In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 62

 "In the Morning, I'll Say Hello" is a yuri manga I wrote. 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 62

"Christmas Day - Part 1"



Eriko walks up to the door of Yuka and Suzu's apartment. She's got her gift in a bag. She looks down at it.


Eriko (to herself): "I wish it were something more special. Sigh..."


She knocks on the door. After a pause the door opens, it's Yuka. Yuka looks surprised with wide eyes.


Eriko: "Oh, um, hi."


Yuka lights up and motions her in.


They're sitting awkwardly on the couch. Just the two of them. There's some food out on the table, some decorations around.


Eriko: "Um, where's everyone else?"


Yuka shrugs.


Eriko: "I'm sorry, maybe I got the wrong day?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no' at Eriko.


Eriko: "Your sister said there was a Christmas party here tonight...but no one's...I...I should go."


Eriko goes to stand up, but Yuka grabs her shirt. Eriko turns. Yuka puts up a finger, as in "wait one minute" then runs off into her room. She comes back with a box tied with a beautiful ribbon. She sits next to Eriko, looks down in embarrassment, shoves the box towards her and blushes.


Eriko: " this...for me?"


Yuka, without looking up, shakes her head vigorously 'yes.'


Eriko: "Um, I...I got you something too."


Yuka looks up wide eyed at Eriko.


Eriko: "Wait, I'll...I'll get it."


Eriko goes and retrieves the gift bag from the front entrance.


Without making eye contact with Yuka, turning her head off to the side, she hands the bag to Yuka.


Eriko: "Here...for you."


Yuka is beaming. She reaches into the bag, rummages through the tissue paper, and pulls out the handkerchief. It’s embroidered with a “Y” for “Yuka” with flowers and ladybugs, bees, and butterflies around the “Y”. She's beaming with joy. She rubs it against her cheek, feeling the soft fabric.


Eriko (to herself): "Oh my god, she's so cute!"


Eriko: " it?"


Yuka shakes her head vigorously 'yes.'


Eriko: "I'm...I'm glad. I couldn’t get your other one clean..."


As Eriko says this, Yuka gives her a huge hug. Heart pounding sound effects. Eriko blushes.


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


Eriko is about to say something, but Yuka lets go and pushes the box towards Eriko.


Eriko: "Can it?"


Yuka nods ‘yes’ vigorously. Eriko undoes the ribbons around it slowly and carefully. When she opens the box top, there is tissue paper covering the gift. She carefully pulls the tissue paper back to reveal a dress. The dress from chapter 9, that Eriko was looking at in the window when she met Suzu and Yuka out shopping.


Eriko: "Wait, I don't...I don't understand. This dress. From that day..."


Yuka takes Eriko's hand and looks up expectantly at her.


Eriko: "You've had it all this time?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Eriko: "Have...have you been waiting...for me?"


Yuka nods 'yes' again. They are staring at each other, really looking at each other.


Eriko: "I...I've been waiting...for you...too."


Eriko (to herself): "Did I just confess?!"


Eriko blushes and looks away. Yuka reaches into the box and pulls out the dress and hands it to Eriko.


Eriko: " want me to try it on?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Eriko: ""


Yuks nods 'yes.'


Some time passes. Yuka is sitting on the couch, holding the new handkerchief against her cheek, waiting for Eriko to return from the bedroom. Eriko speaks from behind where Yuka is facing.


Eriko: " does I...look?"


Yuka turns around and we see Eriko in the dress. Eriko is demurring, shy, and blushing, looking slightly down and off to the side; radiant in her shy but statuesque beauty. Yuka lights up and blushes. She stands and runs over and into Eriko's body, giving her a deep embrace. At first Eriko's arms are off to the side - in shock - but gradually she relaxes and puts her arms around Yuka. Yuka looks up into Eriko's eyes. They're staring at each other, deeply. Eriko reaches down and brushes some loose hair out of Yuka’s face. Yuka is looking up at Eriko with huge eyes. Eriko bends down as Yuka stands up on her tip toes, they slowly move their heads towards each other until they are just millimeters apart, continuing to stare into each other's eyes. Just as they are about to kiss, Eriko starts to turn her head to the side, too shy to do it. But, Yuka gently reaches up and puts her tiny hand on Eriko's cheek, turning Eriko's face back towards hers. Eriko softly takes Yuka’s hand off her cheek and holds it in hers. Their fingers eventually intertwine. Eriko looks slightly scared. Yuka nods slightly (an affirmation) and closes her eyes, craning her head up to reach Eriko. Eriko leans down and gently kisses Yuka on the lips.


Suzu sitting in a coffee shop, sipping a drink, by herself. At the same time, we see Hatsue, with her parents and Tetsu and Megumi at home eating dinner - like a split screen - they have the same thought:


Suzu and Hatsue (both to themselves, but at the same time): "I wonder how things are going?"




At home, Eriko is in her bedroom, lying on the bed, staring at the dress hanging on a hanger on the wall. She blushes and puts her hands over her face. She rolls over and screams into the pillow while kicking her legs on the bed.




The door opens quickly. It's Heizo, breathing heavily, gasping for air.


Heizo: "Eriko-chan! Eriko-chan! Cough...cough...Are you okay?"


She rolls over embarrassed, blushing and beaming but trying to control it in front of him.


Eriko: "I'm fine, I'm fine. I'm sorry I scared you."


Heizo: "You're all red, are you sick?"


Eriko: "No...I...I feel..."


She turns to the side a little so as not to make eye contact with him.


Heizo: "Oh, I see...heehee...cough...well, now that I'm up, I'll be glad to sleep in my bed for once this week."


Eriko: "I'm sorry I woke you!"


Heizo: "No, no, it's quite alright. I'm just glad you had fun at your party. Goodnight."


Eriko: "Okay...goodnight."




Black panels, the three starburst lights representing Kami-sama, Eriko's mother and Eriko.


Angel Eriko: "Why did you call upon me tonight of all nights?"


Kami-sama: "There was a job to be done."


Eriko: "But Kami-sama - father - you saw. She loves me."


Kami-sama: "I saw your little display."


Eriko: "What more do I need to do to prove she loves me. Isn't it ever going to be enough?"


Kami-sama: "Do you really know what is in her heart? Can you say for certain that it is true love?"


Eriko: "I know what is in my heart."


Kami-sama: "That was not our arrangement."


Eriko: "How can I know what is in another's heart?"


Kami-sama: "That is the great dilemma of being human."


Eriko: "I will take being human any day over being trapped as your daughter, doing your bidding!"


Kami-sama: "As you wish, you still have time, three human months to prove she truly loves you."


Eriko: "Then, send me back."


We see the swish of a sword as blood splatters and feathers fall. Back to the all black panels and starbursts representing Kami-sama and Eriko's mother.


Eriko's mom: "Dear, you are toying with her."


Kami-sama: "She is becoming more like them by the day, acting like a human teenager, despite being as old as time itself."


Eriko's mom: "It appears you are enjoying that."


Kami-sama: "I do not enjoy my daughter's suffering, but no father wishes his daughter to leave unprepared."


Eriko's mom: "Then you have resigned yourself to her choice?"


Kami-sama: "Was it ever really a choice?"




Morning, we see a few flakes of snow gently falling outside through Eriko's window (between the openings of the curtain). A strong shaft of light cuts across her back. She is under blankets, but she has bled through them. She is lying on her stomach. She slowly stirs and scrunches up into a ball with her legs under her, and her back arched. She groans in pain.


We see Heizo sitting at the kitchen table with a huge breakfast spread. He is drinking tea. Eriko comes in wearily, wet hair from a shower, and in a t-shirt and shorts.


Heizo: "Merry Christmas Eriko-chan!"


Eriko: "Wha..what's all this?"


Heizo: "It's our first Christmas together, I thought it would be nice to have a big breakfast, something I hear is common in other countries."


Eriko: "Then you've never done this...before?"


Heizo: "I wanted to do something special, our own little tradition."


Eriko looks down.


Eriko: "Thank you."


Heizo, somewhat concerned.


Heizo: "Seems like you had fun at the party last night?"


Eriko: "Oh, um, yes. It was..."


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


Eriko: "...nice to see my friends."


Heizo: "When I took you in, it was hard to imagine you ever saying something like that. You've changed. It makes me happy."


Eriko: "Happy? But you've done so much for me, and I haven't done..."


Heizo pulls a present out from under the table and puts it in front of Eriko, interrupting her.


Eriko: "For...for me?"


Heizo: "I got you a little something."


Eriko: "You didn't have to, after everything..."


Heizo: "Hush, just open it."


Eriko carefully opens the present. It's a beautiful, art nouveau-like silver hand mirror.


Heizo: "It was Kinuko's."


[Ed. note: Kinuko is Heizo's deceased wife]


Eriko: "You...I can't..."


Heizo: "Please, you're like a daughter to me, she would want you to have it. Something beautiful for someone so beautiful."


Eriko: "B...beautiful?"


Heizo: "Yes, and growing more so every day. But...I know you don't see it...not knowing anything about your past, starting over from scratch. So I want you to look in this mirror, every day, and see just how amazing you are, to see how much is in front of you, no matter what's behind you."


Eriko: "No one's...ever...I don't think..."


Heizo: "Then I'm honored to be the first to say it. I love you my dear."


Eriko blushes.


Eriko (to herself): "Love?"


Eriko: "I...I..."


Heizo: "I'm glad you like it."


Eriko is looking down at the mirror, running her finger over the beautiful detailing in the metal frame. Heizo is gazing lovingly at her. She looks up suddenly.


Eriko: "Oh, wait, I have something...for you, too."


Eriko runs into her room and comes back with the gift for Heizo.


Heizo: "You shouldn't have. I'm supposed to be taking care of you."


Eriko: "I wanted to thank you...for everything."


He opens the bag and pulls out a beautiful, new, soft blanket.


Eriko: "It's so you don't get cold."


Heizo: "I love it. Thank you so much Eriko-chan."


Eriko: "I...I'm glad."


Eriko (to herself): "If only I could do something more for you. You've given me so much. You've given me...everything."




Yuka and Suzu are sitting on the couch, with some variously opened gifts, some boxes with clothes in them, etc... just a few. They're wearing Santa-hats with their PJs. Yuka has her hair back in a little pony-tail. Suzu is watching her.


Suzu (to herself): "She's growing up so fast, and looking more and more like mom every day."


Yuka notices Suzu looking at her and gives a big warm smile.


Suzu: "I know we said we wouldn't do much, but I got you one more."


Yuka looks at her happy/quizzically. Suzu hands her a little box. When Yuka opens it, it's a cell phone. Yuka looks down sadly at it.


Suzu: "Do you like it?"


Yuka closes the box up, and gently puts it in Suzu's hand.


Suzu: "I don't understand. You could text with Aiko-chan, and me...and with Arishima-san too!"


Yuka shakes her head 'no' gently.


Suzu: "Why? Why won't you even try? You won't write, you won't sign, and now this?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no' and won't look up.


Suzu: "Look at me. I want to know what is going on inside you. I love you so very much, but I know you're keeping so much locked up. Please. Just talk to me."


Tears start dripping onto Yuka's pant legs. She shakes her head 'no' violently, covers her eyes with her arm, and gets up and runs to her room.


Suzu (to herself): "Dammit! Why won't you tell me what you're really feeling. You don't need to protect me anymore."


Just then, Yuka comes out of her room, fully dressed and goes into the entry way. She's quickly putting on her shoes and coat. And leaves the apartment.


Suzu: "Wait, Yuka!"




Aiko's house. Aiko comes down the main stairs in the big grand front entryway. The house is cold and quiet and empty. Like normal. She sits at the dining room table alone. A housekeeper brings in a tray of food for her. She eats in silence. She finishes up and the tray is removed. Just as she's going to go up the stairs in the main entry, the doorbell rings. A different housekeeper goes to answer it.


Housekeeper 2: "Hello, Okumura residence."




Housekeeper 2: "Hello, Okumura residence, how can I help you?"




Housekeeper 2: "Apologies, Okumura-sama, it must have been a glitch in the system."


Aiko: "I wonder..."


Housekeeper 2: "I'm sorry?"


Aiko: "Nothing, thank you."


Aiko turns to walk up the stairs when the buzzer rings again.


Housekeeper 2: "Shall I answer it?"


Aiko: "Just buzz them in."


Housekeeper 2: "As you wish."


There is a knock on the door.


Aiko (to the housekeeper): "Please leave us."


Housekeeper 2: "As you wish."


Aiko opens the door to see Yuka standing there, bundled up against the cold. She's looking cute but sad, her nose is red, and it's clear she's been crying.


Aiko (to herself): "Have you been crying? What did she do to you?"


Aiko (coldly): "Since you came all this way, come in."




They're sitting in Aiko's room now, around a small table. It's awkward, Yuka is looking down.


Aiko: "Your hat and gloves, were they from Suzu-san?"


Yuka nods her head 'yes' subtly.


Aiko: "I'm sorry you came all this way, but I have plans today. I am going to see Sh..."


She stops herself abruptly. Yuka looks up and questioningly at her.


Aiko: "I have plans...."


They continue sitting even though it seems that Aiko ended the conversation. Aiko is hemming and hawing about something, seeming distracted. After a moment, Yuka starts to get up to leave.


Aiko: (to herself): "I wasn't going to...but you're here..."


Aiko: "Before you go..."


Aiko gets up and brings the gift bag from her desk over to Yuka.


Aiko: "It's for Christmas."


Yuka glows, eyes widen, when she gets this from Aiko. She opens it up and takes out a big scarab beetle encased in glass (like from a museum collection). She's turning it in the light, inspecting it all over. Her eyes are wide with glee and interest.


Aiko: "Do you like it?"


Yuka shakes her head 'yes' and goes to give Aiko a big hug, but Aiko is looking away sadly and turns a shoulder at Yuka's movement. Yuka sits back down.


Aiko: "If that's all then..."


Yuka hands Aiko the gift bag she brought.


Aiko: "For me?"


Yuka nods 'yes.' Aiko opens it, and takes out the snow globe (with the two friends holding hands while ice-skating) that Yuka bought earlier. Aiko flashes back quickly to the old snow globe with the bear, then picking up the shattered glass, then Yuka's cut finger, then the bear out of its globe on the ground.


Aiko dips her head and starts to softly cry, tear drops hitting the top of the glass dome of the new snow globe. Shocked, Yuka comes over and drapes herself around Aiko, attempting to console her, hugging her tightly, and taking her new handkerchief to Aiko's eyes.


Aiko eventually begins to get control of herself, takes the handkerchief from Yuka to dry her own eyes, and gently moves Yuka off her. She glances down at the handkerchief?


Aiko: "Is this new?"


Yuka does a little shy nod 'yes.'


Aiko: "Was it from her?"


Yuka does a single confirming 'yes' nod. Aiko silently hands it back to her.


Aiko: "I know I shouldn't be this way. I shouldn't be jealous of you and Arishima-san."


Yuka vigorously shakes her head 'no.'


Aiko: "No, let me talk. I've always thought of myself as the only one who could protect you. The only one who understood you. That you needed me."


Yuka takes Aiko's hand in hers.


Aiko: "But I was just limiting you. Keeping you from the world. I know that now, I know that I was holding on to you because I needed you, because you were all I had. And she has you instead."


Yuka gives a sad, furrowed brow expression, still clinging to Aiko's hands.


Aiko: "Yuka...I...I love you."


Yuka nods her head 'yes.'


Aiko: "No, not like that. I love you. I want to be with you. I don't want to share you with anyone."


Yuka slowly let's go of Aiko's hands.


Aiko: "It's too late for that, isn't it?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Aiko: "You're really with her now, aren't you?"


Yuka nods 'yes.' Aiko, straightening up, feigns propriety and elegant control of herself.


Aiko: "I see. Then please forget I said anything."


Aiko stands up, dropping Yuka's hands. Aiko walks over to the door and opens it.


Aiko: "I'm sorry, if you don't mind, I have to get ready to go."


Yuka pauses, but Aiko continues to keep the door open while looking off to the side, avoiding eye contact. Eventually, Yuka gets up and walks over to the door. As she's passing by Aiko, she's also walking past the desk by the door and notices the application to the private school on Aiko's desk. She looks up in horror at Aiko, but Aiko won't make eye contact. Yuka lowers her head and walks out the door.


With Yuka gone, Aiko goes over by her bed, sits on the ground, leans against the side of it, and holds the new snow globe in her hands. Suddenly, she throws it against the wall where it shatters. She starts sobbing.


When she's calmed a bit, Aiko picks up her cell phone and calls Hidaka.


Aiko: "I need to see you."

(to be continued...)

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