Antique Shop『BEAR』 - Chapter 11
Chapter 11 – Whispering Earrings
Rei first regained consciousness in the ambulance. The sound of sirens roused her, but she suffered from a severe headache and groaned in pain throughout her body.
“Ma’am, Sakura Rei.”
Rei passed out again from the excruciating sensation of pain, not even managing to form a response.
The next thing she knew, she was lying in a hospital bed. Apart from a few minor bruises and whiplash from the incident, the most agonizing part was the pain in the back of her head. The fracture had resulted in a hemorrhage in the brain, and she was nearly on the brink of death, but fortunately, there were no residual effects and her condition recovered. She was concerned about the situation of her mother, but when she pressed the issue, the answer eluded her, and she spent the next few days in a daze in bed, dealing with the pain.
Rei’s identity was immediately recognized by the driver’s license found in her bag. After regaining consciousness, she requested the nurse to contact her workplace on the day to inform her situation. Even though the police showed up, when she told them about the matter of her mother, they were scratching their necks.
“Please go to my parents’ house at once.”
“So, a woman’s body was found in your parents’ house and the murderer of the woman was your mother. Are you saying that you, who discovered the body was also about to be killed?”
“Yes. My father… my father may already be dead.”
“About your mother, she was struck by the same car as ma’am and subsequently passed away.”
“When you are recovered, please identify the body.”
“… I understand.”
“Then I will send the police to your parents’ house right away.”
“Please take care of it.”
As the police left, a nurse came in by interchange. “Ma’am, how are you feeling?”
“I can finally manage to have a conversation and stay awake.”
“Let me check your blood pressure and take your temperature.”
Once the police and nurse were gone, Rei shut her eyes. It was at that point that she realized that her earrings were not in place. They were likely to be removed during the treatment.
A week later, after Rei was discharged from the hospital, she returned to her residence by cab. Afterward, she received her earrings from the nurse. The diamond hadn’t come off, and she felt relieved that it had been preserved in a fine condition. On the way, passing along the river, she saw that the silver grass had been harvested and the red spider lily flowers had also withered away.
“It’s already withered.
“Winter is about to hit. The temperature difference between the morning and evening chill and the daytime is incredible.”
Her earrings were firmly in place in her ears.
By the time the police arrived at her parents’ house, her father was deceased for several days. Her mother was so enraged that she smashed her father’s head on the front door, resulting in his face being half crushed and broken seemingly. Her mother had been hit from behind by a car and succumbed with bruises all over her body. Thanks to the fact that her mother was the first to be struck, Rei was able to survive. Though she identified the bodies of her father and mother, both were so severely disfigured that she was unable to see their faces and could only judge them by their hands and feet.
I need to cremate them…
It would be tricky to tell her relatives the series of events, so she figured cremation was the only way to handle it. Rei looked out in a hollow state. Through the car window, she caught a glimpse of the stone pavement leading to the antique shop.
Did you perhaps hear the sound from these earrings to alert me?
In the end, her father protected her. However, regardless of whether he was warning her or protecting her, Rei thought it was justified that both her father and his mistress were slain by her mother’s hands.
I wonder if I wanted them both to die too.
The only thing that didn’t raise any questions to her was that she survived, and her mother perished in a fit of jealousy and anguish. There was no further sound emerging from the earrings.
“From now on, I am going to live happily ever after. It’s my life, and you guys don’t have to exist.”
Late at night, a man appeared in front of an antique shop. He must have opened the door forcefully, for the bell jingled violently.
Tonight was a full moon. The moonlight illuminated the city. Even before the antique shop was in service, the owner smilingly addressed the man.
“Take your time.”
The man asked the owner as he walked up to the cash register. “Do you accept purchase?”
“May I have a look?”
“These are earrings.”
The owner placed the earrings that the man had brought with him wrapped in a handkerchief onto a velvet-lined box and studied them with a magnifying glass.
“How unique… platinum rose with a diamond in the middle.”
“… Ah, there’s an engraving on the back. If it is engraved, the price will be slightly reduced, would that be okay?”
“Other places… wouldn’t purchase it due to the engraving… so I brought it here to use as a down payment for the acquisition of an apartment…”
“I would be happy to offer you an agreeable price…”
The man accepted the offered bill and exited the store, not even paying attention to the merchandise in the shop. The owner viewed the earrings on the velvet.
“This is a lovely acquisition.” The owner smirked. “Whispering earrings of the dead.”
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