In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 35

"In the Morning, I'll Say Hello" is a yuri comic I wrote, but I can't draw, so I'm publishing the scripts here for your enjoyment!

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

Chapter 35
"What to Wear?"

In Hatsue’s room. We see Eriko talking, and hear Hatsue respond, but we don’t see Hatsue at first.

Eriko: “You’re really serious?”

Hatsue: “YES! I can’t take it anymore! I don’t want to always be so scared of the world.”

Eriko: “Well, you look ridiculous.”

We now see Hatsue. She’s disguised herself sort of like a boy, with a ridiculous outfit including culottes/Capri pants and a long-sleeve hoodie with the hood up and cinched around her face and with sunglasses on and a surgical mask.

Hatsue: “Whatever! If they can’t see that I’m a cute girl, then they won’t harass me.”

Eriko: “Oh, so you’re cute, huh?”

They both start laughing.

Hatsue: “Okay, okay, where should we start?”

Eriko: “Maybe just a walk?”

Hatsue: “Yeah, I can do that! I felt terrible I couldn't look for you that night. And I was too scared to even visit you in the hospital. I don't want to let you down again. You’re too important to me.”

Eriko blushes.

Eriko: “Um...thanks. You’re important to me too.”

Hatsue: “Oh, don’t go getting all mushy on me. Save that for Kiyoura-chan!”

Eriko: “What?”

Hatsue: “Let’s go!”

They are standing in front of Hatsue’s house at the end of the walkway by the front entrance gate at the sidewalk. Hatsue is hemming and hawing.

Hatsue: “”

Eriko: “So much for the enthusiasm.”

Hatsue: “You’re right, I can do this!”

Eriko: “Let’s just start walking.”

Hatsue looks around nervously.

Hatsue: “Um, okay...”

Eriko: “You’ll be fine.”

Hatsue: “I guess I do have my own delinquent to protect me.”

Eriko shoots her a vicious look and then they both start laughing.

They start walking down the street, the streets are mostly empty. They come up to a playground and there are two little boys playing together. They notice Eriko and the strangely-dressed Hatsue walking by the park.

Boy 1: “Who are they?”

Boy 2: “The tall one looks kinda scary.”

Boy 1: “And what’s wrong with that other one?”

Boy 2: “You think they’re in a gang?”

Boy 1: “A gang? Must be the stupidest gang ever!”

The boys start laughing, Eriko hearing this gives them a fake stare-down. They get scared and run away.

Boy 1: “Ahhh! Let’s get out of here!”

Eriko and Hatsue turn to each other and start laughing.

Hatsue: “I guess this isn’t so bad.”

They round the corner and as they do, Hatsue, who is talking with Eriko and not looking where she is going, bumps into someone knocking each other down.

Eriko: “Are you okay Ha-chan?”

Hatsue rubbing her head (her mask and sunglasses fell off and her hood is mostly falling off).

Hatsue: “oww, oww, oww...I think so”

Hatsue turns to apologize to the other person.

Hatsue: “I’m so very so....”

She freezes midway as she realizes he is a cute (gentle looking) teenage boy sitting there just staring wide eyed at her.

Toshikazu Ishihara: “You’re...You’re so pretty!”

Eriko starts laughing, nearly doubling over. Then Toshikazu gasps and clasps his hand over his mouth, turns bright red realizing what he’s just said. Hatsue scrambles to cover up and moves behind Eriko’s legs.

Toshikazu gets up, bows and says:

Toshikazu: “I’m sorry!”

He runs past them in embarrassment. As he does he turns his head back and pauses to see Hatsue peeking at him from behind Eriko, their eyes meet, they both blush, he turns away and keeps running, she buries her head in Eriko’s back.

Hatsue: “Can...can we go home?”

Eriko holds Hatsue and pats her head.

Eriko: “He didn’t look scary.”

Hatsue: “They never do...”

Eriko: “Okay,’ve worked hard.”

Lunchtime at the school. The four of them (Yuka, Aiko, Eriko, Hatsue) are sitting in the courtyard eating. Other girls are eating or walking past. One set of girls walks past and have the following conversation:

Girl 1: “I’m so excited to get my yukata out!”

Girl 2: “Lucky, I have to wear my sister’s hand-me-down.”

Girl 1: “I’m sure you’ll still look cute.”

Girl 2: “But I wanted to wear something special for H-kun.”

Girl 1: “I’m sure he’ll think you’re cute no matter...”

The main characters overhear this conversation. Yuka looks at Aiko with a beaming smile.

Aiko: “You're only thinking about the food at the festival, aren't you? I swear, I don’t know where you have room to keep it all. It’s like you have a second stomach just for takoyaki!”

Yuka is fantasizing about it, and drooling in anticipation.

Eriko (to herself): “Another new expression...she’s so cute!”

Hatsue (quietly to Eriko): “Why don’t you invite her to go with you?”

Eriko blushes and shoves some food in Hatsue’s mouth to keep her quiet. Hatsue starts choking. Eriko is patting her on the back now. Yuka starts laughing at the whole scene. Aiko looks stern and does not want to participate.

Aiko: “Anyway Yuka, are you and Suzu-san going to the temple first?”

Yuka nods 'yes.'

Aiko: “Okay, how about we meet at 6 at the big clock?”

Yuks nods 'yes' enthusiastically and then looks pleadingly at Eriko.

Eriko: “What? hadn’t...”

Hatsue: “That sounds great! She’ll see you there.”

Eriko: “Wait...What?...!”

Aiko turns to Hatsue.

Aiko: “You’re not coming?”

Hatsue: “Um...well...I still don’t think I can handle being around all those people.”

Aiko: “Hmmmm...shame.”

Eriko shoots Aiko a death look in defense of Hatsue.

Eriko: “I won’t go, I’ll keep you company.”

Hatsue pulls Eriko aside slightly and whispers.

Hatsue: “You can’t waste this opportunity, don’t you want to see Kiyoura-chan in her yukata?”

Eriko blushes.

Eriko: “Well...yeah...but you shouldn’t be alone either.”

Hatsue: “Oh no you won’t! You’re not going to miss this on my account.”

Hatsue turns to Aiko.

Hatsue: “You know what? I will do it. Right, Eriko-chan? You’ll keep helping me get over my fear, won’t you? This will be the perfect reason to get out of the house.”

Aiko: “You’re going to rely on Arishima-san? Good luck with that.”

Now Yuka gives a stern look to Aiko.

Aiko: “Whatever. We’ll all meet up at 6 at the clock, then.”

Yuka hugs Aiko and beams.

Hatsue (to herself): “Can I really do this so soon? I’ve only just started trying to go outside without Tetsu again.”

In Eriko’s bedroom. She’s lying on the bed, on her back, arm over her eyes.

Eriko (to herself): “I wonder if she’ll really wear a yukata? I bet she’d be really cute in one. I really want to see her in one.”

Eriko blushes and pulls the pillow over her face and squeezes it over her head and squirms/rolls around a bit in embarrassment/happiness at the thought of Yuka in a yukata. Eriko calms herself and rolls onto her stomach.

Eriko (to herself): “What should I wear? I don’t have a yukata. Ha-chan's right, my clothes aren't exactly cute either...but...I sort of want to dress up...for her...”

Someone is looking through a closet full of formal clothing. Hands caressing various expensive fabrics, formal kimonos and informal yukatas. We back up to see that it is Aiko going through her closet.  Her hand lands on one in particular and we get a flashback.

Young Aiko, age 7-ish.

Aiko: “Mom?!”

As child-age Aiko is coming around the corner into a room, looking for her mom, she see’s her mom in full yukata in front of a mirror, the same yukata that the teenage/present-day Aiko was fingering in the closet.

Aiko (to herself): “Wow, she’s so beautiful, so elegant.”

Aiko: “Mom?”

Honami Okumura (Aiko’s mom): “Oh, Aiko! The festival is tonight, why aren’t you ready? I figured you’d want to walk around and see the fireworks.”

Aiko (to herself): “She seems okay today.”

Aiko: “Um, are you feeling up to it?”

Honami: “Of course! Why wouldn't I be?”

Aiko: “Oh, nothing, I’ll go and get changed.”

They’re walking around the festival now, both in yukatas. Aiko fishing for goldfish, doing the wooden punch card games, eating good foods.

Honami: “I wonder if we’ll see your little friend here tonight? You should have called her to join us.”

Aiko: “It’s okay, I...I don’t mind spending time with you.”

Suddenly there is a woman who looks like Shiori (Aiko's older sister) seen from behind in the crowd. Honami is stunned, slack jawed, her whole countenance changes.

Honami: “Sh...Shiori?...Shiori!!”

She drops everything and starts running up to her, grabs the young woman and turns her around. Honami drapes herself over the young woman, hugs her and starts crying.

Honami: “Oh Shiori, you’ve come back, you’ve come back, your father will forgive you, I’m sure of it!”

                The woman is clearly not Shiori.

Woman: “Um, ma'am I think you have me confused with someone.”

Honami looks up with tears in her eyes, and a pleading, desperate look on her face. The realization, then embarrassment washes over her.

Honami: “Oh, my, really aren’t Shiori, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry...sorry...sorry....”

She breaks down crying and collapses on the ground. Aiko rushes up to her.

Aiko: “Mom!!!!!”
[Flashback ends]

Back to the present, Aiko’s fingers are gently touching the yukata in the closet.

Aiko: “That was the last time we went anywhere looked so beautiful that day...”

Aiko puts that yukata back and selects a different one from the closet.

Aiko: “I guess this one will do.”

End of the school day, they’re all by their shoe lockers. Hatsue goes up to Eriko.

Hatsue: “Eriko-chan, I thought maybe we could try going out again this afternoon?”

Eriko: “Are you sure?”

Hatsue: “Well, I don’t fit into my yukata anymore, so I thought maybe we could go shopping for one?”

Eriko: “Will your brother drive us?”

Hatsue: “Umm...I’m sure he would, but I thought maybe we could try the train.”

Eriko: “That’s a big step.”

Hatsue is pumped up.

Hatsue: “I have to try!”

They’re at Tetsu’s car by the front of the school. Some girls are passing by:

Girl 1: “...I heard that’s her brother.”

Girl 2: “Yeah, she told people he was her boyfriend.”

Girl 1: “How embarrassing. Why is he still here?”

Girl 2: "And she's with that freak, the violent one who likes girls."

Girl 1: "Why did I ever want to be like her?"

Eriko and Hatsue overhear this. Eriko is about to go off on the girls, she’s getting really fired up and angry, violent eyes. Hatsue puts a hand on Eriko's arm to keep her from going.

Hatsue: “Ignore them.”

Eriko: “I don't care what they say about me, but how can I let them talk about you that way?!”

Eriko (to herself): "But...they think it's wrong for me...with her..."

Hatsue gives a forced big smile.

Hatsue: “Don’t worry about me, I’m strong!”

Eriko (to herself): "You're stronger than me."

Tetsu gets out of the car and comes over to the passenger side.

Tetsu: “Hey, Eriko-chan! Are you coming over tonight?”

Hatsue: “Actually, you can go home without us, we’re going out shopping.”

Tetsu: “What?! Really?! Do you want me to come along? I can drive you.”

Hatsue: “That’s okay, I’ve got Eriko-chan.”

Tetsu: “HA! So cold, I’m getting replaced.”

Hatsue (to herself): “Well, so am I...”

Eriko: “Oh, I’ll leave.”

Tetsu: “Don’t worry Eriko-chan, I was only joking. I’m so glad Ha-chan has a friend like you she can rely on. Please take care of her.”

Eriko: “Ummm, okay...I will.”

Tetsu: “Have fun, call me if you need me to pick you up.”

Tetsu (to himself): “Will she really be okay?”

Hatsue: “Sure, okay.”

Eriko (to herself): “Things seem a little awkward between them.”

The girls walk away back towards the school building.

Tetsu (to himself): “Something’s definitely wrong, she’s so distant lately...”

Hatsue and Eriko are walking from the school to the train station. Hatsue is nervous about all the passing people. To her is looks like they’re all staring at her, but they really aren’t even noticing her. She’s holding onto Eriko’s arm pretty tightly.

Eriko: “Are you okay?”

Hatsue is looked peaked and glancing around at all the passing people.

Hatsue: “Um, yeah, I can do this, right?!”

Eriko: “You don’t have to push yourself.”

Hatsue (to herself): “If I don’t, I won’t have anyone anymore and I’ll be all alone for good, once he...”

Hatsue shakes the inner thoughts out of her head.

Hatsue: “No, no, I have to do this!”

Eriko: “But you don’t have your disguise on.”

Hatsue: “Are you making fun of me?”

Eriko replies with a slight smile.

Eriko: “Maybe.”

They both start laughing at this. They’re waiting now for the train. It’s getting busy on the platform, people are crowding around, one bumps into Hatsue. Hatsue immediately clings onto Eriko and buries her face in Eriko’s chest.

Eriko (to herself): “The way she clings to me...what would it be like if Kiyoura-san needed me?"

Eriko gently wraps her arms around Hatsue. Hatsue relaxes a bit and looks up at Eriko.

Hatsue (to herself): “It feels so safe, she’s strong but she’s holding me so delicately, it’s really sweet.”

Hatsue: “Kiyoura-chan is lucky.”

Eriko (blushing): “What?!”

Hatsue: “Someday, she’ll get to have you protect her like this all the time.”

Eriko (to herself): "Did she read my mind?"

Eriko: “I, I don’t know...”

Announcer: “Train to your step and mind the exiting passengers...”

Hatsue says out-loud to pump herself up:

Hatsue: “Okay, this is our train, ready Hatsue?!”

Hatsue hits her face, further energizing herself up. Eriko laughs at her.

Eriko: “Let’s go.”

They’re on the train, it’s crowded and there are no seats. They’re standing chest to chest. At the next stop, a man moves past them, as he does, he drops his hand and grabs Hatsue’s bottom. Hatsue flashes back to when her middle school boyfriend pushed her down and started groping up her leg. She screams and pushes into Eriko. Eriko has already grabbed the man’s hand and is starting to twist it, forcing the man onto the ground.

Another Passenger: “What’s happening?”

Passenger 2: “I don’t know, but that girl is hurting that man.”

Hatsue: “It’s okay Eriko-chan, don’t hurt him.”

Eriko: “But he was touching you.”

Passenger 3: “Did you just hear that? That pervert tried to grope a girl.”

Passenger 4: “I’ve heard about that happening, but you never really think it will happen here.”

The man is screaming in pain.

Hatsue: “Eriko-chan, it’s okay! Let’s just go!”

Eriko (to the man): “Remember this.”

And she violently releases his hand and he’s sobbing on the ground, holding his wrist.

Eriko and Hatsue are out on the platform now.

Hatsue: “I’m so sorry, we got off before our stop.”

Eriko: “Don’t worry about that. Are you okay?”

Hatsue: “Yeah, I’m...I’m....I’m...”

She starts crying hard. We see them a few minutes later, sitting on a bench at the station. Hatsue is drinking a water.

Hatsue: “Thank you Eriko-chan, I feel a little better now.”

Eriko: “I couldn’t protect you. I’m so sor...”

Right then Tetsu comes running onto the platform frantically.

Tetsu: “Ha-chan! Ha-chan!”

Hatsue looks up at him, starts sobbing, and runs into his arms where he embraces her.

Hatsue: “I...I want to go home.”

Eriko is getting out of Tetsu’s car at her own home.

Eriko (to Tetsu): “Thank you for the ride.”

Hatsue: “I’m so sorry that I ruined everything today.”

Eriko: “No, it wasn’t were brave.”

Hatsue: “Really?”

Eriko: “Really”

Hatsue: “Thank you Eriko-chan.”

Eriko: “See you tomorrow.”

Hatsue: “bye.”

Eriko closes the door, leaving Hatsue in the back and Tetsu up front. The two drive back home in silence. Hatsue is looking out the window, flashbacks to both the train and the groping from middle school reflect in the windows as the scenery rushes by. Tears in her eyes.

They get home, walk into the house. Tetsu turns around to face Hatsue when they are in the entrance way of the house.

Tetsu: “Ha-chan, what’s going on? You’ve been so distant lately, but then today? What’s wrong?”

Hatsue: “I...I’m sorry Tetsu...I don’t mean to be like this. I actually am doing this for y...”

Right then Megumi Shibata turns the corner from another room.

Megumi: “Hatsue-chan, are you okay? I was so worried when Tetsu had to run out suddenly.”

Hatsue looks at Megumi with pain in her eyes, tears forming.

Hatsue (To herself): “She’s here? What is she doing here? In our house. Not I needed him...God, I’m so pitiful...”

Hatsue tries to wipe the tears from her eyes.

Hatsue: “Oh, was nothing. Sorry for interrupting your time together. I’ve got a lot of homework to do, so please excuse me.”

Hatsue goes up to her room, closes the door behind her, and leans against the inside of the door and then slides down onto the floor and starts weeping into her hands.

Eriko walks into her house, takes her shoes off.

Heizo: “Oh, Eriko-chan, is that you?”

Eriko: “I’m home”

Heizo: “Welcome back. Would you mind helping me with dinner?”

Eriko: “Oh, sure.”

They’re cooking side by side. Eriko is chopping things, Heizo is cooking over a little 2 burner stove.

Eriko: “Arishima-san?”

Heizo: “Hmmm?”

Eriko: “Um...I’m going to go...with some the festival.”

Heizo: “Ah, so wonderful to be young.”

Eriko: “What do you mean?”

Heizo: “We never really had time for the festivals when I was young, with the war and all, but when we finally moved here...anyway, will you be seeing the little miss?”

Eriko: “You mean Ki...Kiyoura-san? Wh...Why?”

Heizo: “Oh, just being nosy is all.”

Eriko (to herself): “Does he know how I feel?”

Eriko: “Um...I think people are going to wear...”

Right then some oil drips out of the pan and the flame flares up.

Heizo: “Oh, ho! Almost burned off my last few hairs! Can’t have that now! HA! I’m sorry Eriko-chan, what were you saying?”

Eriko: “Nevermind, It’s nothing.”

Heizo: “Hmmm.”

At Yuka and Suzu’s apartment. Suzu is doing the dishes in the kitchen. She hears some rummaging coming from Yuka’s bedroom.

Suzu: “I wonder what she’s up to?”

Suzu goes in to discover Yuka going through clothing boxes in her closet.

Suzu: “What are you looking for?”

Yuka points to a calendar on the wall where the festival date is circled and 6’o’clock written down.

Suzu: “OH! The festival, I almost forgot it’s coming up. Are you looking for that old yukata?”

Yuka beams and nods 'yes' vigorously.

Suzu: “I don’t think it’s in there. I haven’t seen it in so long. Let me check my closet.”

Suzu comes back with one, but it’s in pretty bad shape.

Suzu: “Hmm, it’s pretty old. I remember wearing this for years. I don't think this will do.”

Yuka looks questioningly at Suzu.

Suzu: “Well, I assume you’re trying to dress up for someone special, right? Isn’t that what festivals are really for at your age?”

Yuka blushes and lowers her gaze a bit, shyly.

Suzu: “Well then, we can’t have you wearing this old rag. We’ll just have to go out shopping.”

Yuka shakes her head 'no' vigorously and waves her hands in front of her, like “don’t worry about me, don’t spend the money...”.

Suzu: “Don’t worry. You never ask for anything. We can afford it, and I want to see my totally cute little sister dress up for the person she likes.”

Yuka smiles up at Suzu and takes her hands in hers.

Suzu: “But, you have to promise to send me a picture of you two.”

Suzu (to herself): “So I can be sure it is who I think it is.”

Yuka nods yes and hugs Suzu.

(to be continued...)

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