In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 74

 "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 74




Aiko, Kiko and Yuka are sitting in a little side room together after school. Aiko is looking at Yuka who is sitting somewhat downcast.


Aiko (to herself): "It's still so hard to be around her. I said those things...I...did those things...What do you think of me now?"


Kiko: "So what's your platform going to be?"


Aiko is roused to focus by Kiko.


Aiko: "You were the one that wanted me to run."


Kiko: "Yeah, but that was the only good idea I had."


Yuka silently laughs at her.


Kiko (to herself): "She has a really beautiful smile. I think I'm starting to understand."


Kiko: "Pretend this school was your father's company. What would you keep the same and what would you want to change?"


From the doorway we see someone passing, the uniform and long hair trailing them (We don't see clearly who it was). Kiko, Aiko and Yuka don't notice that someone had been watching and then walked away.




It's late now, the sun is going down, a strong sunset but with clouds streaking across it. Kiko stretches.


Kiko: "Wow, good work everyone. Are you okay to start the posters Kiyoura-san?"


Yuka shakes her head 'yes.'


Aiko: "I'll have the speech ready the day before."


Kiko: "Great, I'll start talking to some of the club leaders and some of the cliques to get people on our side early."


Aiko: "You're having fun with this, aren't you?"


Kiko smiles broadly.




Kiko, Aiko, and Yuka are saying goodbye to each other at the shoe lockers as they depart. Aiko and Yuka are walking out the front door together.


Aiko (to herself): "I have to force myself for her sake...If I don't..."


Aiko (to Yuka): "I'll drive you home."


As she says this, they see that Eriko is sitting on the bench outside, bundled up, but motionless in the cold. Yuka looks back at Aiko.


Aiko (to herself): "Arishima really has it enough? I guess it's not my decision."


Aiko: "It's okay."


Yuka gives a furrowed brow, small smile, acknowledging that it's hard for Aiko, but she's appreciative. Aiko closes her eyes for a second, opens them and walks on, lifting a hand in goodbye as she departs.


Aiko: "See you tomorrow."


Yuka goes over to Eriko. Eriko says, without looking up at Yuka:


Eriko: " should go with her."


Yuka shakes her head 'no' then shivers in the cold.


Eriko: "You're cold..."


Eriko gets up and starts walking, Yuka scurries to catch up but is following a half step behind. They aren't looking at each other and aren't holding hands. We see them backlit by the sunset as they leave the school gate.




Eriko and Yuka are sitting next to each other on the train, but both are sitting upright, none of the closeness between them that we had seen in the prior month. Eriko leans her head back and turns it to the side, staring off into the distance.


Eriko (to herself): "They looked like they were having fun."


We get some images of Kiko, Yuka and Aiko working together from the work session after school. The three laughing, Aiko getting angry at the others, them laughing at her for getting angry, her just mock giving up, making the others laugh more. Eriko watching at the door of the room then turning and walking away down the hall.


Eriko (to herself): "I'm glad that she's made up with Okumura. At least that's one thing off my conscience."


She turns to look at Yuka. Yuka is sitting quietly.


Eriko (to herself): "Maybe I should ask her...about what I saw...if she saw it too?"


Eriko: "Ki...Kiyoura-san, um...when I...did you..."


As she's getting into it, the train hits a bit of a bump and it throws Yuka into Eriko's side. They both jump apart, blushing. They sit for a moment in silence. Then Yuka turns to look questioningly at Eriko.


Eriko: "Oh, um, nevermind. It was nothing."




The train pulls up to Yuka's stop.


Eriko (to herself): It's like that first time, when I went the wrong way just to be with her longer."


Train voice: "M-station. Now pulling up to M-station. Please move aside for exiting passengers."


Eriko (to herself): "I don't really want to say goodbye yet."


Yuka starts to get up. Eriko gets up too. Yuka looks at her funny.


Eriko: "Its...dark. I'll walk you...home."


Yuka gives her a delicate smile.




Eriko and Yuka walk up to the front door of Yuka's apartment. Yuka takes out her key and is about to open the door when it opens on her, Suzu nearly walks into her on her way out.


Suzu: "Oh, Yuka...Ah, Eriko-chan! Long-time no see!"


Eriko: "Good...good evening."


Suzu (to herself): "Still so stiff...but something else is weird with the atmosphere here."


Yuka steps in the house, does a little bow to say goodbye to Eriko.


Eriko: ""


Suzu watches this awkward little show. She takes Eriko by the arm and starts walking.


Eriko: "Wha...?"


Suzu: "I'm on my way to the market, walk with me a little bit."




Eriko is walking ridgedly next to Suzu.


Suzu: "She had a nightmare last night."


Eriko is silent.


Suzu: "It was a bad one, I think. Probably about mom. About that night she left."


Eriko (to herself): "Is it okay for me to hear this?"


Eriko: "Does...does she have them a lot?"


Suzu: "Not anymore, but it used to be every night."


Eriko (to herself): "Can I ask her?"


Suzu becomes distracted at seeing a woman with a ponytail from behind turn the corner ahead of them. She's got a small child with her. They're holding hands. She only sees them from behind.


Suzu (to herself): "It...couldn't...?"


She shakes it off and turns back to Eriko.


Suzu: "You two Did something happen?"


Eriko: "Didn't she...I mean...I..."


Eriko (to herself): "How do I say that I pushed her down, that I hurt her?"


Suzu: "Eriko-chan, look at me."


Suzu stops walking and faces Eriko. Eriko turns to look her in the eyes.


Suzu: "She's very precious to me and I think she's very precious to you too. But there's a lot you don't know about her."


Suzu (to herself): "And I'm worried something ominous is coming our way..."




Lunchtime at school. Kiko comes to the door of the classroom. Aiko gets up to leave. Yuka looks up at her, then over at Eriko.


Eriko: " probably have work to do."


Yuka looks at her with plaintive eyes.


Kiko: "Kiyoura-chan, are you coming?"


Eriko: "It's fine."


Yuka leaves with Aiko and Kiko.


Hatsue: "So, how are you going to fix this?"


Eriko: "Nghhh..."


Hatsue: "You do want to fix things with Yuka-chan, right?"


Eriko (to herself): "The things I've seen, the things I've done. Maybe Okumura has been right about me all that time."


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


Hatsue: "WHAT?!"


Other girls in the class turn to look at Hatsue's loud expression.


Eriko: "Shhhh!"


Hatsue: "Sorry, sorry. But you can't be serious?"


Eriko: "You saw what I did."


Hatsue: "Did you do it on purpose?"


Eriko: "Of...of course not! wasn't the first time."


Hatsue: "And you're afraid it won't be the last?"


Eriko: "I don't know how to say it, but, she's been hurt, before, and I..."


Hatsue: "And now you're doing it to her too?"


Eriko slams her head down onto the desk.


Hatsue: "Tell me, whoever hurt her before, did they feel this badly about it?"


Eriko: "What do you mean?"


Hatsue: "We all make mistakes, we all hurt people unintentionally, but the difference is when we feel badly about it and make it right."


Eriko: "Make it right?"


Eriko (to herself): "Shouldn't I stay away, before it's too late?"




It's dusk now. Yuka, Kiko and Aiko are walking out of the school.


Aiko: "Thank you both for your hard work."


Kiko: "Don't tell me you're actually enjoying yourself?"


Aiko: "Hardly."


As they leave the school, Aiko notices Yuka looking to the bench where Eriko was waiting the other day. However it's empty.


Aiko (to herself): "She didn't wait today."


Yuka is looking on sadly at the empty bench.


Aiko: "I'll give you a ride home."


Yuka turns and shakes her head 'no.'


Aiko: "If you're certain. I'll see you tomorrow."


Yuka goes and sits on the bench.


Aiko (to herself): "I told you not to hurt her, you told me you could protect her. But where are you now?"




Eriko is sitting in front of Suzu and Yuka's apartment. Knees pulled up in the cold. Suzu walks up and is surprised to find her sitting there.


Suzu: "Eriko-chan? What are you doing here?"


Eriko: "I...maybe...we could talk?"


Suzu: "Is everything okay? Is Yuka okay?"


Eriko: "Oh, um, yes."


Suzu: "Well come on in, I'm just getting back from work."


They are on the couch now.


Suzu: "This is unusual, you coming over without Yuka here."


Eriko: "Before...on the beach?"


Suzu: "This is the second time you've asked."


Eriko: "Did...did something happen?"


Suzu: "What are you asking?"


Eriko (to herself): "She's being evasive, that's not like her. Maybe I shouldn't ask."


Eriko: "I...I'm sorry...I shouldn't have asked. I'll go."


Suzu: "Eriko-chan. Stay, and say what you need to say."


Eriko is shocked by Suzu's directness. Lowers her eyes.


Eriko: "Did...did she...did she want to die?"


Suzu sighs deeply, closes her eyes for a moment, then responds.


Suzu: "I think so."


Eriko:  "But why?"


Suzu: "I don't died, mom fell apart and hurt us, then mom left, that was the day Yuka stopped talking. Maybe she just couldn't take it anymore. did you know about it?"


Eriko looks down silently.


Suzu: "Did she tell you about it?"


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


Suzu's eyes get wide.


Suzu: "She talked to you?"

Eriko: " out loud...but...somehow...I saw things."


Suzu: "There wasn't anyone else there, we didn't tell anyone, not even Aiko-chan. How could you know?"


Eriko (to herself): "No one else was there? But then, why did it feel like I was watching the whole thing? Why does it feel like I was there?"


Eriko: "I...can't really...explain it."


Suzu: "Please, Eriko-chan, try!"


Eriko: "I...I've been trying. I swear. But I can't remember, anything, from before April, so I don't really know...and...and I'm scared what that means."




It's dark, Yuka is walking up towards the apartment building. She sees Eriko and Suzu at the door to the apartment talking. Eriko bows slightly, Suzu waves goodbye and Eriko walks down the outer balcony and down the external stairs. Yuka stays where she is watching as Eriko walks down the street and away from the apartments not having seen Yuka there.


Suzu in the kitchen, she hears the door open and close.


Suzu: "Yuka, is that you? You're home late."


Suzu is drying her hand on a towel as she comes to greet Yuka at the entrance. Yuka puts her shoes away, puts on her slippers, and comes into the house, not quite acknowledging Suzu.


Suzu (to herself): "Is something bothering her?"


Suzu tries to take her hand.


Suzu: "You're freezing! Quick, get in the bath before you catch cold."




Yuka comes out of her room in pajamas with a blanket wrapped around her and sits at the table while Suzu finishes cooking.


Suzu: "You've been staying late at school. With Eriko-chan?"


Suzu (to herself): "I know it wasn't."


Yuka nods 'no' but stays relatively unengaged in the conversation.


Suzu (to herself): "I wonder who she was with, what she was doing? Should I tell her that Eriko-chan stopped by?"


Suzu: "Sorry I'm so late getting dinner ready. Will you help me cut vegetables?"


Silence, Suzu looks up, Yuka has fallen asleep on the table.


Suzu: "Yuka..."


Suzu goes around and picks her up to carry her to bed, Yuka clinging to her like a small child.


Suzu (to herself): "What were you doing out so late?"




Eriko on the phone with Hatsue.


Hatsue: "What about doing something for her for valentine's day?"


Eriko: "What?"


Hatsue: "Well, it's coming up, and you two are going out right?"


Eriko: "I...I guess."


Hatsue: "It's perfect, right? Give her some special chocolates or something, it's your opening to fix things."


Eriko: "Are...are you giving something to...him?"


Hatsue: "HAHAHA, he does have a name, but yes, I...I'm making something homemade for Toshi-kun."


Eriko: "You're a good cook, but I...I don't think I could do that."


Hatsue: "It doesn't have to be fancy, just something from you."


Eriko (to herself): "From me, huh?"




We get a montage of scenes of election preparation. Yuka hanging posters, Aiko practicing her speech in front of Kiko and Yuka. Kiko passing out flyers to other students, etc... Yuka looks listless through much of this, only coming to attention when someone is speaking to her, otherwise out of it. Eriko looks up at the window of the room they are meeting in on her way out of school. She sighs.


Later, Yuka, Aiko and Kiko are leaving for the day. Eriko is again not on the bench waiting for Yuka.


Aiko: "Do you want a ride home?"


Yuka doesn't look at Aiko, but nods her head 'yes' to accept the offer.


Aiko (to herself): "What's Arishima doing? I thought she was serious, I really thought she loved her."




Eriko is in a grocery store. She's holding a paper list.


Eriko (to herself): "Ha-chan said this recipe wasn't too hard, but it's got so many ingredients. I thought all I would need was chocolate."


She's putting things in her cart. As she's about to reach for an item on the shelf, the last one, she and another woman grab it at the same time. Their fingers touch. Quickly, a vision flashes before Eriko. It is a face (unclear, blurry), screaming in terror as a slash rips across the panel, just like the earlier vision when Yuka touched her back. She cannot clearly see the woman's face. Eriko quickly jerks her fingers away.


Eriko (to herself): "What was that? Why here?"


Eriko: "S...sorry."


Eriko looks up, and it's a woman in her 40's with her hair back in a ponytail (this is the woman that Suzu saw in the shop in an earlier chapter, that she saw running away from her apartment, turning the corner the other day, etc...)


Woman: "Are you okay? I didn't mean to startle you."


Eriko: "I...I'm fine."


Woman: "Oh, but it's the last one, you take it."


Eriko: "'s okay."


Eriko turns away and leaves. Calling from behind her, the woman says:


Woman: "Thank you!"




Eriko is at the counter of a small udon shop.


Eriko (to herself): "When she touched my hand...It was like my dreams or when Kiyoura touched...I don't understand what's going on."


She's waiting for her bowl when someone comes in an sits down next to her. When Eriko looks up through her hair (because her head is down and her hair has fallen in front of her eyes like normal), she recognizes that it's the woman from the store.


Woman: "Oh! It's you. I guess we both had the same idea."


Eriko: "Oh, ummm, I guess."


Woman: "Grocery shopping always makes me hungry."


Silence from Eriko.


Eriko (to herself): "What's she doing here?"


Woman: "Looked like you were going to make something. Was it for someone special by any chance?"


Eriko blushes.


Eriko (to herself): "Please, go away."


Eriko: "nnn" (A minimal affirmation)


Woman (wistfully): "Ha, to be young."




Woman: "I wonder..."


Eriko turns to her at this.


Woman: "I was thinking. I...I have...had...a daughter, she must be about your age now."


Eriko (to herself): "Why are you telling me this?"


Eriko: "H...had?"


The woman sighs, looks down, closes her eyes, pauses, then speaks (we see a lot of Suzu in her - this expression is just like Suzu's earlier in the chapter when talking with Eriko).


Eriko (to herself): "She reminds me of someone."


Woman: "I'm ashamed, but, many years ago, I left them, both my daughters."


The bowls of udon are brought out.


Woman: "Here, I don't like these, would you like them?"


The woman takes the fish cakes out of her bowl and puts them in Eriko's.


Eriko (to herself): "Just like that time with Kiyoura-chan."


Eriko: "Oh, um, thank you."


Woman: "I wasn't a very good mother...I...did things...things I'm not proud of. I couldn't give them what they needed."


Eriko is eating in silence.


Woman: "I'm sorry, you probably don't want to hear a stranger's story."


Eriko (to herself): "I shouldn't care, but..."


Eriko: "It's...I don't...mind."


Woman: "I haven't seen them in more than ten years. But I've worked hard, I've pulled my life back together and I'm not like I was back then...I wonder if they think of me?"


The woman starts tearing up.


Woman: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. There must be something about you. Somehow I feel like I know you already. Isn't that silly? We just met."


Eriko (to herself): "Somehow, I felt the same..."


The woman digs into her purse.


Woman: "Here's a picture of them, it's from so long ago."


She hands Eriko a tattered photo. As Eriko takes it from her she gets a searing headache, everything goes black and she gets the following flashback:





Rieko (Yuka and Suzu's mom) walks over and begins slapping teenage Suzu over and over again. We see Rieko's face this time. It is the same woman who Eriko is talking to.


Young Yuka: “Stop, stop, don’t hurt Suzu, don’t hurt her! Stop hurting her!”


There’s a brilliant flash of light. Rieko stops what she is doing and turns around, Suzu is already facing that direction, her head hanging with bruised face and blood at the corner of her mouth and nose. Yuka also turns to see.


Rieko: "What are you doing in my house?"


It's the first time we see Rieko's face clearly in the flashbacks.

[Flashback over]


Eriko's eyes widen immediately, recognizing the girls in the photo instantly as a young Yuka and Suzu. She looks up in shock at the woman and then back at the photo.


Eriko (to herself): "This...this is...her mom!"


Woman: "I can see how shocked you are. How could I leave them? I know that's what you're thinking. But, I truly believed they'd be better off without me. I...I think I made the right choice, but...but..."


Eriko: "I...I have to go..."


Woman: "I'm sorry, I made you uncomfortable. Here, let me pay."


But Eriko wants to get out fast and doesn't acknowledge this. Eriko puts some money on the table, grabs her bag and leaves quickly, leaving the woman blinking behind her as she gets out of there. The photo is left laying on the table, a drip of water on it, a tear.




Eriko is walking along the canal towards home. She's staggering, confused, holding her head. She stops and falls to her knees. Tears streaming down her face.


Eriko (to herself): "Why is she here now? Why did she talk to me? Why do I know those things? What's happening to me?"


She's sobbing into her hands at this point, slumped on the ground on a cold windy night.



School the next morning. Yuka is hanging out in front of the school, waiting. Aiko walks up.


Aiko: "It's cold, let's go in."


They're in the classroom, Eriko's desk is empty. Yuka looks sadly at it as they enter.


Class goes by, Eriko's desk remains empty.


It's lunchtime now. As Yuka is taking her lunch out, a small, pretty, bag drops out. Hatsue picks it up and hands it to her and winks.


Hatsue: "For anyone in particular?"


Yuka blushes.


Hatsue: "She'll be here. Today was important to her too."


Hatsue (to herself): "I think."


Class scenes. Eriko's desk still empty. School ends. Kiko comes to the class to get Aiko and Yuka.


Kiko: "Ready? Just a few days of campaigning left."


They're working together. Yuka is distracted, keeps staring out the window as they are working.


Kiko: "...right? Kiyoura-chan?"


Yuka turns to look at Kiko and Aiko.


Kiko: "Don't you think that last line still isn't quite right?"


Yuka scrunches her face in consideration, then relaxes, shakes her head side to side, and shrugs. Then goes back to staring out the window.


Aiko (to herself): "Is it really over between them?"


As they exit the school at dusk, Yuka passes by the bench where Eriko waited a few days ago. It's empty. She thinks of the pretty valentine's present in her bag.


Aiko: "Let's go home."


Yuka nods 'yes.'


We see Eriko's bedroom. The curtains are drawn. Eriko is lying in bed under the covers. Heizo knocks on the door. He starts coughing, then asks.


Heizo: "Can I get you anything? You haven't eaten all day."


Only silence, she pulls the covers up tighter. We see a valentine's gift for Yuka on her desk.




The black panels with the two white star-bursts representing Kami-sama and Eriko's mother.


Eriko's mother: "Stop this, I can't bear it anymore."


Kami-sama: "That is up to her."


Eriko's mother: "But she's in so much pain."


Kami-sama: "That is the human world. One she so desperately wanted to be part of. Perhaps she was not so serious about it as she thought."


Eriko's mother: "This would be too much for anyone."


Kami-sama: "Then she can always return to our side, in her rightful place as the angel of vengeance, bringing righteous justice to those who have been wronged, reclaiming her true birthright."

(to be continued...)

No comments:

Post a Comment