In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 60

 "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 60

"You're Not Alone"



School, Monday morning. Students are walking into class. Hatsue is talking with one of the girls (from the school festival cafe, the ones who were interested in gossiping about Ishihara). As they are talking, she turns to notice that Eriko and Yuka are walking in together.


Eriko: “ really helped.”


Yuka smiles radiantly at Eriko and runs ahead to her desk, giddy. As Eriko sits down, Hatsue inquires:


Hatsue: “So, how was your weekend?”


Eriko: “Fine.”


Hatsue: “Seriously? That’s all I get?”


Eriko: “Yup.”


Hatsue: “You must be in a good mood to play with me like that so early in the morning!”


Eriko acknowledges this with a 'devilish' little smile to Hatsue.


                Hatsue (to herself): "Well I'll be damned."


The teacher enters.


Student: “stand, bow...”


The teacher starts taking attendance, We notice that Aiko’s seat is still empty. Hatsue looks at Yuka, Yuka shakes her head 'no' as in “I have no idea where she is.”


The door of the room opens, and Aiko walks in to her desk. She stops in front of her desk.


Aiko: “I apologize.”


She sits down at her desk and stares straight ahead. The teacher keeps on taking attendance.




Lunch time, students are filing out of class. Eriko and Hatsue are getting out their lunches. Yuka turns around to Aiko. Aiko stands up and starts towards the door without even acknowledging her. Kiko is at the door and has witnessed the cold shoulder towards Yuka. Aiko walks past Kiko as she exits the room.


Kiko: "She can..."


Aiko: “I need to go to the cafeteria.”


Kiko: “Wait up!”


Aiko is buying some bread in the cafeteria/store.


Kiko: “Where’s your lunch? You don’t normally buy bread.”


Aiko: “Where should we sit?”


Kiko (to herself): “You’re ignoring me again.”


Kiko: “Anywhere’s fine, but do you really want to eat in here?”


Aiko: “It’s fine.”


They are eating at a table. There are others at tables around them.


Kiko: “So, that was pretty cold back there.”


Aiko: “I don’t follow.”


Kiko: “With your friend, in the classroom.”


Aiko: “I needed to buy lunch.”


Kiko: “Yeah, but we’ve been eating lunch together on all my free days for a while now.”


Aiko: “Your point?”


Kiko: “You don’t just let a best friend drop like that."


Aiko (to herself): “Best friend? Is that all she is? Is she even that?"


Aiko: "I think you're confused."


Kiko: "You're the one who's confused. Are you talking to anyone about it?”


Aiko: “And if I wasn’t, you’d like to be that person?”


Kiko: “If you’d let me.”


Aiko: “I don’t see why you care.”


Kiko (to herself): “Is that her being vulnerable?”


Kiko: “Well, we’re teammates, and you intrigue me.”


Aiko: “I’m glad I amuse you.”


Kiko: “Well, you do! But won’t you try talking to me? What happened between you two?”


Aiko: “Nothing.”


Kiko: “Come on, don’t brush me off that way, I know it’s wearing on you.”


Aiko: “You don't know anything about me.”


Kiko: “Well, whose fault is that?”


At this, they notice that other students have turned around, and gone silent, staring at them as they got more and more animated. Aiko coolly pulls her stuff together, stands and walks out.


Kiko (to herself): “Shit.”




It’s the end of the school day. The various students are putting their shoes on in the entryway. As Eriko takes her shoes out, one falls and rolls away. Yuka picks it up and brings it to her. As she hands it to Eriko, their finger touch. Both blush. Aiko notices this exchange.


Eriko: “Um...thank you.”


Yuka smiles back at Eriko. Aiko turns away and walks out stiffly.


An expensive car (we recognize it as Tayama’s) pulls up in front of the school. Girls are walking past remarking on it.

Girl: “Who is that?”


Girl 2: “I wonder who they’re waiting for?”


Girl 3: "I haven't seen that car around here before."


Aiko walks out of the building and sees the car at the gate. The window rolls down. Tayama calls out.


Tayama: “Okumura-san!”


Aiko calmly walks over.


Aiko: “What are you doing here?”


Tayama: “Well, you haven’t returned my calls, so I figured I’d stop by and see what you’re up to this weekend.”


Aiko: “I’m sorry, I have finals next week. I’ll need to study.”


Tayama: “Oh, I was sort of hoping we could check out a new exhibit that’s opening.”


Aiko: “Thank you for the offer, but I must decline.”


Tayama: “Is everything okay?”


Aiko: “Why do you ask?”


Tayama: “Well, I thought, after the festival...maybe I was mistaken.”


Aiko: “Now just isn’t a good time. If you’ll excuse me, my car is waiting.”


Tayama watches as she walks away. Just as he's rolling up the window, Kiko runs and jumps into the passenger seat.


Tayama: “And you are?”


Kiko: “How do you know her?”


Tayama: “And what is she to you?”


Kiko: “I’m her friend.”


Tayama: “Hmmm, I’m not convinced.”


Kiko: “Well, we are, and frankly, I’m the one who should be worried about you and what you're doing here.”


Tayama: “I am a friend of her father’s.”


Kiko: “It seemed like you might be more than that?”


Tayama: “Why would you say that?”


Kiko (to herself): "Crap, I can't give away that I saw them behind the school at the festival."


Kiko: “Well,’s not important. But...I’m worried about her.”


Tayama: “That’s a lot to tell a stranger...a stranger whose car you just got into.”


Kiko: “So just what are your intentions towards her?”


Tayama: “Right to the point! Well, I’m more worried about what her intentions are towards me. Just when I think I’m making progress..."


Kiko: “She pushes you away?”


Tayama: “So I’m not the only one?”


Kiko: “Apparently.”


Tayama: “I think are her friend.”


Kiko: “And I think you aren’t the problem.”


Tayama: “I’m relieved, whatever that problem might be, I'm glad it's not me! Will you tell me when you find out?”


Kiko: “That’s yet to be decided, I still haven’t completely made up my mind about you.”


Tayama: “Hahaha, fair enough.”




In a nice restaurant. Kiko and her family (mom, dad, little sister). They are enjoying a pleasant meal together.


Dad: “Kura, what are you going to get?”


Kura (the younger sister): “Hmmm, it all looks so good!”


Kiko: “I envy you, you could eat it all if you wanted.”


There is some loud talking from behind a screened in section of the restaurant. We can't make out exactly what is being said.


Mom: “So disrespectful.”


Dad: “Do you want me to ask the management about it?”


Mom: “No, I’m sure they’ll take care of it.”


Kiko: “I wonder what they’re saying? Do you think they’re having fun or arguing?”


Kura: “I think it's a lover’s quarrel.”


Dad: “How do you know about lover’s quarrels?”


Kura: “Well, today, Ogata-kun told Mariko-chan that he liked her. But Mariko-chan rejected him.”


Kiko: “That’s not exactly a lover’s quarrel.”


Kura: “But then Harumi-chan got so upset at Markio-chan for rejecting him. I think it’s cause Harumi-chan secretly likes Ogata-kun.”


Dad: “I'm really glad I'm not an elementary student anymore.”


Mom: “I’m not sure you ever were. I think you were born old.”


Kiko and Kura: “HAHAHAHAHA”


Dad (said jokingly): “Quiet you two or you won’t get any dinner!”


Mom: “Ignore them dear, I did choose you over that elementary student who confessed to me.”


Right then, there is a loud noise as the screened door is wildly slid open and people emerge from the private dining area.


Voice: “I said, let go of me!”


Kiko (to herself): “That voice sounds familiar, it couldn’t be..."


She turns around to see that it’s Aiko and some strange guy (neither Hidaka nor Tayama).


Guy: “You’re making a scene, get back in here.”


Aiko: “I’m leaving.”


Guy: “But we took my car.”


Aiko: “I’ll call my driver.”


The manager comes up to them.


Manager: “I’m sorry, but our other guests..."


Aiko: “My sincerest apologies.”


Manager: “Oh, Okumura-sama, I didn’t realize it was you. How can I be of assistance?”


Aiko: “Please call my car for me and see that the bill is paid by this...gentleman.”


Man: "Hey...HEY!"


She starts to walk away from the man but he grabs at her arm again. Aiko shoots him a look like the devil and he releases. As she turns around to walk back out she notices Kiko and her family staring at her.


Kiko: “Aiko-chan?”


Aiko: “I’m sorry for disturbing your dinner.”


She does a slight bow to the parents and leaves.


Dad: “Isn’t that the captain of your volleyball team?”


Mom: “That’s Okumura-san’s daughter.”


Dad: “But that wasn't him, was it?"


Mom: "Does she have any brothers?”


Kiko: “I don’t think so.”


Mom: “Why don’t you go check on her?”


Kiko: “You don’t mind?”


Aiko is waiting by the front of the restaurant, in the entry way, for her car to arrive. She’s slightly leaning against the wall. Her eyes are closed. Kiko comes up to her.


Kiko: “Are you okay?”


Aiko slowly turns her head and opens her eyes.


Aiko: “You can go back to your family.”


Kiko: “Who was that guy?”


Aiko: "No one."


Kiko: "I can see that, but who WAS he?"


Aiko: “A marriage meeting my father set up.”


Kiko: “And you’re okay with doing that?”


Aiko turns her head sharply away from Kiko, but then grabs her head and drops to her knees, wincing.


Kiko: “What’s wrong?!”


Aiko: “Nothing, I just turned too fast.”


Kiko gets down on level with Aiko and places a hand on her shoulder. Aiko is not making eye contact.


Kiko: “Are you drunk?”


Aiko: “And if I were?”


The man comes out and confronts Aiko.


Man: “I don’t care who your father is, how dare you..."


Kiko: “I’m sorry, who are you?”


Man: “Who the hell are you?"


Kiko: “I’m her friend.”


Man: “Tell your friend to get back in here or her father will hear about her disgraceful conduct.”


Kiko: “That won’t be possible. See, we had plans for her to sleep over at my house tonight.”


Aiko looks at her quizzically.


Man: “You can’t expect me to believe that?”


Aiko: “I’d much rather sleep there than with you.”


Man: “Disgusting. You can have her!”


He leaves in a huff.


Kiko: “Come on, I'm sure my parents would love if you joined us for dinner."


Aiko: “I’m not in any condition..."


Kiko: “Well, just don’t talk much, maybe they won’t notice.”




Kiko’s room. The mom is bringing in an extra futon and bedding. Aiko takes it from her and bows her head.


Aiko: “Thank you for dinner and for having me tonight. I know I am an unexpected burden.”


Mom: “Not at all! Now, don’t stay up too late Kiko, you have finals starting tomorrow.”


Kiko: “Yes, mom.”


Aiko is setting up the futon.


Aiko: “Your family seems kind.”


Kiko: “They are, I’m very lucky.”


Aiko (to herself): “More than you know.”


Kiko: “Here, borrow this to sleep in.”


It’s dark, they’re both lying in their beds.


Kiko: “Are you awake?”


Aiko: “Yes.”


Kiko: “Why were you out with that guy when there’s that other man who..."


Kiko clamps her hand over her mouth.


Aiko: “What other man?”


Kiko: “Well, on the day of the festival, I happened to see you out back...and then he showed up after school...”


Aiko: “Oh, I see.”


Kiko: “I just thought that maybe you actually liked that guy.”


Aiko: “He’s another of my father’s setups.”


Kiko: “Really? It seemed like more.”


Aiko: “Well, it isn’t. Good night.”


Kiko: “Oh, goodnight.”


Kiko (to herself): “What are you doing? Who are all these people? Is that why you’ve been so tired and out of sorts lately?”




Breakfast in Kiko Hasekura's household. Kiko, Aiko and Kura (the little sister) are sitting at the table eating. Aiko is being profoundly dainty and proper in the way she eats. Kura is staring at her in amazement.


Kura (to herself): "She's so cool!"


Mother: "Okumura-san, I hope you're okay with such a simple breakfast."


Aiko: "The food is delicious and you have been more than gracious. I am so sorry for imposing upon you last night and today."


Mother: "Please, any friend of Kiko's is welcome. I'm so glad we met you after all Kiko's told us about you."


Kiko (whiny): "Moooooom."


Mother: "Oh hush."


Kura is still staring in awe at Aiko.


Kiko: "Quit staring and eat your breakfast!"


Aiko (to herself): "She reminds me a little of Yuka, when she was that age, the way she looks at me..."


Kura: "But she's like a princess!"


Kiko busts out laughing.


Kiko: "HAHAHAHAHA, she's about as far from a princess as one can get!"


Mother: "Kiko!"


Aiko: "Kura-chan, a princess is someone who is deeply loved by many people. That makes me think you're the real princess."


Kiko (to herself): "But what about you? Who loves you?"


Kura: "Really!? You think I'm a princess?"


Aiko: "I do."


Kiko (to herself): "She can be sweet, why doesn't she let more people see it?"




Scenes of students taking exams. The clock gets to the end of the day.


Teacher: “That’s time. Please put your pencils down. Finals will continue tomorrow.”


At the shoe lockers. Kiko comes up to Aiko.


Kiko: “So how’d you do?”


Aiko: “I was certainly well rested, thank you.”


Kiko: “That’s good to hear!”


Yuka, overhearing this, looks quizzically at Eriko. Eriko shakes her head slowly back and forth and shrugs indicating she has no idea.




Aiko is studying at night. Her hands begin trembling a little. She tries to steady them, can’t, and goes over and takes some pills out of her drawer again and downs them with a swig of alcohol. She sighs, tries to recover herself and goes back to studying.


Next we hear the phone vibrating. She’s asleep on top of her work, the vibrating phone startles her awake. It’s Hidaka calling.


Aiko: “Hello?”


Hidaka: “What are you up to?”


Aiko: “I’m studying.”


Hidaka: “Ugh, how boring.”


Aiko: “Did you have something in mind?”


Hidaka: “Don’t I always?”


Although we don’t hear the rest of the conversation, it concludes. Aiko dresses for going out. Aiko leaves her bedroom in a fancy cocktail dress. We’re left looking at the open books on her desk, but also, on the corner is a packet. It is an application to an elite private high-school.




Finals the next day. At one point, Aiko is rubbing her eyes, the problems on the page get blurry.


More scenes of finals going on. Aiko is starting to nod-off. Her head hits the side wall with the window. This startles her awake. A couple of students behind her snicker. Yuka makes a sad frown face without actually turning around to see it. Aiko is in the bathroom, she takes a pill. More scenes of finals.




When finals are over that day and students are packing up to leave, Yuka turns around to Aiko as she’s packing up.


Aiko: “Did you need something?”


Yuka makes a worried face.


Aiko: “I’m fine.”


Hatsue comes over.


Hatsue: “Like hell you’re fine. What was with that falling asleep bit?”


Aiko: “I don’t owe you an explanation.”


Hatsue motions to Yuka.


Hatsue: “But don’t you owe her one?”


Aiko: “I’m not her keeper, and she is not mine.”


Eriko has her head down on her desk, observing.


Eriko (to herself): “So you finally got that through your thick head?”


Hatsue: “What’s that supposed to mean?”


Aiko: “Are you seriously picking a fight with me?”


Hatsue: “How much longer is this going to last? She's your best friend!”


Aiko (to herself): "Best friend...everyone says it so easily."


Aiko: “I have nothing more to say. Good day.”


She turns and walks out. Yuka is staring at her back as she departs.


Hatsue: “Yuka-chan, I’m so sorry, maybe I shouldn’t have said that.”


Yuka turns with tears in her eyes at Hatsue. Eriko, seeing this, shocked, reaches a hand out and takes Yuka’s hand in hers. Both Yuka and Eriko blush, Eriko keeps her head down on her arms, so as not to be looking at Yuka while still reaching out across the aisle holding her hand. Aiko, from the doorway, turns just in time to see them holding hands.


Aiko (to herself): “You used to hold my hand that way, but you’ve found a new hand now, one you chose for yourself. That’s why I have to go.”




The next day. Classroom scene.


Teacher: "Just a reminder, those of you who scored below the average will need to attend classes and take makeup tests over break."


Groans from some of the students in the class.


Teacher: "Alright, alright, settle down. I'll pass back you're exams. Your class rank will be posted tomorrow. Don't forget to sign up for your makeup classes in the faculty office."


The teacher is calling on students and handing back exams. When he calls Aiko, she accepts the papers back without looking at them. She puts them in her bag, gets up and departs the classroom. Yuka looks at Eriko, Eriko nods her head in Aiko's direction, indicating that Yuka should follow her. Yuka makes a thank you face and runs out of the room after Aiko.


Yuka catches up to Aiko in the hallway a ways down from the room, but not yet at the shoe lockers.


Aiko: "Did you need a ride home?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no' and points at Aiko's bag.


Aiko: "I don't need makeup classes if that's what you're worried about."


Yuka gives a little sad smile with a furrowed brow.


Aiko: "Is that all?"


Yuka shakes her head passionately 'no' as in "That's not all at all!" She grabs at Aiko's hands. Aiko looks away and pulls her hands away from Yuka.


Aiko: "Things change."


Yuka looks at her with tears in her eyes. Aiko turns back to face Yuka, blushes when meeting Yuka's eyes, and instinctively wipes the tears from Yuka's eyes.


Aiko: "Bye."


Aiko turns and leaves Yuka standing in the hall watching her go. Yuka sinks down and sobs. Other students are starting to leave their classrooms at this point and are awkwardly walking around her, whispering to themselves about her. It's the picture of loneliness with her squatting down crying in the hall, so small, while everyone else is walking around avoiding her.




Aiko enters her bedroom. She sets a brown bag on her desk. She puts both hands down on the desk leaning over it. She sees the application to the private school sitting there. She yells and sweeps everything off the desk in a fit of rage.


Aiko: "Arghhhhhhhh!"


She takes a few calming breaths to slow her breathing. She grabs a bottle of alcohol out of the bag and goes over to her window seat and starts drinking straight from the bottle.

(to be continued...)

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