In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 79

 "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 79

"Still Connected"



Yuka is playing in the park with Emi, her four-year-old half sister. The leaves are starting to bud on trees, some early flowers are blooming. The two of them are lifting up rocks and seeing all the bugs crawling around underneath. Yuka models sticking her hands out, Emi does the same. Yuka puts a bug on her hands. Emi shrieks and drops it, Yuka smiles kindly at her and Emi pouts back. Suzu and Rieko are sitting on a bench watching the other two play together.


Suzu (to herself): "Yuka hasn't looked that happy in weeks."


Suzu: "Emiko-chan is pretty cute."


Rieko: "You three are about the only good things I've ever done in my life."


They continue sitting in silence watching the other two play. Yuka takes Emi up the steps of a slide, Emi goes down, when she does, Yuka is looking wistfully off into the distance, her eyes unfocused, instead of watching Emi. Yuka puts a hand to her neck, where the necklace would have been. Emi gets to the ground and is shrieking with glee, bringing Yuka back to reality where she smiles at Emi in praise.


Suzu: "Why now?"


Rieko: "You mean, coming back? I...I can't explain it exactly, but I've had this feeling lately."


Suzu: "What type of feeling?"


Rieko: "Like maybe I was needed again."


Suzu (to herself): "Just when Eriko-chan left her..."


Suzu: "We've been doing fine without you."


Rieko: "I know, I can tell. You've done a good job."


Suzu: "Thanks."


Rieko: "But, I want you to have your own life back, the life I took away from you."


Suzu (to herself): "Don't say those things...if I think about how lonely I am..."


Suzu: "I like my life."


Rieko (to herself): "I hope that's true."


Rieko: "I'm grateful for all you've done for your sister, but I know how much you've sacrificed because of me."


Suzu: "It's too late now, there's nothing you can do to change the past."




Rieko, Emiko, Yuka and Suzu are walking down the street. Yuka's stomach grumbles.


Emi: "HAHAHAHA you've got a monster in your tummy!"


Suzu: "It comes out every day, no matter how much we feed it."


Emi looks a bit scared/curious about this "monster."


Emi: "Really?"


Rieko: "Why don't we stop somewhere for lunch?"


Suzu: "I...should get back. Are you staying Yuka?"


Yuka looks at her pleadingly. Emi stops next to Yuka, looks at her, then turns to Suzu and mimics Yuka's pleading face to Suzu. The two are a matched pair.


               Suzu: "Jeez, I'm powerless against two of them."


Emi and Yuka turn to each other and laugh/giggle in delight.




They come up to a family restaurant.


Rieko: "How about this?"


Suzu: "Yuka's loves this place, right Yuka?"


Suzu turns check with Yuka who is looking distressed and distracted as she stares at the restaurant. Yuka is thinking back to a date with Eriko.



Eriko and Yuka are sitting in a booth in the family restaurant. They both have their menus up, but they are periodically peaking over them and making eye contact and blushing. Yuka slides her hand out and puts it on the table between them. Eriko ducks behind her menu again, but takes her hand and places it on Yuka's. Their fingers intertwine and Eriko blushes more and her face falls and hits the table top. Yuka is silently giggling with joy.

[Flashback ends]


Suzu (to herself): "You're trying so hard to be brave in front of mom and Emiko-chan, but I know your heart is broken."




The four are sitting at a booth in the restaurant. Emi is fidgeting and drawing with some crayons. Yuka is sitting still, looking downcast and vacant. Suzu and Rieko are sitting in silence.


Suzu (to herself): "This feels strange, being together after all this time, like nothing happened."


Rieko: "So, um, Yuka, you're in high school now. I bet the boys are all over someone so cute. Is there anyone you like?"


Suzu looks at Rieko in horror/anger. Yuka turns away to stare out the window.


Suzu: "Who do you think you are?"


Rieko: "I...I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything. I just want to get to know you both."


Yuka turns back to look at her and shakes her head 'no' in a comforting way as in "don't worry about it." Suzu gets up in a huff.


Suzu: "I have to go to the bathroom."




Suzu in the bathroom of a restaurant. She's washing her hands. There are two other women in there talking.


Woman 1: "...I can't wait for you to meet him."


Woman 2: "He does sound like a catch."


Woman 1: "I know, and even my parents like him!"


Woman 2: "Seriously, you really lucked out. No one's that perfect!"


They're laughing as they finish up and leave the bathroom.


Suzu looks up at herself in the mirror.


Suzu: "What would my life be like if you'd been there for us? Would I have gone to college or found a boyfriend and gotten married? Would I have my own kids by now? Not that I'm unhappy with my life, really. I mean, I love Yuka, and I've got a good job and an okay apartment, but I'm...sigh..."


She's walking back towards the booth in the family restaurant where she sees Yuka, Emi and Rieko chatting. The food has already been brought out and they're eating.


Rieko: "Emi! You're a mess! Let me see those hands."


Emi looks up from her plate which is a massacre of destroyed food bits. She's got food all over her face and her hands are covered. She grins and sticks her hands out towards her mom.


Rieko: "Goodness!"


Rieko is wiping off Emi's hands and Emi is giggling. Suzu doesn't join them yet, but continues watching this happy family interaction. Yuka is watching Rieko take care of Emi. Yuka smiles, slightly, painfully, and her head drops subtly.


Suzu (to herself): "Did we ever look like that? Could you have that now, Yuka?"


A waitress walks by Suzu.


Waitress: "Excuse me"


Yuka looks up and notices Suzu standing there and smiles at her. Rieko turns around.


Rieko: "I'm sorry we started without you, Emi was starving."


Suzu enters the booth next to Yuka.


Suzu: "Don't worry about it."


Turning to Yuka.


Suzu: "Are you okay?"


Yuka shrugs. Suzu grabs and squeezes her hand. Emi looks up at Suzu from where Rieko is still fussing with her trying to get her face cleaned up.


Emi: "Suzu-chan sad?"


Suzu: "Oh, I was just thinking, you remind me a lot of Yuka when she was your age."


Emi lights up at this.


Emi: "I do?"


Suzu: "Yeah, she was always a mess, but usually it was dirt from playing outside."


Emi: "Ewww, I didn't like the bugs."


Suzu: "I didn't either, but she'd always make me hold them."


Emi: "Yeah, don't do that!"


Suzu: "Hear that Yuka? Stop doing that, would ya?!"


The three of them are laughing and smiling at each other. Rieko can only stare at Suzu, a tear forming in Rieko's eye.




Yuka is waving goodbye to her mom and Emi as they walk away. When they are gone, Yuka's shoulders slump and she turns around and walks head-down back towards the apartment. Yuka and Suzu walk into the house. They take off their shoes and as Yuka comes in she glances at the answering machine which still has no messages on it. She goes straight into her room.


Suzu (to herself): "You did a good job holding it together out there today. I know your head wasn't in it."


Suzu gingerly opens the door to Yuka's bedroom.


Suzu: "How are you? Will you talk to me?"


Yuka is laying on her bed facing the wall. Suzu comes and sits on it and starts rubbing her back.


Suzu: "I think you made mom happy."


Yuka nods slightly.


Suzu: "You like having her back, huh?"


Yuka nods slightly.


Suzu: "I'm happy for you, really."


Yuka sits up and looks at Suzu.


Suzu: "Really. I am."


Tears start coming down Yuka's cheeks.


Suzu: "Oh, Yuka! You don't have to force yourself. After all these years, no one expects you to be okay with this."


Yuka shakes her head 'no.'


Suzu: "It's not about mom, is it?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no.'


Suzu: "You're worried about Eriko-chan?"


Yuka shakes her head 'yes.'


Suzu (to herself): "I want to know what she was to you."


Suzu: "It's hard to lose a friend."


Yuka shakes her head 'no' and takes Suzu's hand and puts in over her own (Yuka's) heart.


Suzu: "You really love her, huh?"


Yuka nods 'yes' slightly.




In class


Sensei: "Fujimaki-san, Kiyoura-san, whichever one is taking Arishima-san her work, please come to the office after class."


Chitose: "Like that freak is ever coming back."


Kaori laughs but Satomi sees Yuka turn her head sadly to look out the window.


Satomi: "Just shut up, Chi-chan."


Chitose: "What? We were all thinking it."


Satomi (said under her breath): "Grow up."


Class is dismissed. Hatsue walks up to Satomi.


Hatsue: "Thank you."


Satomi: "I could care less about that tall delinquent, but..."


They both watch as Yuka remains sitting in her chair staring out the window while everyone else is leaving.


Kaori: "Are you coming Sa-chin?!"


Hatsue (said sarcastically): "Sa-chin?"


Satomi: "I know, I know."


They share a knowing smile and little laugh between them.


Aiko comes over to Yuka and puts a hand on her shoulder, gently rousing her back to the world.


Aiko: "Fujimaki-san, why don't you let us get Arishima-san's stuff this time."


Yuka looks up with big wet worried eyes at Aiko.




Aiko and Yuka are in the back of Aiko's town car driving to Eriko's house. As they are driving, they pass various places where Yuka remembers things she's done with Eriko (some we've seen, some we haven't but are inferred dates from their time together). Scenes of them walking past shops, eating in a park, holding hands, tumbling down the hill, etc... Yuka keeps staring out the window, but Aiko places her hand on Yuka's.


Aiko (to herself): "I can't believe I'm about to ask..."


Aiko: "Do you want to talk about it?"


Yuka turns to her sort of blankly.


Aiko: "Do you know why she's not coming to school anymore?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Aiko: "And you haven't seen her since she stopped?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no.'


Aiko: "Well, she's always been a delinquent, so I'm not surprised she's left school. But...what about you two? Are you still...still...?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no' softly and subtly.


Aiko: "Did she actually break up with you?"


Yuka nods 'yes' tears welling in her eyes.


Aiko: "But you still want to be with her?"


Yuka nods 'yes' very subtly.


Aiko: "I...I don't get it. I don't get what you see in her. All she's ever done is make your life more complicated. Things were just fine before she came."


Yuka shakes her head 'no' and looks back out the window. She remembers this beautiful angel appearing before her as a child, the awe in her eyes at this amazing creature. A tear streaks down Yuka's cheek.




They pull up in front of Arishima's store/house. Yuka sits there in the car, not moving. Aiko gets the papers together.


Aiko: "Come on."


Yuka doesn't move. She thinks back to when Eriko was on the floor of her bedroom crying the last time they saw each other, Eriko pushing her away, the necklace breaking, Eriko pleading with Yuka never to come back.




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


[Flashback ends]


               Aiko: "Are you coming?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no.'


               Aiko: "Fine, that's okay. I'll do it."


Aiko (to herself): "It's not like I really want you two getting back together, I just want you to stop looking so sad all the time."


Aiko walks up to the shop door. She tries to open it but it's locked. The sign says "closed." She rings the bell. There's no answer. Aiko rings it again. Still no answer. She turns back ask Yuka through the open car door.


Aiko: "Should we just leave it?"


Yuka nods 'yes' and Aiko puts it in the door mail slot where it falls inside onto piles of other papers. It's dark in the house as the papers gather on the floor. We see dust sparkling in the air against the faint light.




The car pulls up in front of Yuka's apartment.


Aiko: "I'm sorry she wasn't there."


Yuka shrugs. Aiko takes her hand.


Aiko: "I mean that. I might not like her, but...but you do, and I want you to have the things that make you happy."


Yuka looks at her with big confused eyes and a furrowed brow.


Aiko: "Look, I...I've been meaning to say this for a long time, but it's so hard, for me especially. Well, what I'm trying to say is, I...I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Yuka-chan..."


Yuka looks worriedly at her and shakes her head and hands 'no' vigorously.


Aiko: "No, let me finish, I need to say this..."


Aiko (to herself): "I need to make sure..."


Aiko: "I... I'm sorry I wasn't a better friend to you this winter. I'm sorry about making you worry and I'm sorry about pushing you away. I'm sorry I did all those horrible things, I can't imagine what you must think of me."


Yuka is again trying to comfort Aiko.


Aiko: "No...there's more. I don't know why you want to be with her, but I'll be your support. I won't leave you again. I promise. Whatever you're going through, I'll be there for you, I'll be the friend you deserve."


Yuka falls into a deep hug of Aiko, she begins openly sobbing (silently of course). Aiko is shocked by the outpouring, then embraces Yuka back and starts stroking her hair. She's got a tear in her eye as well.


Aiko: "Shhh, shhh, it'll be okay."




The doorbell rings and Suzu answers it, when she opens the door, she sees it's Aiko and Yuka, both with red, teary eyes.


Suzu: "Aiko-chan! Is everything okay?"


Aiko bowing to her.


Aiko: "Kiyoura-san, I'm sorry I worried you."


Suzu smiles kindly at her.                          


Suzu: "We're just glad your back. Will you stay for dinner?"




Eriko knocks on Heizo's bedroom door. The house is still dark. She's carrying a tray with some food. She walks in. He's asleep. Eriko sets down the tray of food. She kneels beside him. She puts her hand on his chest and her ear by his mouth. She kisses his forehead.


Eriko: "Sleep tight, I'll check on you later."


She gets up and walks back out of the room, slowly closing the door behind her. She takes a few steps down the hall, then catches herself against the frame, and slinks down onto her knees.




Rieko is picking Emi up at a day-care.


Rieko: "I'm so sorry to have kept you late, my boss wouldn't let me go until everything was done."


Day-care worker: "That's okay, Emi-chan was a big help cleaning up, weren't you?"


Emi giggles and hides behind her mom's leg.


Rieko: "Why are you being so shy?"


Day-care worker: "Should we show your mom the picture you drew?"


Emi looks around her mom's leg and nods 'yes' vigorously.


Day-care worker: "She's been like that all day, she hasn't say a word, just nodding her head 'yes' or 'no'. Oh...Here's the picture! Isn't it beautiful?"


It's a picture of four people, She's labeled them with basic letters for each of their names, it's a picture of Emi with her mom and Yuka and Suzu. Rieko touches the picture with the tips of her fingers, a tear forming in her eyes.


Rieko: "I...I wouldn't worry about her not talking, I'm pretty sure I know why...Could I...could I take this?"


Day-care worker: "Of course, please do!"




It's dark out, Eriko is walking along the canal's edge.


Eriko: "The outside world doesn't seem real anymore. How many days has it been since I've been out of the house?"


She looks out at the ripples in the water against the shore line, shining in the moonlight. In a vision, those ripples turn to blood, blood pooling under dead bodies. She has visions of all the people she's killed as an angel. She grabs her head to stop the images from flooding in.


Eriko: "STOP, STOP, STOP! I couldn't have done these things, could I? But you...I hurt you and you knew it, you knew it and you still tried to reach out to me..."


Eriko remembers the last time she saw Yuka as Yuka reached out to her while Eriko sobbed on the floor of her bedroom (after the she finally remembered cutting Yuka's neck).


Eriko: "Please stop remembering, please...please...let me just forget her!"


Emi and Rieko are walking down the sidewalk on the upper bank of the canal. Rieko is looking at the drawing. Emi tugs at her hand and Rieko looks down at her. Emi makes a questioning smile.


Rieko: "Yes, you made mommy very happy. Thank you...thank you."


Right then, Emi lets go of Rieko's hand and starts running down the bank of the canal towards the water.


Rieko: "Emi! Wait! Where are you going? Emiko!"


As Rieko pulls up to where Emi has stopped, she sees Emi pointing towards a figure in the distance. It's Eriko, standing on the bank of the canal, her hair blowing in the wind. She is backlit by the moon, her edges are glowing.


Emi: "It's an angel!"


At this, Eriko turns to notice them standing several yards away. As she turns to look at Rieko and Emi, she has tears in her eyes. Rieko makes eye contact and recognizes her.


Rieko: "It's you!"


Eriko wipes the tears from her eyes.


Eriko: "Wha...what are you doing here?"


Rieko: "I was picking my daughter up from daycare."


Eriko: "Your...your daughter?"


Rieko: "My youngest. Look, she drew this today."


Rieko hands the drawing of the four of them to Eriko. Eriko runs her fingers over the drawing of Yuka.


Rieko: "It's all thanks to you. She got to meet her sisters."


Eriko: "Will you see them again?"


Rieko: "Yeah, I think so."


Eriko: "That's good. I'm really happy for you all."


(to be continued...)

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