In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 28

"In the Morning, I'll Say Hello" is the ongoing yuri comic I wrote. However, I can't draw, so you'll have to settle for reading the scripts instead. I still hope you enjoy!

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

Chapter 28
"I Like Her"

Eriko lying on the bench in the school courtyard in the morning. Students are walking in to school. Eriko is staring up at the sky, watching the clouds passing.

Eriko (to herself): “What exactly do I want to happen with Kiyoura-san? How can I want good things when I'm so messed up? I don't know my name or where I'm from, I keep waking up injured and I have no memories. What am I doing to her? I'm only going to end up hurting her when this all comes crashing down...(sigh)...It’s so clear up there. Why isn’t it ever clear down here?”

Eriko starts to drift off to sleep.

We see the darkness, the “cave” dream with just drips of water rippling in the black.

Narration: “I can't see, so dark. The air is stale, it’s not moving at all. Where is this exactly? Where am I? Who am I? What am I doing here?”

We see the faint outlines (in white on the black backgrounds) of a hand on the ground.

Narration “Is this rock underneath my hands? They're so numb, I almost can't feel."

The sound of water running, dripping, moving slowly.

Narration: “What's that sound, water? I can feel it running over my fingers. Is this a stream? Maybe I can follow where it's flowing?”

A small point of light appears in the distance up ahead.

Narration “There, is that a light? Could that be a way out? I’ve been crawling for so long. Why isn’t it getting any closer?

A hand is seen under the water but it gradually gets darker and fades from view as if being obscured by something else in the water (or the water darkening). Faintly in the blackness the hand is pulled up from the water but there is something dark running off it and feathers sticking to the hand.

Narration “Feathers? What was I just touching? This isn't water at all. What is this...blood, oh god, it’s blood, whose blood is this my blood...?!”

Sound effects of waves breaking and wind howling. Indistinct voices start in the distance.

Narration “What’s that sound? It’s coming from the same direction as the light. I have to get there, I have to get out. Oh god, the water's rising! It's swallowing me. I'm going to drown!"

Eriko’s being shaken awake by Hatsue.

Hatsue: “Eriko-chan! Eriko-chan! Wake up, you’re dreaming!”

Eriko startles up and moves into an attack position and before she knows it she is holding an arm against Hatsue’s throat. Her eyes are violent but vacant. But she quickly wakes and recognizes Hatsue and backs down.

Eriko: “I’m sorry...I'm sorry...I didn’t...”

Hatsue (to herself): "That look in her eyes..."

Hatsue (catching her breath): “It’s okay, I know, I know, I’m sorry for startling you, you were having a terrible dream. What was it about?”

Eriko: “I...have it a lot,'s strange.”

Hatsue: "Could it be your memories?"

Eriko: "I don't know."

Hatsue: “Anyway, it’s a good thing you don’t actually fall asleep in class. Imagine if sensei woke you up! Hahaha.”

Eriko isn’t really paying attention to her, she’s looking up at the sky again.

Hatsue: “You okay?”

Eriko: “Ummm...Ha-chan?”

Hatsue: “What is it?”

Eriko: “You said before, something about love...”

Hatsue: “Oh, did I?”

Eriko: “How do you know...I mean, about love?”

Hatsue: “About being in love, you mean?”

Eriko: “mmmm” (affirmative)

Hatsue: “I guess I’m not really an expert on that, am I? But, I think if you’re asking, then you probably already know your answer.”

Eriko: “My answer?”

Hatsue: “Yeah, but maybe you just aren’t ready to admit it yet.”

Eriko (to herself): “But I think I like...a girl.”

Eriko: “ it...wrong?”

Hatsue: “Is what wrong?”

Eriko: “ummm, nevermind.”

A few scenes of the school day passing. The awkwardness and lack of eye contact between Yuka and Aiko continues. A couple of blushing glances between Yuka and Eriko (all this is just to show the day passing).

Night time. Aiko is in her room, at her desk. The phone next to her is ringing. It’s Suzu. Aiko continues reading an old letter, it’s been folded and unfolded many times (it’s the one from Shiori when she ran away). There are tears dripping on the desk. The phone goes unanswered. We see some photos of Aiko and Yuka over the years in frames on the desk (the same ones that Yuka has on her corkboard). We see that a voice mail was left on the phone. We hear the voicemail from Suzu as a narration over the above images.

Voice mail (from Suzu): “Aiko-chan, it’s Suzu. Please call me back. I’m so sorry we fought. I really want you to come to dinner tomorrow and see Yuka off. Please. She’s been out of it all week. I’m really worried about this weekend. Please fix things with her. You two are too important to each other to let this go on. Call me.”

The night of Yuka’s birthday party (last Saturday).

Suzu (on the phone): “Aiko-chan?”

                Aiko is at home, she responds coldly.

Aiko: “Is she back, is she okay?”

Suzu: “Yes, she just came back, but she didn't tell me anything.”

Aiko: “Okay. Thank you for calling.”

Suzu: “Wait, Aiko, please, what happened tonight? Was that really the necklace that Eriko-chan was going to give to Yuka?”

Hatsue in the background (cleaning more dishes in Suzu's kitchen). Hatsue gasps at the question.

Hatsue (to herself): “She wouldn’t sink that low. Would she?”

Aiko: “It was.”

Suzu: “I don’t understand how you even got it. What were you thinking?”

Aiko: “How did you know what Arishima-san was going to give it to her?”

Suzu: “Because I helped her buy it. Wait...don’t change the subject, that’s beside the point.”

Aiko is starting to get mad

Aiko: “How could you? Why are you helping that delinquent? How can you be so relaxed about this? Don’t you see what’s happening? Don’t you see how that freak is going to hurt her?”

Suzu: “Are you really sure that’s why you’re upset?”

Aiko: “Of course it is! How can you stand by and let everything we’ve worked for go to hell? Arishima-san will only ruin everything!”

Suzu: “Ruin what? And for whom exactly?”

Aiko: “For Yuka, she’ll end up hurt, she’ll end up....who knows what...why aren’t you on my side about this? Of all people, I thought you would understand?”

Suzu responds calmly and lovingly.

Suzu: “I do understand. And I am on your side, and Yuka’s. But are you really thinking about what’s best for her?”

Aiko: “What do you mean, of course keeping them apart is best for her!”

                Suzu is still soft and kind.

Suzu: “Aiko-chan, it's okay to be afraid of losing her.”

Aiko: “What!? That’s not it at all!”

Suzu: “It's not? Well, you really might lose her, especially if you keep pulling stunts like tonight.”

Aiko: “Whatever! Goodbye!”

Aiko hangs up abruptly

Suzu (to herself): “I’ve never heard Aiko-chan like that before, so desperate, so sad, so scared...”

We see Yuka peering out from the slight opening in her bedroom door where she went when she returned home. She backs away and closes the door slowly, it’s clear she's heard Suzu's side of the conversation with Aiko.

Hatsue (to Suzu): “Are you okay Kiyoura-san? That sounded really intense?”

Suzu: “Yeah, I’m okay, I have to remember that she’s still a kid...I mean, I guess you all are...”


In class. Yuka still appears absent minded. Aiko is studying Yuka from behind while class is going on.

It’s between classes now. Aiko writes a little note and leaves it on Yuka’s desk. Eriko is watching this from under her hair (while she’s resting her head on her arms like normal). Yuka comes back and sees the note. She reads it and folds it back up.

More shots of class going on.

At lunch later, Eriko and Hatsue are eating together.

Hatsue: “Where’s Kiyoura-chan?”

Eriko: “She left with Okumura-san.”

Hatsue: “Do you think Okumura-san is going to apologize?”

Eriko: “Don’t know...Don't care”

Hatsue: “HAHAHA, Well, she should. Not that I really have anything against Okumura-san, but this was your perfect chance to get closer to Kiyoura-chan! It might have been working too!”

Eriko chokes on her food.

Eriko: “Cough, cough...what...what do you mean?”

Hatsue: “Come on, it’s so obvious. You have to know by now. What about your question to me the other day?”

Hatsue (to herself): "Why can't she admit it? Is she worried about what people will think?"

Eriko: “I...I don’t...”

Hatsue: “I’ll let you in on a secret..."

Hatsue leans in close and whispers to Eriko.

Hatsue: "you are in love with Kiyoura-chan!”

Eriko blushes really badly and gets wide-eyed.

Eriko: “ can I? Kiyoura-san is a...a...”

Hatsue: “A girl? Yeah, I noticed. But I’m rooting for you!”

Eriko: “Really? it okay?”

Hatsue (to herself): “Oh my god, I didn’t know Eriko-chan could be this cute!”

Hatsue: “Of course it's okay! You get to love who you love, at least that's what I think.

Eriko: “I’m not...disgusting?”

Hatsue: “Well, I guess some people might not be okay with it, maybe most won’t be easy for you both. But I’m your friend, and I don’t care who you love as long as they love you back..."

Hatsue suddenly gasps and opens her eyes in wide excitement, she's giddy.

Hatsue: "(Gasp) Wait! Did you finally admit that you’re in love with her?”

Eriko continues blushing, looks down, and fidgets with her lunch.

Eriko: “Ummm...I guess.”

Hatsue hugs Eriko tightly, surprising Eriko.

Eriko: “Wha..! Wait...!”

Hatsue: “I’m so happy for you! Have you told Kiyoura-chan yet? Have you confessed? Is that what happened that night?”

Eriko: “No, no...I still...don’t really know how she feels.”

We're with Aiko and Yuka during lunch time. They are walking out of the classroom together, but they’re not talking, Yuka’s head is down. They have a bit too much space between them. It’s quiet and awkward. They come to a quiet spot. Aiko takes a deep breath, turns earnestly to Yuka, then starts talking.

Aiko: “Yuka-chan, I want to fix this. Will you listen?”

Yuka looks up at her and nods ‘yes’ slowly but sadly.

Aiko: “I just want you to be happy and safe. But I can't trust Arishima-san, she's dangerous. I don’t know what she wants with you, and I don’t like it...but, you know that already, don’t you? I mean...I just don’t want to see you getting hurt. Am I making any sense?”

Yuka takes the necklace out from under her shirt.

Aiko: “I...I’m sorry."

Yuka looks at her questioningly.

Aiko (to herself): "I have to tell her, plainly."

Aiko: "I took that from Arishima-san so that she wouldn’t be able to give it to you.”

Yuka furrows her eyebrows, she's confused.

Aiko (To herself): “What can I say? I did it out of spite? Out of Hate? Am I jealous like Suzu said?”

Aiko: “I wasn’t really thinking, I just did it and then...then...But why is that necklace so important to you? I don’t understand."

Yuka shakes her head 'no' slightly.

Aiko: "It’s not about the necklace, is it? Why do you care so much about her? What is it about her?”

Yuka presses the necklace against her chest, and closes her eyes with a peaceful smile.

Aiko: “Are...Are you in love with her?”

Yuka blushes a little and a soft, content smile crosses her lips.

Aiko (to herself): “God, I’ve already lost her...she’s already gone from me, to a place I can’t ever reach her...”

Aiko is becoming more and more desperate, almost frantic as the conversation goes on.

Aiko: “ really are, aren’t you? She can’t bring you happiness! You’ll be ostracized. People will tease you even more. What will Suzu-san say? Maybe this is just a passing phase because you’re in an all-girls school? Just look at her, she can't protect you. You can’t get married, or have a family, there’s no future..."

She looks deep into Yuka's eyes.

Aiko: "You can’t possibly...”

Yuka tries to take Aiko’s hands in hers. Aiko just yanks them away.

Aiko: “What?! No!”

Yuka looks at her, shocked, after being rejected in that way. Aiko turns her head away, unable to make eye contact. Yuka stands up and runs away, tears streaming down. Aiko watches her leave, looks down at her own hands, then looks down at the ground where she sees a couple drops of water (Yuka’s tears) on the ground.

Aiko (to herself): “That wasn't what I wanted to say. What have I done?”

Thursday night.
Yuka is watching TV on the couch, laying on her side, detached and absent, not characteristic of her, no energy, vacant. Suzu is in the kitchen cooking. Suzu looks at the time.

Suzu (to herself): “Aiko, where are you? Are you coming tonight? Are you going to leave it like this?”

Setting changes to Aiko in a fancy restaurant, at a back corner table, being waited on hand and foot by well-dressed wait staff, drinking expensive champagne, etc... but she’s dining alone.

Setting changes to Suzu and Yuka’s apartment. They’re sitting around eating now, Yuka is still listless. She’s just pushing things around on her plate.

Suzu: “I made all your favorites but you haven’t touched a thing? Are you nervous about tomorrow?”

Yuka shakes her head ‘no.’

Suzu (to herself): “Dammit Aiko, I haven’t seen Yuka this way in years. Why’d you have to do this now when she needs you the most?”

We next see Aiko dancing in a club and getting crazy, draping herself over guys, sitting with a bunch of hip young men in a booth, walking out of the building in the arms of two men. Her driver comes up to the men, whispers in one’s ear, they hand Aiko off to the driver with their hands up (indicating something like, “we had no idea she was in high school.”). The driver escorts her to the car, she has her head down, almost in resignation or shame (as well as drunk) but she’s willingly going with the driver. She’s in the back seat, being driven home, her head against the window, watching the scenery pass by as they drive. She checks her watch and sighs.

Friday morning.
In class, the teacher is taking attendance.

Teacher: “Kinoshita-san?”

Satomi: “Here.”

Teacher: “Kiyoura-san?”

Yuka’s desk is empty, Eriko is looking at it with her head down on her arms. Aiko is sitting at her desk looking out the window.

Teacher: “Kiyoura-san?...Oh that’s right, she has the national math competition, I forgot her sister called...”

Eriko looks up and meets Hatsue’s eyes in a shocked expression.

Eriko (to herself): “Why didn’t she tell me? I thought we we're getting closer...I'm so stupid.”

Yuka and Suzu are on the bullet train. It’s fairly full. Yuka is sitting at the window seat. Suzu offers her food to eat, but Yuka just keeps staring out the window. She has her hand over the necklace. Suzu notices, smiles slightly, and goes back to what she was doing.

Between classes, Hatsue goes up to Aiko. Aiko is reading a book.

Hatsue: “Okumura-san?”

Aiko: “What?”

Hatsue: “Did you know that Kiyoura-chan had the competition this weekend?”

Aiko doesn't make eye contact, continues to read her book as she speaks.

Aiko: “I did.”

Hatsue: “Why didn’t you tell us, we could have wished her good luck and seen her off?”

Aiko: “It’s none of my business. She would have told you if she wanted you to know.”

Hatsue: “Of course it’s your business! Aren’t you her best friend?”

Aiko replies absently, almost to herself.

Aiko: “Who knows?"

Hatsue: “Hey! What’s with that answer? Don’t throw yourself a pity party. It’s your fault you two are fighting. She’s been a mess all week because of what you did. It'll be on you if she can't focus!"

Aiko still doesn't make eye contact.

Aiko: “Don’t you think I know that?”

Hatsue replies kindly, with a sad expression in her eyes.

Hatsue: “Oh, Okumura-san.”

Eriko notices Aiko’s sad, but reserved, expression.

Eriko (to herself): “So she can make that kind of face too.”

That night. Eriko is hanging out her window (one arm on the sill with her head resting on it, the other arm dangling down over the side of the house). She’s staring out and up at the moon.

Eriko (to herself): “Where are you tonight? Why didn’t you tell me you were going? Maybe I was just imagining we were getting closer. But it felt like you might feel the same way. Am I just a replacement Okumura-san? And now you’re someplace strange and alone. When I wish you needed me, maybe you really need her?”

We next see Aiko sitting on the window seat under a great big window in a big empty living room space in her luxurious mansion. It’s dark, just moonlight coming through the billowing curtains, the windows are open. She’s staring up at the moon.

Aiko (to herself): “It’s almost summer now, so why do I still feel cold? Is it cold where you are? Do you wish she was with you? Would she make you feel better in a way I can’t? I always want to support you, but how can I support you with her? I don’t know what I’ll do if this weekend doesn’t go well for you. How will I be able to look at you? Are you strong enough to get through this alone? Of course you are, I’m the weak one. You don’t really need me, you never have. It's always been me that needed you. You’re all I have.”

Then we see Yuka sitting in a chair at a table outside on the balcony of the hotel room under a little blanket, knees pulled up to her chest. Suzu is asleep in the bed, the doors to the balcony are open with the curtains blowing (similar to Aiko’s living room window). Yuka is sitting staring up at the moon, with a sad, vacant look in her eyes, but her hand is clasped around the necklace.

(to be continued...)

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