In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 78

 "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 78




A washcloth being removed and a new one being placed on Yuka's head. As this happens Yuka stirs and opens her eyes.


Voice: "How are you feeling?"


Yuka subtly nods 'yes.' We now see that it is Suzu in Yuka's room tending to her.


Suzu: "Do you think you can eat? I brought home takeout."


They're sitting at the table eating. It's silent, a little awkward.


Suzu: "It looks like your fever's gone down."


Yuka nods 'yes' but is not really present in the moment.


Suzu: "That's good. I...I've been worried about you."


Yuka sets down her chopsticks and looks down.


Suzu: "I haven't known what to say. I want to make things better, but I don't know what to do."


Yuka shakes her head 'no' indicating that it isn't Suzu's fault or responsibility.


Suzu: "But now...with everything you're going through..."


Suzu is getting angry and steeling her face. Yuka seeing her fuming, puts a hand on top of Suzu's.


Suzu: "I need to ask you something, and I need you to be honest with me, can you do that?"


Yuka looks at her with concern but nods 'yes.'


Suzu (to herself): "Okay, brace yourself, Suzu."


Suzu: "This isn't the first time I saw mom."


Yuka takes her hand off Suzu's with some confusion on her face.


Suzu: "She's been coming around here for a few months. I mean, I only saw her from a distance until the other day, but..."


Yuka is trying to process this.


Suzu: "I guess...what I'm trying to ask...if she's serious, I mean, would you want to see her again? If not, I'll tell her where to stick it, but...but you're not me, you might have a chance at something I can't have..."


Tears start rolling down Suzu's face. She's embarrassed and starts wiping them away.


Suzu: "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."


Yuka leaps up and drapes herself over Suzu in a big warm embrace.


Suzu: "Yuka!"


They're sobbing together, Suzu out loud, Yuka silently.




Yuka is on the couch watching TV in her pajamas. She's watching an anime with a high-school boy and girl. They're in love, glancing at each other, she's crying, he's chasing after her, they make up, hold hands... Yuka turns it off and rolls over with her face towards the inside of the couch.


Suzu (to herself): "You never go out anymore..."


The phone rings. Yuka's turns over and her eyes widen, she pops up over the couch edge as Suzu is answering the phone.


Suzu (to herself): "Please, let this be Arishima-san..."


Suzu: "Hello?"


Suzu's face is upset at the response. She looks at Yuka and shakes her head 'no.' Yuka, seeing this, slouches back down onto the couch, facing back towards the powered-down TV. Her face sad. Suzu is still on the phone. She's speaking coldly.


Suzu: "Yes, she's fine."


Suzu: "I can't stop her if that's what she wants."


Suzu: "I'll have to ask her, hold on."


Suzu goes to Yuka with her palm over the receiver so they can talk in private.


Suzu: "Yuka?"


Yuka turns to face Suzu.


Suzu: "It's mom. She wants to know if you're free today."




Suzu sitting at the table with a cup of tea. Listlessly staring into it. Silent. A chair gets pulled out and Yuka sits down across from Suzu. Suzu looks up. Yuka is dressed adorably, but also looks sheepish and sad.


Suzu (to herself): "I can't imagine what you must be feeling. To have your heart broken by Arishima and mom come back at the same time. You're so brave, just to set foot out that door each day. Braver than I am."


Suzu: "You look really cute."


Yuka doesn't look up but has a small, sad, smile on her face. They sit there quietly, waiting. Yuka has her hands in her lap. Suzu continues holding the cup of tea but not drinking it. Time passes. The doorbell finally rings.


Suzu: "Have fun, okay?"


Yuka nods slightly, gets up and answers the door. Suzu stays sitting at the table. Rieko and Yuka have a small conversation at the door (Yuka silently of course). Reiko looks towards Suzu,  Yuka shakes her head 'no,' the door closes behind them. After a moment of staring at the shut door, all alone in the house, Suzu throws the cup into the back of the door, it shatters, leaving tea dripping down the door.




Aiko's mansion seen from the outside. An expensive car is in the drive by the front door. Aiko gets into Tayama's car.


Tayama: "Hail to the chief! Where would you like to go to celebrate, President?"


Aiko: "Please stop calling me that."


Tayama: "No can do President."


Aiko "Ughhh, you frustrate me."


Tayama: "Excellent."


Aiko looking out the window, blushes slightly in happiness.




On the train. Rieko and Yuka are sitting next to each other.


Rieko: "I thought we could go shopping for spring clothes. It's almost here and there are some good sales."


Yuka nods 'yes,' she's still looking sad and depressed.


Rieko: " it being with me...that's making you so sad?"


Yuka looks up with wide-eyed shock and shakes her hands in front of her to indicate something to the effect of: 'no, no, it's not that at all.'


Rieko: "Really? That's a relief...wait! That's not what I meant. I mean, you're still upset. I know it might be hard to trust me, but, you can talk to me, if you want."


Yuka gives her a little smile.


               Rieko: "Oh god, I mean, not talk, but...I...I'm sorry!"


Rieko (to herself): "Why don't you talk anymore? I remember you always chatting away in the background...god, I always left you in the background..."


Rieko starts to tear up, Yuka notices. Yuka gently lifts a finger to Rieko's face and wipes a tear away.


Rieko: "I was a terrible mom to you, even before he died. I always let your father take care of you. You two were so close. you remember him at all?"


Yuka gives a little affirmative nod.


Rieko: "That's good. I think about him too."


Yuka places her hand on her mom's hand.




Eriko is in the kitchen, washing out some bowls. The light is bright and beautiful. The water is flowing over her hands. Yuka comes up next to her, reaches under the water and their fingers touch. Eriko looks at Yuka and blushes, Yuka gives a soft little smile back and intertwines her fingers with Eriko's, turning them over in the water. Finally Yuka take the bowl from under the water and starts drying it off. Eriko suddenly realizes she's not doing anything and takes another bowl from the side of the sink and starts washing it. Yuka does the same thing again, reaching for the bowl, but letting their fingers touch for a while before she takes the bowl out to dry. Eriko is blushing. Eriko steals a glance, Yuka turns, gives her a big smile and Eriko turns away smiling, happily embarrassed.


Eriko takes another bowl and starts washing it, but Yuka's fingers never show up. Eriko looks up and around to see that she is alone in Arishima's kitchen, the lights are off and only a little light is coming through the curtains. She puts the bowl in the drying rack, turns off the water, and slinks down to the floor with her back against the sink cabinet. She puts her hands over her face and starts sobbing, her body heaving as the "camera" pulls back showing how alone she really is in the dark, empty house.




Tayama and Aiko are walking down the stairs into a basement building, lots of graffiti and posters on the walls, it looks like a club.


Aiko: "A concert?"


Tayama: "Yeah, they aren't well known, so they got the shitty early time slot."


Aiko: "I didn't know you were into music?"


Tayama: "I'm not that old, am I?"


Aiko: "mmmmm?"


She scrunches up her face while she examines his, playfully indicating that she's not sure how old he is. She smiles and walks past him and through the door. He laughs and runs his hand through his hair.




Yuka is lifelessly flipping through clothes on a rack in a store. Rieko is watching her.


Rieko (to herself): "She was always such a happy child. Is it all my fault?"


Rieko holds up a cute shirt.


Rieko: "What about this?"


Yuka points to herself with a questioning face.


Rieko: "You? No, I meant for me? You're saying I'm too old for this, aren't you?"


They share a laugh together.




The band is on stage, the crowd is really into it. Aiko is dancing. Out of the corner of Tayama's eye, he sees some people lighting up a joint. Then he turns and sees people drinking.


Tayama (to himself): "Stupid, what was I thinking?"


He bends down and says in Aiko's ear (due to the noise):


Tayama: "Hey, this sucks, right? Maybe we should go."


Aiko "What? They're great! I thought you liked this band anyway?"


Tayama: "I know, but..."


He's looking past her as he says this. She turns and sees the people drinking, then turns back to him. Her head drops, then she lifts it but her eyes go past him defiantly.


Aiko: "Fine! Whatever."


She shoves by him and storms out the door and up the stairs with him following.


Tayama: "Wait, Aiko-chan!"




Rieko and Yuka are eating in a small cafe. Yuka is picking at her food, shoving it around her plate, not really eating. Someone walks by the window, we see trailing long light hair. It catches Yuka's eye, she gets up and runs out the cafe door.


Rieko: "Yuka!?"


Yuka runs outside, stopping right in front of the window with her mom on the other side, still seated. Yuka sees the young woman meet up with a random young man. When the woman turns her face in profile, it's clear it's not Eriko. Yuka is crestfallen. Her mother is looking out at Yuka, confused.


Rieko (to herself): "Baby, what is it?"


Yuka comes in and sits down, more sullen than before. They are eating in silence.


Rieko (to herself): "How can I help you?"


Rieko's phone rings. She opens it.


Rieko: "Hi....yes....I'll be home soon...I miss you too!...Bye."


Yuka looks up at her questioningly.


Rieko: " wasn't random...I mean, that I wanted to see you two again. This whole time, I've been trying to put things back together..."


She looks up at Yuka who is sitting there attentively.


Rieko: "There are so many things I want to tell you, but I'm scared. I don't want you to hate me like your sister does."


Yuka shakes her head back and forth.


Rieko: "I love your father, I will always love your father, but...I...I got married, again."


Rieko sheepishly looks up to find Yuka beaming. Yuka takes Rieko's hands in celebration.


Rieko: "'re not mad?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no' still smiling big.


Rieko: "That...that's not all..."




Tayama drops Aiko off at her house, pulling the car through the gated driveway, and around to the front of the mansion. They talk in the car.


Tayama: "You're still mad."


Aiko: "Not at all."           


Tayama (to himself): "She is mad."


Tayama: "I didn't mean to..."


Aiko: "To what? You think I like knowing that you see me as a drunk and a user?


Tayama: "What?! That's not fair! I was only trying to protect you."


Aiko: "Did I ask you to protect me?"


Tayama: "No, but I didn't want to put you in a bad situation again."


Aiko: "Again?"


Tayama: "Well, with Ma-kun..."


Aiko: "That wasn't your fault."


Tayama: "But I feel like it was. The things he..."


Aiko: "God, you probably think I'm a slut too! But...but the hospital said nothing happened!"


Tayama (to himself): "Oh, Aiko-chan..."


Tayama: "I know, he told me, but it wouldn't have changed how I feel about you even if something had happened. Please believe me."


Aiko (to herself): "Despite myself...I kind of do believe you."


Aiko: "Look. I need to learn to take care of myself. I can't always be depending on other people."


Tayama: "But you can, I want you to depend on me."


Aiko: "No, I can't. All I'm doing is..."


Aiko (to herself): "...replacing her with you..."


Aiko: "...I just need to learn to be okay alone."


Aiko enters her house, shuts the door, and sighs.


Aiko (to herself): "I shouldn't have gotten so mad at him. I can't tell him, but I'm glad he noticed. It was hard to be around all those people again. What would I have done if he wasn't there? I don't want to end up like Kishi."


The doorbell rings. Aiko is somewhat surprised as she's still leaning against it. She opens the door and Tayama is standing there. She can only stare at him. Tears start forming in her eyes. He gently reaches out to her. She falls into him, embracing him and crying. He holds her and lets her cry and strokes her long hair.


Tayama: "It'll be okay. I'm not going anywhere."




Suzu out on the front landing of the external walkway in front of her apartment, looking over the railing, watching as Rieko and Yuka walk up the sidewalk towards the apartment building, carrying a few bags. As they walk up the stairs, Suzu can hear the tail end of their conversation.


Rieko: "...our secret, okay?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Suzu (to herself): "Seems like everyone has secrets these days."


Rieko and Yuka come up to Suzu.


Suzu: "Thank you for bringing her home safely."


Rieko turns to Yuka.


Rieko: "We're on for next weekend, right?"


Suzu (to herself): "She's going to see mom again?"


Rieko winks at Yuka, Yuka smiles back and nods 'yes.'


Suzu (to herself): "At least she's smiling again."




Yuka and Suzu enter the apartment. Suzu asks a question as she's sitting and taking off her shoes; Yuka goes over to the phone to look at something.


Suzu: "Did you have fun?"


Yuka nods 'yes' without turning around. She looks hard at the phone then turns to Suzu with a questioning face.


Suzu: "I'm sorry, she didn't call today either. Want me to try?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no.'


Suzu: "Why don't you go over then?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no.'


Suzu: "You want to talk about it?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no' and goes into her room.


Suzu (to herself): "I can't stand to see you like this. Maybe it's for the best, before you really got hurt. But god, Eriko, how did you make the choice to leave someone you love? How made that choice?"




Yuka sits at her desk. She puts her head down sideways on the surface of the desk, looking at the broken necklace sitting there. She reaches out to touch it. She briefly thinks back to when she was given the necklace by Eriko. Other images of Eriko's various faces (grumpy, surprised, angry, happy, laughing, kind) flash through her memory. She thinks back to some of their kisses. She drifts off to sleep at her desk.


In her dream, she and Eriko are walking hand in hand on a beach. They are looking at the waves coming in, slowly from over the water is a light moving towards them. As it nears, it is a vengeful, fire-eyed version of Eriko as the angel (more demonic than real). The angel raises her sword slashing down between Eriko and Yuka on the beach. Yuka wakes from this dream just as the sword comes down between them. There are tears streaming down her face. She has a blanket draped over her - Suzu must have come in and put it on her. She pulls the blanket tight.




Night time. Someone is coughing violently. Eriko wakes from her sleep. She rushes into Heizo's bedroom. He's there, over on his side, coughing up blood.


Eriko: "I'm going to call the ambulance!"


Heizo puts a hand on her to stop her. She pauses. He wipes his mouth and lays back down, breathing hard and fast but shallow.


Heizo: "No...please..."


Eriko: "Maybe they can do something for the pain?"


Heizo: "No, when it's my time, I want to die here."


Eriko: "I can't stand to see you like this."


Heizo: "I'm sorry dear, I...cough cough...I wanted to be there for you...cough cough..."


Eriko: "What are you talking about? You've been everything for me. I wouldn't even be alive if it wasn't for you."


Heizo: "Cough're stronger than you think."


Eriko: "No, I need you."


Heizo: "You don't need an old man. You aren't alone anymore. cough cough."


Eriko's head drops.


Eriko (to herself): "But I am alone."


She looks up at him, she's more collected now.


Eriko: "Can I do anything for you?"


Heizo doesn't answer, he's breathing more slowly now, his eyes closed.


Eriko (to herself): "He's asleep."


Eriko leans over and kisses him on the forehead.


Eriko (to herself): "Whoever, whatever, I really am, what's the point if I can't do anything for you?"




School. Eriko's desk is empty. Aiko and Yuka walk in together.


Aiko: "...don't know how I feel about that. I'm glad Suzu-san called to tell me."


Hatsue (to herself): "What are they talking about?"


Yuka isn't really paying attention, but then Yuka sees Eriko's empty desk and becomes even more somber. She sits down.


Hatsue (to herself): "It's painful to watch."


Hatsue: "Are you feeling better?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Hastue: "Getting sick on a Friday sort of ruins your weekend, huh?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no.' She has a little smile as she thinks.


Hatsue (to herself): "Wait, did she see Eriko-chan? Did they fix things?"


Aiko: "You're really going to keep seeing her?"


Hatsue: "You saw Eriko-chan?!"


Yuka looks down and shakes her head 'no' slowly.


Aiko: "Idiot."


Hatsue: "What do you mean? Who were you talking about then?"


Aiko: "It's none of your business, I'm sorry I brought it up."


Yuka puts a hand on Aiko.


Aiko: "Are you sure?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'




Hatsue is walking up the street in Eriko's neighborhood.


Hatsue (to herself): "I can't believe her mom showed up after all these years. No wonder she's a mess."


As she's walking, she see's Eriko coming from the other direction with a plastic bag from shopping. Hatsue's eyes get wide.


Hatsue: "Eriko-chan!"


Eriko lowers her head and turns to open the door of the shop. Hatsue comes up running, panting.


Hatsue: "Why didn't you stop when I called?"


Eriko: "I'm sorry, I have to go."


Hatsue: "It's been weeks, you're just going to turn your back on me?"


Eriko: "I'm going in."


Hatsue: "No you don't. I won't let you run away."


Hatsue grabs Eriko's hand before it can unlock the door. Eriko tries to whip it away aggressively with angry eyes but Hatsue is holding onto her wrist tightly.


Hatsue (to herself): "Yikes, she can be so scary."


Hatsue: "Why won't you talk to me?"


Eriko: "There's nothing to say."


Hatsue: "I don't understand. I thought...I thought we were friends?"


Eriko is stunned and saddened and softens her aggressive stance and look.


Eriko: "I don't know anymore...about anything."


Hatsue: "What aren't you telling me?"


Eriko: "Please, I have to go."


Hatsue: "That's it, you're just going to disappear?"


Eriko (to herself): "I wish it were that easy."


Eriko: "Please go."


Hatsue lets go of Eriko's wrist. Eriko unlocks the door and starts to go in. Before the door closes, Hatsue says:


Hatsue: "Her mom came back. Yuka-chan's mom is back."


Eriko turns around slowly and looks right in Hatsue's eyes.


Eriko: "I know."




Yuka is dragging Suzu by the hand down the street.


Suzu: "Hey wait, where are we going?"


Yuka turns and smiles big at her.


Suzu (to herself): "It feels like forever since you've smiled like that."


Suzu: "I thought you were seeing mom this weekend?"


Yuka grins. Suzu stops cold.


Suzu: "Is that where you're taking me?"


Yuka shrugs, trying to hide the truth.


Suzu: "I'm going home. You can see her without me."


Yuka grabs Suzu's hand to stop her and stamps her foot on the sidewalk.


Suzu: "See her if you want to, it's your choice. But I don't want anything to do with her. I can't forgive her. I won't forgive her."


Yuka's shoulders slump and she lets go of Suzu's hand, her face sad.


Suzu: "I'm sorry, Yuka, please, it's different for me than it is for you. Maybe you can have a relationship with her, but not me. Not after everything."


Suzu turns and starts to walk away, Yuka stares after her. In the distance someone is coming up and waving behind Yuka.


Rieko: "Yuka! Suzu!"


Suzu turns around to see Rieko coming up behind Yuka. Holding her hand is a small child, about 4 years old. Rieko comes up to Yuka. Suzu is several steps away, only half turned towards them. Rieko turns and says to the child.


Rieko: "Emi-chan, these are your sisters, Yuka and Suzu."

(to be continued...)

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