In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 69

 "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 69

"Is This a Family?"



Shiori and Aiko are walking out of the office door at the treatment center. As they leave the office, they turn and bow.


Shiori: "Thank you for all you have done for our family."


They walk out to the car and put the luggage in the taxi.


Shiori: "Is that everything?"


Aiko nods solemnly.


Aiko: "I'm sorry you had to miss work to pick me up."


Shiori: "Are you kidding? I'm proud of you for sticking with this. It had to be tough."


Aiko stands, looks up, lost in thought, at the front of the building, the sun high in the sky overtop of the entrance. She is startled at a call:




Kishi runs up and embraces Aiko.


Kishi: "I can't believe you're going...oh, Shiori-chan, good to see you again! We missed you at the last family day."


Aiko is pushing Kishi off of her and straightening out her clothing as Kishi is talking. Kishi doesn't even seem to notice or care since it's just Aiko being Aiko.


Shiori: "Thank you for taking care of my sister."


Kishi: "It was nothing, she would have done the same."


Shiori (to herself): "Are we talking about the same Aiko?"


Aiko: "You know you're always welcome, if you're ever..."


Kishi: "Out of here? Damn straight I'll be out of here. Don't you worry. I'll definitely come visit!"


Aiko bows stiffly.


Aiko: "Goodbye then."


Kishi: "You walk out this door and suddenly you're back where you were before. And everything is the same, but it's not, you know? Don't forget the things you learned in here, okay?"


Aiko: "I won't. Thank you...Kishi."


Kishi drapes herself over Aiko again, sobbing.


Kishi: "I'm going to miss you so much. But promise you'll never come back here, you have to promise!"


Aiko, smiling, strokes Kishi's hair.


Aiko: "Alright, I promise."


Aiko and Shiori are driving away. Kishi is waving at them like a crazy person in the background as they depart.


Shiori: "That's a different side of you. You should show it more often."


Aiko is staring silently out the window. There's a pause at this point.


Aiko: "I...I don't really want to go back yet."


Shiori: "You liked it that much?!"


Aiko: "No. It was awful. But...home..."


Shiori: "Well, why don't you come stay with me? We missed you over Christmas."


Aiko: "No. I'm sorry, that was selfish, I'd only be imposing."


Shiori: "Quit it. I just told you to be more open. Of course you should come to our place. I'm really glad you told me."


Aiko (to herself): "I'm just not ready to see her have her see me."




Shiori's house. They are taking their shoes off in the main entrance.


Shiori: "I'm home."


Aiko: "Sorry for the intrusion."


Kazu (Shiori's young child) comes running up to give his mom's legs a hug, but as he does so, he stares up wide eyed at Aiko.




Aiko: "Do you remember me?"


Kazu pauses and thinks for a bit.


Kazu: "Aunty Aiko?"


Aiko: "Mmmm hmmm."




He runs off squealing in joy that Aiko is here. Shiori and Aiko look at each other and laugh. Kazu runs past Keishi as he is entering the room.


Keishi: "Kazu-kun, what's all this noise? Oh, we have a guest!"


Aiko: "Forgive me for bothering you."


Keishi: "Please, no need to be so formal, come on in. I'm really glad you're here."


Aiko (to herself): "Who does he remind me of? So easy to be around..."


Walking into a bedroom.


Shiori: "You can use Kazu's room."


Aiko: "Is that okay? Doesn't he need it?"


Shiori: "Nah, he mostly sleeps with us anyway, even though it annoys Keishi."


Kazu is sort of milling around behind his mom's legs, not quite sure what to make of the guest. Aiko bends down to talk to him.


Aiko: "Thank you for sharing your room."


Kazu comes over and hands her a toy.


Kazu: "You can play with this too."


Aiko looks both shocked and like she might cry. Shiori pats him on the head.


Shiori: "Let's give Aunt Aiko a chance to get settled, it was a long ride."


Aiko alone in the room, sitting on the bed with her suitcase open next to her. She takes a long breath.


Aiko (to herself): "I can't believe I'm in her house, that I have Shiori back in my life. I always thought she was gone forever. I guess I thought the same was happening with Yuka...What a stupid little brat I've been."


She slaps the sides of her face with her hands, as if to wake herself up.


Aiko (to herself): "Okay, Aiko. Time to grow up."




Scenes of Shiori, Keishi, Kazu and Aiko eating dinner together around the table. Shiori and Keishi are talking, Kazu is playing with food. He picks something up and signals that Aiko is supposed to eat it off his chopsticks, which she does. He giggles wildly at this. Shiori silently smiles at this sweet interaction. But overall, Aiko is pretty silent and reserved during dinner, feeling out of place.


Shiori and Aiko doing the dishes.


Shiori: "It's different, isn't it?"


Aiko: "What is?"


Shiori: "Being a family like this. It took me a long time to get used to it too. When we first eloped, everything was so new and exciting, we were making things up as we went along. But now, being married, having a child, going to work, hanging out on the weekends, it's like the strangest dream. I'm always afraid I'm going to wake up and it will all be gone and I'll be back in that big empty house."


Aiko: "I have to go back there."


Shiori: "You don't. You shouldn't."


A pause.


Shiori: "Why don't you move in with us? I already talked to Keishi about it and he's all for it."


Aiko: "Thank you. But I could never do that to you. This is your life,'s not mine. Besides, I...I need to go back."


Shiori: "You'll always have a place here, okay?"


Aiko: "That makes me...happy."




Aiko, wearing a nightgown, in a dark hallway. Distant voices are heard. Aiko is dreaming.


Voice: "Just one more..."


Voice: "You need this..."


Aiko: "Get out of my head!"


She is walking down this endless hall in the dark. Arms start reaching out for her, grabbing at her, she's pulling away.


Voice: "Isn't this what you wanted?"


Voice: "I'll make you forget."


Aiko: "Stop touching me, get off, get off!"


The arms are all over her now, grabbing her limbs, pulling her hair, strangling her throat, covering her eyes, groping her.


Aiko: "Arghhhhhhhh, arghhhhhh..."


She can't speak, she's completely restrained, she's screaming in silence through her covered mouth, struggling and trying to get away in vain.


At the dream's peak, Aiko springs up in bed, awake, panting, sweat on her forehead, she's in Kazu's little room. She's breathing hard, tears rolling down, hair unkempt in her face, eyes wide in fear as she takes in her surroundings.



Aiko, Shiori, Keishi and Kazu are all in the car together.


Shiori: "You really didn't have to come with us."


Aiko: "It's fine."


Aiko (to herself): "I'd rather not be alone yet."


The car pulls up to a little rundown store in a little dusty town. The four of them get out and are standing there. It's still winter out. Things are pretty barren. Keishi turns to Aiko.


Keishi: "Not much to speak of, is it?"


Shiori: "Hush, I love it here!"


Right then, an old dog comes loping out and tackles Aiko to the ground, licking her face while she's screaming and fighting to get it off, her arms in front of her face, she's hysterical.


Aiko: "Arghhhh, Don't touch me, please, somebody!"


Keishi comes over to pull it off and an old man runs out waving his cane at the dog.


Man: "Get off her you stupid beast!"


The dog looks up with a "what did I do?" expression at the man and lops off somewhere else. Aiko is curled into a ball on the ground, hands over her face, sobbing. Shiori has bent down and is holding Aiko's head, clearing the hair off.


Shiori: "Shhh, shhh, it's okay, it was just a dog...a stupid, stupid dog."


Man: "I'm truly sorry miss, but he didn't mean anything by it. He must have liked you a lot from what I gather."


Aiko is slowly pulling herself together, looking into Shiori's face.


Shiori (to herself): "You poor thing, what have you been through, to be frightened that way?"


Shiori: "Are you okay Aiko?"


Aiko: "I...I think I'm more embarrassed than anything now."


Man: "Nothing to be embarrassed about, a fine young lady like you, getting mauled by a beast like that. Well, at least he has good taste, just like this stupid son of mine."


Aiko: "Son?"


Keishi: "Aiko-chan, this is my dad, Junnosuke Handa."


Aiko: "Oh! How do you do, I'm Aiko Okumura, Shiori's younger sister."


Junnosuke: "I don't know what he ever did right in life to deserve having two lovely women from your family by his side."


Keishi: "Dad!!!"


Junnosuke: "Hush. Shiori-chan, Aiko-chan, come in, Nayoko's been antsy all morning waiting for you, not that she'll admit it."




They walk into the front of the dilapidated shop, a general store type of place (some food, some general merchandise), and straight through to the back, into the main part of the house. It's dimly lit, just daylight passing through partially drawn shades. Sitting at the kotatsu is an old woman, bent over, eyes vacant.


Kazu: "Baba!!!!"


Kazu runs straight into her, she doesn't look down, but keeps looking across the room, as if staring at nothing, she is blind, but the minute his body touches her, she opens up her arms to him and snuggles him tightly.


Nayoko: "Oh, Kazu-kun, you've gotten so big. I can tell you're eating all the meat your parents bring home. Good boy! Are you leaving anything for them?"


Keishi: "Hi mom."


Nayoko: "I know you two didn't come alone."


Shiori comes up and gently touches Nayoko's shoulder with tenderness and warmth and says gently:


Shiori: "Oka-san, hello."


Aiko (to herself): "She never spoke to mom like that."


Nayoko takes an old hand and rests it on Shiori's which is still on her shoulder.


Nayoko: "We missed you dear."


Shiori: "I brought someone I'd like you to meet."


Nayoko: "Oh, ho, you always are good for a surprise. Who is it, a younger man? I'd like to trade up from the one I've got!"


Junnoske: "Hmphf."


Shiori: "Next time, I promise!"


Aiko walks over.


Shiori: "Oka-san, this is my sister, Aiko. I hope you don't mind that she came with us."


Aiko walks over and kneels in front of Nayoko.


Aiko: "Thank you for having me, it's a pleasure to meet you."


Nayoko: "Here, give me your hands."


Aiko puts out her two hands which Nayoko takes in hers, touching them gently.


Nayoko: "Tell me, what sort of spell did my dumb-ass son cast on you two? Is it too late to get away?"


Keishi: "Geeez, mom! Not you too!"


Nayoko: "Shut up, fool, go out and play with that stupid dog of yours or something! I've got my girls now."


Keishi: "Sigh, alright Kazu, come on, let's go. I swear, I don't know why I bother coming back here."


Junnosuke: "HAHAHAHA."


The three men/boys leave. Shiori brings a cup of tea over for Nayoko.


Shiori: "Here, some tea."


Nayoko: "Thank you dear."


Shiori: "How do you feel?"


Nayoko: "Like a fresh breeze over a spring field now that you two are here. I tell you, that old man is good for nothin!"


Aiko laughs at this, then suspecting her rudeness covers up her mouth.


Nayoko: "Quite right, quite right, absolutely useless! How's my idiot son treating you?"


Shiori: "He's still my prince."


Turning to Aiko.


Nayoko: "Do you have any idea what she sees in him?"


Aiko: "Well, to be honest...he's a good father and..."


Nayoko: "And?"


Aiko: "He seems to care about her."


Nayoko: "Damn right he does, and he'd be a fool not to. It's the only thing he's ever done right in his life! Now, what about you? Please tell me you have better taste in men than your sister."


Aiko: "There's no one, right now."


Shiori: "That's not what it looked like to me."

Aiko blushes and turns half-angry/half in jest towards Shiori.


Aiko: "Shiori!"


Nayoko: "HAHAHAHAHA, good, good, he sounds wonderful!"




Aiko is sitting on the back porch of Keishi's parent's house, bundled up in a warm coat, hat, breathing into her hands for warmth, watching Shiori and Keishi and Kazu playing in the backyard with the dog. They're throwing sticks and he's bring them back. Kazu tries to climb on the back of the dog. Shiori quickly runs over to save the dog. Then we see that Kazu is riding on Keishi's back. Keishi is on all fours. Shiori is laughing hysterically at this.


Nayoko comes over and sits next to Aiko.


Nayoko: "They're lovely aren't they?"


Aiko turns to look at her but is silent and a bit befuddled.


Nayoko: "You're wondering how I know since I can't see. Well, you don't need eyes to know when people are in love."


Aiko: "Hmmm."


Nayoko: "I was sorry to hear about your mother."


Aiko: "Thank you."


Nayoko: "Shiori-chan spoke of her often."


Aiko: "She did?"


Nayoko: "Yes, and you too. She loves you both very much."


Aiko: "I"




Aiko, Shiori and Nayoko are cooking in the kitchen. Keishi and Junnoske are in the other room.


Keishi: "Shioriiiii he's making me massage him again!"


Junnoske: "Well it's cold and my joints ache."


Shiori is yelling from out of the kitchen:


Shiori: "Isn't that a son's responsibility?"


Junnoske: "Damn right, this is the only reason I had him!"


Keishi: "But he's so old and wrinkly!"


Junnoske hits him on the head.


Junnoske: "Shut up, you ungrateful leach. Get back to work."




A big dinner spread at the kotatsu. They all say "itadakimasu" and begin eating.


Keishi: "Pass the fish please."


Junnoske: "Get it your damn self."


Keishi: "Geez dad!"


Nayoko: "Kazu-kun, are you in school yet?"


Kazu: "I go to daycare!"


Nayoko: "Oh! Good for you. Do you like it?"


Kazu: "Yeah, I get to play with n-kun all day."


Nayoko: "That IS exciting."


Shiori: "Keishi just got a promotion at work."


Junnoske: "So, that degree of yours is finally paying off?"


Keishi: "Yeah dad, for like the last 8 years!"


Nayoko: "Oh, Kazu, you didn't finish your vegetables."


Kazu: "You can't see!"


Shiori: "Kazu!"


Nayoko: "HAHAHA, true, but I can hear the sound the plate makes when your chopsticks touch it. I'm right, aren't I?"


Kazu (reluctantly/sulky): "Yeah."


Junnosuke: "Don't feel bad Kazu-kun, I can't get away with anything either."


Aiko has been silently eating this whole time, watching all the warm interactions between everyone.


Aiko (to herself): "Is this what a family is like? Could we have had this?"




Aiko and Kazu are sleeping in futons next to each other in Kazu's room. Aiko is dreaming.



Aiko is walking down the hall of the school. As she's walking, students are whispering and pointing at her. All their eyes are on her. At the end of the hall is Yuka. Yuka just stares meanly at Aiko and points a finger at her.


Our vantage point shifts suddenly over to Aiko, who is now naked and curled up, she is surrounded by scary men, their faces are not clear, but their eyes hungry and lustful almost like demons. The men are closing in on her, their fingers like claws reaching for her, she's surrounded. There's a flash of light and the men are all splayed out dead, pools of blood under each, feathers floating in the pools of blood.

[Dream ends]


Aiko wakes up gasping, sweaty, and crying. She looks over and sees Kazu sleeping, she clamps her hands over her mouth to keep quiet.




Shiori walks out in the night and sits next to Aiko who is sitting in the dark on the back porch. She drapes a blanket over Aiko, Aiko looks up at her. Shiori settles down next to her and gets under the blanket.


Shiori: "Couldn't sleep?"


Aiko: "mmmm"


Shiori: "Want to talk?"


Aiko: "No."


Shiori: "Let's try again. Need to talk?"


Aiko: "Maybe."


A pause.


Aiko: "Since mom died...I...I've felt so untethered, like caring for her was the only thing keeping me grounded. I had everything under control until then."


Shiori: "Really?"


Aiko takes a deep breath and sighs.


Aiko: "No...I guess not...I understand why you left now."


Shiori: "They're pretty incredible, his parents, aren't they?"


Aiko: "Yeah."


Aiko (to herself): "But I wanted that too."


A pause while they look up at the stars.


Aiko: "If he was born out here, how'd you meet him?"


Shiori: "Keishi? We met at a concert. It turns out we loved the same band and we kept running in to each other at shows."


Aiko: "He drove all the way there for the band?"


Shiori: "Well, maybe at first. But then, I'd like to think, maybe it was to see me."


Aiko: "Gah, how can you say something like that out loud?"


Shiori: "HAHAHAHAHA. Well, love it love, and it does strange things to a person."


Aiko: "You really do love him."


Shiori: "Yeah, more than anything."


Aiko: "I...I told Yuka-chan I loved her."


Shiori: "And, do you?"


Aiko: "I...I do, but...she was already in love, with someone else."


Shiori: "Is it that girl?"


Aiko: "How'd...?"


Shiori: "And you love her in the same way?"


Aiko: "I...I don't really know. I just didn't want to lose her to anyone."


Shiori: "Was that her only choice?"


Aiko: "Her choice?"


Shiori: "Yeah, she gets to choose how many people she can love, and I bet her heart is big enough for more than just one at a time."


Aiko: "I...I know that."


Shiori: "So what are you going to do now?"


Aiko: "I'm scared to face her, but I want to be someone worthy of being with her."


Shirori: "Worthy? How could you ever doubt yourself?"


Aiko: "I...I've never really liked myself. But now...after everything I've done...everything that was done to can I face her again?"


Aiko is crying now, totally vulnerable and open, fully exposed.


Shiori: "Oh, Aiko! You have nothing to be ashamed of. If she is worthy of your love, then she would never stop loving you, no matter what!"


Aiko: "Really?"


Shiori: "Have faith in her! Let her love you, just the way you are, for everything you are, in whatever way she can. But more importantly, I want you to love yourself too. You are my most treasured, one and only sister."


Aiko "Sister..."


Slowly, Aiko has leaned against Shiori and closed her eyes. Shiori pushes the hair out of Aiko's face and Aiko drifts off to sleep against Shiori. Shiori smiles gently.


Shiori: "Good, maybe you'll finally get some rest."


From inside the door way, Nayoko turns around with a gentle smile on her face and goes back into the house.


(to be continued...)

No comments:

Post a Comment