In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 6

In the Morning, I'll Say Hello are the scripts for a yuri comic I wrote. I can't draw, so this is how I'm releasing it to the world. Enjoy Chapter 6!

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

Chapter 6

"Lost and Found"

A train pulls into a station.

Conductor: "S-station, now arriving at S-station"

Yuka gets off (this is the same station where Eriko got off in a prior chapter (which of course isn't where she really lives)) and starts looking around, like 'where to go from here.'

She sort of shrugs and starts walking. We see scene after scene of her walking around, it's a pretty nice part of town (nicer than where Eriko actually lives). She's looking down alleys, overturning boxes, checking under bridges, walking into shops, looking into cafe windows, even miming what Eriko looks to others to see if they know her (miming things like “tall” and “crazy” and long hair and making faces that mimic Eriko’s stern faces - it's a light comedy moment). People just look at her like she's crazy and shake their heads 'no' some even laugh thinking it's a performance.

Time passes as she searches and it starts to get towards twilight. It starts sprinkling a bit.

Aiko's bedroom. It's big and lavish. She has a large bay window with a padded bench under it. Aiko's cell phone rings. It shows "Suzu Kiyoura" (Yuka's older sister) is calling. Aiko is a bit startled and answers.

Aiko: "This is Okumura."

Suzu: "Aiko-chan? I'm sorry to call so late."

Aiko: "Suzu-san, what's wrong?"

Suzu: "Have you seen Yuka, she hasn't come home yet?" 

Aiko: "What do you mean she hasn't come home?"

Suzu: "She's not with you? Was she in school today, do you know where she might be? This isn't like her!"

Aiko, thinks about the past few days, the fight with Yuka earlier, Eriko leaving school, then the fight with Eriko on the train (when Aiko made Eriko get off at the wrong stop) and finally Yuka leaving school today.

Aiko: "Suzu-san, I think I might know where she is, stay home in case she comes back, I'll call you when I find her."

Aiko's black town car is seen streaking through a fairly nice neighborhood. It's raining hard now. The car is driving up and down every street. We see Aiko inside looking out, rain on the window, she is being driven by a chauffeur. They are looking everywhere for Yuka.

                Aiko (to herself): "Where are you? Did I drive you to this?"

They're still driving and looking for her.

Narration: "That girl has nothing, and you treat her that way!"

Aiko (to herself): "I've made you cry before, I swore I'd never do it again."

Suddenly they see Yuka walking down a street, looking totally bedraggled, soaked to the bone, it's still raining hard. She doesn't have an umbrella. Yuka is still diligently searching for Eriko.

Aiko shouts: "Stop the car!"

Aiko lunges out and grabs onto Yuka in the biggest most sincere hug, dropping to the ground. They’re both getting soaked now.

Aiko: "What the hell are you doing? Suzu-san has been so worried... I've been so worried."

Yuka, all wet and snot dripping, and a mess, looks up with big eyes at Aiko. Aiko blushes a bit at her beauty, clear even through, maybe enhanced by, her pathetic look.

Aiko: "Let's get you into the car."

They get in and Aiko does her best to dry Yuka off, she takes off some of Yuka's wet clothes and gives Yuka her own jacket and a handkerchief for her head.

Aiko: "You were looking for her this whole time, weren't you?"

Yuka nods 'yes.' Aiko looks away, feeling guilty.

Aiko: "I don't think this is where she lives."

Yuka looks quizzically at Aiko with a tipped head and big eyes with furrowed brows. Quick flashback to Aiko yelling at Eriko that "this is where you get off" from a prior chapter.

Aiko: "Well...I know she got off the train here before, doesn't matter. You're not going to find her here, anyway. You can't do anything more tonight. Let’s get you someplace warm."

Yuka looks sad, and stares out the window while they drive away.

Young Aiko (6-ish) is sitting in Shiori's bedroom, watching her get ready. Shiori is putting some things in a bag and about to leave.

Aiko: "Shiori, where are you going?"

Shiori: "Yuka-chan is sick today, I'm going over to her apartment to make sure she's okay and bring her some sweets I baked last night."

Aiko is turning red and a bit emotionally dark.

                Aiko (to herself): "You baked for her?"

Shiori notices Aiko's anger.

Shiori: "Why don't you come with me? We can have some good sister time on the train ride over."

On the train, young Aiko and Shiori are laughing and in their own little world, oblivious to those around them.

Train conductor: "M-station, now arriving at m-station."

Aiko looks around as they get off the train at the small old station building. Suzu and Aiko are walking through the neighborhood with its small old houses and economy apartment blocks. They get to a multi-story cement apartment building with external stairs and landings. It's fa├žade is crumbling a bit, just concrete and steel railings. They climb the stairs to the second floor and ring the bell.

Suzu (teenager, about 16) comes to the door.

Suzu: "Hello, you must be Okamura-sensei, Yuka talks about you all the time!"

Aiko and Shiori just look at each other in surprise and confusion.

Suzu: "Hahahaha! No, no, I'm sorry, I don't mean she actually spoke, just...we have a way of communicating."

Aiko (to herself): "She really doesn't talk, ever?"

Shiori presents the treats she brought for Yuka.

Shiori: "Here, these are for you and Yuka-chan."

Suzu: "Oh, thank you. Come in, let me show you something."

As they are taking their shoes off, Suzu comes back with a child’s drawing of Shiori and Yuka in closeup, but as the framing pulls back on the full picture, we also see that Aiko is in the picture. Shiori points at Aiko in the drawing.

Shiori: "Aiko, look at you!"

Aiko blushes a bit, pouts and turns away to look at the small apartment.

Aiko: "Whatever."

Shiori and Suzu just laugh with each other.

                Shiori: "Sorry about my bratty little sister!"

Aiko and Shiori are sitting at the dining table in the main room. Suzu brings out some tea and the snacks Shiori brought.

Suzu: "Thank you, these are delicious, I'm sure she'll love them!"

Shiori: "How's she feeling?"

Suzu: "It’s just a cold, she should be okay by tomorrow."

Shiori: "I'm so glad to hear that."

Suzu: "I can't tell you how much what you're doing means to me and to Yuka. She's never been this happy before. I feel so relieved."

Shiori: “Oh, it’s my pleasure. We love having her over!”

This whole time, Aiko is just looking around the small room with the galley style kitchen, the apartment is cramped, but there's almost no furniture or anything in it at all. Just one small room with the dining table with the galley kitchen next to it. There are two doors on the side (where the bedrooms are). In one corner of the room is a little shrine with a picture of the father, but no picture of the mother.

Aiko: (to herself) "There really isn't anything here."

Aiko turns to Shiori and points at the shrine.

Aiko: "I thought you said she didn't have a mom. Where's her picture?"

Shiori: "Aiko!"

Shiori turns to Suzu.

Shiori: “I’m so sor...”

Just then the bedroom door opens and a little Yuka in pajamas comes out. Her face is all flush, she's sweaty, she looks sick. Suzu feels her forehead.

Suzu: "Yuka! You're still sick. Go back to bed, you need your rest."

Yuka is looking at Aiko and smiles faintly through her sickness. Aiko just turns her head up and to the side in contempt.

Shiori: "Come on Aiko, we've kept them long enough. Thank you both. Yuka-chan, I hope you feel better soon."

Yuka manages a weak smile and a wave, but Suzu scoops her up and carries her back to her room.

                Suzu: "You are going back to bed miss."

Shiori: "We'll be going now, bye bye."

Suzu: "Oh, okay, bye and thank you again for stopping by, it was wonderful to meet you."

Next we see Aiko and Shiori on the train. A silent train ride back, very different than before.

Aiko's house, current time. It's still raining fiercely outside. Aiko and Yuka are all wet. They're in Aiko's big bedroom. Yuka is still silent and distant.

Aiko: "Yuka, take a bath first so you don't catch a cold. Suzu-san said you could stay over tonight."

Yuka nods and heads off sadly to the bathroom, head down and despondent. Aiko thinks back to the car ride back when she called Suzu on her cell from the car.

Aiko: "Suzu-san, we found her and she's okay."

Suzu: "Thank goodness, what was she doing?"

Aiko: "I think she was ... looking for a friend's house and got lost."

Yuka drops her head.

Suzu: "A friend?"

Aiko: "Something like that."

Suzu: "Are you on your way back? I can meet you if you need?"

Aiko turns to Yuka. Yuka is staring out the window again, her fingers on the glass, as if touching the rain streaking down.

Aiko: "Actually, is it okay if she stays with me tonight? My house is closest to where we are now."

Yuka looks up at Aiko, surprised but not protesting.

Suzu: "As long as it's not putting you out?"

Aiko: "No it's fine."

Suzu: "Thank you, I'm just glad she's okay. Sometimes, I just don’t know what gets into her?"

Aiko (to herself): "Today, I wish I didn't know..."
[Flashback over]

Yuka returns from the bath with just a white towel around her. She's a bit flushed from the bath and looks awfully pure and innocent and cute (almost cherubic), but still sad. Aiko blushes a bit at seeing her in such an intimate state. Then tosses a pair of pajamas onto her head as if to cover her up and to cover Aiko's own feelings.

Aiko: "Here, they'll be too big, but we can roll the sleeves and pants up."

Yuka pushes the pant legs away from her eyes and gives a little half smile, but is clearly not herself yet. Aiko turns around to give Yuka privacy as she is getting dressed. When she's done, Yuka goes over to Aiko with her arms out, hands covered by the long sleeves. Aiko rolls up Yuka's sleeves and pant legs and dries off her hair with Yuka sitting between Aiko's legs on the edge of the bed.

Aiko: "Make yourself at home, I'm going to take a bath."

Aiko in the bathtub. She's thinking of the look on Yuka's face as she was found in the rain, how pitiful it looked. She then thinks to some of the smiles Yuka has given Eriko in the past days. Aiko sinks lower into the tub, sighing.

Aiko (to herself): “I thought I knew everything about her, every feeling. But she makes different faces than I’ve ever seen before when she’s around that delinquent. Why doesn't she make those faces for me?"

She goes back to her room, toweling off her hair, and finds Yuka curled up asleep on the futon next to Aiko's bed. She looks so young and angelic while she sleeps. Aiko leans over her and kisses her forehead.

Aiko (to herself): "You don't need her. I'll always be here for you, you'll always have me, you'll never have nothing again."

Young Aiko (6-ish), Shiori and their mom (Honami) eating at a big long formal table in their house. Honami is at one end, a blank place set far at the other end, and Aiko and Shiori on opposite sides at the middle. All are dressed to the nines in formal wear, their hair done perfectly. Servants bring out food, course after course, fill up water, luxurious foods... The three sit and eat in silence. We keep going back to the empty seat with its empty place setting.

Honami: "I just don't understand why you had to say those things to your father."

Shiori: "He wouldn't have been here anyway, even if I hadn't said anything."

Honami: "You know what he expects from you. You made him so angry."

Shiori: "I had to say the truth, I love Keishi-kun, I WILL be with him. I won't marry Muraguchi-san no matter what dad says!"

Honami: "No, as the eldest daughter of the Okumura company's president, you will marry Muraguchi-san!"

Shiori (yelling): "Like hell I will!"

Honami gets up, goes over to Shiori and slaps her. Shiori is shocked and holding her cheek. Aiko starts to tear up and then cry. Honami looks at her hand, at Shiori holding her cheek.

Honami: "Oh god...what have I done, what have I...?"

Honami's starting to stagger and wobble, her eyes wide and crazy, bracing herself on the table, then she falls to the ground in a faint.

Aiko: "MOM!"

Shiori lets her hand down off her cheek. She gently gets down on her hands and knees next to her mom. Shiori calls over a maid who helps Shiori lift her mom up. The two walk off together supporting the mom.

Shiori: "Let's bring her to bed, she's exhausted...I've exhausted her."

Aiko gets up from the table and goes into the living room, drying her eyes as she walks. There she sees a torn photo of a young man and some papers including a marriage license on the table as well as a half-finished tumbler glass of liquid with a few ice cubes in it. She takes a sip. She makes a disgusted face and spits it out. Then she drinks some more. It's getting dark in the room, no lights are on. Aiko is small and sitting all alone on a big couch in a big room in a big empty house.

In the classroom in the present. We see Aiko and Yuka at their desks but Eriko's desk is still empty.

Teacher: "I need someone to take Arishima-san the work she has been missing. Will someone volunteer?"

The students are all whispering to each other.

Student: "Why don't you do it, don't you want to see where that delinquent lives?"

Student: "Ughh, no, what if she has something contagious?"

Student: "Don't be stupid being an alien isn't contagious, but I still don't want to go there, I bet she lives in a dangerous neighborhood."

Student: "I don't want to get abducted by that delinquent’s gang."

Yuka is frantically waving her hand. Aiko sighs and raises her hand too.

Aiko: "Sensei, we'll go."

Teacher: "Kiyoura-san, Okumura-san thank you. Come to my office after school."

Faculty office, Yuka and Aiko are with the teacher.

Teacher: "Thank you for taking this work to Arishima-san. I don't want her to get so far behind while she's out. Here's her address."

She hands them a piece of paper with the address written on it.

Yuka and Aiko are driving down an old street now, it's all a little run-down, with small traditional homes with small lots and small local businesses. Aiko looks at the written address as they pull up at Eriko's home. Yuka is holding a giant stack of papers on her lap. The towncar pulls over.

Driver: "We're here, Ojou-sama."

Yuka and Aiko are standing next to the car looking at the house. The house is old and sort of run-down with a storefront attached. It has a sign for electronics repair in the front window of the storefront, (Arishima Electronics Repair). There is equipment piled up the windows.

Aiko: (to herself): “Is this really where she lives?”

Yuka runs up to the door and rings the bell. No one answers, she rings again and knocks. Still no one answers. Aiko looks and sees that the "open" sign is turned off.

Aiko: "She's not here Yuka-chan, we'll have to just leave it and go."

Yuka looks sadly at her. They put it in the mail slot on the door. They turn and leave and get back into the car. They're driving past some shops on their way back to the train stop and Eriko exits one of the grocery stores (with bags in hand). Yuka launches into the front of the car tugging on the driver who screeches to a stop. Yuka leaps out of the car right in front of Eriko who is startled. Yuka lets out a big smile, Eriko blushes. Then Eriko sees Aiko, and Aiko gives her a dirty look. Eriko turns to Yuka who is still smiling at her giddily. Eriko speaks quietly and uncertainly, as always, when addressing Yuka.

Eriko: "Wh...Why are"

Aiko: "Sensei asked us to bring you your school work."

Eriko: ""

She's looking at both of them who are empty handed.

Eriko: "I is it?”

Aiko: “We left it in your mail slot, no one was home."

Eriko: "Oh, okay."

Aiko: "You aren’t supposed to leave the house when you're suspended from school, you know.”

Eriko: “Says who?”

Aiko: “Look, I don’t care what you do with your life.”

Eriko brushes past Aiko to keep walking back to her house.

Eriko: "Whatever, I’m going.”

Aiko: "You’re not even going to thank us for coming all the way out here?”

Eriko: "I didn’t ask you to."

Aiko: "You get yourself in trouble and suspended from school, you make Yuka worry, she gets lost looking for you, and then we still do you a favor by bringing you work. But you're just out shopping like nothing happened, and this is how you thank us? How ungrateful can one person be?"

Eriko (to herself): “Kiyoura-san got lost? She was looking...for me?”

Eriko: "I'm leaving."

Eriko turns back away from Aiko and walks away. Yuka stares after her. Yuka then turns and gives Aiko an annoyed look for pissing off Eriko. As Eriko turns a corner, Yuka starts running after Eriko. Aiko starts chasing behind.

Aiko: "Yuka, stop, wait up!"

Driver: "Do you want me to follow you?"

As Aiko catches up to Yuka, she sees Yuka hanging a ways behind Eriko. Yuka just puts a finger up to her lips and gives a silent "Shhhh" motion. Aiko is a bit startled by this. As Eriko is walking, Yuka is hiding and watching her from a distance, sort of stalking her back to her house. When Eriko goes into the house, Yuka goes up to one of the side windows of the house and peeks in.

                Aiko (to herself): "What are you doing? This isn't like you."

There she see as Eriko prepares some food that she's bought, then she leaves. Aiko walks up next to Yuka.

Aiko: "Let's go, this isn't okay."

Eriko she comes back into view helping a very frail Heizo walk to the table and and helps him eat, feeding him a little of the meal at a time. Aiko and Yuka turn to look at each other in amazement. They turn back to the window, and there is Eriko looking at them. Aiko and Yuka startle back in surprise. Eriko pulls the curtains shut. Yuka and Aiko walk back to the car, Yuka is somewhat sulking. Eriko goes to the front door, opens it.

                Eriko: "Did you follow me?"

Yuka sort of gives a guilty shrug.

Eriko: "I...I don't understand...Why...why are”

Aiko: "Is this why you weren't in school the past two days? Is he sick, are you taking care of him?"

Eriko: "So...what if I am?"

Yuka is looking up at Eriko in awe and wonder, relief crossing her face. Eriko makes eye contact with Yuka and blushes a bit, turns away a bit shyly.

Aiko (to herself): "It wasn't what I expected. This is the second time she's surprised me."

Aiko: "Who is he?"

Eriko responds shyly but also a bit defiantly.

Eriko: "Not that it's your business, but...he's...he’s my guardian....he got sick...the doctor called school to let me know."

Yuka just smiles a big smile at Eriko, runs up and hugs her. Eriko blushes and is shocked, but doesn’t hug back, her arms out to the side, her eyes wide. Suddenly Yuka lets go, turns around, grabs Aiko, and hopes back into the waiting car. Eriko is left just sort of blinking in shock at the quick hug and departure.

Aiko's big house. The doorbell rings. A house-staff answers the door.

House-staff: "Hello, Okumura residence. How may I help you?"

Nothing is coming through on the intercom. Then another buzz.

House-staff: "Hello, Okumura residence."

Again, nothing is coming over the intercom. The house-staff opens the door, walks down through the gardens and sees 6-year-old young Yuka waiting at the pedestrian gate. Stands with the closed gate between her and Yuka and speaks to her through the metal bars but doesn't open it.

House-staff: "I thought it might be you, Kiyoura-san. I'm sorry but Shiori-sama no longer lives here. Didn’t anyone tell you?"

Yuka is just looking up at her confused.

House-staff: "You'll have to go home. Shiori-sama is not coming back. She's gone."

The house-staff turns around, walks down the long path towards the house, and closes the house door behind her. From a second floor window, we see young Aiko (6-year-old) watching this. We see Yuka at the gate start to tear up and then wipe tears from her eyes. The tears are pooling and dripping to the pavement. She drops to the ground for a bit, clutching her knees. She keeps crying, then wipes her eyes more, gets up, and slowly leaves. Aiko's eyes tear up too. She takes out the picture she folded up of Shiori that Yuka drew (early on, that Aiko took when she met Yuka). A few tears fall onto the picture. We have an overlay of Shiori's words from earlier.

Narration: "We have so much to be thankful for, you'll always be taken care of. She's got nothing...she's got nothing...she's got nothing..."

It's evening now. Young Aiko (6-year-old) is at a computer. The strong glow of computer highlighting her concentrating face. She's typing furiously, moving the mouse, searching. Eventually she prints something off.

Next, we see Aiko's mom, Honami, slouched over, sitting on the couch, head in her hands. A drink on the table, a few empty bottles scattered about. Aiko walks in. She hands her mom a form.

We see (but don't hear, as if we're watching from a distance) the mom yelling at and berating Aiko, even throwing and shattering a bottle. Aiko doesn't flinch or move but stands strong. Honami is crying more. Aiko never breaks her silent, confident stance. Finally, Aiko pushes the paper towards her mom again. Honami's head drops and she signs it and leaves it on the table. She turns away from Aiko and walks out of the room.

We are in an elementary classroom. The door opens during the lesson and an administrator walks young Aiko (6-year-old-ish) into the room.

Administrator: "Attention boys and girls, we have a new student joining our school today. This is Aiko Okumura-san. She just transferred in. Please make her feel welcome."

Young Yuka immediately recognizes her, make's wide-eyed eye contact, Aiko just steals her face and turns her head away proudly (embarrassed at her own feelings). Yuka jumps out of her desk and runs up and hugs Aiko. Yuka is so happy and Aiko has a little tear in her eye and is blushing. The administrator and teacher are just looking at each other a bit stunned.

The two staff to each other: “Do they know each other?”

With Yuka hugging her, Aiko intimately whispers in Yuka's ear.

Aiko: "I'm here now. You'll never be alone again."

Back to the present. Eriko and Heizo's house in the evening. Eriko puts Heizo to bed, tucks him in. Puts her hand on his forehead. She wipes it down with a wet washcloth. He's asleep.

Eriko gets into her own bed. As she's lying there, she thinks of the hug from Yuka, and blushes a bit, rolls over and pulls the blankets over her.

Some time passes. It's very late now, the middle of the night. Eriko is asleep. All of a sudden there is the bright blue light forming above her. She starts arching up as the tendrils of electricity pulse over her body and limbs. She is silently screaming in pain, her eyes closed. Slowly, she evaporates and then she's gone.

Heizo is stirred by the sounds as she's disappearing and the light streaming through the house from under her door. He gets up from his futon and touches her door, pauses and considers knocking, but then pulls his hand away. He moves into his chair in the main living space where the dining table is located. He's staring out the window that is visible through the kitchen door.

Time passes. Eventually we see more of the intense light coming from under her doorway. Heizo wakes at this. He gets up from his chair (wobbly, he's old and frail and still a little sick). Again he goes to knock on her door, sighs and pulls his hand back. He goes back to his room.

We see Eriko: a bloody, hurt mess in her bed, curled up, and tears streaming down her face. She isn't awake.

It's morning now, the light is coming in at a low angle through the curtains. It's just dawn. Eriko gets up slowly, a mess. She cleans up her wounds in the bathroom, gingerly, we only see close-ups of her legs and arms as she washes the wounds off.

Eriko walks out into the kitchen. Heizo is making breakfast, simple fish and salad. She sits down. He brings the food over and they do a quiet "itadakimasu" and start eating.

Heizo: "I'm feeling so much better now. Thank you for taking such good care of me, Eriko."

Eriko is looking down.

                Eriko: "mmmm."

Heizo: "Hurry up and get ready for school, your friends are worried about you."

Eriko replies quietly, softly and sadly while still looking down.

Eriko: "They're not my friends."

Heizo just turns back to his food and chuckles to himself.

                Heizo (to himself): "Whatever you say dear."

(to be continued...)

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