In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 48

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

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

Chapter 48




A hospital. Various hospital things going on. We then see that Heizo is in a room hooked up to an IV. A nurse comes in. She starts to tend to him. He rouses to awake.


Heizo: “Eriko-chan?”


Nurse: “Oh, I’m sorry to have woken you up Arishima-san.”


Heizo: “Cough...cough...No no, that’s okay."


Nurse: “Are you feeling any better?”


Heizo: “A little, thank you.”


The nurse motions over to where Eriko is sleeping in a chair.


Nurse: “She was right to call an ambulance.”


Heizo: “Did she stay all night?”


Nurse: “Yes, right there in that chair. She didn’t fall asleep until we assured her you’d be okay.”


Heizo: “She really is a good girl.”


Nurse: “Yes, you’re very lucky. She said she was your granddaughter?”


Heizo (to himself): “My granddaughter...I hope you really feel that way.”


Heizo: “Yes, she’s been living with me for a while now.”


Nurse: “Well, I can tell just how important you are to her, so let’s get you healthy again.”


Heizo: "Cough, cough...Yes, that would be good.”


Heizo: (to himself) “I’m so sorry Eriko-chan, so sorry that I won't be with you for a long time.”


Eriko rolls over in the chair, still asleep. She's moaning and mumbling in her sleep, she's looking pained.


                Eriko (asleep): "'t go..."


We see her dreams, black and white, grainy, blurry, distorted images flash. Poor faces, sick people, dead people, violence (both current and ancient), blood spatters, screams...


Back in the room, she’s still asleep, tears on her face. Heizo is watching her fitful rest.


Heizo (to himself): “What is it you dream of? What haunts you so? Who does this to you?”




A student comes to the door of the classroom. Other students are getting their lunches out.


Student: “Whose responsible today?”


Student in room: “Oh, Fujimaki-san, isn’t that you?”


Student: “The teacher has asked you to come get the supplies for the next class.”


Hatsue: “Oh, okay! Sorry Yuka-chan, start without me, okay?”


Yuka looks up and nods ‘yes.’ Hatsue hurries out of the room.


Aiko (to herself): “You've got more friends now."


Aiko is getting stuff out of her bag. She gets her lunch and a book and starts to leave the room. Yuka is alone, without Eriko (who is still in the hospital with Heizo) and Hatsue. Yuka watches Aiko depart, and gets up to follow her. Aiko at first seems not to notice as Yuka is following her out of the room. It’s almost played for slightly comedic effect of Yuka following behind Aiko with Aiko pretending to not notice. Aiko ultimately walks up a flight of stairs and sits on the top landing. And starts to unwrap her lunch. Yuka peers around the stair banister.


Aiko: “Are you just going to stand there?”


Yuka scrambles up the stairs and sits next to Aiko and takes out her lunch too. Aiko opens her book and reads while she eats. She makes no conversation with Yuka. Yuka looks around, back and forth, as if searching for someone.


Aiko: “Her name is Kiko Hasekura-san. She has student council today.”


Yuka nods 'yes' in a thoughtful way. Then they are back to awkward silence. Time passes, they eat their lunch in silence. Aiko checks her watch.


Aiko: “Class will start soon. I'm going back.”


She closes up her lunch and gets up leaving Yuka scrambling to pack up and catch up behind her.


They enter the class. Aiko sits down and Yuka passes by Aiko's desk and sits down as well.


Hatsue (to herself): “So, they had lunch together. I guess that’s good. But, it doesn’t seem like they’ve really made up yet.”




More of Eriko’s dreams of bad people, people dead, innocent scared people desperate for help, hurt people, young and old in dire conditions or injured or abused; just glimpses of faces and scenes.


She startles awake, gasping. She looks around and sees Heizo sleeping in the hospital bed. She relaxes her body a bit. Looks at the time, it’s late afternoon. She goes over to him and gently touches his frail hand. His eyes are closed, but he mumbles.


Heizo: “Kinuko...”


Eriko (to herself): “I wish she were here for you, instead of someone useless, who can’t do anything for you, even after all you’ve done for me.”


Heizo turns his head and opens his eyes.


Heizo: “Oh, Eriko-chan. You’re still here. Cough...cough.”


Eriko: “I’m sorry, did I wake you?”


Heizo: “No, no, but it’s late, you should go home and get some rest, you have school in the morning.”


Eriko: “It’s okay, I’ll stay with you.”


Heizo: “Please, I’m fine. You need to go to school. Cough...cough...Besides, the nurses here are lovely.”


Eriko looks down shyly but smiles wickedly when she says:


Eriko: “Lovelier than me?”


Heizo: “No one could be more lovely than my granddaughter.”


Eriko blushes fiercely at this, looks up with wide eyes, then looks away in embarrassment and stammers.


Eriko (to herself): “How did he...?”


Eriko: “Oh...well...if you’re sure...”




It’s nighttime now. Eriko gets off the train, wearily, tired. She’s walking through the dark streets towards her house.


Eriko (to herself): “I wonder if Kiyoura-san has made up with Okumura-san? Would I be awful if I said I didn’t want that to happen? What’s wrong with me, Okumura-san is her friend! But...she makes it so hard! What if she forces Kiyoura-san to choose between us? being friends enough, for me?”


By this point she’s come up to her home. There on the front stoop are some plastic grocery bags.


Eriko (to herself): “What are these?”


She squats down and opens them up. They’re filled with medicines, and citrus fruits.


Eriko (to herself): “For Arishima-san? Who brought these?


Inside there is a note card with “Get Well” printed on the front (from the store, not in handwriting). Inside the card is a drawing of Heizo, Yuka and Eriko with Yuka’s name signed below in a heart.


Eriko (to herself): “She came here...for him? I...I really am awful..."


She gets up and enters the house.




The next morning. Aiko walks into the classroom with Yuka solemnly following after her. However, as she enters she looks up and sees Eriko in her desk, head down on her arms like normal. Yuka's eyes open widely and she’s about to rush to Eriko, but sees Aiko in front of her (Aiko looks out the corner of her eyes, not clear if Yuka sees this), and Yuka restrains herself and lets Aiko continue to walk to her desk and sit down and continues to walk behind her.


As Yuka passes Eriko’s desk, Yuka lets her fingers casually brush against Eriko’s dangling fingers, noticing that Eriko actually has an eye peeking from under her hair looking at Yuka as she passes. Yuka blushes as their fingers touch, Eriko is blushing too but it's hard to see under all her unkempt hair falling over her face. Heart thumping sound effects.


                Sound effects: "Ba-dump, ba-dump."


Yuka puts her bag on the side of her desk and sits down at it. Aiko is reading a book already. Yuka dips her head and closes her eyes with a little relieved smile on her face. Hatsue enters the room.


Hatsue: “Eriko-chan! You’re back! How’s Arishima-san?”


Eriko: “He’s...”


Hatsue: “Are you okay, your face is all red! You're not getting sick are you?”


Eriko: “’m...”


The teacher enters the room.


Student: “Stand, bow...”




They’re in science lab now. Eriko and Yuka are partnered up. Aiko is working with Hatsue. Aiko is somewhat watching Yuka out of the corner of her eye. Eriko is watching Yuka’s hands as she’s doing part of the science experiment. She starts thinking about their hands brushing this morning and she blushes. Yuka looks up at her with a question about the experiment, shocking Eriko back into the moment.


Eriko: “ got your note...and the medicine...thank you...I mean...for thinking of him.”


Yuka nods vigorously and happily 'yes.'


Right then, in another group, something starts to bubble over and foam spurts up everywhere, causing a disturbance as everyone in the class turns around and a bunch are laughing as the students are frantically trying to clean up and stop the mess. Aiko turns away in disgust at the whole thing and keeps working.


Aiko: “Don’t slack off, you might not care about your grades, but I do.”


Hatsue replies sarcastically, even giving a mock salute.


Hatsue: “Yes ma’am!”




Eriko and Hatsue are at the shoe lockers at the end of the day. Hatsue sees Yuka coming up and sneakily says loudly to Eriko, so Yuka can hear:


Hatsue: “I can’t believe he’s in the hospital.”


Yuka is curious and scared, but not advancing closer.


Eriko: “They said it’s pneumonia.”


Hatsue: “Are you going there now?”


Eriko: “I shouldn’t have come to school at all today, but he insisted.”


Hatsue is still talking overly loud so Yuka can hear.


Hatsue: “And you actually listened! My how you've changed. Tell him to get better, okay?.”


Hatsue (to herself): “What’s keeping Yuka-chan?”


Eriko: “Okay, um, I will.”


Eriko (to herself): “Ha-chan’s acting a bit weird.”


Aiko comes up behind Yuka who was listening. Aiko notices that Yuka is looking at Eriko and Hatsue talking.


Aiko: “If you need a ride home, I’m leaving now.”


Eriko and Hatsue both hear this, only Hatsue turns to catch a glimpse of Yuka and Aiko. Yuka closes her eyes, gives an inaudible sigh, opens her eyes, looks over and up at Aiko and nods quietly ‘yes’ knowing that she can’t leave Aiko now for Eriko, even though she wants to go with her to the hospital.


Eriko (to Hatsue): “See you.”


Hatsue: “Oh, okay, bye.”


Yuka watches as Eriko leaves, with Hatsue also watching Eriko go. After a moment, Yuka walks off with Aiko, they pass Hatsue on the way out.


Hatsue (to herself): “Ah, I see...she's really trying hard.”




Scenes of Eriko on the train going to the hospital. Yuka is in the car with Aiko where they sit in awkward silence. We also see it from the driver's perspective in the rear-view mirror, the two sitting but apart in silence.


Eriko arrives at the hospital entrance. She puts on sunglasses and pulls up a hood from a hoodie and walks sneakily, looking down and away, past the reception desk (with the same nurse who recognized her when she visited with Hatsue while looking for clues to her past). This moment is definitely played for comedy.


Yuka gets out of Aiko’s car at her apartment, waves softly as the car drives off with just a single hand in the air. Yuka looks up at the apartment, considers, then runs the other way going back down the street in the opposite direction Aiko is driving. Aiko can see her running away from the apartment from the rearview mirror of the car. She closes her eyes.




In Heizo’s hospital room.


Heizo: “They think I’ll be ready to go home on Monday.”


Eriko: “I’m glad.”


Heizo: “You really don’t need to spend so much time here. You must miss your friends.”


Eriko: “I want to be here.”


He squeezes her hand and gives her a warm smile. She delicately smiles back and blushes slightly. Right then the door to the room opens.


Heizo: “Oh, a new visitor!”


Eriko turns around and is shocked to see Yuka standing there.


Eriko: “Wh...wh..what are you doing here?”


Eriko (to herself): “I thought Okumura-san took you home.”


Yuka goes over to Heizo and looks him up and down, all the IVs, etc... She’s got a super worried look on her face.


Heizo: “Thank you for coming to check on me, but don’t worry, I’m going to be fine.”


Yuka exhales a sigh and relaxes her body.


Heizo: “Will you two be so kind as to find me something to drink?”


Eriko: “Oh, o...of course.”


Eriko gets up to leave. Yuka looks at Heizo and he mouths the word “go” to her and shoos her away to follow Eriko. She takes off after Eriko with a little smile back at him.


Heizo: “To be young have any time again...”




Yuka catches up to Eriko in the hallway. Eriko is somewhat surprised to see her but Yuka looks up and smiles kindly. They walk together to where they find a vending machine. Eriko takes a few coins out of her wallet, buys some tea, and hands it to Yuka without really making eye contact.


Eriko: “Here. If you want it.”


Yuka accepts it. Eriko gets another for herself and sits down in a set of waiting chairs near the vending machines in the hallway. Yuka sits next to her. It’s a little awkward. They both take sips of their drinks. Eriko looks off to the side (away from Yuka) she’s staring into the distance.


Eriko (softly): “I was so worried.”


Yuka looks up in shock, like ‘she’s actually starting a conversation?’


Eriko: “I found him, covered in blood...I...I was...”


Yuka places a hand on Eriko’s hand to comfort her. Eriko blushes.


Eriko: “I’m sorry...he’s fine, he’ll be fine now.”


Yuka nods sympathetically, encouragingly. Eriko looks back at Yuka’s hand on hers then up at Yuka who is staring intently into Eriko’s eyes. She looks away and jerks her hand free.


Eriko: “I...I should bring him his drink.”


She gets up and goes back to the room with Yuka at first running to catch up and then walking next to her. Yuka slowly drifts closer to Eriko’s side until they’re almost touching. There's a skip in her step.




Next day. Students are eating lunch in the classroom because it’s still raining outside. Hatsue, Yuka and Eriko are eating. Aiko is not with them.


Hatsue: “Ughhh, this rain sucks.”


Eriko: “mmmm.”


Hatsue: “Are you going to the hospital today?”


Eriko: “Uh huh.”


Hatsue (looking over at Yuka): “You’re amazing, but it must get tiring sitting there alone every day.”


Eriko looks at Yuka and then away, blushing slightly.


Eriko: “’s not so bad.”


Hatsue: “He’s lucky to have you.”


Eriko: “No...I’m the one who’s lucky...for all he’s done for me.”


Hatsue: “Are you going to be there this weekend too?”


Eriko: “mmm hmmm.”


Hatsue: “Oh Okay.”


Eriko: “What?”


Hatsue: “Well, I was thinking of maybe...with Ishihara...if you had been free...”


Eriko: “What do you mean?”


Hatsue: “We were thinking about maybe going to a movie, or something. But, I’m still a little scared to be alone with him.”


Eriko: “Like a date?”


Hatsue: “Well, we’ve been talking on the phone almost every night.”


Yuka listening in on this whole thing with baited breath and keen interest.


Eriko: “So I guess you’ve made up with him?”


Hatsue: “There was nothing to forgive, remember? You were the one who overreacted!”


Eriko replies in a mock huff:


Eriko: “I don’t know what you mean.”


Eriko and Hatsue share a laugh.


Coming from off to the side:


Satomi Kinoshita: “Forgave who?”


Hatsue: “Oh, Satomi-chan, um, no one.”


Kaori: “It didn’t sound like no one to me?”


Chitose: “Does Ha-chan have a boyfriend?”


Hatsue: “’s not my...”


Satomi: “He? So there is a boy?”


Hatsue: “I mean...”


Eriko slams her hands on her desk and pushes herself up to standing, glaring at the girls who are scared now.


Eriko: “Did you need something?!”


Satomi: “No, nothing, good luck Ha-chan.”


Kaori: “We’re happy for you, really!”


Chitose: “Yeah, we’re rooting for you.”


They scurry off. Eriko sits down with her eyes closed and a grumpy face. Yuka is trying to suppress some laughter.


Hatsue: "Sigh. Thank you Eriko-chan, I don’t think they meant any harm.”


Eriko: “Maybe, but I...”


Hatsue: “You’re such a good protector, but I’m okay. Maybe I’ll try and see Ishihara-kun without you this weekend, just to prove it.”


Eriko: “Are you sure?!”


Hatsue: “I don’t know, but I have to try, and I don’t know, I sort of feel, safe, with him.”

Hatsue is blushing badly as she says this. Yuka is looking up at her awestruck at her love.


Eriko: “gross.”


Hatsue and Eriko start laughing at each other. Right then Aiko enters through the door with Kiko behind her.


Kiko: “Tomorrow, right?”


Aiko: “Fine.”


Kiko: “Okay, I’ll email you the details.”


Aiko just waves her off while not looking at her as she keeps walking into the room and sits down at her desk. Yuka looks at Aiko with longing eyes. Eriko notices this and exchanges a glance with Hatsue. Hatsue just shrugs.


Eriko (to herself): "How long will Okumura-san freeze her out? I shouldn't care...but...I do because...because...ughhhh...just what am I trying to do?"




The next morning, Saturday. Eriko is in bed, just waking up. It’s barely past dawn, the sun is still low. There are bugs chirping, the streets are empty and silent. She’s somewhat disheveled from sleeping. There’s a distant knock, not on her door, but farther away. She groans, rolls over, and pulls the covers over her head. The knocking repeats. She tucks in tighter. The knocking repeats again. She groans and gets up with an angry look on her face. Stumbles through the house with just her t-shirt and shorts from the night on, her hair a mess, and goes to the door. She opens the door.


Eriko: “What?”


But standing there is Yuka. Yuka gives a huge smile. Eriko immediately blushes.


Eriko: “Wh...what are you...doing here?”


Yuka gestures out to the street like ‘going out?’


Eriko: “What...with the hospital?”


Yuka nods ‘yes’ vigorously. Eriko looks away in embarrassment.


Eriko: “Um...come in...I need to get ready.”




In the bathroom, Eriko is getting ready.


Eriko (to herself): “She...she came see me. No, no, it must be just because she’s worried about Arishima-san. feels like we’ve been getting closer lately...hasn’t it? But what about Okumura-san? Isn't she worried about being seen with me? But, she’s still here...with me.”


Eriko blushes at the thought.


Yuka is sitting patiently in the main room. She's casually looking around. She can see Heizo’s chair, a little cluttered workbench, the doorway into the main shop, the little black and white TV, the alter with his wife’s picture... She’s been here before, but she’s just sort of studying it. She closes her eyes in calm meditation, breathes in deeply, and puts her hands over her heart (and the necklace underneath her shirt).


Eriko comes into the room and sees her sitting there like that. Heart beat sound effects.


                Sound effects: "Ba-dump, ba-dump."


Eriko (to herself): “She’s so cute...but...but that’s not the right word, she looks so peaceful, what is this feeling...what do I want from her? Does she want the same?”


Yuka’s eyes open and meet Eriko’s. They both blush, but no big smiles, this is a deeper connection for a moment as they gaze into each other’s eyes. Eventually, Yuka notices that Eriko is wearing the hair pin they exchanged a while back. Yuka gently reaches out to touch it. Just then, a pot shifts in the sink making a loud clanging noise, snapping Eriko out of the reverie and Yuka pulls back her hand.


Eriko: “ should go.”




They are walking down the street now. It is still empty out, early morning. Eriko is walking slightly out in front, fairly fast, Yuka has to occasionally skip to catch up. As she falls behind, Yuka is watching Eriko’s hair in the breeze. It’s gotten longer again from when she first trimmed it after arriving and being found by Heizo. Eriko says without turning back to Yuka:


Eriko: “It’s um...finally stopped raining...”


Then a shocked face on Eriko. She stops dead in her tracks, she turns and looks down to see that Yuka has taken her hand. Heart beating sounds.


                Sound effects: "Ba-dump, Ba-dump."


Eriko (to herself): “What...what is she doing? We're in public. People will see...but, we’re’s normal for friends to hold hands, right? It doesn’t mean anything. Calm down, just calm down.”


Eriko: “I...I’m sorry...was I walking too fast?”


Yuka shakes her head ‘no.’


Eriko: “Are you okay?”


Yuka nods ‘yes.’


Eriko: “”


Yuka starts walking but keeps Eriko’s hand in hers. They are walking side by side now, holding hands, but Eriko is looking off to the other side in embarrassment.


Eriko (to herself): “What is she thinking?”




In Heizo's hospital room.


Doctor: “...we won’t know for sure until we get more tests back.”


Heizo: “I see, thank you for your help, Doctor.”


Doctor: “I’ll need to see you again after the results come back to discuss options.”


We hear the door open to the room and Eriko speaking to Yuka as they enter.


Eriko: “...I feel’re spending your day off here.”


Yuka shakes her head ‘no.’


Heizo: “Oh, Eriko-chan and the little miss!”


Doctor: “I’ll leave you to your family.”


Heizo: “Thank you Ishida-sensei.”


Eriko and Yuka watch as the doctor exits the room.


Eriko: “Is everything okay?”


Heizo: “Of course, especially now that both of you are here!”


Eriko sees the breakfast tray, nearly untouched.


Eriko: “Have you been eating enough?”


Heizo: “An old man like me doesn’t need much, especially when I haven’t moved in days.”


We see scenes passing of Eriko fluffing his pillow, talking, reading books, Heizo sleeping, Eriko and Yuka playing cards, nurses checking on Heizo. Eriko pouring him a drink, Yuka peeling an orange, etc...All to show time passing with Yuka and Eriko caring for him in the hospital that day.




A karaoke parlor, outside shot, noon-time now. Then inside to the room where Kiko and her friends are singing. Aiko is sitting, watching, but not really involved. She’s just sipping a drink while the others are riotously singing. Kiko tries to give the microphone to her, Aiko refuses politely with a hand wave and head shake, Kiko shrugs and the girls keep singing. At one point, a sweaty, exhausted Kiko flops down next to Aiko.


Kiko: “Sorry about the movie falling through."


Aiko: "It's fine."


Kiko: "I’m sort of surprised you came out with us.”


Aiko: “It would be impolite to turn down a social offer.”


Kiko: “Uh-huh. Anyway, didn’t Kiyoura-san want to come?”


Aiko: “I don’t know, I didn’t ask her.”


One of the other girls comes over just as this is said and grabs Kiko’s hand and drags her up to sing.


Girl: “Come on! Let’s do a duet on this one!”


Kiko looks back apologetically at Aiko, who shoos her on with a dismissive hand flick. Aiko’s phone vibrates. She sees that it’s Hatsue calling. She closes it without answering it. It vibrates again with a voice message. Aiko slips out of the room and heads to the bathroom. In the bathroom she checks her voice mail.


Voice mail: “Okumura-san, I heard from Eriko-chan that Arishima-san isn’t doing well. I think you were close to him, maybe, so this might be your last chance. I just thought you should know.”


Aiko’s face is sad and horrified, long and drawn, and serious. She puts the phone down on the counter, and braces herself with both arms on the counter. Her head down, her eyes closed, she's unsteady, overwhelmed with emotions.

(to be continued...)

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