Antique Shop『BEAR』 - Chapter 2
Chapter 2 – Whispering Earrings
Rei’s house was on the third floor of a five-story apartment building, where she began her solitary life upon employment.
Even though it was a small 1K room, it was not inconvenient for her as she spent her days going back and forth to work. Since she was not a hoarder by nature, her room was relatively empty with the exception of her bed, television, and a small table, all of which were stored in a closet.
Upon her return, Rei immediately tried on the earrings. As expected, the diamond earrings, though small in size, exuded a distinctive presence around her ears.
Rei was content to leave it on as long as the post was platinum and carefully re-folded the packaging before placing the paper bag back on the shelf. It was at this point that she noticed that the name of the shop, 『BEAR』, was printed on the paper bag.
“Bear? I wonder why is it called bear.”
Having taken a shower, she settled down with frozen pasta and vegetable juice for dinner, then rolled into bed, falling asleep immediately due to fatigue.
In the middle of the night, a peculiar sound awakened her.
Lost in a daze, she scanned over the dark room. Nothing seemed to be out of place, nor did it make any sense where the noise was originating from.
Am I sleepwalking?
Just as her consciousness was about to subside yet again it sounded.
She jolted awake. This time, thoroughly conscious, she raised her body and listened attentively. Pressing her ears against the wall, she checked the rooms on both sides, but no sound can be detected from either room. On the right side of the room lived a college student, and on the left side lived a young couple who mentioned that they would be moving out soon.
What is it? Did I mishear that?
Returning to bed, she shut her eyes and was enveloped in silence once again. And when she was relieved anew.
I can hear it.
Spooked by it, she examined the kitchen, toilet, and bathroom. No abnormalities, no water leaks, no gas leaks, no windows left open. It was extremely creepy, therefore she repeatedly woke up and went back to sleep with uneasiness, eventually drifting off to slumber at dawn.
Her morning was welcomed by an alarm. Perhaps due to lack of sleep, a migraine was setting in. After taking headache medicine, she prepared bread and yogurt and made coffee for breakfast. With the aroma of the coffee, her sleepiness gradually faded away.
After breakfast, she fixed herself up and headed off to work. Today was an early shift, thus she left the house at 6:30. It was a cool morning. In recent years, the lingering summer heat made it seem as if summer will drag on indefinitely, but now that it was the end of September, the weather had suddenly become cooler.
Autumn was shortening rapidly. The sky was clear and blue, not even a cloud floating overhead, giving the autumn sun a gentle radiance.
Many people were strolling along the river in the morning, viewing the silver grass and red spider lily. Walking along the stone pavement in front of the antique store from yesterday, she noticed that the brown shutters were down and the inside was completely obscured.
Once the shutters were closed, it felt like a magical moment to discover such a fashionable general store was in the midst of it all.
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