In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 55

 "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 55

"Where are you?"



Homeroom in the morning. Yuka is sitting at her desk doodling. Hatsue goes up to talk to her.


Hatsue: “Thank you so much for supporting me this weekend.


Yuka shakes her head 'yes.'


Hatsue: “I hope you had fun too.”


Yuka nods 'yes' again. Eriko comes in and sits down at her desk, she puts her head down like normal on her arms, but turns to the side to where Yuka and Hatsue are talking. She says, quite quietly:


Eriko: “Sorry.”


Hatsue: “What?”


Eriko: “Nothing, nevermind."


She puts her head face down on her arms, her hair all over like normal.


Hatsue (to herself): “What was that for?"


The teacher comes in.


Student: “Stand, bow”


The girls notice that Aiko isn’t here.


Hatsue (to herself): “Where’s Okumura-san?”


Student conducting attendance:


Student: “Niijima-san?”


Niijima: “here.”


Student: “Okumura-san?”


Teacher: “Okumura-san’s staff called to say she wouldn’t be in today.”


Random girl to another random girl: "Her staff called? Typical."


Student: “Shimazu-san?”


Hatsue and Yuka look at each other in concern over Aiko's absence. Eriko is peeking at them. Hatsue makes a worried face at Yuka. Yuka shrugs and shakes her head to the side indicating she doesn’t know either and is worried.


Eriko (to herself): “It hurts me to see you make that face. You'd still be friends with Okumura-san if it wasn't for me.”


Teacher: “Will the class reps please come to the front to discuss the school festival?”


Satomi Kinoshita (Hatsue’s ex-friend who was doing the bullying in the beginning) and Kaori (one of the other ex-friends) come up.


Satomi: “As you know, our school’s festival is one of the neighborhood’s highlights each year. It is an important opportunity to show the quality of our school to prospective students and support our standing in the community.


Kaori: “With that in mind, we are taking suggestions for our class's festival activity.”


Chitose (the third of the ex-friends): “What about a taiyaki stand?”               


Kaori: “Really Chitose-chan? Are you in elementary school?”


Some of the class laughs at her. Eriko snickers under her breath with her head still down. Yuka turns at this and Eriko peaks and makes eye contact. Eriko blushes and puts her head back down.


Random girl: “What about a haunted house?”


Satomi: “That’s a good idea, however, Maeda-sensei’s class in the third year always puts one on.”


Random girl 2: “What about a maid-café?”


Random girl 3: “Yeah, that would be so fun!”


Satomi: “I appreciate your enthusiasm, however, we have a reputation to maintain and I’m not certain that a maid-café is how we want to show off our student body.”


Random girl 2: “You mean our students’ bodies!”


The class erupts in laughter.


Kaori (whining to Satomi): “Sa-chan!?”


Satomi: “Moving on, are there any other suggestions?”


Random girl 3: “What about a butler-café then?”


Kaori: “What’s wrong with you, we don’t even have any boys in this school?”


Random girl 3: “I meant some of us could cross-dress as butlers.”


Various classmates comments:


“That does sound kind of fun”    

“I want to see XXXX in a tuxedo!”


Satomi: “A classy formal restaurant with finely-dressed butlers as waiters? Hmmmm. That has some merit; would any of you be willing to actually dress that way?”


Various girls comments:

“Oh, not me”

“I mean, it’s a good idea, but I don’t want to do it.”

"Yeah, I don't want my boyfriend to see me like that."


Random girl 2: “Well, Okumura-san and Arishima-san are both tall, I bet they’d be really handsome!”


Random girl 3: “KYAHHH They would be so hot!”


Eriko launching up out of her seat:


Eriko: “Wh...what!!!!”


Satomi: “Calm down Arishima-san.”


Various girls comments:

“Yeah, she would look great”

“Look how tall she is, it’s perfect”

“I bet she’d clean up well with a little work.”

"Maybe XXXX-san would do it too."

"I guess, if Okumura-san was..."


Eriko is looking exasperated. Hatsue notices Yuka looking expectantly/hopefully at Eriko, like she'd really like to see her dressed like that.


Hatsue: “Come on Eriko-chan, this could be fun!”


Eriko: “Ha-chan?!”


Hatsue motions with her head over towards Yuka. Eriko turns to see that Yuka is staring at her with wonder (imagining Eriko dressed up like that), Eriko makes a questioning face, Yuka lights up and nods 'yes' vigorously. Eriko sighs loudly and sits down in a huff, putting her head back down on her arms.


Eriko: “Fine, whatever.”


Hatsue: “Oh, but Okumura-san isn’t here...”


Satomi: “Oh well, she’ll just have to go along with this or let the whole class down. Is it decided then?”


The whole class gives a resounding “Yes!”




At Aiko’s home, in a side room is the coffin with Aiko’s mom. Aiko is delicately putting water on the mom’s lips, moistening them.


Aiko: “I’m so sorry you had to wait in that awful place until today. But you’re home now, mother.”


Aiko looks over to the shrine which is covered and the table in front with flowers, a particularly solemn arrangement in white.


Aiko: “Did you miss the flowers while you were in the hospital? I’m not half as skilled as you were, remember all those times...with Yuka...”



We get a flashback to middle-school age Aiko and Yuka. Aiko is carefully putting a flower into a vase.


Honami Okumura (Aiko’s mom): “Aiko, you have chosen beautiful flowers.”


Aiko: “You think so mother?”


Honami: “Yes, however, think about how many colors you have? What does that say?”


Aiko: “Say to whom?”


Honami: “To all who pass by, to yourself?”


Aiko: “What if I remove this one?”


Honami: “Yes, that's fine, but now?”


Aiko: “It's not finished?”


Honami (gently): “Only if you wish bad luck upon this household. Here, take this one out too.”


Aiko: “Oh, a luckier number?”


Honami: “Yes, that’s right, you’re getting it.”


Aiko: “But I'm still not as good as your protégé over there.”


They turn to see Yuka absorbed in her arrangement, a sparse, twisting, delicate arrangement with one branch flung far to the side.


Honami: “Yes, look at how she has created a triangle, how graceful her heaven* is?”


[*Ed. note: the “shin” is the longest branch in Ikibana and represents heaven]


Aiko: “I can feel...”


Honami: “That’s right, you can feel her longing, can’t you? That is the power, she has put all of her emotions into this, they are radiant and sorrowful, but reaching heavenward.”


Aiko (to herself): “I hope you find some heaven on this earth, god knows you deserve it.”


At this point, Yuka realizes they are watching and turns to them and gives them a big smile.
[Flashback ends]


Back to the present, we return to the lips of Aiko’s deceased mother. Aiko is tracing them again with her finger.


Aiko: “How many more times after that was she able to see you? I want her to remember you that way. So at least one of us will.”


She turns and sits down with the coffin to her back (leaning against it), takes a bottle of liquor up to her mouth and takes a big chug. Puts it down and leans her head back against the coffin.




The TV is on, Yuka and Suzu are having dinner.


Suzu: “You’ve been so quiet lately, Yuka, turn off the TV and talk to me.”


Yuka looks up at her, nods, and gets up to turn it off. As she’s getting up the news is on the TV.


Reporter: “In other news, the wife of Okumura group head Jutaro Okumura-sama has passed away. Honami Okumura-sama’s services will begin tomorrow. In international news...”


Yuka turns sharply to Suzu with a horrified look on her face.


Suzu: “That isn’t Aiko-chan’s mother, is it?”


Yuka solemnly nods 'yes”.'


Suzu: “Oh, Aiko-chan. Did you have any idea, Yuka?”


Yuka shakes her head 'no' with tears forming in her eyes. Suzu comes over and takes her in her arms.


Suzu: “Come on, let’s go.”




Yuka and Suzu arrive at the gate of the Okumura residence. Suzu rings the bell. A housekeeper comes out to greet them at the gate.


Woman: “May I help you?”


Suzu: “Oh, I suppose I haven’t been here in a while. I’m Suzu Kiyoura and this is my sister Yuka.”


Woman: “Ah, yes, it is good to see you again Yuka-sama.”


Suzu (to herself): “Oh, then she does know who we are.”


Suzu: “We were hoping Aiko-chan was home, we wanted to see if there was anything we could do for her.”


Woman: “I’m sorry, Okumura-sama is not taking any visitors at this time.”


Yuka looks up pitifully at Suzu.


Suzu: “You mean, she’s all alone in there?”


Woman: “Those were her orders. If there is nothing more, I shall let her know that you came to pay your respects.”


The woman turns and walks back to the main house. Suzu takes Yuka’s hand.


Suzu: “Come on, there isn’t anything we can do for her here. We’ll try again later, okay?”


Yuka nods 'yes' solemnly.




School Tuesday next morning. Girls are standing around in class whispering.


Girl: “Did you hear?”


Girl 2: “It’s so sad. I don’t know what I would do without my mom.”


Girl 3: “Yeah, but it’s Okumura-san, she probably doesn’t care, she’s so cold anyway.”


This is said just as Yuka is walking by to her desk, she briefly looks at the girl then keeps walking with a tear in her eye. Eriko, seeing this from her position at her desk starts to get tense.


Girl 2: “What was that?”


Girl 1: “Well, I guess they're close, aren’t they?”


Girl 2: “I don’t know anymore...”


At this, suddenly Eriko is standing behind them glowering over them, a dark look in her face.


Girl 1: “Oh! Arishima-san? You scared me!”


Eriko speaks very tersely and very simply:


Eriko: “You should be more careful with what you say.”


The girls huddle and scamper off to avoid Eriko. Saying the following as they run away:


Girl 3: “We’re so sorry.”


Girl 2 (quietly to another): “I thought she had changed?”


Girl 1: “I don’t know why she cares, they don’t get along anyway.”


Eriko goes and sits down hard in her desk, but is leaning back in her chair, not slumped forward like normal. Suddenly she opens her eyes to see Yuka standing over her. A sad look on Yuka’s face, but also a thankful face because Eriko stood up for her and Aiko. Eriko blushes:


Eriko: “I just couldn’t...and you...”


She gets flustered and sits up, knocking into Yuka's head as she does so, they both grab their heads.


Eriko: “ughnnnn. Sorry.”


Yuka waves it off with a smile.


Hatsue: “Yuka-chan, good morning.”


Yuka gives a little bow and wave.


Hatsue: “I...I hate to ask, but did you hear? About Okumura-san’s mother?”


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Hatsue: “Is she doing okay? Does she need anything?”


Yuka shakes her head and shrugs her shoulders in a 'I don’t know' way.


Eriko (to herself): “They still aren’t talking, even now?"




Scenes of the class doing prep work for the festival.


Girl: “We need some people to help us move supplies.”


A couple of girls: “We’ll go, we’ll go.”


They leave to get stuff. Hatsue, Yuka and Eriko are sitting around their desks sewing. Eriko keeps sticking herself with the needle.


Eriko: “Aghhh, Dammit!”


Yuka is trying to stop herself from laughing at Eriko.


Eriko: “Why do I...I don’t understand...why I have to do this?”


Hatsue: “Well, the class voted...Eriko-chan, you’re bleeding!”


Hatsue takes her hand, Eriko’s finger has a drop of blood on the tip. Suddenly Yuka puts a Band-Aid around it and kisses it. Hatsue and Eriko both blush at this. Yuka smiles politely and looks up expectantly at Eriko.


Eriko: “, feels better.”


Yuka gives a huge smile, squeezing her eyes shut as she does so, and goes back to her work.


Eriko (to herself): "Why did she do that? What does it mean?"


Yuka is really good at sewing. She periodically holds it up to look at what she’s working on.


Hatsue: “You made all that already? You’re going to make someone very happy someday.”


Eriko (to herself): “Someone...some man...of course...her husband...someday she’ll get married, won’t she?”


Eriko: “She...she can be more than just a housewife!”


Yuka looks a bit shocked by Eriko’s explosion. Eriko clamps a hand over her own mouth in embarrassment that she’s said this.


Hatsue: “Hahahaha, that’s not exactly what I meant, we know she’s not going to waste that brain of hers as a housewife to some dumb man!”


Eriko (to herself): “It’s not like...not like we could ever..."


Yuka goes back to peacefully sewing, a little contented smile on her face. She remembers back to her childhood with Aiko and Aiko’s mom Honami.



Age 10-ish Yuka and Aiko. Honami is fixing a yukata that has a hole in it.


Aiko: “Mom, just get one of the servants to do that, I’ve got another that Yuka can wear today.”


Yuka is standing in her undergarments while Honami quietly sews up the hole in the yukata.


Honami: “Aiko, dear, we are not incapable of doing these things ourselves. That is not why we have help in this house.


Aiko: “Why do we bother then? They’re creepy anyway.”


Honami: “We have a vey large house, and it takes a great deal of work to keep it up. I asked your father for assistance with that since he was the one who insisted on this mansion.”


Aiko: “Well, when we grow up, it’ll just be Yuka and me and we'll live in a 6 tatami together, so we won’t need servants."


Honami: “Then you had better practice your sewing. Here.”


Honami hands Yuka's borrowed yukata over to Aiko who looks dumbfounded. She works at fixing the hole for a while.


Next, we see that they are dressed and leaving.


Honami: “Have fun tonight.”


Aiko: “Okay, we will, do you want us to bring you back anything?”


Honami: “Just come back safely.”


She waves at them as they leave in their yukatas. We get a close up of Yuka’s yukata with the seam from the repair, jagged, terribly sewn, but clearly done by Aiko. Her mom smiles gently and sighs.

                [Flashback ends]




At the shoe lockers at the end of day, the three girls getting their shoes on. They’re saying goodbyes to each other.


Hatsue: “Going over to Okumura-san’s now?”


Yuka shakes her head 'no.'


Hatsue: “Oh, I just figured...isn’t the wake tomorrow?”


Yuka shrugs that she’s uncertain.


Hatsue: “Didn’t she invite you and Suzu-san?”


Yuka shakes her head 'no' again all the while she’s not making eye contact as they are walking.


Eriko (to herself): “She didn’t even get invited? Won’t they both regret that...some day...after they’ve made up?”


Hatsue replies in flustered embarrassment at the awkwardness.


Hatsue: “Ah, well, given how important her dad is, there’s probably a lot of people coming, I guess there isn’t”


Hatsue trails off, realizing she's not helping, and they keep walking in silence, the three of them looking slightly mopey. Hatsue leans in and quietly whispers to Eriko.


Hatsue: “Maybe she shouldn’t be alone right now?”


Eriko: “What?”


Hatsue elbows her towards Yuka.


Hatsue: “Do I have to do everything for you? Just ask her.”


Eriko: “Um...Ki...Kiyoura...san?”


Yuka looks up at her.


Eriko: “Maybe you’d...maybe you’d come something?”


Yuka’s eyes open, both happy and looking like she might cry, she’s so thankful not to be alone. She shakes her head 'yes.'


Hatsue (to herself): “Good job, but you gotta start taking initiative yourself. I can't always be around.”




Entering Eriko’s house. The two girls are taking off their shoes. Heizo peaks around the corner to say hi to Eriko not expecting Yuka to be there.


Eriko: “I’m home.”


Heizo: “Welcome home, Eriko-chan. Oh, the little miss is with you. How are you Kiyoura-chan?”


She goes up and takes his hand and smiles at him.


Heizo: “cough...cough...”


Yuka looks worriedly at Eriko.


Eriko: “Are you okay?”


Heizo: “Oh, don’t mind me, just a tickle in my throat is all. Where’s Fujimaki-san and Okumura-sama?”


Eriko: “Oh, Ha-chan said she had something to do...”


Eriko (to herself): “With that stupid boy!”


Eriko: “”


Heizo: “Oh my, how insensitive of me, how could I have forgotten? Kiyoura-chan, how is she doing?”


Yuka makes a bit of a scrunched brow face, and shrugs/shakes her head not knowing.




In Eriko’s room.


Eriko: “Um, you can sit...wherever...I’ll...I’ll get some tea.”


She leaves and goes into the kitchen and is preparing the tea.


Eriko (to herself): “She’s in my room...alone...I think this is the first time without Ha-chan’s beating so fast. I really do...I really do like her, as more than a friend, don’t I?”


In Eriko’s room. Yuka is sitting quietly on the floor, but she starts to look around. The room is pretty bare other than the few things on the desk and the bed. The bed is a complete mess, not made. She gets up and goes over to it and grabs the blanket and puts it to her face, softly against her cheek. Just then Eriko walks in and Yuka drops the blanket in shock and turns around smiling.


Eriko: “ brought...the tea.”


Eriko (to herself): "What was she doing?"


They’re sitting on the floor drinking the tea, there aren’t even any pillows on the ground or a table or anything. Eriko is watching as Yuka puts her lips to the cup.


Eriko (to herself): “I really her.”




Aiko’s room. She’s on the phone. We only hear her side of the conversation.


Aiko (to the person on the phone): “Yes, the arrangements are all set.”


Aiko (said dryly but sarcastically): “Will he be deigning us with his presence tomorrow at the services?”


Aiko: “Fine. Goodbye.”


She hangs up the phone, lays down on her bed, arm over her head.


Aiko (to herself): “God damn him. You have your secretary call! Why is he even bothering to come?"


As she rolls over onto her side, she sees the frame picture of Yuka on her desk, the glass still broken from when she threw it.


Aiko (to herself): “She didn’t come today. I thought she would, even though I..."


Aiko starts to cry, silently. Finally, pulling herself up to sitting on the edge of her bed, she wipes her eyes, pulls out her phone and texts:


Text: To: Hidaka, From: Aiko Okumura

Subject: tonight

Message: Are you free?

(to be continued...)

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