In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 40

"In the Morning, I'll Say Hello" is a yuri comic I wrote. I can't draw, so I'm publishing the scripts here. Hope you enjoy!

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

Chapter 40

Volleyball practice.

                Aiko: "...what the hell was that? Get your head in the game!"

                Girl 1: "sorry Okumura-senpai. I'll do it better next time"

Aiko: "You’ll be lucky if there is a next time if you play like that. Back in formation ladies. We're going to run that drill again"

Later in the locker room

Kiko Hasekura: "Thank god it's lunch time. I'm starving. I don't think I've ever worked so hard!"

Girl 2: “Seriously, what was with Okumura-san today?"

Kiko: "She's normally tough, but she really was a bitch today!"

Girl4: "Shhh don't say it so loud. She probably has spies all around."

The girls start laughing

Kiko: “But seriously. Something’s wrong. She looked terrible this morning. Whatever she's got going on she shouldn't take it out on us just because she's the star captain of the team."

Girl 2: "Yeah, but who's going to stand up to her?"

Kiko (to herself): “Hmmm, I wonder...?”

Breakfast at the beach house.

Suzu: "Ready for another day at the beach?"

Yuka nods a big 'yes.'

Hatsue: "Yeah!"

Suzu (to herself): "Eriko-chan's wearing long sleeves again? Is that all she brought? Did she think we were going somewhere cold? Or is she hiding something? After yesterday..."

Suzu: "What do you think Eriko-chan?"

Eriko: "Um, I think I'll go explore the area."

Suzu (to herself): "Don’t spoil the mood from last night."

Suzu: "Yuka is a pretty good swimmer I'm sure she'll give you lessons if you don't know how to swim."

Eriko blushes.

Eriko "I...I can swim."

Eriko (to herself): "I think...can I?"

Suzu: "Did you forget a swimsuit? I've got an extra one if you need."

Eriko (to herself): "Why are you pushing this?"

Eriko: "I...I brought my school one."

Suzu: "Then come swimming with us. The water is so warm."

Hatsue (to herself): “It's got to be something she doesn't want us to see. The way she keeps covered up, especially with the way she looked the other day."

Hatsue: "It okay. Exploring the area sounds good. Why don't we all go?"

Yuka nods a big 'yes.'

Suzu: “Okay. It's decided then.”

Suzu (to herself): "What does Hatsue-chan know?"

Volleyball camp. A girl misses a spike into the net.

Aiko: "Get your act together! You do that in the tournament and there's no way we'll win."

Girl 5: "I'll get it next time.”

Aiko: "You better, otherwise there's a long line of first-years ready to take your place."

Girl 1: "Okumura-senpai, that's too harsh. She's trying really hard."

Aiko: "You think trying wins tournaments? You think trying gets you on the national team? Get over yourselves, play like this and there's no reason to even enter the tournament."

Girl 2 is consoling girl 5.

Girl 2: "It's okay. Don't worry about it. You’re an amazing player.”

Aiko interrupts this exchange.

Aiko: "Amazing? Don't give her false praise. You all need to work a lot harder. This is disgusting play."

Kiko: "That's enough Okumura. She's trying her best. We all are. You’re being unreasonable."

Aiko: "I'm being unreasonable?! Unreasonable would be me going soft on you. Unreasonable would be stopping short of pushing you to achieve greatness."

Girl 4: "Hey. We're just trying to have some fun. We gave up our summer vacation for this."

Girl 5: "Yeah, back off a little."

Aiko: "Is that how you all feel, that I'm too tough on you? That winning isn't why we're here?"

Kiko: "Of course we want to win."

Aiko: "Then prove it."

Aiko turns her back and walks away.

The four girls are walking along the beach. Yuka stops and is playing with a small crab in the sand. Eriko is standing aloof, just watching her. Hatsue and Suzu are slightly back.

Hatsue: “It’s amazing.”

Suzu: “What is?”

Hatsue: “Everything you're done for Kiyoura-chan.”

Suzu: “It’s what anyone would do if they had such a cute little sister.”

Hatsue: “I guess I know what you mean.”

Suzu: “Speaking of which, I haven’t seen your brother in a while.”

Hatsue: “So you knew he was really my brother, huh?”

Suzu: “It was pretty obvious actually.”

Hatsue: “I really did rely on him too much.”

Suzu: “And I’m sure he loved every minute of it.”

Hatsue: “Yeah, he really saved me. I don’t know what I would have done without him.”

Suzu: “I felt like that too, with Yuka, that I couldn’t change anything that happened, but maybe I could spare her any more grief.”

Hatsue: “She always seems so happy, though.”

Suzu: “I hope so. It’s hard to know how much she might be holding in.”

Hatsue: “You mean because she doesn’t talk?”

Suzu: “Well, that, and I worry she hides it from me just to spare me. I worry that she blames herself, thinking I had to make scarifies for her.”

Hatsue: “hmmmm...sacrifices?”

Suzu: “But it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice when you love someone. I don’t regret a minute of it. Just look at her.”

Hatsue: “Just look at them.”

Suzu: “So you’ve noticed too?”

Hatsue: “Ummm hmmm.”

Suzu: “There’s something you’re not telling me?”

Hatsue: “I have no idea what you’re talking about. Hey Eriko-chan!”

Hatsue runs off waving at Eriko.

Suzu (to herself): Just how real is this thing between those two?”

Suzu is looking at the three friends smiling at each other, laughing, playing, Hatsue freaking out when Yuka holds the crab up to her, etc...

Suzu (to herself): “All these friends...her life is getting bigger. Maybe I did something right after all.”

Volleyball camp

Kiko: “Well, it’s about 3. Doesn’t look like Okumura-san is going to show. We might as well call it a day.”

Girl 1: “Is that really okay?”

Girl 2: “She’s the one who left. Besides, I want to go out and have some fun while we’re here.”

Girl 4: “Yeah, me too.”

Kiko: “Fine by me. You’ve practiced enough. Take the afternoon and we’ll meet back up at the camp for dinner.”

The girls are walking further down the beach. There is a rock outcropping with a big cave in the distance.

Suzu: “This brings back memories.”

Hatsue: “You’ve been here before?”

Suzu: “Yeah, we used to just walk and walk at first. Yuka wouldn’t play much. But for some reason she always wanted to walk down this way. We’d end up just sitting here and staring out at the water for hours.”

Eriko is looking up at the cave. All of a sudden we get some wincing pain and flashes of static-like images, flashes and glimpses of things (someone struggling in the waves, someone screaming, feathers and blood), she’s gripping her head.

Eriko: “Ughhhmmmm”

Hatsue: “Are you okay?”

Eriko (to herself): “What was that all about?”

Eriko: “I’m fine...just’s nothing, It was just...”

Hatsue: “Just what?”

Eriko: “I...I thought...for a second...”

Hatsue: “Did you remember something?”

Eriko: “I...I don’t know.”

Hatsue: “Maybe that’s a good sign?”

Yuka is pulling on Eriko’s shirt now, and looking up with concern.

Eriko: “ was nothing...”

Suzu: “We’ve been out in the sun a lot, should we find some shade?”

It’s dark in a small town. Kiko is sneaking out of the camp (it’s like a youth hostel or some indoor site where they are staying for the practice camp). She’s looking around.

Kiko: “Okumura wasn’t in her dorm, and I don’t see her down here.”

She looks at her phone, there’s a message from a boy.

Message: “How about at 10? Can you get out?”

She’s glowing with happiness and clutching the phone tight to her.

Next we see her running down the street waving to a boy in town.

Kiko: “Hiroya-kun!”

Hiroya: “I’m so glad you were able to get out. I wasn’t sure after what you’ve told me about your senpai.”

Kiko: “Yeah, I figured she’d be stalking the doors so we couldn’t leave, but she wasn’t anywhere.”

Hiroya: “Weird, but I’m not complaining.”

Kiko is flirting with her body language.

Kiko: “Me neither.”

They’re walking together, past a bar, when the door opens, and as they look in, they see Aiko sitting at the bar.

Kiko: “Hey, that’s her!”

Hiroya: “Who?”

Kiko: “The team captain, she’s not old enough to be in there!”

Hiroya: “Hey, you! What are you doing in there, you’re in...”

Kiko clasps a hand over Hiroya’s mouth.

Kiko: “SHHHH, don’t make trouble!”

By this time, Aiko has put down money on the bar and has come out to greet them.

Aiko: “What are you doing out of the dorm? And with a boy?”

Kiko: “Well...It is summer break...and....wait, what are YOU doing drinking in a bar?"

Kiko becomes emboldened as she's saying that.

Aiko: “That’s none of your business. You need to get back right now.”

She grabs the Kiko’s hand, but the boy steps in.

Hiroya: “No she doesn’t. It seems to me like you’re the one who’s out of line here.”

Aiko gives him a look of pure death.

Aiko: “Get your hand off of me."

She turns to Kiko.

Aiko: “We’re both going back right now.”

Hiroya: “She doesn’t have to go anywhere, you’re the one in trouble and she’s got the dirt on you. You can’t say anything about us.”

Aiko: “How dare you!”

Kiko: “It’s okay, don’t worry, I’ll go back.”

Hiroya: “Wait, after what a jerk she's been? You’re just as good as she is at volleyball, now’s your chance.”

Aiko: “What do you mean?”

Hiroya: “Tomorrow, you’ll step down and let her become captain of the team, otherwise...”

Aiko: “Otherwise what?”

Kiko: “Hiroya-kun wait, you don’t know about her family, her last name is...”

Aiko: “That doesn’t matter. You want to be captain so badly, then tomorrow, prove it.”

Aiko releases Kiko’s arm and walks back into the bar, leaving the two of them behind, stunned.

Eriko is in bed in the beach house, tossing and turning. It goes all black (we’re in her dream).

Narration: “I can’t see anything, where am I? The ground, it’s so cold, like stone, and damp.”

We see a ripple in water. Then a slow murmuring sound of running water.

Narration: “Is that water, it’s rising, how do I get out of here?”

In the distance a light.

Narration: “There, a light, that’s got to be a way’s so hands, my feet, so sluggish...”

The light is slowly growing brighter, but then in the distance:

Voice: “...stop...”

Narration: “What was that? Is someone here! Hey, is someone here?”

More ripples in the water.

Narration: “Oh no, the water’s getting higher. Why can’t I move faster?”

The light is only slightly bigger in the distance.

Voice: “Stop, stop, don’t hurt...”

Narration: “Who is that? Are you in trouble do you need help? Answer me! ANSWER ME!”

                Voice: "No!"

Narration: “That’s it, come on body, move, move!”

We see the hands and knees crawling in the water, getting higher and higher, the person trying to move, the hand is on something.

Narration: “What am I touching?”

The hand lifts it up and turns it over, it’s a pile of bloody feather.

Narration: “Oh god, what is this? Where did it come from!"

The feathers go flying with a splat of blood.

Narration: "Come on, stand up, move, MOVE!”

We hear and see running feet in the darkness, the light is getting bigger. Just as the narrator is about to reach the full opening another voice from the distance.

Voice: “Stop hurting her!”

The light is full now and opening up into brightness. The narrator steps out into the light, and there is a brief glimpse of a beach at sunset with two figures backlit.

Narrator: “Yu...”

Eriko wakes up in bed gasping in pain.


Her eyes are wide open and she’s covered in sweat, clutching at her chest. She looks around with wild eyes at the room. She's breathing hard.

Eriko (to herself): “It was different, that dream was different...that beach...I’ve never seen it before in the dream...but it seemed so familiar...sort of like...”

She clasps her hand to her mouth.

We see Eriko in Capri pants and a hoodie, climbing the rocks into the cave on the beach just at dawn. She gets up to the mouth of the small cave and stands overlooking the beach.

Eriko (to herself): “It just like in the dream. Have I been here before? Or was it just because of yesterday?”

She peeks into the small cave opening, it’s pitch black inside.

Eriko (to herself): “I’ve been dreaming about being trapped in a cave for months. Will there be answers inside?”

She crawls into the opening, we see her swallowed up by darkness.

In the gym with the volleyball players. They’re milling around, a few are warming up.

Girl: “I guess she’s really not coming back.”

Girl 2: “Whatever, she was a great player, but a mean captain.”

Kiko: “Come on ladies, let’s get this thing started.”

Aiko: “Yes, it’s time to get started.”

The girls turn around in shock at Aiko’s entrance.

Kiko: “Nice of you to join us, Okumura.”

Girl 4 (whispering to girls near her): “Is she really talking back to Okumura-senpai?"

Aiko: “Are we going to do this, or was it all talk last night?”

Girl 5: “Something’s going on.”

Girl 2: “Wait, Hasekura-san saw her last night? She didn’t say anything.”

Kiko: “You were the one that walked out on your team. You’ve got no room to talk anymore.”

Aiko: “Then prove you don’t need me.”

Kiko: “Alright, you heard her ladies, divide up into two squads. Okumura will lead one and I’ll lead the other. The captain of the winning team will take over this club.”

Girl (to Aiko): “Wait, Okumura-senpai, are you really okay with that?”

Aiko: “You mean staying on as captain after this little farce?”

Kiko: “You really don’t think I can beat you, do you?”

Aiko: “If you’re so sure, why not go one-on-one?”

Kiko: “You’re on!”

The two start an intense one-on-one volleyball match. They’re pretty evenly powered, sometimes one gets a point, sometimes another, the girls are cheering both on. They’re amazed by their abilities. Toward the end, Kiko misses a point and is laying on the ground sweating and panting. A hand reaches out.

Aiko: “Nice match.”

Kiko bats the hand away.

Aiko: “Play with that fire and we’ll be unbeatable.”

They exchange intense but knowing looks. Kiko sits up.

Kiko: “Yes, captain!”

Aiko helps her up, the girls are cheering.

Aiko: “Alright, we’ve wasted enough time, get your asses in gear, come on, I want two squads, we’re going to mix it up this time, I want our bench players on both squads, show us how you’re going to lead this team next year...”

We see the opening of the cave from the inside. Yuka pops into view looking into the mouth of the cave. She cautiously crawls in. Then from her vantage point, we see Eriko lying in a lump on the ground, a pool of blood underneath her, and blood all over the back of her clothing which is torn and showing the scars bleeding on her back. Yuka crawls up to her, shakes her, brushes the hair off her face, bends down and puts her ear to Eriko’s nose/mouth to hear and feel the slight breath coming out. She scrambles out and runs.

Back on the beach behind the vacation home. Suzu and Hatsue are talking.

Hatsue: “I’m really starting to worry about her, it’s getting late.”

Suzu: “Has she ever gone missing before?”

Hatsue: “Well, yes, actually. I think it happens pretty often.”

Suzu: “What do you mean?”

Hatsue: “I don’t really know the details, she doesn't tell me much.”

Right then Yuka comes running up frantic.

Suzu: “What’s wrong, did you find her?”

Yuka points to the distance, and is pulling at Suzu.

Hatsue: “Hey, wait up!”

We hear murmurs and see blurry images

Voice: “...think she fell?”

Voice 2: “but those cuts?”

Voice: “At least she’s alive, she lost a lot of blood.”

Voice 2: “Let’s get those clothes off and...”

Right then Eriko pops into full consciousness and pushes away at the person holding her, clutching the clothes around her to keep them on. It’s Yuka she’s pushed away. They’re in the bathroom of the house.

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

Her eyes are wild and she’s not completely lucid.

Suzu: “Shhh, it’s alright. Eriko-chan, you’re safe here.”

Eriko is panting wildly and looking around.

Hatsue: “Eriko-chan, it’s’s me, Hatsue....and Kiyoura-chan.”

Suzu: “Do you remember what happened to you?”

Eriko’s wild eyes relax a bit, she imperceptibly shakes her head ‘no.’

Yuka makes some small movement towards her, on her hands and knees with an arm outstretched. Eriko responds loud then softly.

Eriko: “Don’t...don’t come near me.”

Suzu takes Yuka by the shoulders. Yuka reluctantly leaves with Suzu, looking back at Eriko as they exit the bathroom.

Suzu: “Let’s give her some time.”

Hatsue stays and goes over to Eriko. She holds up a wet cloth and starts to wipe Eriko’s face. Tears start to come down Eriko’s cheeks.

Hatsue: “Does it hurt? Your back, I mean?”

Eriko: “ back?”

Eriko sees that her shirt is shredded and her back exposed. The long bloody scars are visible.

Eriko: “Did...did you see? Did she see?”

Hatsue: “She found you. We all helped carry you back here.”

Eriko (almost to herself): “Why...why did it have to be today?”

Hatsue: “What do you mean, today? This isn’t the first time, is it?”

Eriko: “My back...these scars...they...”

Hatsue: “What happened to you back there?”

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

Hatsue is holding Eriko. Eriko continues crying in her arms.

Eriko: “ can I...?”

Hatsue: “What?”

Eriko: “How can I face her again?”

She starts crying even harder.

Hatsue: “Shhh, it'll be okay.”

Hatsue (to herself): "This is the second time I've held you crying."

(to be continued...)

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