In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 80

 "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 80




Yuka is doing homework at her desk. She yawns, looks at the time and sees it's only a little after 8pm. She looks at the broken necklace sitting on the desk. Then the picture of her mom that she had taken out of the photo album and put on the cork board above her desk.


The phone rings out in the main area. Yuka's eyes get big. She gets up and goes over to her door. As Yuka opens it, she sees paperwork spread out on the table and hears Suzu answer the phone. Yuka doesn't come out, she stays listens to Suzu on the phone.


Suzu (to herself): "Who's calling this late?"


Suzu: "Hello?"


Suzu: "Oh, M-chan! What's up?"


Yuka sighs and is about to close the door.


Suzu: "No, I'm sorry, I don't think I can go out tonight."


Yuka has a confused look on her face.


Suzu: "Yeah, we had a pretty intense day. I don't think she should be alone right now."


Yuka's head drops in sadness.


Suzu: "Thanks for understanding, I'll see you at the office on Monday."


Suzu: "Okay, bye bye."


Suzu sits back down at the table.


Suzu: "Back to the finances..."


She opens up her bank book.


Suzu: "Eeeshhh. I thought I was doing better saving than this."


Suzu looks over a typed calendar with her work schedule.


Suzu: "Well, if I pick up that overtime they offered me, that will make sure I can send her to any college she wants next year."


Yuka looks crushed, she closes her door. Suzu turns around at the sound of the door clicking shut.


Suzu (to herself): "Yuka?"


We see Yuka curled up in bed hugging her stuffed animals.




The next morning. Yuka is eating breakfast. Suzu sits down across from her. It should be a normal Sunday morning, but something is wrong with Yuka.


Suzu: "Any plans for today?"


Yuka doesn't respond or even acknowledge Suzu.


Suzu (to herself): "Is it Eriko-chan? Is it mom? What are you feeling?"


Suzu: "Want to go out shopping or something, maybe take your mind off things?"


Yuka slams her hands down on the table.


Suzu: "Yuka! What's wrong?"


Yuka gets up and pulls Suzu up out of her chair and starts to push her out the door of the apartment.


Suzu: "Yuka! Stop, I don't understand."


Yuka points towards the door.


Suzu: "You want me to leave?"


Yuka shakes her head 'yes.'


Suzu: "Why? What's going on?"


Yuka points to the phone and then to the door again.


Suzu: "Did you hear me last night?"


Yuka shakes her head 'yes.'


Suzu: "Don't worry about that, I'll see her at work tomorrow."


Yuka stomps her foot.


Suzu: "Why are you upset? I love spending time with you, you know that, right? I mean, especially now, you''ve been so sad lately."


Yuka looks at her first with pleading eyes, but then the tears start to form, she scrunches up her face, grabs her coat, puts her shoes on in a huff and runs out of the house slamming the door, leaving a puzzles Suzu behind her.




Emi (Emiko, Rieko's daughter, Yuka's half sister) is playing with some toys. The doorbell rings. Rieko opens it.


Rieko: "Oh! Yuka, what are you doing here? Are you okay?"


Emi looks up excitedly, then screams.




She goes wildly careering towards the front door. Then stops short and hides behind her mom's legs in embarrassment. Yuka gives her a little wave and a small smile, as much as she can muster given that she's upset.


Rieko: "Well, I'm glad you're here. Come on in."


Yuka is taking off her coat and shoes. Emi is bursting at the seams waiting for Yuka to be ready to go off with her, she can barely control her energy. Yuka looks at her and smiles sweetly.


Rieko: "I...I have to ask...does Suzu know you're here?"


Yuka gives a small shake of the head 'no.'


Rieko: "I don't know what happened, but I think I should call and tell her you're here, okay?"


Yuka nods 'yes' slightly.


Emi is practically dancing in anticipation. Yuka reaches a hand out to her. Emi shrieks with joy, grabs Yuka's hand and drags Yuka off, leaving Rieko to watch them depart, with a small but heavy smile.




Emi is dragging Yuka around her room. She's filling up Yuka's arms with her toys and favorite things. She puts a stuffed duck in Yuka's arms.


Emi: "This is ahi-chan! She's really good at making you feel better when you're sad."


Yuka looks earnestly into the ducks face.


Emi: "Here, put it down there, let's go!"


Yuka sets the stuff down on the bed and Emi grabs her hand and pulls her around to the next room. When they enter, Emi is talking, but Yuka freezes when she sees a man on the couch reading a newspaper.


Emi: "This is where I watch TV..."


The man lowers the paper and offers a kind smile to Yuka. It's Seiji, Rieko's new husband.


Seiji: "Oh! You must be Yuka-chan."


Yuka nods and bows stiffly.


Seiji: "It's really nice to meet you. Your mom has told me a lot about you."


Yuka is frozen, staring at him. Emi comes up next to Yuka and looks at her, then at her father, then tips her head to the side.


Emi: "That's my daddy! He's not your daddy but we have the same mommy, right?"


Seiji and Yuka both blush. Seiji tries unsuccessfully to stifle a laugh. Yuka relaxes at this.


Seiji: "Well, now that we have that out of the way, I'm glad you're here. I hope you'll feel like this is your home too."




Suzu on the phone.


Suzu: "Thank you for telling me. Bye."


She hangs up the phone.


Suzu (to herself): "Why did you run to her? Am I losing you? I'm so afraid of needing you more than you need me."




Rieko, Seiji, Emi and Yuka are at the table.


Rieko: "I hope you like the food, I wasn't sure what your favorites are now so I...I made the things you used to like."


Yuka places her hands together over her heart and shakes her head 'yes' in thanks.


Rieko: "That's...that's good, I was worried."


Emi: "Daddy, did you know that Yuka-onee-san doesn't talk?"


Rieko and Seiji look at Emi in shock that she's being so blunt.


Rieko: "Oh, Emi, you shouldn't..."


Yuka waves her hands in front of her indicating 'it's okay.' She turns to face Emi, opens her mouth silently, points to the scar on her neck, and shrugs.


Seiji: "Well, that's okay. Your mom says that you're a super student, especially in math, so it sounds like you've figured things out."


Yuka blushes, demures, but subtly nods in affirmation.


Rieko: "I...I saw in the paper that you came in third in the national math competition this year. That's amazing! You're just like your..."


Seiji puts a hand on Rieko's hand.


Rieko: "Well, anyway, we're so proud of you."


Emi: "Mommy, tell Yuka-onee-san about the angel we saw!"


Yuka's eyes go big at this.


Seiji: "You saw an angel?"


Rieko: "I don't think she was an angel, dear. But, she is awfully beautiful, in do I put it...a not-trying to be beautiful kind of way."


Seiji: "She sounds like one strange angel."


Rieko: "She's a high school girl I keep running into. Actually, she's the reason I finally worked up the courage to see you and your sister."


Yuka is staring at Rieko, not sure what to make of this conversation.


Emi: "She IS an angel! She's tall and has long blond hair and she glows and..."


Yuka thinks of Eriko, her face, her body, images of her as an angel, a kiss, some intimate moments in Eriko's bedroom (which we didn't get in prior chapters, so it's partly hinting at the times we didn't explicitly depict during their time together). Yuka is looking down now, tears slowly running down her cheeks.


Rieko: "Yuka! My god, what's wrong?"




Emi's bedroom, a futon is put out on the floor.


Rieko: "I let your sister know you were spending the night. I hope it's okay if you share a room with Emi?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


Rieko: "Okay, don't stay up too late you two!"


She tucks Emi in to bed. Yuka gets into the futon, and is watching Rieko tucking Emi in. Rieko turns and sees Yuka looking at her. Rieko kneels down next to Yuka. She begins to lean over, then hesitates, but Yuka's big eyes implore her. She bends down and gently kisses Yuka on the forehead.




It's the middle of the night, Yuka is tossing and turning in bed, silently crying. She finally wakes up in a start. She looks over and Emi is sleeping, sideways in the bed, with the covers all askew, cute in her pajamas. Yuka gets up and pulls the covers back over Emi. Emi snuggles into an even deeper sleep. Yuka brushes the hair off Emi's face.




Rieko gets up from bed in the middle of the night and goes into the kitchen to get a class of water. As she's walking back, she notices Yuka standing in front of the sliding glass doors to a balcony. She's backlit by the moon, her outline faintly glowing in the light. Her hair is longer than when we first met her.


Rieko: "You look like Emi's angel."


Yuka turns around startled, tears have been streaming down her eyes.


Rieko: "Oh, baby, come here!"


Yuka runs into Rieko's waiting arms. They stay holding each other. Yuka is crying and sobbing.




Rieko and Yuka are walking up the stairs and down the landing towards Yuka's apartment door. Yuka is looking sad and downcast.


Rieko: "I'm glad you let me take you home. I'm worried about you."


Yuka puts her hands over her heart and does a little bow.


Rieko: "I...I've never been much use to you, but...but maybe you can rely on me now, at least a little bit. I...I'd like to be there for you."


Yuka takes Rieko's hand and holds it against her (Yuka's) cheek and nods affirmatively. Rieko takes Yuka into a deep hug.


Rieko: "Oh, Yuka! I've missed you so much!"




Suzu watching TV. She's flipping channels, changing her posture on the couch, unsettled.


Suzu: "Arghhh, when are you getting back? Is this what it will be like from now on? I can't stop you from seeing mom, but it's killing me to wait, to wonder what shape she'll return you in..."


Right then Suzu hears the sound of the door unlocking and opening. She rushes over.


Suzu: "Yuka...!"


She sees Yuka coming in with red eyes and the remnants of tears, clearly a mess from the night before and crying just now. Suzu confronts Rieko.


Suzu: "What did you do to her?"


Yuka puts a hand on Suzu's arm and signals 'no' with her head.


Suzu: "Go inside."


Suzu grabs Rieko by the arm and brings her outside to the landing, leaving Yuka inside.


Suzu: "I said, what did you do to her?"


Rieko: "Suzu, I'm so sorry, I don't know what happened."


Suzu: "Tell me everything."


Rieko: "We were just talking at dinner, and Emi was talking about a girl we bumped into, and Yuka got so sad, then in the middle of the night...but she wouldn't...maybe she couldn't...tell me what was wrong."


Suzu: "You swear you didn't do anything to her?"


Rieko: "No, I swear, we were all having a great time. She even seemed to like Seiji. I promise."


Suzu: "Fine, I'll handle it."


Rieko: "Do you have any idea what it's all about? She seems so sad all the time, like she's always thinking about something else."


Suzu: "I'm surprised you picked up on it."


Rieko: "I know what you think, but...but I AM her mother! And I do worry about her, and you, and I won't ever stop."


Suzu: "For her sake, I hope you can keep that promise."


Rieko: "I want to do more for her, I want to understand her, I want to help her. And you..."


Suzu: "What do you mean 'me'?"


Rieko: "You've given up so much to take care of her, I want to see you live your own life and not just make up for my mistakes."


Suzu: "Kind of late for that now."


Rieko: "What...what if...what if she came to live with us?"


Suzu is shocked and speechless at this.




Graduation in the gym for the third years. Everyone seated in chairs. There's an empty chair where Eriko should be sitting with the second years. Yuka is fixated on it. Aiko is on the stage as the incoming student council president.


Aiko: "...and so, we honor our graduates, knowing that they will go out into the world to do amazing things and spread the values they gained through their time here..."


Hatsue sees Yuka staring at the open chair for Eriko. She puts a hand on Yuka's hand.


Hatsue (to herself): "Where are you Eriko-chan? Are you ever coming back?"




It's after the ceremony now. Graduates are having pictures taken by family. One is embarrassed.


Mom: "Squeeze in a little closer."


Girl: "Moooom, enough already. You've taken a ton."


Mom: "Well, I missed your elementary graduation, I'm making sure I don't miss this one."


Yuka, Aiko and Hatsue are walking in the court yard. Yuka is watching this above conversation.


Hatsue: "You looked very presidential up there."


Aiko (to herself): "I've spent my whole life putting on that act."


Aiko: "mmm."


Yuka sees as the younger sisters of the graduate squeeze into the picture, they're giggling with each other and making faces. There are other families too with moms and dads and brothers and sisters. A young couple is talking under a tree.


Boy: "This is the last time I'll get to see you in your uniform."


Girl: "Idiot!'ll still wear it sometimes...if you want..."


The girl is blushing. Aiko notices Yuka watching them.


Aiko: "Disgusting. I went to an all-girls school to avoid having to see those displays."


Hatsue (to herself): "Stupid Okumura-san, gotta change the subject."


Hatsue: "Can you believe we're third years?!"


There's only silence from Yuka and Aiko.


Hatsue (to herself): "Crap."


Hatsue leans in to Aiko and whispers.


Hatuse (whispering): " you think Eriko-chan is able to move up with us? She missed a lot of school."


Aiko (whispering back): "Shhh, idiot!"


Aiko (to herself): "Not that it matters at this rate."


They both turn to see Yuka with her head down.


Hatsue: "Hey! We should go somewhere, do something!"




Yuka, Hatsue and Aiko are walking down the main shopping street. They're each eating a crepe.


Hatsue: "Oh my god, this is so good! I wonder if I should get one to go for Toshi-k..."


Hatsue looks in horror at Yuka that she has just mentioned her boyfriend around the girl who was recently dumped. Yuka smiles and waves her hands to indicate 'it's fine'.


Aiko (to herself): "Way to rub it in, idiot."


Aiko offers a bite of hers to Yuka.


Aiko: "Here, try some of this, it's good."


Yuka takes a small bite. As she does, some gets on her nose. Aiko wipes it off.



Yuka thinks back to a date with Eriko, sitting in a cafe on a cold, snowy day. Eriko takes a sip of hot-chocolate and gets a foamy mustache from it. Yuka waves her to lean closer. Eriko blushes and leans in. Yuka looks around then kisses the foam off Eriko's lips. Eriko freaks out and falls backwards in her chair making a scene in the restaurant. Yuka clasps her hand over her mouth as she's silently laughing. Eriko rights her chair and sits back down at the table. Yuka is looking at her affectionately as Eriko is flustered and blushing severely.

[Flashback ends]


Yuka looks down sadly. Aiko sighs and goes back to eating her crepe.


Aiko (to herself): "I finally get you back but it's like you still aren't here."


They come up to a restaurant. Hatsue runs up and starts looking at the menu in the window.


Hatsue: "I've always wanted to try this place."


Aiko: "Didn't you just eat?"


Hatsue: "Ha, I know, but it looks so yummy."


Hatsue and Aiko are looking at the menu together but Yuka is looking in the window. She sees a group of business women together eating lunch. She notices that one of them is Suzu. They're all chatting and talking, Suzu is laughing and smiling. They're having fun together on lunch break.


Hatsue: "Yuka-chan, what do you think, are you..."


Hatsue stops as she notices that Yuka is walking away from the restaurant.


Hatsue: "Hey, wait up!"


Hatsue runs up after her with Aiko trailing behind, as Aiko passes the main window, she too sees Suzu inside having fun with her friends. Then turns and looks back at Yuka.


Aiko (to herself): "What are you hiding from us?"




Yuka opens the door to her apartment. It is still bright light outside, but the curtains are drawn and lights are out so it's dark in the apartment. She closes the door and stands in the entryway looking at the empty apartment.


Yuka imagines what it would be like if Suzu and Suzu's imaginary husband and kids were sitting around the table having a meal, watching TV, laughing, etc...


Back to the dark, empty apartment. Yuka pinches in her mouth, steels herself, makes a fist, and nods her head once in affirmation of her decision.




It's getting towards dusk, the sun is slowly starting to set. Suzu walks up to the apartment door, exhausted from work.


Suzu: "Man I'm tired, I hope Yuka's okay with something quick for dinner tonight."


She opens the door and is hit by an amazing smell. She looks up, and there, moving a final dish out to the table is Yuka who has prepared a feast for them. Suzu quickly takes off her heels and comes in. She stands with her hands bracing herself on the table so she can lean over the dishes of food, looking it all over, breathing in the delicious aromas.


Suzu: "You made all this?"


Yuka nods 'yes.'


They're eating the food. Suzu is enjoying it, but noticing Yuka is eating slowly, pushing some food around on her plate, listless.


Suzu: "Not very hungry?"


Yuka shakes her head 'no.'


Suzu: "Did you go out with friends after the ceremony today?"


Yuka nods 'yes' but doesn't look at Suzu.


Suzu: "I feel bad, why'd you cook all this food then?"


Yuka is sitting in silence.


Suzu: "I don't understand. normally only cook for me on my birthday, but it's not my birthday..."


Yuka finally looks up at her with big, watery eyes.


Suzu: "Oh, I...I've decided, huh? Well, we...we can talk about it later, I don't want to spoil the food, okay?"


Yuka nods affirmatively (but sadly) and gets up and puts her dishes away in the sink. She goes into her bedroom leaving Suzu sitting alone at the table. Suzu tries to take another bite, but then puts her chopsticks with the uneaten food back down on her plate. She puts her head in her hands and tears drip onto the half eaten food on her plate.

(to be continued...)

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