In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 59

 "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 you to enjoy.

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

Chapter 59

"Pushing Away"



School in the afternoon, class wrapping up.


Teacher: "Everybody, have a safe weekend and remember your finals stat on Tuesday."


Students are leaving the room for the afternoon. Aiko is staring out the window. Hatsue is chatting with some of the girls who commented on Ishihara in the last chapter. Yuka gets out of her desk and goes over next to Aiko. Eriko notices this from her desk. Yuka hesitates, then taps Aiko on the shoulder. Aiko slowly turns to Yuka. Aiko looks distant, her eyes vacant as if her thoughts were off somewhere else.


Aiko: "I have cleaning duty today."


Yuka points to herself and makes a questioning face.


Aiko: "No, thank you. Enjoy your weekend."


Aiko turns back away. Yuka drops her head and walks away slowly to leave the room. Eriko, stares down Aiko as she gets up to go follow Yuka.


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


Yuka turns in sort of surprise at Eriko being so "forward" (at least by her standards). Eriko blushes, Yuka gives a small smile.


                Eriko: "I'll...I'll walk with you."


Yuka nods and turns back towards the door and walks out with Eriko following slightly behind her. Hatsue comes over to Aiko.


Hatsue: "Why are you treating her that way?"


Aiko, without turning from the window says:


Aiko: "I don't know what you mean."


Hatsue: "Don't do that."


Aiko: "It has nothing to do with you."


Hatsue: "But it does have something to do with Eriko-chan, right?"


Aiko: "I'm simply moving on."


Hatsue (to herself): "She makes it sound like she was in love with Yuka-chan."


Hatsue: "Yuka-chan can't have two friends?"


Aiko: "Don't be naive."


Hatsue (to herself): "Does she really mean...?"


Aiko starts to get up to leave.


Hatsue: "Wait, do you..."


Aiko cuts her off.


Aiko: "We're done here."


Aiko gets up and goes elsewhere in the room and starts to pack up papers on the front desk as part of her cleanup.


Hatsue (to herself): "I don't believe it. Could she be? For real?"




Aiko and another student are finishing cleaning up the room.


Student (Orino): "Whew, almost done."


Some other students appear in the door.


Student 2 (at the door): "Orino-chan, are you ready?"


Orino: "Not quite, will you wait for me?"


Aiko: "Why don't you go home, I'll take care of the rest."


Orino: "I couldn't do that to you."


Aiko: "Please, I insist. Thank you for your hard work."


Orino: "Okay, thank you Okumura-san!"


Students talking quietly to themselves as they leave the room.


Student 2: "Wow, that was nice of her."


Orino: "I know, sort of unexpected."


Aiko sighs. She sits down at her desk and stares out the window.


Next we see that it has become dusk and Aiko has fallen asleep at her desk. Kiko is walking down the hall with another student. As she passes Aiko's room, she notices Aiko asleep at her desk.


Kiko (to herself): "That's an unusual sight."


Kiko: "Oh, excuse me, I need to take care of something."


Student: "Okay, thank you for your hard work today."


Kiko: "Bye bye."


Kiko walks into the classroom and sits down in Yuka's desk and turns around to face Aiko who is still asleep.


Kiko (to herself): "She looks so vulnerable like this, it's strange to see her like that."


Kiko leans back against the wall. She takes a few strands of Aiko's long hair between her fingers, gently lifting it up and letting it fall. Aiko slowly stirs and looks up and sees her sitting there.


Aiko: "How long have you been here?"


Kiko: "Long enough to know you snore."


Aiko: "I do no such thing."


Kiko: "HAHAHAHA, but it would be awesome if you did!"


Aiko: "What are you doing here so late?"


Kiko: "We had a long student council meeting today, it just finished a little while ago."


Aiko: "I see."


Aiko gets up and starts to pack her bag.


Kiko: "Ummm, can I ask you something?"


Aiko: "Do as you please."


Kiko: "You haven't really seemed like yourself lately."


Aiko: "That's not a question."


Kiko: "I mean, I know something is going on with you and your friend and I get that you won't talk to me about that, but I'm worried there's something more."


Aiko: "I still don't hear a question."


Kiko: "The Aiko-chan I know was always on her game, focused, razor-sharp."


Aiko: "And you're saying I'm not anymore?"


Kiko: "I'm just saying that I worry about you, and I care about you, god knows why, and if you ever want to talk..."


Aiko: "Thank you, but there's nothing to talk about. I'm fine."


Kiko: "If you say so."




Aiko is studying in her room. As she's working, the words on the page begin to blur. She rubs her eyes, sits up straight and starts to concentrate again. Within moments she's beginning to slump forward, falling asleep. She shakes herself awake and gets up and goes over to her dresser. As she rummages around in the top drawer she pulls out a bottle. She tips the bottle into her hand, and a pill comes out. She takes it and goes back to studying. She's working hard, getting lots of stuff done. We see time going by on the clock, from 7pm until about 11pm over the course of her studying. She gets a text. She opens the phone. It's from Hidaka. She texts something back, closes the phone, gets up, and goes over to her closet to start picking out clothes.




In Hidaka's sports car.


Hidaka: "I didn't think you'd come out on a school night."


Aiko: "Has that stopped me before?"


Hidaka: "Well, I just assumed you'd have finals coming up."


Aiko: "Don't patronize me."


Hidaka: "HAHAHA, there she is!"


Aiko: "Where are we going tonight?"


Hidaka: "You'll see."


The car pulls over in front of a really nice high-rise apartment building. As they stop, Hidaka pulls out a couple pills and a flask. He hands Aiko one of the pills.


Hidaka: "Little pre-game?"


Aiko takes the pill, and then the flask - out of which she takes a big swig.


Hidaka: "HA, I love your style!"


Aiko opens the door without acknowledging him and gets out of the car and starts walking towards the apartment building.


Hidaka: "I have a good feeling about tonight!"


Scenes from the party in the apartment. People talking, people drinking, people dancing. Aiko letting lose, doing all of the above. She's sexy dancing with a group, Hidaka moves in, they're dancing together. He's got his arms around her. He moves in to kiss her, but she gently turns his face away. She winks at him, he laughs. She keeps drinking, pills are exchanged, someone else is doing some cocaine, etc...




It's bright morning. The front door to Aiko’s house opens into the main entryway. Aiko staggers in, looking a mess, not walking well, clearly still drunk or high or both. She stumbles as she enters, falls to the ground, hair in her face.


Aiko: "Oooof."


Voice: “I wanted to see for myself.”


Aiko looks up, through her hair (which has fallen over her face), to see Shiori sitting on the grand stairs in the entry way.


Aiko: “Unghhh...What are you doing here?”


Shiori: “I hadn’t heard from you in a while. I didn’t want the funeral to be the last we saw each other.”


Aiko, picks herself up off the floor, trys to straighten her clothes and hair.


Aiko: “I’ve been busy with school.”


Shiori: “I can see that.”


Aiko is trying to walk up the stairs past Shiori.


Aiko: “Excuse me.”




It's morning in the Arishima household. Heizo is in the kitchen cooking breakfast. As he's doing something, he suddenly winces in pain and starts a coughing fit. He pulls a handkerchief up to his face. When he backs it away there are some blood spots. He shakes his head. Suddenly he hears some rummaging and crashing and even a groan from down the hall. He goes to check on Eriko and knocks on her door.


Heizo: "Eriko-chan, is everything okay?"


We are in Eriko's room now, she's got clothes scattered all over the room.


Eriko: "Oh, um, I'm fine."


Heizo, through the door:


Heizo: "Okay, breakfast is almost ready."


Eriko "Oh, okay, um, thank you, I'll be out soon."


Heizo, returning to the kitchen.


Heizo (to himself): "Ah, to be young...all the energy...all the time in front of you..."


The doorbell rings.


Heizo: "I'll get it."


Heizo goes to the door and there's Yuka, in casual clothes, with her school bag.


Heizo: "Welcome, welcome, come in. Eriko-chan didn't tell me you were coming over. Here to study?"


Yuka nods 'yes' brightly.


Heizo: "Thank you so much for helping her. I'm afraid there isn't much left in this old brain of mine!"


They share a laugh together. She takes off her shoes and follows him. She sits at the main table in the outer room, he goes into the kitchen. Heizo pops his head out of the doorway.


Heizo: "Will you join us for breakfast? I'm afraid, Eriko-chan is running a little behind."


Yuka waves both hands in front of her as if to exclaim: "Oh, no, I couldn't, I'm all set." Right then Eriko walks into the room.


Heizo: "Oh, Eriko-chan! Come, have breakfast."


Eriko looks lovely (simple, maybe just a t-shirt and jeans), she's clearly put some effort into her outfit. Yuka stands up and smiles at her. Eriko looks to the side and blushes.


Eriko: " doesn't look weird...does it?"


Yuka goes over to her and takes her hand in hers. Right then Eriko's stomach lets out a big grumble, Yuka starts silently laughing.


Heizo (from the kitchen): "I heard that! Come and eat before it gets cold."




Shiori sitting on the steps still, looks at her watch, it's around 10:30am.


Shiori: “Is she just going to hide up there all day and ignore me?”


We hear a crashing sound. Shiori runs up the stairs and as she's about to pass the bathroom, she notices that the door is slightly ajar. She sees someone lying on the floor. She opens the door quickly. It’s Aiko, lying on the ground, passed out.


Shiori: “AIKO!”


She goes and lifts Aiko’s head onto her lap. Aiko stirs slightly.


Aiko: "Uhn..."


Shiori (to herself): “You poor thing. I had to see it for myself to believe it was really true...but...I wish it wasn't.”


Shiori: “Can you stand?”


Aiko: “Uh huh.”


Shiori tries to help Aiko stand, but she’s wobbly, and drops down to her knees. We hear a loud gurgling sound (from her stomach). Aiko puts a hand over her mouth and lunges for the toilet. Shiori is holding her hair back as she throws up. When done, Aiko is wiping her mouth and sitting back on her legs.


Shiori: “Feel better?”


Aiko: “A little.”


Shiori: “Are we going to talk about this?”


Aiko: “No.”


Shiori: “Let’s get you cleaned up.”





Heizo peeks in to the main room where he sees Eriko and Yuka studying diligently.


Heizo (to himself): "Eight months ago, who would have thought she would be like this now? Calm, put together, with friends..."


He watches them studying some more.


Heizo (to himself): "Maybe I don't have to worry so much, maybe she's found solid ground, maybe she'll be okay when..."


Eriko looks up and sees Heizo standing there.


Eriko: "Oh...Arishima-san, did you need something?"


Heizo: "No, no. Sorry to disturb you, just passing through to the shop."




Shiori and Aiko are sitting at the big dining room table in Aiko's house. Aiko is picking at some food (maybe a bowl of rice gruel/porridge or something similarly bland). Shiori is eating normally.


Shiori: “The house looks just the same, like a museum.”


Aiko: “She kept your room the same too.”


Shiori: “I don’t think I want to see it.”


Aiko: “It was like you’d died.”


Shiori: “I should have said this, a long time ago, but, I really am sorry for leaving you.”


Aiko: “I would have done the same thing.”


Shiori: “Maybe...”


Awkward silence for a while.


Shiori (to herself): “She hasn’t once mentioned Yuka-chan, not at the funeral or any other day.”


Shiori: “This is sort of random, but do you remember that girl I used to tutor? The one you tried to hate so much?”


Aiko looks up in a kind of wide-eyed shock at this. Then collects herself and returns to picking at her food half-heartedly.


Aiko: “Yes, what about her?”


Shiori (to herself): “Why play dumb? I heard from the housekeepers that you've all but devoted yourself to caring for her all these years."


Shiori: “Kiyoura-chan was it? Well, I just wondered if you’ve kept in touch? It seemed like you were becoming friends back then.”


Aiko: “That was a long time ago.”


Shiori: “I guess. But, I thought I’d heard…”


Aiko: “You heard what?”


Shiori: “Well, I heard you transferred to her school, right after I left..."


Aiko: “Your point?"


Shiori: "That was a big change, to give up your elite school for her?"


Aiko: "It had nothing to do with her."


Shiori: "Really? Then why?"


Aiko: "I had my reasons."


Shiori: "Fine, fine. So then, who are your friends now?”


Aiko: “Thank you for the food.”


Aiko gets up and leaves the table.


Shiori (to herself): “Why won’t you talk about her? Why wasn’t she at the funeral? Just who are you spending your time with now? What are you mixed up in?”


Shiori gets up to follow.


Aiko:  "You're following me?"


Shiori: "I didn't think we were done."


Aiko: "We were. I have studying to do."


Shiori: "Okay, I understand. But please, Aiko..."


Aiko: "I really need to get to work."


Shiori: "Then...what about Christmas? I'm sure dad won't be home. You don't have to be alone. Come, spend it with us. Kazu has been talking about you non-stop."


Aiko: "I'll consider it."


Shiori: "Is that a 'yes'?"


Aiko turns her back on Shiori and starts walking up the stairs.


Aiko: "I...I'd like that."




It's dusk. Eriko and Yuka are walking down the sidewalk towards the train stop. When they get there, they're waiting in silence. The train pulls up. Yuka is about to step towards it when Eriko suddenly says:


Eriko: "Thank you...for giving up your Saturday...for me."


Yuka smiles back at her. Eriko blushes and looks down. All of a sudden, Yuka runs up, gives her a big hug, then lets go and jumps onto the train. As the train pulls away, she's looking out the window at Eriko and waving bye. Eriko puts up a hand in reply, still in shock at the hug.


After the train leaves, Eriko turns around and starts to walk back home. She puts her arms around herself as the sunset is brilliant in the background. We get a close-up of her smiling with her eyes closed, at peace, and happy, glowing.

(to be continued...)

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