipped up, so we don’t see what she’s wearing, whether it’s any different or not.

Conductor: “Now approaching M-station. M-Station. Please be careful exiting the train.”

Eriko gets off the train.

Eriko (to herself): “Sigh...okay Eriko, you can do this. No need to be nervous...wait? Why am I nervous?”

She just shakes her head and pats her cheeks to reset herself and starts walking to Yuka’s apartment. She’s got directions written down.

Eriko (to herself): “Umm, let’s see. It’s got to be around here somewhere...”

She gets to Yuka’s apartment complex, just a standard multi-level concerete apartment complex with the exterior stairs and outside exposed walkways with the apartment doors. She stares up at it.

Eriko (to herself): “So this is where she lives? It’s not what I expected but I don’t really know what I was expecting?”

She goes up the stairs. She passes doors, looks at each number, and gets to Yuka’s. She pauses. She looks back down the hall towards the stairs. She looks back to the door, drops her head. Sighs, looks up and knocks.

She hears a voice from within:

Aiko: “Stay there, you’re cooking, I’ll get it.”

The door opens. It’s Aiko staring at Eriko.

Aiko: “Oh it’s you. I didn’t think you’d really come.”

Eriko turns her head away and speaks through gritted teeth.

Eriko: “So I can’t come in?”

Aiko just turns and walks in, leaving the door open. Eriko looks back towards the open doorway.

Eriko (to herself): “Arghhh, what is wrong with her?”

Eriko comes in, takes off her shoes, sets her bag down by her shoes and enters the apartment. She leaves her hoodie on. Suzu comes in to the main room from the kitchen right then.

Suzu: “Ah! Arishima-san! I’m so glad you made it.”

Eriko hands a small box to Suzu.

Eriko: “He...Here. Thank you...for having me.”

Suzu (to herself): "She always looks so uncomfortable."

Suzu: “Thank you so much.”

She opens the box to reveal some small pastries

Suzu: “AH! They look delicious. These will be great for desert tonight! Come in, come in!”

Eriko awkwardly sits down on a pillow at the coffee table across from Aiko who is on the couch trying to look disinterested. Eriko still hasn't even removed the hood, we still don't see her hair. Suzu is back in the kitchen cooking. Eriko is looking down.

Aiko: “Yuka is changing, I’m sure she’ll be out soon.”

Eriko's mind drifts a moment to Yuka...

Eriko (to herself): “Changing?”

She vigorously shakes her head to clear the image.

Eriko (to herself): “What am I thinking? Am I some sort of pervert?”

Eriko scans the room a bit, it’s a small living room with a TV, coffee table, couch with a small tall dining table behind in front of the galley kitchen with a counter between the seating and the kitchen. On the wall opposite the front entrance are the doors to Suzu and Yuka's bedrooms.

Eriko (to herself): "It's strange being here, she's more real this way."

She sees the altar in the corner where there is a picture of Yuka’s father.

Eriko: “Umm, is that Kiyoura-san’s...?”

Just then, Yuka comes out of her room half-dressed, a towel over her head, dripping, and runs over to Aiko, motioning for her to dry her head off. She sits in Aiko’s lap. Only then does she look up and see Eriko there. Eriko has a stunned, shocked look on her face, and severely blushes at Yuka's sparkly-ness.

Eriko (to herself): “Oh god, she’s so cute....but...but she's a girl. What am I doing thinking a girl is cute?!”

Yuka gives Eriko a huge smile. Aiko, seeing this, starts vigorously drying her hair, moving the towel over her eyes and scolds her.

Aiko: “You’re not a child anymore. You can’t come out looking like this with guests over.”

Eriko is looking off to the side. Yuka crawls over and tugs at Eriko’s sleeve, and goes to pull her hood off. Eriko recoils at the closeness of Yuka’s face as she tried to remove the hood. She grabs Yuka’s hand instinctively and upon realizing that she’s holding her hand, she blushes, releases the hand and looks back over to the side. Yuka has a quizzical expression on her face.

Aiko: “Stop bothering her, she’ll take it off if she wants to. Besides, come back over here so I can finish drying your hair.”

Yuka goes back over to sit on Aiko’s lap to finish her hair. Eriko looks down at her hoodie and slowly takes the hood off. Her hair is up in a ponytail with a cute clip, showing off her long elegant neck. She unzips the hoodie to reveal a cute (but still long-sleeve shirt), she looks beautiful. Yuka lights up at Eriko's new image. Eriko is still looking off to the side not making eye contact.

                Eriko (to herself): "I must look so weird."

Yuka is about to move back over to Eriko to touch the shirt or play with her hair, but just then the doorbell rings. Yuka rushes off Aiko’s lap and runs to the door.

Aiko: “Wait, you’re not dressed yet!”

Yuka opens the door and her vision pans up along the height of the strange man, Tetsu, who is standing there unexpectedly. He’s tall and handsome and radiant. Tetsu and Yuka are studying each other for a second. Suddenly Hatsue pokes her head out from behind him with a shy smile.
                Hatsue: "Oh, thank goodness, it is the right place."

Yuka’s face lights up, and she reaches out and grabs Hatsue's hand and pulls her into the house.

Tetsu: “Looks like things are all set here. See you Ha-chan.”

Just then he notices Eriko sitting there.

Tetsu (to himself): “Hmm, not a bad look...”

Tetsu: “AH! Eriko-chan, you look beautiful tonight.”

Eriko gets a somewhat furious/horrified look on her face. Hatsue half-jokingly punches him with a funny scowl on her face.

Hatsue: “Don’t tease Eriko-chan!”

Aiko (to Tetsu): “Calling another girl beautiful. That’s not very respectful to your girlfriend.”

Eriko looks at Hatsue questioningly, Hatsue ignores her and the meaning behind her questioning look.

Tetsu: “Sorry Ha-chan, you know I only have eyes for you!”

Hatsue is trying to push him out of the doorway.

Hatsue: “Good bye, Tetsu...kun.”

Suzu speaks from the doorway of the kitchen, people didn’t notice she was there and turn at her voice.

Suzu: “Who’s this hottie?”

Tetsu comes back in, going around Hatsu who is trying to shove him out the door, and introduces himself with a bow to Suzu.

Hatsue: “Don’t mind him, he’s my...”

Tetsu: “I’m Tetsu Yamamura, Ha-chan’s driver for the evening.”

Hatsue (to herself): "Yamamura?"

Aiko and Eriko (to themselves, but for different reasons): “Driver?!”

Suzu: “Driver, huh? Pleasure to meet you.”

Suzu (to herself): “Hmmm, you all seem a little too friendly with each other for that.”

Tetsu: “Well, I’ll leave you lovely ladies now, enjoy your evening. Call me when you need a lift.”

Another bow and Hatsue finishes shoving him out the door, closing it on him. Hatsue turns to Suzu.

Hatsue: “Thank you for having me over, I’m Hatsue Fujimaki. Please accept this in thanks.”

She hands Suzu some fresh fruit.

Suzu: “Thank you so much, I’m Suzu Kiyoura, Yuka’s older sister. I’m so glad you could come. Yuka told me all about you. Make yourself at home, the food is almost ready.”

Hatsue: “umm, told you?”

Suzu: “Ha! Well, we have been sisters for 16 years, she may not seem it, but in her own way she’s quite the chatterbox.”

Hatsue (whispering to Suzu): “I don’t mean to be rude, but I’ve never heard her say anything. I didn't think she could talk.”

Aiko shoots her a look.

                Aiko (to herself): "Are you an idiot too?"

Hatsue: “Oh god...I’m sorry...that was so rude of me!”

Suzu: “No no, don't worry. You're right, she doesn't speak out loud. But she tells me things in her own way.”

Suzu winks at Yuka who gives a little peace sign by her eye/wink back (like an idol pose - for humor).

Hatsue: “That makes sense. It's sort of like that with my brother too, he knows me so well."

Hatsue clamps her hand over her mouth in shock.

Suzu: "Oh, you have a brother, is he older or younger?"

Hatsue: "Oh, uhhhh....Haha, who knows, right?"

Suzu (to herself): "She's a bit of a weird one."

Aiko (to herself): "What's up with her tonight?"

Suzu: “Well, please make yourself comfortable. I'll bring out the food soon!"

Hatsue joins the three girls around the coffee table. Its quiet for a little bit, they're all uncomfortable. Yuka is squirming to get away from Aiko again.

Hatsue: “Eriko, you look so cute tonight! Is that a new shirt?”

Eriko: “Umm, thanks, yes...Arishima...”

Aiko (to Yuka): "Go get dressed, you can't eat like that."

Yuka sticks her tongue out at Aiko and scampers off to her room. Aiko is shaking her head in disbelief.

                Eriko (to herself): "They really are close."

Suzu: “Okay, dinner’s ready. Yuka, help me bring it out, okay?”

We see a huge spread of food around the living room coffee table. They say “Itadakimasu” and start eating. We see various scenes: Aiko and Suzu and Yuka are laughing. Hatsue is talking to Eriko. Eriko is being quiet and shy. They're all eating, etc...

The food is all gone, just bits on empty plates. Hatsue sits back and puts her hands on her stomach.

Hatsue: “Ughhhh, I’m so full. That was delicious Kiyoura-san.”

Suzu: “I’m glad you liked it. But there’s more. Aiko-chan, will you help me?”

Aiko and Suzu get up, go to the kitchen, rustling around. Eriko, Yuka and Hatsue look at each other in confusion and curiosity. Aiko and Suzu come out with a big cake.

Suzu and Aiko: “Congratulations Yuka!”

They set the cake down in front of her. She leans over and hugs Suzu and Aiko. She looks across the table at Eriko and smiles. Eriko blushes and turns to avoid eye contact again. Suzu cuts the cake and hands pieces out to everyone. She also puts out the fruit and the deserts brought by Eriko and Hatsue.

Aiko (eating a piece of cake): “It’s so good, thank you Suzu-san!”

Hatsue: “It really is good. I don’t think I’ve had cake in forever.”

Suzu: “Arishima-san, is it okay?”

Suzu (to herself): "She's been quiet all night."

Eriko: “Um, yes, thank you.”

Suzu: “You girls are staying over tonight, right?”

Eriko looks up in total shock.

Eriko (to herself): “How could I stay over? What if it happens tonight? In front of them all? In front of Kiyoura-san?”

Hatsue: “Oh I couldn’t possibly, I wouldn’t want to impose.”

Suzu: “Please, it’s late, stay. I’ll get the bath started and you can borrow some of my pajamas.”

Hatsue: “Would it really be okay?”

Yuka is nodding vigorously ‘yes’

Suzu: “Of course, why don’t...”

Eriko: “W...WAIT!”

Everyone turns and looks at Eriko who is flushed and worried and embarrassed and angry and scared.

Eriko (quietly): “I...I can’t.”

Suzu: “I’m sorry, I got too excited. I’m sure you have plans already.”

Yuka is looking sadly at Eriko.

Eriko: “I mean, it’s not...”

Aiko: “It’s fine. You can go. We’ll help you get the room ready Yuka.”

Hatsue: “Oh, maybe I shouldn’t stay then.”

Aiko (sarcastically): “I’m sure your...driver...would be happy to pick you up.”

Suzu: “Oh, I really made a mess of things by springing that on everyone. I’m so sorry.”

Eriko (to herself): “Oh no, I’ve made both Kiyoura-san and her sister upset! I don't want to ruin this day for her. Maybe...maybe I can stay awake this time? Besides I...I do want to see what she looks like when she's sleeping...ARGHHH what am I saying!?”

Eriko (quietly): “I...I’ll stay”

No one was looking at her, but they all suddenly turn when she says this. Yuka’s eyes brighten and get so big and she jumps on Eriko with a huge hug. Heart beat sounds.

                Sound effects: "Ba-dump, Ba-dump."

Suzu: “Well, it looks like that’s settled. Will you be staying too then Fujimaki-san?”

Hatsue: “If it’s still okay?”

Suzu: “Of course! Yuka, get the futons out for your room. Arishima-san, why don’t you help her?”

Aiko (to herself): "Didn't I say I would help her?"

Eriko: “Oh...Um, okay.”

Hatsue leans over: “Nice! Grab the opportunity to be alone with her in her room!”

                Sound effects: "Ba-dump, Ba-dump"

Eriko (to herself): “ her room...why does my heart keep pounding?”

Eriko blushes and is about to object to Hatsue, but Yuka is already pulling her up to help. Hatsue notices Aiko’s stern and disapproving face.

Hatsue (to Aiko): “What? You don’t approve?”

Aiko: “I have no idea what you mean. I’m going to help Suzu-san with the dishes.”

Aiko gets up and goes to the kitchen. Hatsue sits back and smiles slightly with her eyes closed.

Hatsue (to herself): “They're all so easy to read!"

It’s dark now, three futons are spread out on the floor in Yuka’s room. She’s got a bed she’s sleeping in. The other three girls are on the futons. Everyone is asleep except for Eriko who is staring straight up at the ceiling.

Eriko (to herself): “I’ve got to stay awake. I can’t take the chance of anything happening here. I got lucky at Hatsue-chan's house, but I can’t count on it again.”

She looks around the room in the dark. The cute things, the stuffed animals.

Eriko (to herself): "I...I can't believe I'm in her room. Wait, why is that strange? I was just in Hatsue-chan's. But this feels...different."

She turns and sees the way the moonlight is falling over a sleeping Yuka.

Eriko (to herself): “She looks like an angel...I...I have so many questions. Did she ever speak? Was that her father's picture? And what about her mother?”

The clock keeps showing later and later (1am now).

Eriko is asleep now. All four are sleeping soundly. We are looking at Aiko asleep. In the background we hear rustling sounds. (Eriko is tossing and turning, having nightmares.) Hatsue and Yuka are still fast asleep. Aiko however wakes up at this.

Aiko (to herself): “What is that sound?”

She looks over and sees Eriko having the nightmares (the "cave" dreams)...groaning, tossing and turning, a strained/pained look on her face.

Aiko (to herself): “What is going on in that head of yours? Whatever it is, don’t you dare let it out, don’t you dare let it hurt Yuka.”

Aiko looks over at Yuka sleeping, so cute so peaceful.

Aiko (to herself): “sigh...what are you thinking?”

Aiko looks back over at Eriko. Eriko has pushed all the blankets off, but has started to calm down.

Aiko (to herself): “Just who are you? Why don't you ever talk about yourself? What does Yuka see in you?”

Aiko goes over quietly and pulls the blankets up over Eriko.

Aiko (to herself): “Dammit..making me take care of you.”

Aiko gets back under her own blanket. Slowly Aiko closes her eyes and falls asleep.

We see images of stars and the moon moving in the sky as it gets later. The clock shows 3am.

Yuka rolls over in bed, opens sleepy eyes, and notices that Eriko isn’t in her futon. The other two are fast asleep. Yuka rubs her eyes, gets out of bed, and goes out into the main room. She sees a beam of moonlight coming through the front door which is slightly ajar. As she gets near it she hears quiet sobbing on the front balcony.

Eriko: “I can’t believe I fell asleep...Please, no more, no more, I want it to stop...I don't want to be afraid anymore...”

Eriko is kneeling on the balcony, leaning against the railing, her hands slightly above her head holding onto the vertical bars of the railing, her face also resting against the bars. She hears a creak (from the door). She turns to see Yuka in the doorway and quickly wipes the tears from her eyes.

Eriko: “I...I was just...I needed to get some air...”

Yuka rushes over to her and drapes her arms around her (overtop Eriko's back). Eriko blushes. Yuka moves in front of Eriko, gives a small comforting smile with worried eyes. She uses the sleeve of her pajama top to wipe Eriko’s face. Eriko just lowers her head down and then turns it to the side, and gently pushes away, creating space between her and Yuka.

Eriko: “I’m sorry... I’m okay....It was just...just a bad dream. I get them...sometimes. You can go back to bed.

Yuka turns and kneels with her hands also on the vertical bars of the railing. She looks up at the moon, it’s full and beautiful. Eriko turns to look at it too. It’s just the two of them looking out at the moon together.

(To be continued...)

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