In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 56

 "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 56




Wednesday at the school. Festival prep going on all around the school. Everyone is busy making things, sewing things, trying on costumes, practicing cooking, making signs, etc...


In the girls’ classroom. Yuka is not really paying attention to what she’s doing. She’s staring out the window. It’s raining. Eriko is watching her (Hatsue is not yet in the room).


Eriko (to herself): “I can't stand to see Kiyoura-san like this. How could that stupid bitch Okumura-san not invite her to her mom's wake? Is she really throwing their friendship away?"


Right then, some girls come up to Yuka.


Girl: “Um, excuse us, Kiyoura-san?”


Yuka looks at them, but is sort of distant, her eyes not really registering them even though she’s looking, like she’s still far away, lost in thought.


Girl: “We...we heard that the wake is today? Is that true?”


Yuka just becoming aware of them, nods 'yes.'


Girl 2: “It's so hard to talk to Okumura-san. Maybe you could pass a message to her for us?”


Yuka looks a little confused at them.


Girl 1: “Well, you see, our fathers' businesses...”


Suddenly Eriko is standing over them glowering.


Eriko: “You disgust me."


Girl 2: “No, wait, it’s just that...”


Eriko: “Can’t you see that...that she’s...”


Girl 1: “Our families just wanted to pay their respects, that’s all.”


Eriko: “So they're trying to benefit from her pain?"


Girl 2: “No, it’s not like that, really!”


Eriko is about to say something when Yuka puts a hand on her arm to bring her down.


Girl 1: “Sorry Kiyoura-san, we didn’t mean anything by it.”


Girl 2: “Really, truly, we didn’t.”


Yuka nods her head 'yes' and gives a little conciliatory smile.


                Eriko: "Whatever."


Eriko shakes off Yuka’s arm and storms away out of the room, passing Hatsue in the door as she’s going out.


Hatsue: “Hey Eriko-chan, where are you go...”


Eriko storms past her. Hatsue turns to see Yuka looking after her with the two girls by her.


Girl 1: “I thought she was going to hit me.”


Girl 2: “Thank you for saving us Kiyoura-san. Sorry to have caused you trouble.”


With this they leave and Hatsue has made her way over to Yuka.


Hatsue (to herself): “Eriko-chan seems really off lately. Since that night before the date.”


Hatsue: “Are you okay Yuka-chan?”


Yuka is holding her hands over the necklace. Yuka looks up at Hatsue with an adorable smile and blushing all over and nods 'yes.'


Hatsue (to herself): “How does she manage to make Yuka-chan look so happy while making herself so miserable?”




Aiko is greeting people as they enter into her mother's wake. Other guests are handing their condolence envelopes over to other non-family greeters. Other greeters are directing people to sign in at the registry. Jutaro Okumura (Aiko's dad) is nowhere to be seen yet. Aiko is going through the motions.


Guest: “I offer you my condolences*”


[* ed. note - these are transliterations of traditional Japanese statements of condolence at wakes/funerals]                      


Aiko: “Thank you, I know it means the world to my father that you have taken time to come out today.”


As the guests are walking away and new ones arriving in line, one says to another, trying to be discrete, but Aiko still over-hearing it:


Guest: “Did you know that she was ill?”


Guest: “I wasn’t even sure he was really married.”


Aiko (to herself): “Stupid gossipy whores, you know nothing about my mother. You're all just leaches, sucking the blood of my family for your own gain.”


Aiko is looking away as the next guest, a woman, approaches. It’s actually her sister, Shiori, but Aiko hasn’t noticed yet.  


Shiori: “I’m deeply sorry about your loss.*”


Aiko starts to speak before looking at her and making eye contact.


Aiko: “Thank you, the registry is over there, please make yourself...”


Aiko turns and makes eye contact with Shiori, now in her late 20s with a man next to her and a small child between them. The child is tugging on his father's jacket sleeve and whispering.


Child (Kazu): “Is that my aunt?”


Aiko: “Sh...Shiori?”


Shiori: “How are you Aiko?”


Aiko: “You’re here?”


Shiori: “Yeah. Oh, this is my husband, you might remember him, Keishi Handa. I’m Mrs. Handa now. Oh, and this is your nephew, Kazu.”


Aiko (to herself): “Their child? I’m...I’m really an aunt?”


Aiko: “Thank you all for coming, however, if you’ll excuse me I need to attend to some additional guests.”


Aiko (to herself): “I can’t do this right now.”


Shiori: “Ai...”


Aiko: “I’m sure we’ll have some time to speak later.”


Aiko turns and starts to greet another guest.


Guest 3: “My deepest condolences to your family.*”


Aiko: “It is wonderful to see you both again, your support of our family has always been of great comfort.”


Keishi Handa (Shiori’s husband): “Shiori, where’s your father?”


Shiori: “I don’t know”


Shiori (to herself): “But if he’s leaving her alone to do this, I can only imagine what these last 10 years have been like for her.”


Looking down at her toddler, Kazu, who looks up at her.


Shiori: “Come on Kazu-kun, let’s take our seats.”


The couple and their son walk away from the greeting line, and Aiko watches sadly after them as they walk away. As she is looking, a young man in his 20s (it’s Tayama) comes up in the line.


Tayama: “Okumura-san, I’m deeply sorry about your loss.”


Aiko turns towards him.


Aiko: “I’m sorry, I don’t know where my father is, so you needn’t waste your time here.”


Tayama: “I’m hurt. I didn’t come to see him at all.”


Aiko blushes a bit at the unexpected flirtation. Then puts her stone face back on.


Aiko: “Thank you for your condolences. I’m certain my mother is resting in peace given the support of our business partners.”


Tayama: “Can I see you later?”


Aiko (coldly and formally): “I must apologize, I have many responsibilities for the following days to prepare for.”


Tayama: “I understand. Maybe later?”


Aiko: “You'll have to check with his secretary. If you'll excuse me."


Tayama (to himself): "I wasn't talking about your dad."


Shiori was watching this from their seats.


Shiori (to herself): “Interesting, I thought I saw something there...briefly.”


Aiko is continuing to welcome guests.




Most of the guests are seated now. A limo pulls up out front and Jutaro steps out. Making his way briskly into the wake while his assistants follow discussing various things with him as they walk.


Assistant 1: “We’ve moved your 2pm appointment to 4pm.”


Jutaro Okumura: “Will that give me enough time to complete my...responsibilities?”


Assistant 2: “Yes, we’ve informed the parties, who all express their deepest sympathies.”


Jutaro: “I don’t need their sympathies, I need their business, and this makes me look weak!”


He enters the inner door where Aiko has been doing the greetings.


Aiko: “Father! You're here. Shi...”


Jutaro: “Let’s get this over with, three days lost, disgusting.”


Aiko is left stunned as he blows past her.




Everyone is sitting in their various seats with Aiko and Jutaro up front. Shiori and family are mixed in with the crowd, going incognito at this time. The priest begins the sutra chants. At this, Jutaro goes up and offers incense three times at the urn in front of the coffin. As Aiko is about to rise to follow her father up, Keishi Handa whispers to Shiori:


Keishi (Shiori’s husband): “Shiori, you should go up.”


He physically prompts her to stand up. Some people around turn to look at her. Aiko sees her and stares. Shiori walks over to Aiko, takes her hand.


Shiori: “Let’s go together, for mom.”


Aiko (to herself): “You left mom, but now you’re here, why?”


Aiko acts proper and does not say anything, but instead turns, drops Shiori’s hand and walks up with her to offer the incense. As they are walking, their dad is returning to his seat. He stares at both of them, then looks ahead, completely dismissing the two of them. He walks straight out of the wake at this point.


Guest: “Okumura-sama must be so heartbroken at losing his wife.”


Guest: “It must be too painful to stay in here, the poor man probably needs some air.”


Aiko and Shiori are side by side next to each other, offering the incense. Rumblings from a few in the audience.


Guest: “Is that their oldest daughter?”


Guest: “I heard she had been kicked out of the family?”


The priest goes on with the sutra while the rest of the guests make their way up to offer the incense.




The wake is now over and people are filing out. Shiori rushes over to Aiko dragging another man by the arm over to her.


Shiori: “Aiko, this is Mariguchi-kun, can you believe it?!”


Aiko: “Thank you for coming today, however, in my grief, my memory fails me and I cannot place your name.”


Shiori (to herself): “God Aiko, what have they done to you?”


Shiori: “This is the guy dad wanted me to marry all those years ago. Can you believe running into him here?”


A woman comes up next to Mariguchi, his wife.


Mariguchi’s wife: “Is everything okay dear?”


Mariguchi: “Yes, just reminiscing I suppose. I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself when we arrived.  I didn't want to trouble you, but then, I never expected your sister to be here today.”


Shiori: “Turns out he was already in love with her and didn’t want to marry me either. Now we’re both with the people we love, he has children too!”


Aiko: “It worked out for both of you then, didn’t it? I’m so very happy for you all.”


Aiko gives a slight bow, turns coldly, and departs.


Shiori: “Aiko wait! Aiko!”


Shiori is chasing after Aiko who is now outside the building walking under a wooden covering with vines and flowers (quite beautiful) that still has openings where light and rain come through. Shiori catches up and takes Aiko by the arm. Aiko dashes her arm down to release it from Shiori’s grasp.


Shiori: “Aiko, wait!”


Aiko is standing still, but is not turning around to face her sister.


Aiko: “You show up now?”


Aiko (to herself): “No that’s not what I want to say, not after all this time.”


Shiori: “I’m sorry, it got harder each year, to come back.”


Aiko: “Did you know how sick she was?”


Aiko (to herself): “She needed you...I needed you...”


Shiori: “Yes, one of the housekeepers would occasionally tell me...about you too.”


Aiko: “What about me?”


Shiori: “Aiko, please, look at me.”


Aiko turns around furious but also crying.


Aiko: “You don't know anything about me, nothing about what I’ve been through, nothing about what mom has been through, and now, you’re here, like you’re some sort of hero showing up to save the day?!”


Aiko (to herself): “Stop it Aiko! She’ll leave again, is that what you want?”


Shiori (said softly): “Aiko. I’m sorry.”


Aiko: “You abandoned us, you left the two of us alone with him.”


Shiori: “You’re right, I did, and you don’t have to forgive me for that.”


Aiko (to herself): “There’s nothing to forgive...I know you had to get out, but...but I couldn’t...”


Aiko: “We’re done here, I'm done.”


Right then Karu comes up behind his mother’s legs crying. This shocks Aiko slightly. Shiori bends down and takes Karu in an embrace.


Shiori: “There, there, did we frighten you?”


Aiko (to herself): “He...he reminds me of Yuka, when she used to cry like that.”


Karu is crying but nods his head.


Shiori: “Your aunt and I haven’t seen each other in a very long time, and that was my fault, and it made her sad. But I knew how strong she was, and I wasn’t very strong. I needed your dad and I needed you so that I could be happy.”


She is looking up at Aiko as she finishes saying this. Her husband walks up to Shiori and Karu and offers a kind smile to Aiko. There is this beautiful moment of the three of them, with Shiori crouched down hugging Karu with Keishi’s arms on each of their shoulders, what a family should look like.


Aiko (to herself): “They really look like a family.”


Aiko turns and starts to walk away, speaking without looking back at them.


Aiko: “I have more to do for tomorrow...if you’re coming.”


Shiori (to her family): “Alright you two, let’s see mommy’s old house and help aunt Aiko with her work!”


The three of them walk, following Aiko, towards the parking lot. Aiko has a peaceful look for the first time, her eyes are closed.




In the classroom, again the preparations for the festival are going on. Hatsue holds up a black men's suit jacket she’s been working on.


Hatsue (teasingly): “Oh Eriko-chaaaaan!”


Eriko: “Hmmm....what?”


Hatsue: “It’s time to see what you’re made of!”


Eriko's eyes go wide.


We see some more of the girls prepping, when suddenly there is a gasp and everyone stops what they are doing. We then see Eriko enter the room in her butler uniform, her hair pulled back into a pony tail. She is stunning, both feminine and masculine at the same time, like a prince. Eriko is looking to the side and blushing a bit.


Girl (whispering): “Can you believe that’s her?”


Girl 2: “I knew she'd look great! We’re going to win for sure!”


A couple of girls come up to her.


Girl 3: “C...c...can we get a picture with you!!!!”


Girl 4 “Squeeee!”


Girl 5: "AHHHHH!"


Hatsue: “HAHAHA, it was only a matter of time before you got your own fan club! I knew you had it in you!”


Eriko: “Shut up.”


Eriko gives Hatsue a death look (but jokingly, not unkindly) while the girls are getting their picture taken with her.


Hatsue: “Where’s Yuka-chan?”


Hatsue (to herself): "I want her to see this!"


As she says this Yuka walks in with some supplies. Eriko turns to see her, they are both stunned. Yuka drops everything she’s carrying due to being stunned at Eriko’s beauty.


Eriko: "Ki....Kiyoura...san?"


Both of them drop to their knees to pick up the stuff, which puts them face to face. They both blush fiercely, and we get heart pounding sound effects, but neither looks away, instead their eyes lock.


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


Eriko (to herself): “It's like she's looking deep into me."


Someone comes up gingerly to Eriko.


Girl: “Umm...Arishima...san?”


Eriko snapping out of it and standing up.


Eriko: “Oh, what?”


Girl: “I was just wondering, since Okumura-san isn’t here to try hers on, and even though you're a little taller, would you mind trying it on?”


Eriko: “Oh, ummm...fine...whatever.”


Girl: “Okay, thank you.”


Eriko takes the clothes and is about to leave, but Yuka is still on the ground, ostensibly picking up the dropped things, but she’s not doing anything and just looking down at the ground. Yuka stands up, leaving the things on the ground and walks away down the hall.


Eriko: “Kiyoura...san?”




At the crematorium. Shiori and Aiko are sitting on a bench outside. Handa and their son, Kazu, are playing together in the yard, looking at things, taking a walk, etc...


Aiko (to herself): “He really does remind me of Yuka. Watching them, is that what her father would have been like?”


Shiori: “How long did they say it would be?”


Aiko: “A few hours.”


Silence between them, not exactly awkward, just silent. Still watching the other two play and walk, hand-in-hand...


Shiori: “He’s nothing like dad.”


Aiko: “You’re happy?”


Shiori (said quietly, and serenely): “Yeah.”


Aiko: “I’m glad.”


Shiori: “Really?”


Aiko turns her head away from Shiori.


Shiori: “Why won’t you look at me?”


She grabs Aiko and turns her around so they are face to face, tears are streaming down Aiko’s face.


Shiori: “Oh, Aiko!”


Shiori hugs her, burying Aiko’s face in her chest. Aiko’s body is heaving with the sobs but she is silent. Shiori continues stroking Aiko's head. Handa is watching this from a distance, he smiles gently to himself.


Karu: “Is aunt Aiko okay?”


Handa: “I think she will be.”




Eriko in the school bathroom, still partly dressed in the butler costume. Looking at herself in the mirror. Angry.


Eriko (to herself): “Why did I agree to try Okumura-san's on? Yuka has to suffer because of you! Are you cutting her out because of me?! Is it really all my fault?"


Eriko punches the mirror, shattering it and cutting her hand. Hatsue has walked in just as this happened.


Hatsue: “Your hand!?”


Eriko: “It’s fine.”


Hatsue: “No, it's not. And you're not. What’s going on with you lately? You’re all over the place?”


Eriko: “It’s nothing...”


Hatsue: “Stop it, don’t do that with me. I’m your friend.”


Eriko looks shocked at Hatsue and her display of anger towards Eriko.


Eriko: “Sorry.”


Hatsue: “Don’t apologize, just tell me what you're thinking, let me help.”


Eriko: “It’s’s just...I can’t stand to see Kiyoura-san so sad. But I can’t do anything about it. And it's all my fault. I ruined everything.”


Hatsue (kindly): "Everything?"


Eriko: "What do you mean?"


Hatsue: “Why don't you believe you could be happy, that you could get what you want?"


Eriko: “I don’t understand.”


Hatsue: “Eriko-chan. I’m your friend, and it hurts me to have to say it this way to you, but I need to. You need to stop playing the victim and stop letting people cast you as the bad guy. Just stop believing that all you do is bring pain to others because it's just not true.”


Eriko: “ do you...”


Hatsue: “How do I know what you’ve been thinking? Because with the way you look at her and the way she looks at you, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn't be together but you won’t take that next step.”


Eriko: “But all I do is cause her problems.”


Hatsue: “Doesn't she get to decide for herself what she wants? Who are you to deny what you both want just because you're afraid?”


Eriko: “No, she should be afraid!”


Hatsue: “Of what, of getting hurt? Well, that’s just life, isn’t it? Get over yourself. You want to be with her. Give her the chance to decide if she wants to be with you too."


Eriko: "Give her the chance?"


Hatsue: "Yes, take the lead and go for what you want. Stop getting in your own way and calling it protecting her."


Eriko (to herself): "But without Okumura-san..."


Eriko: "She needs protecting, now more than ever."


Hatsue: "She's a lot stronger than you give her credit for. Trust her."


Eriko (to herself): "I...I know she's strong."


Eriko: “ what do I do?”


Hatsue: “I'm not going to tell you what to do. If you’re going to stop letting the world happen to you and learn to take control, then you need to figure it out for yourself."


Eriko: "Take control..."


Hatsue (smiling and kindly): "Now, let’s get you to the nurse.”


Eriko (with affection): “Ha-chan.”




At the cemetery. Shiori, Aiko, Handa and Karu are all there. They’re cleaning the grave, lighting incense, placing flowers, saying prayers. It’s getting towards twilight now.


Aiko: “He didn’t come.”


Shiori: “Maybe it’s better that way?”


Aiko takes Shiori’s hand.


Aiko: “Thank you for coming back.”


Shiori: “Maybe now that I’ve done it once, it won’t be so hard anymore. Would that be okay? I mean, to see you again?”


Aiko: “I’d like that.”


They’re walking out of the cemetery now, Aiko sees someone near a tree in the distance. She turns to Shiori.


Aiko: “I’ll meet you at the car in a few minutes. There’s something I need to take care of.”


Aiko confronts Eriko who is waiting by the tree in the distance.


Aiko: “What are you doing here?”


Eriko: “Why isn’t Kiyoura-san here with you?”


Aiko: “She made her choice.”


Eriko: “So you just cut her off?”


Aiko: “Is this all you came here for? Today of all days?”


Eriko: “You’re just going to throw it all away?”


Aiko: “I did my part. She can make her own choices now.”


Eriko (to herself): "Choices..."


Eriko: “Is that all she was to you? A project, something to do to feel better about your shallow, rich-girl life? Was it just pity?”


Aiko gets right up in Eriko’s face at this.


Aiko: “How dare you, at my mother's funeral!?”


Eriko: “I’m the one who had to watch her suffer all week because she wasn’t by your side.”


Aiko: “And whose fault is it she isn’t by my side?”


Eriko: “I'm not the one breaking her heart."


Aiko: "Yes, it seems you've won that heart."


Eriko: "So someone has to lose in order for someone else to win?”


Aiko: “Isn’t that how it’s always been? History is full of winners and losers.”


Eriko: “I feel sorry for you.”


Aiko: “Pity, from you? Don’t make me laugh. Are we done now?”


Eriko: “No, one more thing.”


Aiko: “Yes?”


            Eriko: “I’m not going to run anymore. But neither should you!”

(to be continued...)

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