In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 3

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

Chapter 3

"Second Day - Part 1"

It’s early morning. The sun is just starting to rise. The light is filtering in through the curtains in Eriko’s sparse bedroom. We see her sprawled out on the bed, blood stains on her clothes and sheets, hair a mess and matted, she's scratched and bruised and cut all over. As the sun beams begin to cross her face she winces, and puts an arm over her still closed eyes and groans a painful groan.

Eriko: “ughhhh....hurts so much”

She slowly gets up and cautiously puts her feet on the ground, her body slumped over, her hair falling over her face.

Eriko: “Where am I?”

We see the room in front of her all blurry as if looking through her eyes. It starts to come into focus.

Eriko: “Wait, that’s right...the old man’s house.”

She slowly sits up in bed, holding her head, her hair falling over her face. She cautiously stands, wobbling as she walks, grabbing at the wall and things to steady herself as she makes her way towards the door of her room.

Eriko (to herself): “What keeps happening to me? It's been like this every night since...since...Why can't I remember anything before last week?! Why can’t I remember last night?"

She looks at her uniform hanging across the room. She thinks briefly of Yuka smiling, of Yuka's small hand in hers, she thinks of Yuka being choked, being hit, she grimaces at the memory.

Eriko: “School, or whatever happened to me last night, I’m not sure which is worse.”

Outside school in the morning; students are walking in. A beautiful, sleek, expensive sports car pulls up (like a Lamborghini or Ferrari or something). Those who see it gasp and stare. A door opens and we see a normal pair of female school shoes step out. Panel by panel it is revealed that it is a student of the school (Hatsue Fujimaki who was briefly seen in front of Eriko's desk on day 1). She is glamorous, made-up, big flowing, perfect hair, a true school idol. The younger students (first years) are in awe. We then see the driver step out, but he stays on his side, looking over at her across the hood of the car. He's in a perfectly cut suit with really expensive sunglasses on. He casually takes the glasses off to reveal his beautiful eyes. He runs his fingers through his hair. The girls swoon.

Random student: "He's so beautiful!"

Student 2: "whoa, who’s that with Fujimaki-san?"

Student 3: "She's so perfect too."

Driver: "Hey, be good in school today, Ha-chan!"

Student 4: "'Ha-chan'? Are they that close?"

She just gives a sparkly (but totally poised) waive goodbye to him, before turning back to face the school entrance path leading from the gate/street. Her hair flowing around her as she turns. She is all confidence and sparkle. He just puts on his sunglasses and casually gets back into the car before speeding off.

Student: "Do you think that's her boyfriend?"

Student 2: "So gross, she's dating an older guy!"

Student 3: "No way, she's so lucky to be taken care of like that."

Student 4: "You're just saying that because your dad is fat and out of work!"

The girls are all laughing. Hatsue walks down the walk into school. The students keep whispering and pointing at her and blushing when she waves at them. A few come up and ask for autographs.

                Student: "Fujimaki-san, will you sign this?"

She smiles deeply and truly at them all.

Hatsue: "I guess, but I'm no one special."

Student 2: "Can I take your picture?"

Hatsue: "Here, will you take it of both of us?"

Student 2: "Really?!"

Another student takes the picture of them, Hatsue does an idol pose, with like a peace sign in front of her eyes, winking, etc... She waves goodbye and keeps walking.

                Student: "Oh my god, she's so nice!"

                Student 2: "Do you think it's real?"

As Hatsue goes further down the path across the yard towards school, we see that Eriko is laying on a bench under a tree. She has her hand over her eyes. One (both?) of her legs is up, she's got scratches and bloody areas and bandages all over her. She could be asleep, she could be just resting wounded. Hatsue walks past, but stops briefly and looks back over her shoulder at Eriko.

Hatsue (to herself): “So she came back?...I wonder why? She's sort of interesting.”

We see that Eriko is looking at her from beneath the arm over her eyes. Their eyes connect in a knowing way. Hatsue bows slightly and gives a small, petite, shy smile, not at all the confidence we saw at the beginning, but actually real. Eriko just closes her eyes, turns her head back under her arm and keeps resting on the bench.

Hatsue (to herself): “She’s...she’s...she’s so cool! Sigh...I bet she’s the real deal, no secrets like me. She just does what she wants and isn't afraid of anyone."

Hatsue continues into school where she is greeted by some of her friends (like Satomi, Chitose and Kaori) and other admirers. She's back to being bouncy and the center of attention.

We move back to seeing Eriko lying on the bench with her arm over her eyes. In the background, some girls are talking.

                Student: "Hey, what's the little freak doing?"

Student 2: "I heard she got beat up by the transfer student yesterday."

                Student 3: "Isn't that her over there?"

Eriko doesn't open her eyes.

Eriko (to herself): "Why do they pick on her that way, are girls just that nasty?"

Suddenly we see a little hand placing a butterfly on Eriko's hand (the one over her eyes). Eriko softly puts her second hand over the top of her first hand (capturing the butterfly gently between them). She calmly sits up, and only opens her eyes once she’s fully sat up. She stares intently at Yuka. Yuka just has a giggling smile, like a little kid who just did something naughty but cute. Eriko blushes and looks down at her hands, which she eventually opens up. The butterfly flaps its wings once or twice, then flits off, completely unfazed. Eriko speaks hesitantly and shyly to Yuka.

Eriko: "They...they all make fun of you."

Yuka doesn't say anything, just looks blankly at Eriko.

Eriko: "Don't you...don't you care?"

Yuka just shrugs.

                Eriko: "Wha...whatever..."

Eriko, turns her head to the side (toward the street) to see Aiko coming up the walk. We get a close-up of Aiko’s face, stern, staring down Eriko. Eriko just closes her eyes, and goes back to lying down on the bench.

Aiko "Yuka, it's time for class."

Eriko (to herself): "There she goes, bossing her around again."

Yuka points to Eriko, Aiko sees the bruises, bandages, etc.... Eriko is lying there, still with her arm over her face. Yuka then tugs at Eriko's skirt a bit to try and get her moving.

Aiko "She'll come in when she's ready. You can show her around the school then."

Aiko (to herself): “But she'll stay away if she knows what’s good for her. I can’t really believe she showed up at all, especially looking like that.”

Aiko reaches out a hand to Yuka. Yuka shows a slightly frustrated/sad/resigned face to Aiko, reluctantly takes Aiko's hand, and walks in to school with her.

Eriko, peeks at them walking in together. Yuka turns around to look at Eriko. Eriko sees, blushes, an then closes her eyes, turns her head back under her arm, and we see her lying full frame on the bench. In successive panels, the shot pans up and away a few times showing the rest of the students walking in and the yard emptying with Eriko just lying still there on the bench.

In class. Eriko's desk is empty. Yuka is looking out the window like normal.

Students are gathered around talking before class starts. A few students are around Hatsue at her desk. She's the center of attention.

Satomi: “Ha-chan, how did you get your hair so soft today?”

Hatsue: “I found this new product in Y-magazine.”
Eriko turns to see Aiko staring at her and just glares back. She speaks directly to Aiko.

Kaori: “Let me see, would it work on my hair?”

Hatsue: “I don’t know, it’s mostly for coarse hair.”

Satomi: “Your hair isn’t coarse!”

Chitose: “It’s ‘cause she takes such good care of it.”

Hatsue: “No no, nothing like that.”

Kaori: “Don’t be so modest”

Aiko looks up from reading her book, annoyed at the idle chatter.

Aiko (to herself): “That’s right, no need for modesty when you’ve already got them wrapped around your perfect fingers.”

The teacher walks in, the class rep asks students to stand, bow.

Teacher: "Let’s take attendance. Ando-san?”

Ando: “Here.”

Teacher: Arishima-san?... Arishima-san?"

Students are whispering (these are like overlapping conversations in the room).

Random student: "Skipping class on her second day?"

Student: "Has she already dropped out?"

Student: "I heard she hit Kiyoura-san yesterday."

Student: “Was she suspended?”

Student: "Maybe she was kicked out?"

Student: "Who cares, they're both freaks."

Yuka is staring out the window. Aiko looks at the empty desk, then at Yuka. She grimaces a bit. From the window, we see the empty bench where Eriko had been laying.

Teacher: “Quiet down everyone. Ebina-san?”

Ebina: “Here.”

In the background we see Eriko turn away from the back classroom door and walk away down the empty hall.

Physical Education class. Students are milling around in the gym, stretching, chatting, etc... a volley ball net is set up.

Teacher: "Divide yourselves up in to two teams for volleyball today.”

Random student: “We want Okumura-san!”

Student 2: (whispering to the first student): “But Kiyoura-san will come with her. They're like a pair deal.”

Student: “It’s okay, Okumura-san will be strong enough to make up for it.”

Student 3: “I’m just glad that delinquent from yesterday isn’t here.”

Student 4: “Yeah, you know with my luck, we’d be stuck with her.”

Eriko is sitting with her back against a brick wall (it's the gymnasium). She starts hearing the sound of a ball hitting, girls cheering. She looks up.

                Eriko: "What are they doing?"

She goes over to a door's little window, she sees Yuka on the court with Aiko. Yuka isn't moving very athletically but Aiko is covering for her. Each time, Yuka thanks her (silently) and Aiko just pats her head. Yuka smiles with a big grin each time.

                Eriko: "They...they look so close..."

A ball hits just inside the baseline. One team is cheering.

                Aiko: "That's game. Any other challengers?"

Student: "No fair, Okumura-san, you should have to sit out!"

                Aiko: "Fine, fine, you're right."

Just then, Eriko walks in, the room goes silent and they’re all staring at her. Eriko gives a dark, evil eye up between her messy hair, fallen across her face. She's still wearing her school uniform. Eriko says quietly and with a chill in her voice:

Eriko: “What?”

Student in the background: "Is she really going to play in her uniform?"

Student 2 in the background: "Maybe she's too poor to have gym clothes."

A couple girls snicker at this joke. Aiko just stares across the net at Eriko.

Aiko "Nice of you to join us today."

Eriko (said somewhat under her breath): "Piss off."

Aiko: "What was that?"

But then Eriko glances at Yuka standing next to Aiko and Eriko blushes a bit and demures in her response back to Aiko.

Eriko: "Whatever."

A random student shakily comes up to Eriko.

                Student: "Um....Arishima...san?"

                Eriko: "What?"

Student: "You''ll get your uniform dirty if you don't change."

Eriko (to herself): "Change? Oh, like another set of clothes."

Eriko: "Wha...oh...I...I'm fine..."

Eriko: "Just play."

Random student: “Crap, does that mean Arishima-san is on our team?”

Random student 2: “I don't know, look at her, she might be good at sports.”

Aiko: "Is it okay if I stay in?"

Student from before: "Uh, yeah, fine."

Aiko (to herself): “Alright, Arishima. You asked for it.”

The teams get into position. Aiko backs up to the service line. Random students on Aiko’s team are pumping her up.

Student: "Go Okamura-san!"

Student: “Show her what you’ve got!”

Student: “We love you Okumura-san!”

Aiko just puts a hand up to silence/thank them (a humble but confident gesture). Aiko serves and sends it strongly across the net, so fast that no one on the opposing team can get to it, an ace, point to Aiko's team. Eriko is just looking where it hit.

Random student on Aiko’s team: “She’s amazing."

Other student on team: “So cool!”

Random Student on Eriko's team: "How are we supposed to beat the captain of the volleyball team?"

Eriko (to herself): “Captain?”

Student 3 (said to another student): "That's what you get from the first second year ever to be a captain of a sports team at this school."

A fire lights in Eriko's eyes.

Eriko (to herself): “Fine, you got one, you won’t get another. We’ll see how amazing you really are.”

Student (said to the team): “Okay, get ready, we just have to stop her once!”

Aiko has a determined look in her eye as she readies her next serve and stares at Eriko.

Aiko (to herself): “That’s right, you just have to stop me once, do you really think you can?”

Aiko serves it right at Eriko. We see a flash of something very intense, almost inhuman, distant and powerful, go across Eriko's eyes. Eriko moves with an unbelievable swiftness, loosing the humanity in her eyes as she goes to smash the serve back with superhuman power/ability. Just as she's about to spike it, she sees that it would hit Yuka (who is standing across the net from her, right in the path of her intended spike. Yuka is just standing there, looking amazed and watching Eriko. We get a flash-back to Eriko striking Yuka in the face. Then we return to a shot of Yuka's face in PE. Eriko suddenly is fearful. Instead of spiking it, Eriko puts it straight into the net (to avoid hitting Yuka), but it ricochets off and hits Hatsue. Hatsue collapses on the ground in pain. People rush to her.

                Satomi: "Ha-chan!"

                Student: "Is she okay?"

Other students are laughing and pointing at Eriko on both sides.

Student: "Is that the best you can do?"

Student: “Don’t let her hear you, she’ll kill you.”

Student: “She'll hit anyone, even Kiyoura."

Eriko looks at Hatsue on the ground in pain. She's shocked at what she's done. While others are helping Hatuse, Eriko storms out of PE.

                Eriko (to herself): "All I do is hurt people!"

Kaori: "Hatsue-chan, Hatsue-Chan, are you okay?"

Chitose: "How mean, she hit Ha-chan and didn't even apologize"

Satomi: "What a freak"

Student 4: "someone get the teacher, Fujimaki-san needs to see the nurse"

Through this, Hatsue is rubbing her head, and smiling and waiving off her friends, indicating that she is okay.

Hatsue: “I’m okay, I’m okay, it doesn’t hurt. Really.”

Yuka is staring at the door that Eriko ran out of. Then Yuka turns to look at Aiko. She tugs on Aiko’s shorts and points to the door.

Aiko (to herself): “What was that, she could have destroyed my serve, I’ve never seen anyone move that fast. But she pulled up, at the last minute...was she trying to protect...”

Aiko, sighs and nods in a relenting way to Yuka's entreaties, she knows she's not going to be able to stop Yuka on this one.

Aiko: “Go if you want to, but I don’t really understand why you’re so interested in her. She’s not going to be your friend. And I don’t see why you would want that anyway.”

Yuka smiles at Aiko and runs after Eriko.

Satomi: "One loser after another."

Aiko walks up behind Satomi, a frighteningly fierce look on her face, towering over the Satomi with her long, straight black hair flowing, with this devilishly insane grin on her face.

Aiko: “I’m sorry, were you talking to us?”

Satomi: “Okumura-san, No, no, it was nothing...”

Chitose: "What do you see in her anyway, Okumura-san? You’re so cool but Kiyoura-san can't even talk! She's like a baby!"

Aiko "It's better to say nothing at all than let such filth come out of your mouth."

We see Hatsue sort of laugh secretly at this comeback.

Kaori: “Hey, back off Okumura. She didn’t mean anything by it."

Chitose: “Just because your family has all that money doesn’t give you any right to talk that way. We all see how you flaunt it all over town.”

Aiko: “And I suppose that’s different somehow than Fujimaki-san and the way you all drool over her!?”

Kaori: “Leave Ha-chan out of this, she didn’t do anything.”

Satomi: “I don’t know, maybe Okumura-san is secretly a freak just like her little friend. I’ve heard the rumors you know, we all have.”

Aiko is just about to lose her mind over this and launch at the girls and maybe slap one of them when the teacher comes over.

Teacher: "What's the problem girls?"

Aiko, turning suddenly sweet and perfect, reaches out a hand to help up Hatsue who had been still sitting on the ground watching the argument.

Aiko: "Just a misunderstanding. Kiyoura-san had to take Arishima-san to the nurse, she hurt her hand spiking the ball.”

Teacher: "Oh, is that so? Get back to playing then girls, don’t just stand there."

Outside, Eriko is fuming with a dark aura around her, punching the building and kicking things as she’s storming away, bruising and scraping her knuckles. Yuka sees Eriko turning the corner of the building as she's running behind her. Yuka waves her arms at Eriko from behind to get her attention, but Eriko is moving fast and self-absorbed and Yuka isn't able to get her attention before losing her. Yuka looks around, back and forth, but can't find where Eriko went. She sighs and shrugs a little. A butterfly flying past catches her eye and she follows it with her vision for a minute. She turns around and flits back to PE class.

Eriko finds herself in a narrow space between two buildings on campus, it’s shaded. She stops and rests an arm on the side of the building, turns her back to rest on it, and slides down into a slumped position on the ground.

Eriko (to herself): “Why is my heart beating so fast? I mean...I almost hit her with the ball, but, why should I care? Ugh, why am I even here at this school? I’m just wasting my time, but...I did promise him I’d give it a try. I don’t know what I'm doing. I don't know who I am. What happened to me?!”

We see time and class passing by, Eriko’s desk is still empty. It's Lunch time now, Aiko and Yuka are eating together outside. Yuka looks over to where Eriko was sitting the day before, but the spot is empty. Hatsue is sitting in the classroom, surrounded by the other popular girls in the classroom, chatting and eating. Eriko’s desk remains empty.

                Girl: "Weren't you scared?"

                Hatsue: "What do you mean?"

                Chitose: "It's not like she was trying to hit Ha-chan?"

                Kaori: "I don't know, it almost looked like it."

Suddenly Eriko walks into the mostly empty room (since many students are eating outside). The few that are in there are all frozen either looking down and away or staring at her.

Whispers: “Whoa, she’s back.”

Whispers: “Where do you think she goes?”

Whispers: “Shhhh, she’ll hear you.”

Eriko just goes to her desk, puts her arms down and her head on her arms, her hair all over the place.

                Eriko (to herself): "Thank god, she's not here."

Her stomach grumbles.

Eriko (to herself): “Ughhh, I’m so hungry too.”

We see her slowly turn her head and look out the window. She catches a glimpse of Yuka smiling and walking with Aiko. She turns her head back down into her arms.

Eriko (to herself): “Dammit!”

She drifts off to sleep.

(to be continued...)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Remember: please talk about the work, and offer counter points to others' analyses but DO NOT ATTACK THE PERSON whose analysis you are countering. (no ad hominem comments) Thanks! <3