Antique Shop『BEAR』 - Chapter 18
Chapter 18 – Starving Plate
That evening, Aya had stopped by Hosho Station to visit her daughter’s house. Even though it had been quite a while since she had gone there, her daughter was away on business, leaving her with no option but to head back along the river, drenched in sweat, the same way she had come. This year’s lingering heat was too relentless, and the temperature remained high even at night. Most of the sunflowers along the river had withered and were lying on their sides as if awaiting to be harvested. Aya, however, did not glance at the riverside and walked on, aggravated by the heat.
“Even though I bought lunch and beer on the way home from work…”
While walking along, mumbling, a liquor store came into view before her. Without a second thought, she approached to enter, only to find that the store was already closed.
When she was ready to resume her footsteps, a light emerged from the stone pavement next to the liquor store.
Looking at the back, there was a store at the end of the path.
“I wonder what they sell?”
As Aya proceeded along the stone pavement, she spotted a sign at the back that read “An antique shop BEAR”. As if attracted by it, she stepped into the shop.
The young male owner was sitting at the cash register. Aya, who had been under the impression that this kind of store was owned by an old man, was taken aback. The inside of the shop was cool and chilly.
“Ah, it was so hot.”
“Please feel free to have a look around.”
Aya scanned the store briefly.
I wonder if there’s anything I might be interested in buying.
Not interested in jewelry, she glanced at the next shelf. The shelves next to her had a lot of things on them that didn’t seem to be forming a cohesive whole, but each one of them was meticulously polished and well put together, making Aya take a closer look one by one.
“Ah, this…” Aya stared at the white plate in the shape of a seashell. “This…”
“Would you like to see it?” The owner smilingly approached Aya.
“I would like to see this plate… Is the plate brand new?”
“Yes. As for tableware, all are new and unused. I only sell items that have been displayed or kept in a box for a long time.”
“Then, I would like to see that plate in the shape of a seashell.”
“A moment please.”
The plate the owner brought out was a plate made of authentic seashells.
“Eh… wow! It’s beautiful!”
“This is a shell plate, a plate made of actual seashells, often used for purification or for storing accessories.”
“Is it okay if I put food on it?”
“How much is this?”
“This is 3,000 yen.”
Aya gave a smile, her thin eyes narrowing even more as she studied the shimmering shell plate. “I have never seen anything so beautiful. I wish I could buy another one for my daughter.”
“I apologize. This is… one of a kind…”
“Well, I will purchase it and use it first.”
Aya sat down on the chair in front of the cash register and took out bills from her wallet. “Does this store also do purchasing?”
“Regarding the purchase of precious metals, they are made after appraisal, but for other products in the store, no purchase is made.”
“So, did this plate come from somewhere that you bought it from?”
The owner responded to Aya’s constant chattering with a smile on his face, not revealing a hint of change in his expression.
“Well, here’s the item. 3,000 yen will be charged.”
“I would like to get this plate when it comes back in stock, may I contact you by phone?”
“Excuse me. I have only recently opened the store, so I don’t have a phone line yet…”
“Oh. I understand.” Aya grinned when she saw the carefully packaged plate and accepted it.
“Please do not scrub with a sponge or scrubber. If it gets dirty, wipe it with a soft cloth and dry it before use.”
Aya replied without even looking at the shopkeeper and exited the shop. She continued on to the nearest train station and bought a discounted cake from the convenience store on her way home. Upon arriving home, she put the beer and bento on the table and placed the cake from the convenience store on the plate she had just bought.
“Such a pleasant feeling.”
Aya downed her lunch with the beer and promptly brought the cake to her mouth.
“Delicious〜. Different plates make it even more appetizing.”
After consuming the cake, she smoked a cigarette and laid down on the spot. Her room was dirty with all sorts of dust and hair as she only cleans it on weekends, but it didn’t bother her in the slightest. Dozing off, in the middle of the night, Aya awoke from it.
“Oh… I fell asleep.”
She cleared the table and lightly wiped the shell plate with a kitchen cloth to restore its luster and shine. Strangely enough, Aya was starving and her stomach was already grumbling.
“I just ate and slept, yet I am starving again.”
Aya laughingly brought out some sweets from the cupboard and devoured them. Her stomach was still growling, and the more she consumed, the hungrier she grew. Aya flipped open the refrigerator and downed nearly the entire contents of it.
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