In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 61

 "In the Morning, I'll Say Hello" is a yuri manga 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 61

"What Do You Want To Say?"



Hatsue is reading some manga on her bed. Her cell phone rings. It says "Kiyoura."


Hatsue (to herself): "Yuka-chan's sister?"


She answers the phone.


Hatsue: "Hello?"


Suzu: "Hi Fujimaki-san, it's been a long time."


Hatsue: "Kiyoura-onee-san, how are you?"


Suzu: "I'm good, but I need your help with something."


Hatsue: "Uhhh, sure, what's up?"


Suzu: "I want you to pretend you're coming to a party at our place on Christmas eve."


Hatsue: "Umm, is there a party at your place?"


Suzu: "Well, maybe just a party for two."


Hatsue: “And you’re not one of them?”


Suzu: “Nope. Let’s call it my little present to Yuka. So will you help?”


Hatsue (to herself): "How much does she know?"


Hatsue: "If it's what I'm thinking, then you can count me in!"






Heizo's shop. Eriko working the counter. She puts her head down on her arms on the countertop. She drifts off.


[All black panels, disembodied voices overlapping]

"What good is all this power if I hurt her so..."

"How could you? How could you try to throw your life away?"

"You've grown so much. You're not that little girl anymore."

"Please, I'll do anything, anything!"

"Yes, I'll give it all up, whatever you ask."


The bell on the shop door rings, Eriko snaps awake.


Eriko: "Wha...what?"


A customer walks in. It's Miura-san, the one who always needs his vintage radio fixed (referenced in prior chapter).


Miura: "Good morning, Eriko-chan!"


Eriko: "Oh, good morning to you."


Miura: "I was in the area and thought I'd check on the old beauty."


Eriko (to herself): "Does he mean Arishima-san?"


Miura (sensing Eriko's confusion): "Do you think he's done with my radio?"


Eriko: "Oh, let me go back and check with Arishima-san."


Eriko goes into the main house where Heizo's workbench is set up. She finds him asleep in the chair. She is carefully looking around at the shelves above it, looking for the radio. As she's shuffling around, Heizo wakes up.


Eriko (to herself): "He's been falling asleep a lot more lately. I hope he's okay."


Heizo: "Oh, Eriko...cough."


Eriko: "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you."


Heizo: "No, no, I should get back to work."


Eriko: " Miura-san is out front."


Heizo: "Ah, yes, I'm just waiting for a part to come in."


Eriko: "Okay, I'll let him know it's not ready yet."


Heizo: "Thank you dear."


Eriko (to herself): "Why doesn't he want to greet him?"


Eriko goes back up front to the customer.


Eriko: "Arishima-san is waiting for a part to come in."


Miura: "No problem, I'll check back in next week."


Eriko: "Thank you, please do."


Miura starts to leave, but turns back to Eriko.


Miura: "I don't mean to pry, but you've been working a lot lately. Is Arishima-san okay?"


Eriko: "Oh, I just...thought I'd help out more."


Miura: "He's really lucky to have you."


Eriko: "Thank you...but I...I owe him so much."


Miura: "I'm sure he doesn't think of it that way at all. Well, please give him my regards."


Eriko: "I will. Have a good day."


The customer leaves. Eriko goes into the back and finds Heizo asleep again. She drapes a blanket over his shoulders.


Eriko (to herself): "Ever since the hospital...what's going on with you?"




Suzu is in the kitchen cleaning up. Yuka is watching anime like normal. Then there's a commercial for some Christmas sale at a local store. Suzu walks up behind the couch and says to Yuka:


Suzu: "Want me to call Aiko-chan, maybe you two can hit the sales together?"


Suzu (to herself): "I probably shouldn't be butting in, but..."


Yuka doesn't look at her and shakes her head 'no.'


Suzu: "It's been months, are you ever going to tell me what happened with you two?"


Yuka looks at her, then looks down and shakes her head softly 'no.'


Suzu: "Whatever it was, I'm sure it wasn't your fault."


Yuka shakes her head 'no' again, but more forcefully this time. She doesn't look up at Suzu.


Suzu: "But you do want things to get better?"


Yuka looks up quickly at her and vigorously shakes her head 'yes' with a glint of tears in her eyes.


Suzu: "Okay then, that's good enough. I won't ask any more. Just don't give up on her okay?"


Yuka stands up on the couch and hugs Suzu.


Suzu (to herself): "Something really is wrong. It's been forever since you've hugged me like all those years ago."


Suzu: "Alright, why don't we call Arishima-san and Fujimaki-san then, see if they want to go shopping?"


Yuka blushes, looks down, and shakes her head 'no' softly.


Suzu: "You're not fighting with Arishima-san too, are you?"


Yuka shakes 'no' and blushes.


Suzu: "Oh, I see, maybe you're thinking about getting her something for tomorrow's party?"


Yuka blushes fiercely and looks away shyly.


Suzu: "Why don't we make it a sister-date then? Just you and me."


Yuka shakes her head 'yes' vigorously while smiling broadly.




The bell on Heizo's shop door rings as the door opens. Eriko comes out to the counter.


Eriko: "Hello, how can I... Oh!"


It's Hatsue.


Hatuse: "Ready to go?”


Eriko: "I'm sorry, I might need to keep helping with the shop."


Hatsue: "Is Arishima-san okay?"


Eriko: "Um...actually...I don't know."


Right then Heizo comes up to the front.


Heizo: "Ah, Fujimaki-san, it's been a while."


Hatuse (to herself): "He looks...older?"


Hatsue: "It's good to see you again, have you been well?"


Eriko: "I'm sorry, did we wake you?"


Heizo: "These old bones just aren't the same in the cold, that's all. Cough...cough...So what are you two up to today?"


Eriko: "I was planning on staying up here in case Noda-san comes in for his player."


Heizo: "Don't be silly, you two should go out and have fun. It's the weekend after all."


Hatsue: "Come on Eriko-chan, let's go shopping! I want your help picking something out for Ishihara-kun."


Heizo: "Oh, shopping. You'll need money, hold on a moment."


Eriko: "Wait, what...?"


Heizo rummages around in the cash register and gives her some money.


Eriko: "I couldn't...please."


Heizo: "I insist, you've been such a help these last few weeks. Besides, I'm sure you want to get something nice for the little one."

Eriko blushes and her eyes widen, she gets flustered.


Eriko: "No...I mean...that's not..."


Hatsue starts laughing.


Hatsue: "HAHAHAHAHA, transparent as ever!"


Heizo: "Just go out and have fun. It's okay to act your age from time to time. Now's the time to enjoy life before you're old like me."


Eriko: "Will you be alright?"


Heizo: "Of course, why would you even ask?"


Eriko (to herself): "You know why and you're not telling me."


Eriko: "Oh, ummm, okay. Thank you for the money. I won't be out too long, I promise."


Heizo: "Don't mind me, just have fun with your friend."


Hatsue: "You heard him, let's go!"




Yuka and Suzu out shopping. They’re looking around in various shops. Trying things on, laughing at ridiculous things. Looking at crazy expensive things. Yuka is looking at some jewelry. Suzu comes over.


Suzu: “That’s really pretty. Are you thinking of buying it for anyone special?”


Yuka shakes her head 'no.'


Suzu: “Really, not for someone like Arishima-san?”


Yuka blushes and shakes 'no' even harder.


Suzu (to herself): “She’s too cute, I’ve got to tease her a little more.”


Suzu: “I was sure you’d want to get her a Christmas present. Oh well, I guess I was wrong.”


Yuka looks down sheepishly and shakes her head 'no' softly.


Out of the corner of her eye, just as Yuka is shaking her head 'no,' a middle-aged woman with her hair back in a ponytail walks around a corner of an aisle, briefly appearing to make eye contact with Suzu.


Suzu (to herself): "Wait, that...that looked like..."


Yuka taps Suzu on her arm, bringing her back to attention.


Suzu: "Oh, I'm sorry, I got distracted."


Yuka tilts her head and gives Suzu a quizzical look.


Suzu: "Ah, it was nothing, don't mind me!"




Hatsue and Eriko on the train.


Hatsue: “So what are you going to get Yuka-chan for Christmas?”


Eriko: “What?!”


Hatsue: “You really weren’t going to get her anything?”


Eriko: “No...I mean...I hadn’t decided yet.”


Hatsue: “Hahahaha, finally being honest with yourself!”


She’s hugging Eriko who is squirming and pushing her away. Hatsue’s just laughing at her.


Eriko: “But...I really don’t know what to get her.”


Hatsue: “Well, what do you want the gift to say?”


Eriko: “Say?”


Hatsue: “Of course, a Christmas gift is important. You can really tell how someone feels about you by what they get you.”


Eriko: “I...I hadn’t thought of that. Does that mean you’ve thought about it for Ishihara-kun?”


Hatsue: “I have...I’m thinking of getting him a new gym bag.”


Eriko: “What’s that supposed to say to him?”


Hatsue: “I never said I was good at this.”


They are both sweetly laughing at, and with, each other.




Yuka and Suzu out shopping still. They’re in a shop with a lot of Christmas stuff.


Suzu: "I'm going to check out the sale section."


Yuka wanders over to where there are some Christmas decorations. She’s looking around and sees a display of snow globes. She picks one up. We get a flash-back.



Young child-age Yuka is walking down the hall of Aiko’s house and is about to pass Aiko’s bedroom. Through the partially open door she sees a snow globe on the desk. The snow globe features a teddy bear wearing a Santa hat. She opens the door and goes in. She’s looking at the light streaming through the glass of the globe.


Voice: “That was from dad last year, he was away on a trip and brought it back for her.”


Yuka turns around to see Shiori there. Shiori picks it up and shakes it so the snow is falling and sets it back on the desk.


Aiko: “Hey, what are you doing in my room?”


At this unexpected arrival Yuka turns around quickly knocking into the desk and the snow globe falls and shatters on the ground.


Aiko: “What have you done, you idiot!?”


Yuka reaches out to Aiko, begging for forgiveness, with pleading eyes.


Shiori: “Don’t yell at her, it was just an accident.”


Yuka bends down and starts to pick up the glass.


Shiori: “Careful, don’t cut yourself.”


As she's saying this, Yuka cuts her finger on the glass.


Shiori: “Yuka-chan! Aiko, run and get the first-aid kit.”


Aiko turns her back to them but stays still.


Shiori: “Come on Yuka-chan, let’s get that cleaned up in the bathroom.”


Shiori takes Yuka (with an arm around her) out the door. As they’re leaving, Yuka looks back and sees Aiko bend down and pick up the Teddy-bear that was in the snow globe. Aiko starts quietly crying.


[Flashback ends]


Back in the store. Yuka has a tear in her eye. She takes down a snow globe with two friends holding hands while ice-skating. She hugs it tightly into her chest.




Hatuse and Eriko are walking down a busy street.


Eriko: “You never used to be able to walk around people like this.”


Hatsue: “It’s all thanks to you.”


Eriko: “So it’s my fault you're with that boy then too?”


Hatsue: “Yup, all your fault! Oh! A stationary store, can we go in? I want to get something for Megumi-chan.”


They’re in the store now. As they’re browsing, Eriko passes some cute notebooks and pens.


Eriko (to herself): “I wonder if she would like something like this? Maybe she could use it to me?"


Eriko has a little fantasy where Yuka is writing in the notebook, then turns to show it to her and it’s a picture of the two of them with a big heart around it. Eriko shakes her head to clear her mind.


Eriko (to herself): “Gah, what am I thinking?”


She continues to pick up notebooks and pens.


Eriko (to herself): “I wonder why she doesn’t write? Doesn’t she want people to know what she’s thinking? I want to know what she’s thinking. But maybe...maybe there's something she can't tell anyone. I guess I don't really know anything about her.”


Hatsue comes over.


Hatsue: “Oh that’s cute, for Yuka-chan?”


Eriko: “Ah, oh, what? No, not this.”


Eriko puts the notebook down.






Aiko, with Tayama, having a lunch at a fancy restaurant. There are shopping bags from nice stores by Aiko's chair.


Tayama: “I’m glad you called.”


Aiko: “My driver has the day off.”


Tayama: “So you’re just using me?”


Aiko: “Couldn’t I say the same?”


Tayama: “I thought we’d been through that already?”


Aiko: “So you say.”


Aiko turns away from the conversation, staring out the window at the people passing by. A young girl, her older sister, and a mom are walking down the street laughing with each other.


Aiko (to herself): “Could that have been us? No, I suppose we were never like that.”


Right then Aiko feels something and swats at Tayama who had taken a handkerchief to Aiko’s eyes.


Aiko: “What are you doing?”


Tayama: “You were crying.”


Aiko: “I was doing no such thing.”


Tayama: “Was it that family you were watching?”


Aiko: “This is why I don’t like you.”


Tayama: “Because I can see through you?”


Aiko: “Because you think you can.”




Hatsue and Eriko in another shop. Eriko is looking at handkerchiefs. She’s fingering a few delicately.


Eriko (to herself): "It's so reminds me of..."


A sales clerk walks up.


Clerk: “Hello, we can do custom embroidery on those if you’d like?”


Eriko startles at the person talking to her.


Eriko: "Wh...what?"


Clerk "We can put monograms or other designs right on them to personalize them. It only takes a few minutes"


Eriko hands/forces it toward the clerk with a blush on her cheeks.


Eriko: "O....okay."




Hatsue and Eriko on the train home. They both have some bags.


Hatsue: “Whew, I’m beat.”




Hatsue: "You've been quiet about it all day, but what’s the progress update with Yuka-chan? It seems like you've been closer since the school festival."


Eriko: "I...I still don't know."


Hatsue: "Still don't know what? That you looooooove her?"


Eriko: "Quit it!"


They are laughing.


Hatsue: "I won't lecture you, but it'll never go anywhere if you aren't decisive."


Eriko: "I know how I feel...about her."


Hatsue: "FINALLY! Then what's the holdup?"


Eriko: "What if she...feels the same way?"


Hatsue (to herself): "That wasn't what I was expecting her to say at all!"


Hatsue: "How exactly would that be a problem?"


Eriko: "But I...I don't know what's next..."


Hatsue: " and me both!"


Eriko: "They were bleeding again...the scars."


Hatsue: "How often is it now?"


Eriko: "A couple times a week."


Hatsue: "And you're worried about her seeing them again?"


Eriko: "She...she already did."


Hatsue: "WHAT!? When?! How far have you two gone?!"


Eriko: "No, no! Nothing like that!"


Hatsue: "I'm kidding, geez!"


Eriko: "Oh. was during the festival. In the bathroom, when I was changing."


Hatsue: "It doesn't seem like she's avoiding you or anything since then, so that’s good!"


Eriko: "I've also been remembering, little bits, lately."


Hatsue: "Really?!"


Eriko: " can I get her caught up in something that I don't even understand? What if I remember something terrible? What if I can't stay here?!"


Hatsue (to herself): "Wow, I've never heard her talk so much at one time."


Hatsue: "If you tell her how you feel, then it's her choice. Right now, keeping your feelings from her, you're making the decision for her."


Eriko: "At least...I can't hurt her...this way."


Hatsue: "Hurt...well, that's just part of life."


Eriko: "mmmm"


Hatsue: "Have faith in her. If you love her, and can believe there might be a chance she really loves you back, then tell her, tell her everything you know and everything you don't, and let her decide for herself what she wants to do."


Eriko: "And if she doesn't want to be with me?"


Hatsue: "Then you cry, you cry a lot, and one day you pick your head back up."


Eriko: "You make it sound so easy?"


Hatsue (sadly): "It's not, it's not easy at all."


Eriko: "I...I'm sorry, I forget sometimes."


Hatsue: "That's okay, I've picked my head up, opened my eyes, and someone new was standing there in front of me."


Eriko: "I don't want someone new."


Hatsue: "Then tell her that, and everything else, and believe in her."




Eriko walks into her house.


Eriko: "I'm home."


There's no response. She walks into the main room and sees Heizo asleep in his chair. She leans in.


Eriko (to herself): "He looks so fragile lately. His chest barely rises when he breathes."


She covers him up with a blanket. And is about to lean in to kiss his forehead. She realizes what she's instinctively doing and backs away.


Eriko (to herself): "What...what was I...?"


Eriko in the bath now. She thinks back to the scene with Aiko in the cemetery after Aiko's mother's funeral:




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


Aiko: “She made her choice.”


Eriko: “So you just cut her off?”


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


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.”

[Flashback ends]


Eriko blushes and groans in embarrassment.


Eriko: "How could I have said something so embarrassing? But I still haven't even done anything about it yet. I'm just all talk. Just like Ha-chan said..."


Under water, exhaling all her air in a scream of frustration




Surfacing from the water gasping for air, her hair flying, drops of water spraying, clutching her chest.


Eriko: "Tomorrow, at the party...I hope she’ll like it."




Night, Aiko in her bedroom. Thinking back to the earlier date with Tayama.


Aiko (to herself): “You really can see through me, can’t you?”


She takes a big swill from the liquor bottle she’s holding.


Aiko (to herself): "Why doesn't it scare you, like it scares me?"

(to be continued...)

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