In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 77

 "In the Morning, I'll Say Hello" is a yuri comic 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 77




Yuka is staring out the classroom window. There are buds beginning to form in the otherwise barren tree branches. It's still somewhat rainy and cold. Yuka's mind drifts back to the fight with Eriko.




Eriko: "GO! Please, go, and don't ever come back here. I don't ever want to see you again."


[Flashback over]


voice: "...san. Kiyoura-san?"


Aiko reaches forward and puts a hand on Yuka's shoulder. Yuka, still with vacant eyes, not yet in reality, turns to Aiko. Aiko says kindly:


Aiko: "Yuka-chan, it's your turn."


Yuka turns to see that everyone in class is looking at her, there are a few snickers, and the teacher is waiting for her. She gets up out of her seat and goes up to the board.


Aiko (to herself): "Did she feel warm?"


Yuka is still in a daze when she takes the chalk from the teacher and begins to write the math problem out on the board. As she does so, her mind wanders back to helping Eriko study, working together at her home or in the library on math, the way their hands would periodically touch as they slid a notebook back and forth, their thighs touching as they sat next to each other, the way they would catch each other glancing... The chalkboard begins to blur. Things go sideways. Then everything is black.






The bell on the Arishima shop door rings as it opens. The shop is dark. It doesn't look like anyone is there. Hatsue peaks inside the open door.


Hatsue: "Hello? Is anyone here?"


There's no answer.


Hatsue (to herself): "Where is everyone?"


Hatsue: "Sorry to intrude..."


Hatsue comes in to the shop, she peaks through the curtain into the main room with the workbench, the TV, and low central table. It's dark everywhere.


Hatsue: "I hope I don't scare anyone. Eriko-chan's pretty scary when she gets startled."


Hatsue walks through the house. There are a couple empty bowls on the counter of the kitchen. The house has a vacant feel to it.


Outside Eriko's room: Hatsue notices that Eriko's bedroom door is shut. Hatsue knocks. There is no answer.


Hatsue: "Is she's out?"


Hatsue knocks again. There's no answer.


Hatsue: "I can't leave without knowing if she's in there...if she's okay."


Hatsue tries to open the door, but it's locked.


Hatsue: "Eriko-chan? Are you awake?"


For the first time, we see that Eriko is in bed, she rolls over and scrunches the blanket up to her face. Hatsue hears the creek of her rolling over. She sits down in front of the door.


Hatsue (to herself): "So you are in there."


Hatsue: "I wanted to make sure you were okay. You haven't come to school in two weeks. No one answers the phone here anymore. I'm...I'm really worried about you!"


Silence from the room.


Hatsue: "Yuka-chan won't tell me what's going on; she just mopes around all day. She...she even collapsed today!"


Eriko's eyes widen at this, but she doesn't move.


Hatsue: "She's okay, it's probably only a cold. Won't you go see her?"




Hatsue: So, Okumura-san won the election. She's going to be our new student council president. That's a bit worrisome isn't it? Ha! Who knows what new rules she'll put in place."


Eriko laying in bed, curled up. Hatsue outside the door, leaning against it.


Hatsue: "Tetsu got married. I wish you could have seen how pretty Megumi-chan was. I think mom liked Toshi-kun. Dad was a little freaked out though."


Hatsue waits in silence, but there's nothing.


Hatsue: "Please, say something! I want to know what happened, I want to help! Did you fight with Yuka-chan? That's no reason not to come to school. Lovers fight all the time. That just shows you care...I...I wish you'd talk to me. You can tell me anything. No matter what, I'll listen, I won't stop being your friend. You know that right?"


Nothing. Hatsue's head drops. She stands up to leave.


Hatsue: "Okay, I'll see you."


Eriko lying still in bed, we see clearly now that tears are streaming down her face as she cries in silence.




Inside Aiko's town car, Aiko and Yuka are in the back. Yuka's face is flushed. Yuka is staring out the window. Her eyes droopy and periodically closing.


Aiko (to herself): "She's been so out of it since Arishima-san stopped coming to school. I warned you both this would happen. But I...I wish I hadn't been right."


The car pulls up in front of Yuka's apartment block. Yuka sits there, not yet opening the door.


Aiko (to herself): "Will she tell me? Are we back to normal...after everything."


Aiko: "If...if you want to talk to me, I'll listen."


Yuka turns to look at her, her face flush with fever, her eyes weak.


Aiko: "I can't promise you'll like what I'll have to say."


Yuka gives a gentle smile and puts a hand on Aiko's hand. She turns and stares out the window again. They continue sitting there like that for a few moments.


Aiko (to herself): "What is this? What are you thinking? What did she say to you? Did she break your heart?"


Aiko: "Can I ask you then?"


Yuka doesn't say anything, just keeps looking out the window, but doesn't take her hand off Aiko's hand either.


Aiko: "You haven't heard from her?"


Yuka, without turning, nods 'no' ever so slightly.


Aiko: "Do you still love her?"


Again, without turning to Aiko, Yuka nods 'yes' very subtly.


Aiko: "Does she still love you?"


Yuka is silent, staring out the window motionless.


Aiko (to herself): "God damn you Arishima! Why are you doing this to her?"


Aiko turns her hand palm up so she's palm to palm with Yuka. She squeezes Yuka's hand. Yuka turns to her with a tear in her eye and a small conciliatory smile.


Aiko (to herself): "I'll be your rock, I'll be your protector, like I promised you I would be. I'm back now. I'm stronger now. I won't go away."


Aiko: "I'll bring you inside."


Yuka shakes her head 'no.' She bows it slightly in thanks and gets out.


Aiko (to herself): "How long will it take this time..."




Eriko walks into Heizo's bedroom. He's lying, asleep, in bed. The house is still dark. She kneels down next to him and sets down a bowl with some rice porridge. He looks emaciated.


Eriko: "Arishima?  Arishima, I brought you some food. Do you think you can take a bite?"


Eriko lifts his head slightly. He doesn't open his eyes but groans a little.


Eriko: "Does it hurt?"


Heizo almost imperceptibly shakes his head 'no.'


Eriko: "Tell me if it does. Here, try some of this, I let it cool down a bit."


With one hand propping up his head, she uses the other hand to bring a spoonful to his mouth. His lips are dry and chapped. He opens them slightly, just enough for her to pour a little in off the spoon. He closes and struggles to swallow.


Eriko: "Good, let's try another."


He gently touches his fingers to her knee, ever so slightly. She puts the spoon back down.


Eriko: "Okay."




Suzu sitting up against the wall in the entryway to her apartment.


Suzu: "Am I an idiot? Waiting here?"


The mail slot in the door opens and an envelope starts to come through. Suzu springs into action wildly throwing the door open knocking into the person outside. There, sprawled on the landing is her mom, Rieko.


Suzu: "It really is you. What are you doing here?"


Rieko: "I...I just wanted to give you this."


Suzu: "We don't need your money."


Rieko: "I...I've done this all on your own."


Suzu: "After all these years? Why didn't you put it in the mail?"


Rieko: "I thought you'd be at work."


Suzu: "I usually am. Didn't you think I'd catch on that you've been doing this the same day of the month lately?"


Rieko: "It's when I get paid."


Suzu: "You're working now?"


Rieko: "Um...part-time. Seiji works for..."


Suzu is leaning in, yelling:


Suzu: "Seiji? SEIJI?!! Of course you're with someone. I don't know why I'm surprised. You couldn't keep your legs shut after dad..."


Rieko slaps Suzu who is stunned, Rieko is aghast that she struck her.


Suzu: "It's been 10 years since I've felt that. I guess people really don't change."


Rieko: "Suzu, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to."


Suzu: "You need to go."


Rieko: "But you were waiting...for me."


Suzu: "What? I was only waiting to tell you to leave us alone."


Rieko: "Oh, I...I thought maybe..."


Suzu: "You thought I gave a damn about you? That I'd want to remember all the things you've done, the way you treated us after he died? I was glad when you walked out that door!"


Rieko: "Suzu..."


The sound of a bag dropping a little ways away. Both Suzu and Rieko turn to see a stunned Yuka standing on the landing having just come home. She's dropped her school bag in shock. Rieko is still sitting on the ground after being knocked by the opening door. Yuka staggers over to them, her hand reaching out toward her mother's face in disbelief that she is real. As Yuka comes near, it's clear her face is flushed from illness, and she falters, fainting into the arms of Suzu who catches her before she gets to Rieko.




Rieko is looking at packages of medicine on the shelf of a convenience store. The boxes are blurring in and out of focus as she stares.


Rieko: "Come on Rieko, this isn't hard. You buy medicine all the time."


Tears drip onto her outstretched hand. She wipes her eyes and thinks back.



Suzu taking the thermometer out of Yuka's mouth. Yuka is laying on the couch. Her eyes are still closed, her cheeks flushed.


Suzu: "You can go, it's only a cold."


Rieko: "Please, let me help?"


Suzu: "We haven't needed your help in a long time."


Rieko: "I'll...I'll run out and get some medicine."


[Flashback over]


Rieko: "I'm so stupid. What am I doing here?"


Just then someone takes a box off the shelf. Rieko looks up to see Eriko grabbing a box of medicine and putting it in a basket with some popsicles and other things.


Eriko (to herself): "I can't believe the doctor sent his prescription all the way here. Has Arishima been taking the train all this way to get it the whole time? It's so like him to not make a fuss and correct it. Sigh, I might as well get some other stuff while I'm here."


As Eriko's hand is about to get something else off the shelf, Rieko puts her arm on Eriko's arm. At the contact, Eriko gets a brief flash of the sword slicing through the air, a drop of blood, a feather...then back to reality. Eriko's eyes are wide.


Eriko: "Wha?!"


Rieko: "It's you?"


Eriko (to herself): "Oh god, what's she doing here?"


Eriko: "Um, if you'll excuse me."


Rieko: " daughter's sick. I'm having trouble deciding what medicine to choose."


Eriko (to herself): "I want to ask..."


Eriko: "Um..."


Rieko: "I'm sorry, I'm such a mess. I saw them today. The ones I told you about. You must think I'm crazy."


Eriko (to herself): "What? She saw Kiyoura?"


Eriko: " are...they?"


Rieko: "They've both grown up so much. They're young ladies now, so they don't...they don't need..."


Rieko squats down crying into her hands. Some of the customers stare and walk away leaving Eriko in the uncomfortable position of being the only one near her. Instead of consoling her, she takes command.


Eriko: "What...what type of illness?"


Eriko isn't looking down at Rieko when she says this, but has her normal off-to-the-side "this is embarrassing" sort of look. Rieko looks up from her hands, a teary mess. But she's moved by Eriko's kindness in replying.


Rieko: "A fever. She has a cold."


Eriko (to herself): "I wonder which one..."


Eriko: "Here. this one."


Eriko takes one off the shelf and hands it to Rieko.


Rieko: "Thank you...thank you. I promise I'm not normally like this. It's just...I didn't think I'd see them today. I don't know how I should feel."


Eriko: "Are you going to go back?"



Suzu and Rieko fighting over the sick Yuka.


Suzu: "Are you crazy? I've got medicine here. Who do you think's been taking care of her all these years?"


Rieko: "I...I know. You're so amazing. Both of you. I only wanted..."


Suzu: "You wanted what? Did you really think sending us money, buying us medicine, that would replace everything you took from us?"


Rieko: "You're...angry..."


Suzu: "Of course I'm angry!"


Yuka rolls over and silently groans, making a tense face. Suzu tends to her.


Suzu: "You poor thing. Did you go to school sick? I'll be right back. I've got some in the bathroom."


Suzu looks up at Rieko.


Suzu: "Don't be here when I get back."


[Flashback ends]


Rieko: "I don't know."




Eriko laying in bed at night.


Eriko: "Why do I keep running into her mom? But now Kiyoura-san knows. Maybe...maybe that's okay...maybe she'll stay...maybe she'll be there for her..."


Eriko drifts off to sleep.


Night passes. Slowly the blue orb of energy starts to form above her. It's electricity reaching out like tendrils in a plasma globe to every limb. As the orb grows, Eriko is lifted out of bed, the energy lashing out all over her. Her eyes closed, but her face clearly in pain, shrieking silently, her body rigid as it's lifted and surrounded by the energy until in a flash she is gone.




We are inside a car with a bunch of drunk young men, racing down the street, swerving as they do.


Man 1: "Did you see those girls man?"


Man 2: "Pretending like they didn't know why they were there."


Man 3: "Girls like to play, makes it more interesting for us, right?"


All of a sudden Eriko, in angel form, lands on the hood of the car, one knee down, denting it as she hits. The car skids to a stop.


Man 1: "What the f..."


Eriko stands and sends her flaming sword straight through the windshield.




Still deep black night. A shipping boat on the dock. Two men are opening a shipping container with a crow bar under spotty lights. As they do, we see the container stuffed with teddy bears.


Man 1: "What's this shit?"


Man 2: "You'll see."


He pulls out a switchblade and pops the seam of a bear, a stream of white powder starts falling out. He takes a bit on his tongue with a finger.


Man 2: "Ahhhh, good stuff."


Right then, he goes bug-eyed.


Man 1: "What's wrong?"


Man 2 slumps to the ground in a pool of his own blood. The other man looks up to see Eriko with sword raised.


Man 1: "Oh, you're gonna pay for that. HEY BOYS!!!"


A bunch of other men come out from the shadows on the deck. They are surrounding Eriko. Eriko's eyes are all fire and she moves into an attack posture with an evil grin on her face.


The next we see is all the men's bodies, splayed in pools of their own blood.





The scene shifts again. We see a bunch of young hipster/hacker people sitting around some ratty computer terminals in a small, windowless room with a single overhead lightbulb.


Man 1: "You almost done over there?"


Woman 1: "Hold on, hold on, this is a tough one...lemme...ah, there, I'm in."


Man 2: "And no one will know it's us?"


Man 1: "This is fool-proof."


The computer screens go dark. The Woman hits the side of the monitor.


Woman: "What the hell? Cheap piece of shit!"


Man 2: "It's okay, I got an extra in the back."


He leaves the room. Those inside the room hear a scream from the hallway.


Man 1: "Hey, you okay?"


The door opens slowly, revealing Eriko who tosses the man's dead body through one of the computer workstations.


Man 1: "Oh god!"


Eriko advances on them.


Man 1: "Stop, please. We didn't do anything, we're just hackers."


Woman: "It's only money, we don't hurt anyone."


Eriko: "You don't hurt anyone? You have destabilized the banks and government of a small country. As a result, they will blame their neighbor ending a fragile truce. War will break out, thousands will die immediately. There will be a purge, hundreds of thousands will flee. And you. don't. HURT. ANYONE?!"


We next see her as she walks out of the room, blood dripping from her sword which she is dragging behind her, it's point scraping the ground - sparking. The three dead bodies draped over their terminals.


Eriko: "This...this I can do...I've been foolish, haven't I? Thinking I can become something I'm not."




The black panels with the white starburst light representing Kami-sama.


Kami-sama: "It appears you have made your final choice. Even I had my doubts, but in the end, all will be as it should."




Yuka and Eriko are walking hand in hand, talking with each other. Giving each other loving looks as they walk. Suddenly a terrifying monstrous person is standing over them seen mostly in black shadow other than evil eyes, a crazy grin and long clawed fingers. It starts aggressively laughing at Yuka and readying to strike. Eriko's face begins morphing, a hideous smile forming, eyes glowing with rage, bloody wings start sprouting from her back. Now Eriko is poised ready to attack Yuka while cruelly laughing at her too, joining with the other creature. They are glowering over Yuka, she is shrinking back, alone, terrified.


Yuka awakens from this dream with a gasp. There is a cold compress on her head, a bowl of water with a wash cloth at her side. She's in her bed in her room with the curtains drawn, but light starting to peek through. Her cheeks are flush and she's breathing rapidly. From the next room she can hear voices:


voice 1: "...doing here? I thought I told you never to come back?"


voice 2: "But she's sick, I thought I could help so you could go to work."


voice 1: "I don't need your help. I'll figure something out. I always have."


voice 2: "Please, let me do something. You don' don't know how hard it was to come back here."


voice 1: "Hard!? Hard?! Are you kidding me?! You don't know anything about hard, now take your..."


They turn as they hear the door to Yuka's room open and there's Yuka, in her pajama's, still flush, still unsteady on her feet staring out.


Suzu: "Yuka! You're awake. How do you feel?"


Suzu rushes over and puts a hand on Yuka's head.


Suzu: "You still have a fever. Let's get you back to bed."


Suzu is trying to rush her back into the room, standing between Yuka and her mom. Yuka is trying to peek around Suzu to see Rieko. Finally she ducks under Suzu's arm and stands, looking, at their mother.


Rieko: "Good...good morning...Yuka."


Yuka's eyes widen, and she runs towards her mother with tear drops trailing her until she is embracing her mother tightly. Her mother is crying too.


Rieko: "My baby, oh my precious baby girl."


Suzu walks past them and out the door.


Suzu: "You'd better be gone when I get home."


Suzu slams the door behind her.




Eriko in the bathroom, washing the blood from her body; diluted blood swirling around the floor drain.


Eriko: "It's getting worse, it's almost every night now."


She gently sprays the water over her back, where her wing scars are open and bleeding. As she does so she gets a vivid flash of memory.



Eriko sees herself killing each of the people in the car, on the ship, and in the computer room the night before, watching their horrible expressions as they die, their limp bodies, the blood everywhere. She then remembers the night she saved Suzu from Rieko, rememebring Yuka's young face as she looked on in terror as Eriko's sword came down, grazing Yuka's neck.

[Flashback over]


Eriko gasps and is back in the present. She is sobbing, naked, cold, shivering in the water and blood and tears.


Eriko: "Oh god, what am I? How can I ever face her knowing the things I do? Why am I even here with her? Please, oh please, just let this end..."




Yuka in bed. She's still flush with fever, the curtains drawn so only a little daylight is coming in. She's staring at her ceiling. She notices the stars she has pasted on the ceiling when she was younger. She has a momentary flashback to when Eriko first appeared in her home when she was young, the beautiful angel she was so taken by, crouched and then standing, unfurling her beautiful wings. Yuka reaches a hand up towards the stars on her ceiling. The door opens.


Rieko: "You're awake. Are you feeling any better?"


Yuka nods 'yes' slightly.


Rieko: "Can't talk, does your throat hurt?"


Yuka looks at her a moment with confusion, then closes her eyes and touches the small scar on her neck. She shakes her head 'no.'


Rieko: "I don't understand?"




Eriko enters Heizo's bedroom. He's sleeping, tiny, and worn. His breathing is rough. Eriko sets a bowl of water down next to him, gently folds a washcloth and dips it in the water. She takes one of his skeletal arms and begins ever so gently wiping it with the washcloth.


Eriko (to herself): "While I'm here, I can do this, at least."




Rieko places a cool washcloth against Yuka's forehead.


Rieko: "How does that feel?"


Yuka nods 'yes' in appreciation.


Rieko: " must have a lot of questions."


Yuka nods 'no.' She stares into Rieko's eyes like a newborn staring for the first time into its mother's eyes. Deep, intense, pure, unquestioningly. Rieko turns away at the beautiful intensity of this look from Yuka; she puts a hand over her mouth and begins sobbing. Yuka takes one of Rieko's hands and holds it in hers over her (Yuka's) heart. Rieko turns to look at Yuka in shock over this gesture, and see's Yuka has her eyes closed, peacefully asleep.

(to be continued...)

No comments:

Post a Comment