In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 49

 "In the Morning, I'll Say Hello" is a yuri comic I wrote. 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 49




Hatsue is reading a book/manga on her bed. Her phone vibrates. The time is around noon. She looks and it’s (Toshi) Ishihara messaging her. She beams and opens the phone to check and text back.


Ishihara (text message): “Are you doing anything today?”


Hatsue (text message): “No, what about you?”


Hatsue (to herself): “What if he asks me to do something? Eriko-chan isn’t free today.”


Ishihara (text message): “I got tickets to a movie from a radio contest, do you want to go?”


Hatsue (to herself): “A movie, in the dark, with him? I don’t know if I’m ready to do that alone yet. I wish Eriko-chan was around.”


Ishihara (text message): “It’s that one you were talking about.”


Hatsue (to herself): “He’s so sweet. What should I do? Eriko-chan is at the hospital, but maybe Yuka-chan would want to hang out. Even though I would sort of be using her...I wonder if she'd mind?"


Ishihara (text message): "Are you still there?"


Hatsue (to herself): Sorry Ishihara-kun, this will just take a minute. I do want to see you but I need some help.”


She calls Suzu:


Suzu: “Hello?”


Hatsue: “Hi Kiyoura-san, is Yuka-chan there?”


Suzu: “Actually, I think she went to see Arishima-san in the hospital.”


Hatsue (to herself): “She did, huh?”


Hatsue: “Oh, okay, thank you.”


Suzu: “Should I tell her you called?”


Hatsue: “No, it’s nothing important, bye bye.”


Hatsue (to herself): “So everyone is at the hospital visiting Arishima-san. What about you Okumura? I've got a wicked little idea to help fix things. I hope it works!”


She looks up Aiko’s number in the phone and dials.


Voice mail: “The number you have called is not answering, you may leave a message after the tone.”




This scene is expanded from the end of the last chapter. We're in the karaoke parlor with Aiko, Kiko and Kiko's friends. Kiko and her friends are singing. Aiko is sitting, watching, but not really involved. She’s sipping a drink. She refuses when Kiko tries to give the microphone to her. Kiko shrugs and the girls keep singing. At one point, a sweaty, exhausted Kiko flops 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.


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.


Kiko: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you make a face like that. Is everything okay?”


Aiko turns around quickly, having not heard Kiko enter the bathroom.


Aiko: “Hasekura-san. Yes, everything is fine.”


Kiko: “You haven’t been yourself lately, since we lost, and now I find you looking like that.”


Aiko: “I don’t get your meaning.”


Kiko: “I know the pressure you put on yourself, but you did everything you could, we accomplished more than anyone thought we would. Isn’t that enough?”


Aiko (somewhat sarcastically): “Yes, you’re right. I will reflect on our accomplishments.”


Kiko: “So that’s it? You’re all better now?”


Aiko: “Thank you for your concern.”


Kiko: “Who was that on the phone just now?”


Aiko: “It doesn’t involve you."


Kiko: “I’m just trying to be your friend here.”


Aiko: “I never asked for a friend.”


Kiko: “Friendship isn’t something taken, it’s something given.”


Aiko: “Yes, well, maybe there’s not always enough to give.”


Kiko: “Do you really think that? Do you think that being friends with one person means you can’t be friends with someone else?”


Aiko: “What are you getting at?”


Kiko: “I don’t know what you see in Kiyoura-san, but I know she’s your friend, and I can tell things aren’t right between you. With your lousy personality, you need all the friends you can get, so don’t leave it like this, okay?”


Kiko gives her a big smile at this last part. Aiko is shocked at her frankness.


Kiko: “So whatever that call was about, just go and take care of it. I’ll see you back in school.”


Kiko exits the bathroom waving as she walks away.




The door to Heizo’s hospital room bursts open. Aiko rushes through. Heizo is sitting up in bed looking well rested.


Heizo: “Oh, Okumura-sama! What a nice surprise.”


Aiko is stupefied.


Aiko: “A...Arishima-san?”


Heizo: “What’s the matter dear, it looks like you’ve seen a ghost?”


Aiko: “You’re okay?”


Heizo: “I’m finally feeling better, they say I’ll be released on Monday.”


Aiko (to herself): “That brat, Fujimaki! Why would she play with my feelings like that?!”


Composing herself:


Aiko: “That’s wonderful news.”


Heizo: “Come sit, stay, we haven’t talked in ages.”


Aiko: “You don't mind?”


Heizo: "It would make this old man very happy."


Aiko: "I don't suppose I can say 'no' to that."




Eriko and Yuka are walking down the hospital halls. Eriko is looking back and forth nervously as they walk. She's avoiding making eye contact with people they pass. Yuka is noticing this curiously. Yuka tugs on Eriko's shirt. When Eriko looks down, Yuka is giving her a questioning look:


Eriko: "Oh, well, I'm not the person here."


Yuka tilts her head not understanding.


Eriko: "It’s...sort of a long story.”


Yuka is waiting patiently.


Eriko (to herself): "Can I really tell her?"


Eriko: “Well...the first time I was here...after Arishima-san found me. It, uh, I might have, um, well, it didn’t go so well..."


Yuka still has a puzzled look.


Eriko: “You, umm, remember, what I was like...back then?”


Yuka looks up at her and smiles big. Eriko blushes and looks away.


Eriko (to herself): “It’s strange to hear myself say those things. Am I really that different now? Or am I just deluding myself?”


Yuka’s stomach grumbles loudly.


                Eriko (to herself): "So cute!"


Eriko: "Are...are you hungry?”


Yuka nods 'yes' vigorously.


They're in the cafeteria eating lunch. Yuka takes the fish cake out of her udon bowl and plops it into Eriko’s.


Eriko (to herself): "Just like the last time. It's like we have a...thing...together."


Eriko: "I...I'm glad you...I mean, thank you for coming.”


She is blushing and looking away. Yuka just beams back a big smile


Eriko. "I'll make it up to you...that you gave up another day off."


Eriko (to herself): "I can’t believe I just said that. It sounds like I'm asking her out on a date. But, I guess, maybe I am?"


Yuka nods 'yes' vigorously. Right then Eriko spots the doctor she antagonized on her initial visit (when Arishima found her in the alley and she rampaged through the hospital until they called him) and ducks her head behind a menu to keep him from spotting her.


                Eriko (to herself): "It's him, I can't get kicked out today."


Yuka looks puzzled. As the doctor walks by, he looks, then he starts to ask himself quietly, but out loud:


Doctor: "It couldn’t be..."


Eriko looks up at him with slightly glaring eyes and a death stare to shut him up. The doctor breaks eye contact and looks forward suddenly, and keeps walking past. The colleague he's with asks:


Colleague: "What were you saying?"

Doctor: "Oh, it was nothing. My mistake."


Eriko looks away from him and he sighs a huge sigh of relief and keeps on walking past. Yuka is just looking confused by the exchange. Eriko goes back to eating, ignoring it like it never happened. Yuka shrugs and starts eating again too.


Heizo's hospital room. It's only Heizo and Aiko there. She's sitting in a chair next to his bed. They’re silent together for a while. The TV news is on in the background.


Announcer: "In business news, the Okumura Group formally announced the acquisition of..."


Suddenly, Heizo speaks.


Heizo: "It must be hard on you"

Aiko: "What do you mean?"

Heizo: "Your father is very powerful and important and you have been raised in a proper family."


Aiko responds quietly, almost to the side.

Aiko: "Proper...hmm."

Heizo: "Are you the eldest?"

Aiko: "No. I...I have a sister. Shiori."

Heizo: "Will she take over the company some day?”


Aiko: “My father wanted her to marry a man in the business.”


Heizo: “Why a man when he has perfectly brilliant daughters?"


Aiko: "You know the answer as well as I do."


Heizo: "True, but still lamentable. Anyway, so you're free to chose your own path?"

Aiko: "His plans for Shiori didn't work out."

Heizo: "Does that mean you will marry his hopeful heir?”

Aiko: "That's certainly what he expects."

Heizo: "And what do you want?"

Aiko: "What I want and what he expects...I don't know that I have the luxury of worrying about either."

Heizo: "Sometimes what we want is scarier than what others want for us. It can be easy to follow someone else's path out of fear."


Aiko (to herself): "Was Shiori brave?"


Heizo: "But you are young yet, you have time to decide which path to take, to make mistakes and learn about yourself."

Aiko: "And if I don't like what I learn?"

Heizo: "I'd find that hard to believe."


He takes her warmly and she blushes a bit.


Aiko: "Can I tell you something?"

Heizo: "Of course, especially if it's a secret!"

Aiko (to herself): "How do you put me so at ease?"

Aiko uncharacteristically stumbles over her words, is quiet and losing her thought.

Aiko: ""

Heizo: "What is it dear?"

Aiko: "No one knows this moth..."


Eriko and Yuka enter the room. Yuka is shocked to see Aiko there and runs to Aiko's side. Eriko is not happy to see her.


Eriko: "You’re here?"

Aiko: "Fujimaki-san called and made the situation seem urgent."


Eriko (to herself): "She came? Out of concern?"

Eriko: "Well...Everything's fine."

Aiko: "Yes, I see that now.  It seems Fujimaki-san was simply meddling."


Yuka reaches out towards Aiko but Aiko stands up ignoring this gesture.


Aiko: "I'm glad you're feeling better Arishima-san. If you'll excuse me, I have somewhere I need to be."

Heizo: "Please stay, you're friends just got here."

Aiko: "That's okay. I would hate to interrupt your time together. Thank you for listening.”


She gives him a slight bow. Turning to the others:


Aiko: “Good day."


She leaves the room. Eriko is still standing by the door and Aiko brushes past and they exchange slightly dark looks at each other. Yuka is making a scrunchy eyebrow face not understanding what's happening, and upset that Aiko is being so cold to her. Eriko sighs and addresses Yuka.


Eriko: “Sigh...I know, it’s okay, go after her.”


Yuka’s energy rises at this encouragement and she runs out of the room. She catches up with Aiko in the hall.


Aiko: "What are you doing? I know you'd rather be there with them...with her.”


Yuka is looking at her not letting go of her shirt.


Aiko: "I don’t know any more. Tell me what I’m supposed to do?"


Yuka starts to place her hand on Aiko's chest.


Aiko: "I'm not sure there's room for us both in there."


Yuka looks up at her pleadingly and is shaking her head 'no'.


Aiko: "I...we...need some time...some space. Make sure she's really worth it."


Aiko then turns around and leaves. Yuka is standing there perplexed. Eriko leaves the room and enters the hallway, meeting up with Yuka. Yuka has tears in her eyes.


Eriko (to herself): “Crying...she’s crying!”


Eriko (angrily): "What did she do? What did she say?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no.' Eriko is frustrated with anger.


Eriko: "How can this!”


Eriko starts to leave to go after Aiko but Yuka grabs her hand. Eriko turn around to face her and Yuka just falls into her. Yuka is now holding Eriko tight while she cries. Eriko is surprised, her arms out to the sides still.


Eriko (to herself): “What do I do, what do I say?”


Eriko gingerly places her arms around Yuka and strokes her hair allowing Yuka to just let it all out.


Eriko: “ will be okay...”




Hatsue’s room:


Hatsue: “I wonder if Okumura-san went to the hospital? I hope you forgive me Eriko-chan, but it’s no good if Yuka-chan has to choose between you and Okumura-san.”


Hatsue looks at the clock, it’s around 2pm, then she looks down at the messages from Ishihara on her phone. The last one was two hours earlier and reads:


Message: “So, what do you think? Movie?”


Hatsue (to herself): “Sorry, Ishihara-kun, I forgot about making least I’d like to think that I just forgot. I guess...I guess I let myself get distracted, because I just don’t think I’m ready to be alone with you yet. I hope you’re not disappointed. I don’t know what I should say to you, I don’t want to let you down, but I’m still scared.”


Suddenly there is the sound of a door opening and closing downstairs and Tetsu is calling up the stairs:


Tetsu: “Ha-chan, you have a visitor.”


Hatsue: “A visitor? I wonder if Eriko-chan is back from the hospital already?”


We switch viewpoints to the bottom of the stairs. Standing there is Tetsu and Ishihara.


Tetsu: “So, you’re a friend of Ha-chan's?”


Ishihara: “I...I think so.”


Tetsu: “You were the one from the festival?”


Ishihara: “Yes sir, I don’t know what she said, but...”


Tetsu: “But what, she didn’t actually say anything other than she had a good time. Is there something I should know?”


Ishihara: “Um, well, you see...”


Hatsue calls from halfway down the stairs.


Hatsue: “Ishihara-kun! What are you doing here?”


Ishihara: “Well, I didn’t hear back from you and I got worried, so I came to check.”


Tetsu (to himself): "Worried, maybe he's okay, but I can't let him off easy."


Tetsu: “How valiant of you, but I think you were about to tell me about what you did to my little sister at the festival.”


Hatsue: “Onii-chan! he didn’t do anything. Ishihara-kun, don’t let my brother get to you, he’s just being over-protective.”


Tetsu (to himself): “Over-protective, huh, I never thought I’d hear you say that.”


Tetsu: “Well, why don’t you invite him in so we can get to know each other better?”


Hatsue: “Would...would you like to come in?”


Ishihara: “Uh, sure, thank you. Sorry for intruding.”


Hatsue leans in to Ishihara to whisper.


Hatsue: “I’m so sorry about this.”


Ishihara is still looking down, taking off his shoes.


Ishihara: “Don’t worry about it, I’m glad you’re okay. But it does seem like I get the cold shoulder each time I come here.”


Hatsue: “Oh, haha, you mean Eriko-chan, don’t worry, I think she likes you.”


Ishihara looks up.


Ishihara: “Is that how she shows it?”


Just then their faces are too close together as Hatsue hadn’t finished standing up from leaning in to whisper when he looks up from his shoes. They blush at the proximity and back up from each other in a hurry. Tetsu calls from the next room.


Tetsu: “Is he coming in?”


Hatsue: “Oh, um, yeah, we’ll be right there.”


They smile at each other knowingly and warmly.

(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