In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 39

"In the Morning, I'll Say Hello" is my yuri comic. I can't draw, so I'm putting the scripts up here for your enjoyment!

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

Chapter 39
"Summer Vacation"

A flash of blue light. There, crouched down is a figure of a woman with long blond hair, she is mostly in shadow, we see drapes of cloth over her. As the vantage point pulls back, we see huge wings folded over her back, but dripping, bloody. The woman stands, her back to us, and flexes the wings out fast sending the blood flying. We never see her face.

The Angel (to herself): “Each time I return, these wings grow anew. Father, is it your reminder to me that I am still very much under your control?”

She is standing in a disgusting apartment-type room, clearly dilapidated and gross. In the corner of the room is a very scared, but very tough looking man, cowering at the sight of this bloody, winged person.

Man: “What...what are you!”

The Angel: “Do you acknowledge what you have done?”

Man: “I don’t know what you’re talking about? Who are you?! What are you!”

The angel crouches down in front of him, her hands on both sides of his face, it almost seems gentle, the way she's holding his head. We still never see her face, always looking at her from behind or from her perspective.

The Angel: “Who are they, those people in the next rooms?”

Man: “They’re nobodies. No one at all.”

She slaps him.

The Angel: “How dare you call another living person a ‘no one!’ Is that how you justify their enslavement? Is that how you live with destroying their beauty?”

Man: “Oh...come on...they were looking for work. I just gave them a job is all.”

The Angel: “What you have taken from them can never be given back.”

Man: “I’ll let them leave...I promise...they can go, they can go!”

The Angel: “I don’t need your promise for that. I will see to it that they go free.”

Man: “Then what do you want? I’ll do anything!”

The Angel: “It is too late for that. It is too late for you.”

And still holding his head gently, she breaks his neck, leaving him slumped, dead, in a pile in the corner.

The Angel: “It is time to release you all from your bonds and guide you onto more righteous paths.”

The Angel (to herself): “I say this, but what of my bonds, father? When will I be released?”

Early morning, Arishima’s house. Heizo is sitting at the breakfast table in the kitchen, two settings are out, but he’s all alone. He looks up at the clock.

Next, we see him knocking on Eriko’s door.

Heizo: “Eriko-chan?...Are you going to school today? It’s the exit ceremony.”

A pause, nothing. He knocks again.

Heizo: “Eriko-chan, can I come in?”

Another pause, he cautiously opens the door.

Heizo: “Sorry for intruding.”

Heizo goes in and there is Eriko’s bed, empty and a mess. Heizo sighs.

Heizo (to himself): “My dear, where are you this time?”

At school, same day, the day of the exit ceremony for the summer break. In classroom for homeroom. Hatsue is looking at Eriko’s empty desk.

Hatsue (to herself): “Where’s Eriko-chan? I'm dying to know what happened this weekend!”

Aiko and Yuka arrive. Yuka is especially radiant and cheerful. They sit down and are talking. Yuka has the hair pin in (from Eriko, last chapter).

Aiko: “...I didn’t see it on Sunday, but I’m sure they’ll show it later.”

Hatsue: “Good morning, how was the amusement park?”

Aiko: “You didn’t go?”

Hatsue: “No, I’m sorry, something came up. Didn’t you go?”

Hatsue (to herself): “I know you didn't, but why?"

Aiko: “No, I didn’t.”

Hatsue looks cagily at Yuka.

Hatsue: “So, it was just you and Eriko-chan? Did you two have fun?”

Yuka looks out the window with wistful blush, then she turns back to Hatsue and smiles and nods her head in affirmation, sort of a dreamy look.

Hatsue (to herself): “Looks like it went really well”

Hatsue: “Oh, I like that hair clip, is it new?”

Yuka touches it gently and nods 'yes.'

Summer exit ceremony in the gym.

Principal: “...remember you are representatives of this school even on vacation, please comport yourselves as proper young ladies and don’t neglect your studies.”

The ceremony is over. The students are filing out.

Hatsue: “I still want to go out with you guys. Maybe we should do something over break.”

Aiko: “Are you sure you’re up for that?”

Hatsue: “It's why I've been practicing.”

Yuka is nodding in happy support of her enthusiasm.

Aiko: “I won't be joining you. I have my volleyball camp.”

Yuka looks sad at this.

Aiko: “I’m sorry Yuka, this will be the first summer we won’t be able to go together.”

Hatsue: “Go?”

Aiko: “Yuka and I usually go to my family’s home on the coast.”

Yuka is walking beside them, downcast, not really interacting.

Aiko (to herself): “Don't make that face. Dammit. Fine, I’ll say it.”

Aiko: “I can’t go, but you could still go. No one else will be using it then.”

Yuka is ecstatic.

Hatsue: “Really! You’d do that for us?”

Aiko: “Yuka loves the beach, and that house. We’ve been going there for many summers now.”

Hatsue: “I don’t suppose it would by okay to invite Eriko-chan?”

Aiko: “Would you still go if I said ‘no’?”

Hatsue: “I...I don’t think I could leave her alone and go and have fun without her.”

Aiko: “And there wouldn’t be much point to Yuka going alone.”

Hatsue: “Does that mean it’s okay?”

Aiko: “At least I won’t have to see her over vacation.”

Aiko (to herself): “I can't watch over Yuka this way. Maybe I can convince Suzu-san to go.”

Hatsue and Yuka hug Aiko in thanks, Aiko squirms in discomfort at the show of affection.

Hatsue: “Thank you Okumura-san. I knew you weren’t all bad!”

Aiko (condescendingly): "A ringing endorsement."

Hatsue (to herself): “But now we have to find Eriko-chan.”

The phone rings. Heizo answers.

Heizo: “This is Arishima.”

Hatsue: “Hi Arishima-san, it’s Hatsue Fujimaki, Eriko-chan’s friend.”

Heizo: “Ah hello, what can I do for you?”

Hatsue: “Eriko-chan wasn’t in school today, is she sick?”

Heizo (to himself): “Should I tell her that Eriko is missing again? I would hate to worry her.”

Heizo: “Hmmm, well, to tell you the truth...”

Just then there are footsteps and a disheveled Eriko comes limping down the hall, stumbles, and collapses.

Heizo: “Eriko!”

He drops the phone to tend to her. We hear Hatsue through the phone on the floor.

Hatsue: “Hello? Hello? Are you there? Is everything okay?”

The door to the shop flies open, it’s Hatsue, she’s out of breath.

Hatsue: “Where’s Eriko-chan?!”

Heizo comes out into the entrance way between the shop front and the main house.

Heizo: “Come in, come in. She’s okay, she’s resting in her room now.”

It’s dark in Eriko’s room, the shades are drawn. She’s sleeping in her bed. Just a few streaks of light through the curtains slash across the room. There is a knock on the door and Hatsue peaks in.

Hatsue: “I’m sorry for intruding.”

She goes over to Eriko and sits on the side of the bed. She gently brushes hair off of Eriko’s head, she notices beads of sweat. She sees bruises, cuts all over her.

Hatsue (to herself): “What on earth are you doing? How does this keep happening? I wish you’d tell me.”

Eriko stirs and turns and see’s Hatsue next to her.

Eriko (weakly): “Ha....chan?”

Hatsue gives her a big draping hug.

Hatsue: “Eriko-chan, I was so worried about you, when you didn’t show up today, and then...”

Eriko blushes, she still looks weak. She speaks very quietly.

Eriko: “I’m...sorry...for worrying you.”

Hatsue: “What happened to you?”

Eriko: “I...I don’t know...”

Hatsue (to herself): “Is that really true? Why won’t you tell me?”

Hatsue: “That’s okay. You’re safe now.”

Eriko and Hatsue are sitting at the low table in the main room.

Eriko: “Where’s Tetsu-kun?”

Hatsue: “He’s out with Megumi-chan.”

Eriko (to herself): “She’s calling Shibata-san by her first name, that’s a good sign.”

Eriko: “Then how did you get here?”

Hatsue: “I took the train.”

Eriko: “Wait! Alone?”

Hatsue: “I had to get here fast, I was so worried.”

Eriko: “That’s....INCREDIBLE!”

Hatsue: “Well, it’s all thanks to really helped me to feel safe again.”

Eriko: “I...I didn’t do anything.”

Hatsue: “But you did, I could never have left home alone without all your support. I had to get here and I didn’t even think about it. I just did it!”

Eriko: “You’re amazing.”

Hatsue (to herself): “I think you’re the amazing one, no matter what’s going on, you keep moving getting back up."

Hatsue: “But anyway, how did your date with Kiyoura-chan go?”

Eriko blushes violently and stammers.

Eriko: “”

Hatsue: “That good huh?”

Eriko (demurely): “It...was nice.”

Hatsue (to herself): “Heee, she’s so cute, I can’t stand it!”

Hatsue: “Well, now that it’s summer, you know what that means.”

Eriko: “What?”

Hatsue: “Going to the beach, wearing cute swimsuits, don’t you want to see Kiyoura-chan in her swimsuit?”

Eriko pictures Yuka in something really cute, frolicking. She massively blushes at the thought.

Eriko: “Wh...wh...”

Hatsue: “Hahahahaha, it’s okay, it’s okay, calm down. But, seriously, Okumura-san invited us to stay at her beach house, will you come?”

Eriko: “I...I don’t think I should.”

Eriko (to herself): "I can't let them see."

She’s holding on to her arms, covering cuts and bruises.

Hatsue: “Please, it will just be you, me and Kiyoura-chan. Okumura-san has her volleyball camp. It’ll be a great chance to get away from all this.”

Eriko: “But...I...”

Hatsue: “Great, it’s decided. We’re leaving tomorrow morning!”

Heizo, in the background (kitchen) is listening in and smiles gently.

Eriko, Yuka, Hatsue and Suzu (who came along) walk up to the front gate of a mini-mansion beach house. It’s amazing, especially given that Hatsue and Eriko were expecting “just” a beach house.

Eriko (to herself): “Whoa, this is a beach house? Just how rich is Okumura?”

Hatsue: “Kiyoura-chan, you said that you and your sister come here every year?”

Suzu: “Yuka has. I haven’t been back in a few years, but we used to go every summer with Aiko and her mother. It really brings back memories.”

Hatsue: “I’m so glad you could come with us then. I felt a little guilty going without Okumura-san.”

Suzu: “Please, don’t worry about her. She wouldn’t have offered if she didn’t want you to come. I’m just glad I could get the time off.”

Suzu (to herself): “I can't believe Aiko was okay not being here."

Eriko (to herself): “Time off? She must work hard to support them both. They're both so amazing."

Suzu rings the bell at the gate.

Voice on intercom: “Hello?”

Suzu: “This is Suzu Kiyoura.”

Voice: “Kiyoura-sama, welcome, we’ve missed you.”

The gate opens automatically.

When they get to the front door, they are greeted by an old woman in formal clothing.

Suzu: “Kono-san! It’s been so long.”

Kono: “Kiyoura-sama, it’s a pleasure to have you here again. It looks like the little mistress has really grown up?”

Yuka blushes and does a little cute posture showing she likes the compliment.

Hatsue: “Hello, I’m Hatsue Fujimaki and this is Eriko Arishima.”

Eriko: “Pleased you.”

Kono: “What lovely young ladies, welcome, welcome, I’m Mitsuyo Kono, I watch over this home for the Okumuras. Please come in and I’ll show you to your rooms.”

Eriko (to herself): “Rooms? I’m relieved I’ll have my own room, in case something happens.”

Aiko on the phone.

Aiko: “Father?”

Jutaro: “Yes, what is it now?”

Aiko: “About mom...”

Jutaro: “I thought I told you not to bother me about her and just to take care of things!”

Aiko: “That’s just it. I have a training camp this week, so I won’t be in town.”

Jutaro: “And your point is?”

Aiko: “If mom needs something...”

Jutaro: “That's what the doctors are for. Are we finished, I have work to do?”

Aiko: “When are you coming into town next?”

Jutaro: “There’s no more need for me to come into town. I’ll be staying in my apartment here. You shouldn’t need anything. If you do, just put it on the account.”

Aiko: “Fine. Sorry to have bothered you.”

The phone clicks off without a “goodbye.” Aiko picks up her tumbler and takes a drink.

At the beach, staring out at the pristine water, the beautiful sand. Eriko is wearing Capri pants and a three-quarter sleeve t-shirt, pretty well covered up.

Hatsue: “It’s so beautiful! And we’ve got it all to ourselves.”

Suzu: “The perks of the ultra-rich.”

Eriko: “ rich?”

Suzu: “You’ve heard of the Okumura Group, right?”

Eriko: “No, actually.”

Suzu: “Have you been under a rock all your life?”

Hatsue (to herself): “A rock? I wonder? That would explain a lot!”

Eriko: “I don’”

Suzu: “I’m sorry Eriko-chan, I didn’t mean it that way. Okumura’s dad runs one of the largest technology, biomedical, and defense companies in Japan.”

Hatsue: “So this house...”

Suzu: “Not just the house.”

Hatsue: “The beach too?”

Suzu: “Yup, they own the whole area.”

Hatsue (to herself): “Thank goodness, I'll be okay.”

Hatsue: “Alright!”

Hatsue strips off her conservative coverings revealing a very skimpy bikini.

Suzu: “Wow! I never looked like that, even back in high-school”

Yuka looks Hatsue up and down, pouts a little bit, shrugs, and takes off her coverings, revealing a plain one-piece bathing suit. Eriko is checking her out through the corner of her eyes. Yuka looks up and makes eye contact. Eriko blushes and looks away. Yuka smiles triumphantly, suddenly proud of her body.

Eriko (to herself): “She’s just cute!”

Suzu is setting up towels and an umbrella.

Suzu: “Aren’t you going to take off your clothes and go in?”

Eriko: “No, that’s okay.”

Suzu: “But you’re young and so tall, you’ve got to show off that body, those legs!”

Eriko thinks about all the scars, bruises, and cuts.

Eriko: “It’s okay...I’m fine.”

Yuka comes up behind Eriko and starts to lift up the shirt Eriko’s wearing. Eriko is caught off guard. Eriko turns around violently shoving Yuka away before she realizes who it is.

Eriko: “Don’t hurt me! Get away from me!”

Suzu (to herself): “That was pretty forward move by Yuka, but what’s with that reaction from Eriko? What did she think was happening?”

Hatsue (to herself): “Oh, Eriko...what are you covering?”

Yuka is making an apologetic face, and moving towards Eriko to apologize. Eriko blushes and takes a step back from the slightly stunned group. Yuka puts her hands over her chest in apology.

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

Yuka nods her head 'no' as in: "don’t apologize, it was my fault."

Eriko: "I'm sorry, I have to..."

Eriko turns and walks away from the group. Yuka gets up as if to follow. Suzu grabs Yuka’s hand.

Suzu: “Just give her a minute, you didn’t do anything wrong.”

Hatsue: “Come on Kiyoura-chan, let’s go play in the water!”

Hatsue whispers to Yuka:

Hatsue: “Don’t worry, she’ll be fine in a minute, are you okay?”

Yuka nods and walks hand in hand with Hatsue towards the water, but she keeps looking back at Eriko walking away in the distance.

Suzu (to herself): “I wonder what that was all about?”

It’s getting near dusk now. Suzu is walking along the beach.

Suzu (to herself): “Eriko-chan never came back. Kono-san said she didn’t come back to the house either.”

She sees Eriko sitting on a rock outcropping just staring out into the ocean. Her long hair blowing. She’s slightly backlit by the sunset.

Suzu (to herself): “She’s sort of majestic. Almost like she doesn’t really belong here. I wonder what her story is?”

Suzu sits down next to Eriko. Eriko slowly turns to look at her, her eyes glazed over but slowly adjusting as if finally coming back to reality.

Eriko: “Oh...Kiyoura-san...”

Suzu: “We missed you out there today.”

Eriko is silent, not sure what to say.

Suzu: “I want to tell you something, about this place. Will you listen?”

Eriko pulls her legs up under her chin and wraps her arms around them.

Suzu (to herself): “I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.”

Suzu: “We started coming here with Aiko-chan the year after they met. Our mom had left us a little more than a year before...”

Eriko: “You’”

Suzu: “We don’t really talk about it, the truth is, even though I was quite a bit older than Yuka, I don’t really remember much. Just that one day, mom was gone. There was a note on the table saying we were on our own and asking me to take care of Yuka.”

Eriko: “I don’t...I don’t understand.”

Suzu: “You mean, how a mom could leave her children?”

Eriko: “mmm.” (affirmative)

Suzu: “I don’t really understand either. But that’s when Yuka met Aiko. Her sister was tutoring Yuka. But then, Aiko’s sister, Shiori, left the family to marry a man her father didn’t approve of, leaving Aiko the heir to the Okumura Group. That’s when Aiko and Yuka became such close friends and she started inviting us up here, at first with her mom, and then just the three of us.”

Eriko: “What was...Kiyoura-san like...back then?”

Suzu: “She really pulled into herself. She stopped talking the same day mom had left us.”

Eriko: “So...she really, once?”

Suzu: “I think she still can. The doctors couldn’t find anything physically wrong. They said it was psychological. That she was traumatized by dad’s death and then mom leaving us.”

Eriko (to herself): “First her dad, then her mom...”

Eriko: “Do you think...she might...”

Suzu: “Talk again someday? I don’t know, but I hope so. It’s been so long since I’ve heard her voice. She tries her best in her own way, but I’m sure she has so much more to say. She always keeps so much inside.”

Suzu (to herself): “You know a bit about that yourself, don’t you?”

Suzu: “After mom left, it was all I could do to keep Yuka going. She wasn’t talking, she didn’t have any friends, but then Aiko transferred into her school and she and her mom really took us in. That’s when we started coming here. She used to be such a vibrant little kid, but by then she was just a shell of herself. Aiko and I would be playing and she would just sit and watch, like she wasn't really there.”

[Ed. note: the above monologue should be illustrated with images from those times in the past.]

Suzu (to herself): “It sort of reminds me of someone else I know.”

Suzu glances over at Eriko. Eriko sensing this looks at her in shock.

Eriko: “What...?”

Suzu: “It’s okay if you don’t want to talk about it now, but I’m sure there are people who would listen, to whatever it is you have to say.”

Eriko looks back down.

Eriko “mmmm” (non-committal)

Suzu: “Well, enough about that...the girls are making dinner. I know Yuka is a terrible cook, but what about Hatsue-chan?”

Eriko thinking about how Hatsue helped her learn to cook to make the bentos (early chapters) and the fun they had.

                Eriko: "Yeah...she can."

Suzu: “Great! Come on, let’s get back.”

Suzu stands up and reaches out a hand to Eriko, Eriko looks up at her, Suzu just sticks it out again, and reluctantly Eriko takes the hand and is helped to her feet.

It’s dark in the living room of Aiko’s house. She’s passed out on the couch, empty bottles around, her glass spilled on the floor under her draped hand. A maid starts to clean up and makes some noise.

Aiko: “nmmmhhh....Go away!”

Maid: “I’m sorry, Okumura-sama. Of course.”

Aiko half sits up, rummages through some bottles to find one that has something in it and finishes it off.

Hatsue, Yuka, Eriko and Suzu are sitting around in their pajamas in the living room of the beach house. Suzu leans her head back and sighs a happy, contented sigh.

Suzu: “That dinner was delicious. What should we do now?”

Hatsue: “How about a movie?”

Yuka nods 'yes' enthusiastically.

Suzu: “I don’t know if they have much here?”

Hatsue: “That’s okay, I brought the perfect one for summer vacation.”

She runs off (everyone is a bit puzzled) and returns with the scariest horror movie ever.

Eriko: “But...I’re always so...”

Hatsue: “I used to watch these to try and tell myself that the real world wasn’t so scary, and I got hooked.”

Yuka grabs the movie and is making imitations of the monster/zombie faces on it (doing a little comedy routine). Suzu and Hatsue are laughing at her.

                Eriko (to herself): "With everything you've been through..."

The lights are out now other than the glow of the TV screen. Eriko, Yuka, and Suzu are sitting on the couch with Hatsue on the floor leaning against the couch front. Various scary things are happening in the movie. At one point, there is a big fright and everyone jumps. Suddenly Yuka and Eriko are against each other with Yuka’s arms around Eriko’s legs (Eriko was sitting with them pulled up under her chin already). They blush but Yuka doesn’t let go. She puts her head against Eriko's legs with her arms still wrapped around and keeps watching the movie.

Suzu (to herself): “Will you look at that?”

Hatsue (to herself): “Perfect, all they needed was the right push to set the mood!”

(to be continued...)

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