Antique Shop『BEAR』 - Chapter 19
Chapter 19 – Starving Plate
The next day, Aya had to attend to her work, so she took an early morning bath and rushed to get ready for the day. She had been employed as a clerk for many years, but she felt that she was neglected in the company for not doing a particularly outstanding work performance, yet there was no chance of quitting for the sake of her livelihood. Furthermore, Aya had a steel spirit that no matter what people said about her, it never fazed her.
For lunch, she made a reservation for bento after work, but her ravenous hunger led her to order two. After finishing morning duties, the bento boxes were distributed to her desk and she wolfed them down in a flash, further intensifying her hunger. Having no choice but to smoke a cigarette in the break room, a young office girl walked next to Aya and left the break room, seemingly uncomfortable.
Tsk. This is why you youngsters don’t even do greetings.
When she opened her phone, there was a text message from her husband. It had been years since he had texted her. Though the last time they met was even longer ago.
“I am nearing the end of paying off the loan on the house. Can we meet to discuss the details regarding the next steps?”
Aya was extremely exasperated, to the point where she wished to hurl her phone at the wall. Her husband abandoned her and her daughter and has been unfaithful and estranged from her for over ten years. Her daughter was already an adult, but she felt miserable for her. Aya would never divorce him and would continue to receive living expenses even after paying off the loan, yet somehow she felt compelled to meet him again for the first time in many years.
“Okay. Let’s meet. Come to my house this weekend.”
Aya put out her cigarette and headed out of the break room.
On her way home from work, she dropped by the supermarket and stocked up on tons of food and liquor, shoving them into the refrigerator and cupboards. The truth was she would prefer to live in an apartment close to the station and within a short distance of her workplace. Here she had to physically walk from the station, and the house was too spacious for a single person. It also included a filthy yard, where the plants and trees grew out of control. The fact that the plants and trees were taller than the windows and the living room was covered in shade all day long drove Aya to the brink of frustration.
“Ha〜 I am so tired.”
Packing up her purchases in the kitchen, she quickly drank a beer as she prepared dinner.
She cooked the meat in a frying pan and poured more and more beer over it as she went. She was so engrossed in eating that before long, she realized that she was chewing on raw meat.
“Yikes!” She was in so much of a hurry that she dropped her chopsticks and stormed into the toilet. “Ughhhh…” She tried to spit it out, yet nothing would come out.
No matter how hungry I am… I have never done anything like this before.
With no choice but to head back to the kitchen, she set the grilled meat on a plate and brought the side dishes to the table. Again today, she placed the cake she had bought on the shell plate.
“This plate is truly adorable!”
Aya poured a glass of shochu into her glass and drank it down while gulping down her dinner. At the end of the meal, she finished the cake slowly, eyeing the plate and taking a bite. It was still not nearly enough. Aya sipped from the sake bottle and began to drink, taking out one thing after another from the refrigerator that she had bought today and devouring them one after another.
“How about Saturday, 1:00 p.m.? The two of us will be there.”
Aya stealthily stared at her phone while she worked. The hangover and lethargy were causing her to feel dizzy, yet her appetite was not waning, only growing.
“I’ll be waiting.”
When she replied, she secretly threw a candy into her mouth. Today alone, how many pieces of candy did she have already? Looking at the trash can at her feet, she found that five bags of candy had already been disposed of.
“Sakura, did you get the data that was requested yet?”
“Ah… yes. I’ll forward the file now.”
A female employee came near her and eyed Aya with a terrible look on her complexion. She must have smelled awful from the hangover and excessive consumption.
“I’ll be counting on you.”
She quickly returned to her seat. Aya swore at the skinny female employee in her mind.
Ah〜Ah. Look at you, all skin and bones.
For lunch that day, Aya requested three bentos, but it turned out to be insufficient, so she rushed out of the office, bought some fried food at a convenience store, and had it outside. By the time she got back to her desk, her boss was giving her a blank stare.
All these years of working here, and nobody pays any attention to me.
In reality, everyone was merely creeped out by the grease around her mouth, but Aya went on with her day oblivious to it.
On further contemplation, tomorrow turned out to be Saturday. After work, Aya popped by a cake shop and purchased a whole cake as well as some baked confectionaries and tea for guests before heading home. Upon returning home, she thought to herself, “I don’t particularly need to serve sweets to the guests”. Aya arranged the whole cake on her shell plate. By far, the cake was much larger than the plate and it was completely obscured. In an instant, Aya finished the whole cake and greedily munched on the baked confectionaries. She even licked the cream off the shell plate and proceeded to the kitchen to open the refrigerator and continue eating until she fell asleep.
The following day; Saturday. Aya woke up at ten o’clock. She had fallen asleep lying prostrate on the refrigerator. The refrigerator was empty, even the plastic container of raw meat was gone. Her head was aching.
Ah… time is running out.
Aya took a quick shower in a rush and got ready, then tidied up the kitchen and living room. She vacuumed the first floor, crushed the scattered papers and boxes, organized them with plastic cords and tossed them into the shelves. The kitchen was the filthiest, so everything was crammed into garbage bags and moved to the edge.
Having not taken time for either breakfast or lunch, she was tormented by hunger, but as she finished cleaning up, half in tears, her husband and his affair partner showed up.
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