In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 70

 "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 70

"What If They See?"



Eriko and Yuka are walking down the hall of the school, each carrying a stack of class notebooks. It's early morning. There really aren't many people in the hallway.


Eriko (to herself): "Why does the teacher make me get his stuff when he forgets?"


Yuka turns into an empty classroom.


Eriko: "Hey! Wait...that isn't our..."


But as Eriko follows her in to the empty room, Yuka puts the notebooks down on a desk and stares up at Eriko. Eriko stands there uncertain. Yuka comes and puts a hand on the top of Eriko's stack of notebooks. Eriko puts her notebooks down on a desk at this gesture. The room is dark other than the open door, the curtains are drawn letting in only a diffuse light through the sheers.


Eriko: "Um...Is everything...okay?"


But as she sets her stuff down, Yuka gets up on her tiptoes and kisses Eriko who is bent enough from setting the books down that their lips meet. Eriko reacts by backing away quickly, with wide eyes.


Eriko: "What...Not here! People might...see."


She is looking around and noticing that nobody is in the room or at the door. Then she turns back towards Yuka who is looking down sadly.


Eriko: "I...I didn't mean it that way....I just..."


Yuka shakes her head 'no' and picks up her stuff. She starts to walk past Eriko.


Eriko (to herself): "No, I don't want her to think that I didn't want to. Don't mess this up! Be forward, like Hatsue-chan said!"


Eriko blushes and says haltingly:


Eriko: "C...come here."


Eriko moves over to the side of the room, just out of easy view of the doorway. Yuka tips her head, puts her stack back down on a desk and goes over to Eriko. Eriko bends down and kisses Yuka gently on the lips. Their eyes close.




Scenes of class going by. Eriko head down, but looking over at Yuka who is variously doing work, drawing, staring out the window, etc...


Eriko (to herself): "How did I get so lucky? She...she's actually my...I get to...kiss her...and stuff!"


She's blushing fiercely while looking at Yuka and thinking these thoughts.


Voice: "! Hello? Arishima-san!"


Eriko is shocked into awareness and stands up right in the middle of class, forgetting where she is, speaking aggressively.


Eriko: "What?!"


She's looking around confused but also aggressive in her posture. The class erupts into laughter at this.


Teacher: "Thank you for rejoining us Arishima-san. Now, if you'd be so kind, please come up to the board to complete this problem."


Eriko: "Oh, um...I wasn't...I mean, I don't know how."


Teacher: "After all that...sigh...Is there someone else who was actually paying attention who can do this for us?"


Eriko slumps back down into her seat. She catches Yuka's eye as she does so. Yuka gives her a kind smile. Eriko buries her head in her arms, embarrassed.


Eriko (to herself): "I can't believe I did that in front of her. I'm such an idiot."




The students are cleaning up at the end of the day in a classroom. Eriko turns to Yuka who is sweeping between the desks.


Eriko: "I have to take the science room...because of earlier."


Eriko (to herself): "Stupid teacher, giving me extra work..."


Eriko leaves the room with the box of science supplies. Yuka watches her, then looks around to see who else is around.


Eriko is in the science room. She is on her tiptoes putting the box of supplies up high on a shelf in the lab room (we know this is the science room from the glass doored wooden cabinets holding microscopes and beakers and stuff - same room they've been in for labs in other chapters).


Eriko (to herself): "He just found an excuse to make me do this because I'm the tallest."


Just then she is grabbed from behind around her waist.


Eriko: "HEY!"


She turns to look, careful not to drop the box she is still only half-way putting on the top shelf, to see that it is Yuka hugging her from behind. Yuka looks up with a big grin on her face.


Eriko: "Kiyoura...I...I could have..."


Eriko (to herself): "I could have hurt you, like before, but I didn't."


Eriko carefully finishes putting the box on the shelf. Gets off her tip toes, and turns half around, half bending (Yuka still holding around her waist), looks around, and kisses Yuka on the forehead. As she does this, she sees what appears to be a shadow moving away from the open door, as if a person was there. Eriko quickly separates from Yuka who is a bit confused.


Eriko (to herself): "Did someone see us?"


Eriko looks at the confused Yuka.


Eriko: "Lets um, finish cleaning so we home together."


Yuka nods approvingly.




At the school entrance. End of the day. Cold and gray and wintery out. Eriko and Yuka are saying goodbye to Hatsue after school. Hatsue is waving goodbye after them.


Hatsue: "Bye bye!"


Eriko: "Bye."


Eriko and Yuka walk away, Hatsue watches them for a bit as they walk down the sidewalk together. Eriko's hands are in her pockets, but Yuka has mittens on and is walking her normal happy walk beside Eriko. As Hatsue watches, when they get far enough away from the school, Yuka sort of checks behind her to see if anyone is around, takes off her mitten and pulls Eriko's hand out of her pocket and takes it in her hand. Eriko looks down at her, Yuka smiles, and Eriko blushes and turns back straight ahead, still holding her hand. Hatsue smiles to herself at seeing this in the distance.


Hatsue (to herself): "I hope you two stay this happy forever, you've both worked hard for this."




Eriko and Yuka are in a stationary store after school. They're both browsing around, Eriko half-heartedly, Yuka more like she was the one that wanted to go there to look for something specific. As they make their way to a back part of the store, Yuka looks back and forth, and not seeing anyone, motions for Eriko to come closer.


Eriko: "What is it?"


Yuka puts her hands behind her back and closes her eyes. Eriko looks around embarrassedly.


Eriko: "Um...but...people might see us."


Yuka opens her eyes and makes a little frown face. Then nods "okay" and goes back to what she was looking at. We see a sad face on her that Eriko does not see.




Eriko and Yuka come up to the train station. As they get near, Eriko casually lets go of Yuka's hand. Yuka looks up at her but Eriko doesn't acknowledge it. They walk over to the platform. They are standing next to each other. The wind blows sending a shiver down Yuka.


Eriko: "You're cold."


Eriko moves around to where she is sheltering Yuka from the direction the wind is coming from. Eriko still doesn't look at Yuka as she does this. Yuka looks up at her, then back down and smiles to herself. She leans in to Eriko a bit. Eriko blushes but doesn't move away. There are only a couple other people around, but some are students from their school.


Eriko (to herself): "This isn't weird, right? It's okay that we're this close?"


The train pulls up in front of the station.


Eriko: "I...I guess this is your train?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Eriko: "Oh, okay...I'll see you tomorrow?"


Yuka nods 'yes' but keeps looking at Eriko expectantly.


As people start getting off the train, Yuka drops her bag (intentionally). She bends down to "check it" and Eriko does the same.


Eriko: "Did you drop anything?"


Just as Eriko bends down to help Yuka get her stuff, she's now face to face with Yuka, Yuka quickly kisses her on the cheek, before gathering her stuff, getting up, and running onto the train. Eriko is blushing with her hand against her cheek, watching, as Yuka waves goodbye from the train as it pulls away. Eriko slightly puts up a hand as goodbye, still shocked by the kiss, still kneeling down, frozen in (not unpleasant) shock.


Eriko on her own train now. She's standing, leaning against the side rail near the door of the train. She's still got a hand on her cheek.


Eriko (to herself): "I wonder if anyone saw? What would they think? Is it okay for her to do that? I...liked it."


She smiles to herself and closes her eyes as the fading light from the sunset comes through the train window.




Eriko is on her bed on the phone with Hatsue at night.


Hatsue: "...I think they're going to have the wedding in March. I don't know if the cherry blossoms will be out yet though."


Eriko: "Cherry blossoms...that feels like ages ago."


Hatsue: "Ha! I guess a lot has happened, huh?"


Eriko: "I...I wonder what I was this time, last year?"


Hatsue: "Still no memories like that yet?"


Eriko thinks to the visions/memories she's seen of Yuka and Suzu on the beach.


Eriko (to herself): "Some things, strange things, but not of that anyway."


Eriko: "Um...No."


Hatsue: "Well, that's okay, I'm sure they'll come back eventually."


Eriko (to herself): "I'm not sure I want them to, anymore."


A pause.


Eriko: "Can I, um, ask you something?"


Hatsue: "Sure! Is it dating advice? Cause I'm pretty great at that now!"


Eriko: "Well...actually..."


Hatsue: "Wait! You really were? Cause I still stink at that!"


They share a warm laugh.


Hatsue: "So what were you going to ask?"


Eriko: "Um...What...what do people think...of...I mean...if they they saw two"


Hatsue: "Hmmm, I don't really know. Lots of people probably wouldn't care, but some might, you know?"


Eriko: "Oh."


Hatsue: "Do you think about that a lot?"


Eriko: "I guess."


Hatsue: "I was so worried about you two getting together, I didn't think about what would come next, what it would mean for you both. Did something happen?"


Eriko: "I just don't know how to public."


Hatsue: "You mean like how it's hard for me to keep Toshi-kun away sometimes when we're on dates?"


Eriko: "Gross!"


They both share a laugh at this.


Hatsue: "I guess you just have to do what feels right for you two, screw everyone else, right?"


Eriko (to herself): "What feels right for us..."




Eriko in the bath. She's just soaking.


Eriko (to herself): "What feels should I know? Was I...was my real life? Did I like girls then? Did I have a girlfriend? Did our family and friends know about us? Ughhhhhhh"


She sinks under the water, confused.




The black panels with the white starburst lights representing Kami-sama and Eriko's mother.


Eriko's mother: "How much longer will you drag this out?"


Kami-sama: "Do you really feel they have proven their bond?"


Eriko's mother: "Isn't it obvious?"


Kami-sama: "But teenage love is fickle. All human love is fickle."


Eriko's mother: "So if something can't last forever, we should avoid it?"


Kami-sama: "All human existence is impermanent. However, that was not our arrangement."


Eriko's mother: "And you will not bend?"


Kami-sama: "To give up one's immortality is no small request. I cannot take that lightly."




Students are milling about before class in the morning. Many are holding a paper and talking to each other about it.


Girl: "...who do you think it is?"


Girl 2: "I can't believe it."


Girl 3: "Well, it is an all-girls school, I guess some people might be desperate."


Girl 4: "I think it's cute."


Girl 5: "Wait, is it you then?"


Girl 4: "No way, I'd never do that!"


All the girls (laughing): "Hahahahaha"


Eriko sits down in her desk and Hatsue slides the paper in front of her.


Hatsue: "Have you seen this?"


Eriko: "What is it?"


Hatsue: "It's the school paper, just read it."


Eriko picks it up and the headline story is "Secret Lesbian Love Affair."


Excerpt from story: "...noticed two girls kissing in an empty classroom after school. When asked about this, students had different reactions. 'I think it's sweet' said one second year student. A third-year noted, 'Don't they have any shame? Whether they are girls or not, they shouldn't be doing that in school.' So far, no one has come forward to name the two mysterious lovers, but this reporter will..."


Eriko blushes intensely, a fire in her eyes. She crumples it in her hand angrily.


Eriko: "Wha...what is this?!"


Hatsue: "Don't let it get to you. Some people will make news out of anything. So you think it's about..."


Eriko: "But I...I don't want..."


Just then Eriko notices that Yuka is standing next to her.


Eriko: "I...I mean...aren't you...worried?"


Yuka simply shrugs her shoulders.


Eriko (to herself): "How can she be so calm about this?"




Eriko and Yuka are saying goodbye to Hatsue after school. They start walking towards the train station. Like before, when they get a certain distance from school, Yuka tries to take Eriko's hand.


Eriko: "Um...there might be people around..."


Yuka puts her mitten back on and looks down sadly.


Eriko (to herself): "Is she mad? But, what would happen if people found out it was us? I don't care about me, but I don't want her to be bullied."




Eriko sitting in class with her head down on her desk. Hatsue puts another paper in front of her. It reads: "Special Edition!"


Headline: "Lesbian couple spotted after school."


Eriko looks up at Hatsue with her eyes wide. Girls enter the room talking about it, they're the old group that used to tease Hatsue.


Kaori: "I think I saw k-san with m-chan the other day."


Chitose: "Do you think it's them?"


Satomi: "Who cares, right? They're getting more action than you two are."


Chitose: "Gross, who'd want action from another girl?"


Kaori: "Yeah, like, how would they do it anyway?"


At this, Eriko stands up so fast that her desk tips over making a huge sound, everyone in the classroom freezes. Eriko is about to say something, looks at Yuka, then back at the shocked Satomi (and others) and then storms out of the room. Hatsue and Yuka exchange looks.




The door to the school newspaper club office flies open. The girl at the computer turns around to see Eriko storm in. Eriko comes over, lifts the girl up by the collar.


Eriko: "Who wrote that story?"


Girl: "Wha...what story?"


Eriko: "Don't play dumb. Why are you going after those two girls?"


Girl: "'ve got it wrong."


Eriko: "Wrong!!! You're making fun of two people love!"


Girl: "Wait, there really is a couple?"


Eriko is shocked and deflated.


Eriko: "What do you mean?"


Girl: "I made it all up."


Eriko: "You made it up?"


Girl: "Will...will you put me down?"


Eriko lets go. The girl adjusts her uniform.


Girl: "The paper wasn't being read much and we weren't getting any new club members. So to try and get some more interest..."


Eriko: "You lied?"


Girl: "I know, I know. I'm supposed to be a journalist. I'm supposed to uncover the truth. But...I...I just didn't want to see the newspaper club disappear."


Eriko says this quietly out-loud but mostly to herself:


Eriko: "She...made it up..."


The girl looks shrewdly at Eriko.


Girl: "So...why are you here?"


Eriko: "Me? I...I just...I just didn't like it."


Girl: "That's it? You decided to avenge some strangers you don't even know?"


Eriko: "I...didn't want to see people hurt."


Girl: "So there IS a couple in the school?"


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


We see Yuka outside the room, having listened in. She turns away and walks alone back down the hall. We get the sense that she's hurt and lonely.




Eriko on the phone with Hatsue that evening.


Hatsue: "I can't believe she made it all up."


Eriko: "Yeah."


Hatsue: "Are you relieved?"


Eriko: "Sort of, but...I...hate that I..."


Eriko (to herself): "That I'm ashamed..."


Hatsue: "That you're scared?"


Eriko: "mmmm"


Hatsue: "I sort of understand what it's like to have a secret you can't share, that you're embarrassed about, even though you know you shouldn't be."


Eriko: "So how should I feel?"


Hatsue: "I guess you feel however you do. It's more of whether you care what others think, right?"


Eriko: "I don't care about me, but I don't want people to hurt her."


Hatsue: "Well, what does she think? Does she care if people find out?"


Eriko: "I don't know."


Hatsue: "Why don't you ask her?"


Eriko (to herself): "Is it that simple?"




Eriko and Yuka are walking down the hall. Everyone is gathered in groups around another school paper.


Girl: "Can you believe it was made up?"


Girl 2: "I bet that's just a cover. She probably got in trouble."


Girl 3: "So you still think there are lesbians in this school?"


Girl 2: "Gross!"


They're giggling. Eriko goes and rips the paper out of their hands.


Girl: "Hey!"


Eriko reads the headline.


Headline: "Story made up, paper issues retraction and apology. School considers closing newspaper club."





Yuka and Eriko are looking at books on the shelves in the library. They aren't talking to each other, or even really interacting. A student walks by between them. Eriko sighs and looks down. Yuka walks over to Eriko, grabs her hand and leads her to a back corner set of stacks.


Eriko: "What are you doing?"


Yuka stands defiantly in front of Eriko.


Eriko: "What? I...I don't understand."


Yuka closes her eyes and gets up on her tiptoes, expecting a kiss from Eriko. Eriko turns away.


Eriko: "I...I'm sorry...I can't....not here. Someone might..."


Yuka stomps her foot. Eriko's eyes widen in surprise.


Eriko (to herself): "She...she's mad! I've never seen her like this before."


Eriko: "It's just that...I...I don't want to hurt you."


Yuka's expression softens. She takes Eriko's hands in hers. Eriko turns her head away from Yuka.


Eriko: "Wha...what if people tease you? I mean, I don't care what they say about me, but...but not you."


Yuka shakes her head 'no.'


Eriko: "Aren't you afraid?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no' and pulls Eriko's hands against her chest.


Eriko: "'re really not worried?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no.'


Eriko: "But we're both girls, people will be mean, they'll stare, they might bully you."


Yuka shrugs her shoulders.


Eriko: "I...I wish...I wish I was as strong as you."


Yuka smiles broadly at this.


Eriko: "Can...can we take it slowly?...I mean, with people finding out?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Eriko: "I don't want anything get in the way...of us."


Yuka beams at this. She lets go of Eriko's hands, and places her hands on both sides of Eriko's face and brings it down to hers where they share a beautiful kiss in the back corner of the library.

(to be continued...)

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