In the Morning, I'll Say Hello - Chapter 81

 "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 81

"March 27th"



It's dark in the Arishima house. Eriko is laying next to Heizo while he sleeps. There is banging somewhere. Eriko stirs.


Eriko: "Ughhnnn, what is that?"


There's more banging. She gets up and stumbles towards the door. She's unkempt, her hair is really long and not trimmed, wild. She's in a ratty t-shirt and jeans, just barely hanging on. There are dishes piled up in the sink as she walks past the kitchen towards the door. All the shades are drawn so it's dark in the house. We see dust like stars glinting in the air. The banging continues. She opens the door. Standing outside is a furious Aiko.


Aiko: "She's..."


Eriko instantly closes the door on Aiko and starts walking back to the bedroom. Aiko, incredulous, starts pounding again.


Aiko: "God damn you Arishima, open up!"


Eriko whips open the door, anger in her eyes, but she's also tired and apathetic.


Eriko: "What do you want?"


Aiko: "She's moving in with her mom!"


Eriko: "Who is?"


Aiko: "Yuka, you dumbass!"


Eriko: "Oh...that's...good then."


Eriko gives a faint smile (or both resignation and contentment), closes her eyes, and turns to walk back in. Aiko reaches out, grabs her arm and spins her back around. Eriko looks down at her arm furiously.


Aiko (to herself): "Angry? Good, then you're not totally dead inside."


Aiko: "How can you say that? You know what happened between them, you know what she did to them. You know everything that Kiyoura-onee-san and...and I...did to help keep her going all these years."


Eriko wrenches her arm back from Aiko.


Eriko: "You said it yourself, I can't protect her."


Aiko: "You're really abandoning her? After everything, all the trouble? I thought you really..."


Eriko: "I'm no good for her. Maybe after all, having her mom back, maybe it will put things right."


Aiko: "Do you actually believe that? You think that woman has changed?"


Eriko: "I...I hope so."


Aiko: "And what if she hasn't, what if it goes bad?"


Eriko: "You'll still be there."


Aiko: "So that's it? She means that little to you?"


Eriko grabs Aiko by the collar and pulls her close and says quietly through gritted teeth:


Eriko: "Don't you dare say that again. She's the only thing good in this world. I would die a thousand deaths for her."


Eriko lets her go. Aiko straightens herself out.


Aiko: "She's moving out today."


A pause where they look at each other.


Eriko: "Goodbye."


Eriko shuts the door on Aiko. Aiko punches the door with the side of her fist.


Aiko: "Dammit!"




Eriko walks into Heizo's bedroom. She's fuming. He stirs and opens his eyes slightly. She immediately calms herself down.


Heizo: "Cough...cough...What...what day is it?"


Eriko: "It's the 27th."


Heizo: "I thought so, I could smell them."


Eriko: "Smell them?"


Heizo: "Cough...cough...The cherry blossoms, just like the day I found you. Happy birthday, Eriko-chan."


Eriko: " birthday..."


Eriko (to herself): "It's already been a year..."


Heizo: "I closed the shop that day...cough...cough...and spent the day in the park. I think I spent more time watching the people than I did looking at the flowers."


Eriko: "That sounds like you."


Heizo: "Heehee...cough...cough...unghhh...


Eriko: "Ari..."


Heizo waves her off, indicating he's okay.


Heizo: "When it got dark, I went out with Yataro and Noda and H-san to the get some food and we ended up drinking late into the night. We put those young kids to shame!"


Eriko: "I...I can't picture you like that."


Heizo: "This old man likes to have fun, and boy did we! heehee, cough, cough...heehee. But that's when I found you."


Eriko: "In the alley?"


Heizo: "I was walking, trying to clear my head, and there you were."


Eriko: "I don't understand why you helped me."


Heizo: "Cough...cough...cough...what sort of person would I be if I had left you there, looking like that?"


Eriko: "And all I did was mess up your life."


Heizo: "All you did was make my last year worth living."


Eriko: "How can I ever thank you, for this year, for everything?"


Heizo: "No, no. cough cough...I need to thank you, you made this old man whole again. After Yasuo and Kin...cough...cough..."


Eriko: " there anything I can do for you?"


Heizo: "Will you go out and look at the cherry blossoms for me today?"


Heizo (to himself): "I'll see them in your eyes, one last time..."






Eriko is walking past the canal. She stands at the top of the roadway looking out over the water, similar to the night when Emi found her, but now it's bright daylight. The sun is beautiful, spring is in the air, trees are budding. Her hair is blowing in the wind. She gathers it across the side of her neck.


Eriko: "My birthday...It's already been a year... I...I wanted to spend it with you but that's impossible now. So many things happened, I...I found a family, I made friends, I met you...that was enough, right? It's more than I deserve, the things I've done, the things I keep doing... I was so stupid to think it could work out any different."




Eriko arrives at the park. She's walking through the crowds of people viewing the cherry blossoms. She sees happy families sitting on blankets eating their picnic lunches. Children running and laughing and playing, couples snuggling, young and old, the clear sun shining through the blossoms. As she's looking at an old couple, sitting and silently looking in each others eyes, she thinks:


Eriko (to herself): "Did we ever look like that? Can I believe that we did, can I hold on to that at least?"


As she is walking she gets a sharp pain and a flash, she braces herself against a tree, a couple people look at her as they pass.


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


When she looks up, she sees Yuka in the distance, playing with Emi, making a crown of flower petals, sitting on the blanket next to them is Rieko and Seiji. They're laughing and talking, Yuka is smiling and having fun with Emi. Eriko grabs her chest in pain.


Eriko (to herself): "Have...have I fixed things...are you a family again?...You seem happy now...I...I'm glad, I'm so glad...but why...why does it hurt so much?"


Eriko turns and walks away, as she does so, Yuka turns her head and catches of glimpse of Eriko walking away, her long hair blowing in the wind, backlit and glowing. Yuka's eyes go big, trying to discern if it's really Eriko or just a vision. Right then, as Yuka starts to reach her hand out (in gesture towards the departing Eriko in the distance), Emi tugs on Yuka and shows her a butterfly she's cupped in her hands.


Emi: "Look, look!"


Yuka engages with Emi, seemingly forgetting about Eriko, focusing now on her future.




Eriko is walking down the street of the main part of town, everyone else going in the opposite direction towards the park as she's walking away. She's staggering a little, off balance and out of it, holding her chest. She bumps into a person. Without looking up, she apologizes and continues walking.


Eriko: "Sorry."


We notice she's got tears in her eyes. As she's walking she arrives at the alley where she was first found. She gets a wincing pain in her head and more flashes of light, and catches herself against the brick corner of the building to keep from falling. She stumbles into the alley where she collapses onto her knees. She is grabbing her head in wincing pain as tears drop onto the pavement. We get an intense flash of light.


Eriko: "Oh god, I can see it all, stop, stop, please, I don't want to remember!"


Everything goes dark.



Flashback scene 1:

The blackness and starbursts of light representing Kami-sama and Eriko's mother and (angel) Eriko.


Angel Eriko: "What is your wish for me tonight, Kami-sama, my father?"


Kami-sama: "There are children in pain, abused, neglected. Give them a life without suffering, a life that all beings deserve."


Angel Eriko: "As you wish, I shall avenge their innocence, bring them peace, and restore your creation."


Flashback scene 2:

There’s a brilliant flash of light. There, curled and crouched down is angel Eriko. Slowly her wings unfold and she stands, radiant but with burning eyes. We see her flaming sword drawn, the angel Eriko gets into a battle pose. Our vantage point turns to see we are in young Yuka's house as Rieko has teenage Suzu pinned against the wall, hitting her. Rieko, Suzu and Yuka are all turned now, looking at this strange, radiant, menacing being who has appeared before them.


Rieko: "Wait! What are you going to do?"


Angel Eriko: "What you have taken from them, I shall take from you a thousand-fold. Meet your judgment!"


The angel Eriko raises her sword and moves to attack Rieko.




Yuka runs between Rieko and Angel Eriko to protect her mom.


Yuka: "MOM!"


Eriko's eyes widen as she tries to stop the fatal blow from hitting Yuka instead of Rieko. But as Eriko is trying to stop the sword's movement, the tip of the sword ever so slightly grazes across Yuka's neck leaving the faintest trace of blood as it does so. Yuka crumples to the ground grabbing at her neck. A trickle of blood coming down behind the hand clasped over her throat.


Angel Eriko: "NO, what have I done! Please, oh please no."


Yuka is on the ground, blood on her neck. Suzu is kneeling down holding Yuka's head in her lap. Yuka looks up at Suzu and gives Suzu a little, faint, smile.


Angel Eriko: "Why did you get in the way? I was trying to save you!"


There is another flash of light.


Flashback scene 3:

Blackness, the starburst lights of Kami-sama and Eriko's mother.


Kami-sama: "She spends all her time watching over them."


Eriko's mother: "She does not neglect her other duties."


Kami-sama: "It is not natural for an angel to obsess over the fragile lives of individual humans."


Eriko's mother: "Her actions set them on this path, it is only idle curiosity that she lingers."


Kami-sama: "Curiosity you say? She fulfilled her purpose, she spared those children a life of pain. How can that not be enough?"


Eriko's mother: "Hmmm...Like father, like daughter, perhaps?"


                Flashback scene 4:

We see Angel Eriko surrounded by blackness, watching over Yuka and Suzu from above as their lives unfold. We see a variety of short scenes:


Yuka (young, 5-6) on the playground at school. She's playing alone. A student picks up a stone and throws it at her. It hits her head. She grabs at it, a tear welling in her eye.


Young boy: "What are you going to do? Tell the teacher about it? Oh, that's right, you can't talk! Hahahaha."


The other little boys and girls are laughing along with him. She turns back around and walks further away.


Eriko: "I was supposed to end your suffering..."


Yuka (young, 5-6) and teenage Suzu are visiting various doctors about why Yuka is not speaking. The doctors each shrug. Some look at x-rays or prescribe medication. Yuka is also going to therapists, play therapists, etc... nothing is working, everyone just shakes their heads and shrugs, point fingers. Yuka is taking lots of pills, etc...


Eriko: "I did this to you. No doctor has the power to undo what heaven has wrought. How can I ever make it up to you, the one I was sent to protect?"


In this next scene, young Yuka is beginning to hang out with a young Aiko in grade-school. Yuka gets called on in class to read, stands up, nothing comes out, she shakes her head, all the kids start laughing, but Aiko stands up and starts reading the passage instead, giving a smiling wink to Yuka as she does so, Yuka smiles back at her.


Eriko: "That smile, thank god! You have a friend, she is true and pure. But your life is still so small, so lonely...or...or is that me?"


Next scene: Young adult Suzu is struggling to pay bills late at night, looking through statements, checking job ads, putting her head in her hands. Yuka peeking out from her bedroom door. Suzu is unaware that she's being watched. Yuka looks so sad. Yuka goes back into her room, breaks open her bank and comes out and gives her change to Suzu. Suzu looks at her with so much love, tears flowing, and hugs her tightly.


Suzu: "We'll be okay, we'll always be okay, we have each other. I'll take care of you forever."


Eriko (still watching from above): "I was the one sent to help you both...why...why can't I be the one to take care of you..."


Next scene: Yuka getting fitted for her middle-school uniform. Suzu is pinning things and making adjustments. Yuka twirls and falls into Suzu's arms, they're laughing with each other.


Eriko: "That beautiful smile. How can you do that when so much has been taken from you? You are amazing. You beautiful. Could...could I have ever made you smile like that?"


Next scene: Yuka (middle-school age) sees a small child trip and fall. The child is sitting on the ground crying. Yuka goes over and pats him on the head and offers a hand up. We focus on the hand, the delicate thin fingers of Yuka's outstretched hand. The child wipes away his tears and takes Yuka's hand with a smile. We see their fingers intertwined.


Eriko: "Despite everything, you reach out your hand to everyone without pause. Your perfect, delicate hand..."


Next scene: It's Yuka's 13th birthday. She and Aiko and Suzu are sitting around the table eating great food. Suzu brings out a cake. Yuka blows out the candles to applause. Everyone is smiling. Suzu hands Yuka a beautifully wrapped box. She opens it and it's a beautiful yukata. Yuka comes out of her room with Aiko (who ostensibly helped her into it) to show it off to Suzu. She turns around, she is stunning and looking more grown up than ever.


Eriko: "You're not that scared little girl anymore. You are so...beautiful..."


Next scene: Teenage Yuka comes home crying. She walks into the dark, empty apartment. She wipes her tears, makes herself some dinner (an instant ramen or something) and watches TV in the dark. Suzu gets home late at night to find Yuka asleep on the couch. She picks Yuka up and puts her to bed, covering her up, brushing her hair back, looking at her angelic features, and ultimately falls asleep next to her in the bed. We see tears on Suzu's cheeks.


Eriko: "I took it all from you, I created your loneliness...I...I want to be by your side so you won't ever have to come home to an empty house again."


                Flashback scene 5:

The blackness with the white lights representing Kami-sama, (angel) Eriko, and Eriko's mother.


Angel Eriko: "Please, I can't take this anymore."


Kami-sama: "You, Raguel, are the righter of wrongs, the bringer of balance. You enact vengeance against those who have transgressed. But to eliminate all pain would also eliminate all joy."


Angel Eriko: "It's not fair, she is innocent, she doesn't deserve what I did to her!"


Kami-sama: "Are you saying that she would have been better off had you not intervened?"


Angel Eriko: "I...I don't's just that..."


Kami-sama: "Have you lost your way, become obsessed with a human, forgotten all that you are?"


Angel Eriko: "No, it's not that, it's not that at all."


Kami-sama: "Then what exactly is it?"


Angel Eriko: "I...I..."


Eriko's mother: "It's okay my child, you can say it."


Angel Eriko: "Mother, father, I...I love her."


Kami-sama: "RAGUEL! You are an angel, an immortal being, your love is infinitely greater than any human's."


Angel Eriko: "No, that's not true, human love is so precious because it is so fragile."


Eriko's mother: "She speaks truth."


Angel Eriko: "Please, I'll do anything, anything to be with her."


Kami-sama: "Anything you say?"


Angel Eriko: "Yes, whatever you ask, please, let me be with her."


Kami-sama: "You say you love her, but can that fragile human love you speak of truly compare with the love of a heavenly being?"


Angel Eriko: "I...I don't know but I...I want that love, her love."


Kami-sama: "Then a year. A year to find out."


Angel Eriko: "What do you mean?"


Kami-sama: "If you believe your love is genuine and that she might love you back, human love of a kind unsurpassed by heavenly beings, then I will allow you to live as a human for one year. If in that time you come to truly love each other as you believe, then you may remain a human with her until your mortal lives end. If, she fails to love you as you, an angel, love her, then you will return to my side as my angel of vengeance, Raguel, never to see her again."


Angel Eriko: "Yes, yes, oh thank you!"


Kami-sama: "Do not agree in haste, I cannot let you abandon your duties to all humanity so easily. You will continue to fulfill your angelic obligations at my whim. And, there is one more condition."


Angel Eriko: "Yes, anything."


Kami-sama: "As a human, you will have no memory of who you are, this agreement, or your heavenly nature. You will be alone and empty in the world. Fate will prove if you were meant to love her and she you. You will be born a human not knowing her at all."


Angel Eriko: "No memory, how is that fair? How can I possibly win her love if I don't even remember her?"


Kami-sama: "You ask for the impossible, for me to turn my heavenly daughter into a mortal being and give her to a human. Those are the conditions I have set. Are you ready to give up your immortality, your memory, your power, to pursue the love of that human girl?"


                Flashback scene 6:

Angel Eriko sitting on the high rock outcrop above the beach. It's sunset. She's watching Yuka (1st year high school) and Suzu playing on the beach. Yuka walks out into the water, up to the top of her skirt hem. Yuka starts walking farther out, getting deeper and deeper, the water rising past her waist.


Suzu: "Yuka, that's far enough."


Yuka keeps walking farther out, the water is half-way up her chest now, we're still seeing Yuka from behind. Just then, Yuka gets hit by a big wave, dragging her under, and she doesn't surface. We turn to see a distraught Suzu, eyes wide, in abject fear.


Suzu: "Yuka!"


Eriko, sitting on the rock, stands up ready to act, her wings unfurled, her eyes blazing, radiant and powerful. Suzu rushes into the water, dives under and searches until she grabs Yuka's hand. Suzu drags Yuka onto the beach.


Suzu (crying desperately): “NOOO!!! Don’t leave me!!! Don’t you dare leave me!!!”


Eriko (to herself): "Oh god, what have I done? How could you try to throw your life away? Have those smiles all been an act? I don't care if you stop smiling, just don't go! You are all I have. Everything I am is worthless if you don't live. Please, Kami-sama, I'll do anything, anything!"


Flashback scene 7:

The blackness with the white lights representing Kami-sama, Eriko's mother, and angel Eriko.


Kami-sama: "Have you decided?"


Angel Eriko: "Yes, I can't take this anymore. I can't stand to see her suffer. I love her so much, I have to be with her so she knows she's not alone."


Kami-sama: "Raguel, do you truly intend to give up your immortality, your power, your duty to all humanity for that one girl?"


Angel Eriko: "What good is all this power if I can't help her, if I can't love her? So Yes, yes, I'll give it all up, whatever you ask."


Kami-sama: "You have heard the terms, you know what you must do to complete the pact."


Flashback scene 8:

Eriko in full angel mode, hair blowing in the wind, standing on the rock outcrop over the beach, it's sunset, the light is warm and brilliant across the water. Suzu is cradling Yuka below on the sand. Eriko pulls out her flaming sword. She wields it high and brings it down on her own wings, severing them. The wings drop to the ground in pools of blood and feathers. Eriko falls to her knees, screaming in pain, then passing out on the rocks in a pool of her own blood. The blue light forms above her, the tendrils of electricity wrap around her and she is raised into the energy and disappears in a flash.

(Flashback ends]


Back to the present. Eriko is on the ground in the alley. A couple with their child is passing by. The child notices Eriko on the ground in the alley.


Child: "Mom! She needs help!"


The father goes over to Eriko and gently touches her.


Man: "Miss, miss, are you okay? Do you need help?"


Eriko startles awake, a vacant death stare in her eyes. She grabs the man's arm.


Eriko: "Leave me alone!"


She harshly releases the man's arm and he backs away and rejoins his frightened family.


Woman (to her husband): "Are you okay..."


The family quickly leave. Eriko is still sitting on the ground, propped up by her arms, hair over her face, spilling onto the ground. The blood is oozing through the scars on her back, showing through her shirt and jacket. Tears are falling on the pavement.


Eriko (to herself): "I...I remember it all, everything...Kami-sama, did you know? Did you always know this couldn't work?...I was so could I have thought that I was the answer for her? I'm so very stupid...but...but she's with her mom now...maybe...maybe this year wasn't a waste? There are some things only humans can do for each other. Is that what you wanted me to learn, father? But the year is's all over...I understand what I must do."

(to be continued...)

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