Antique Shop『BEAR』 - Chapter 33
Chapter 33 – Obsessive Ring
It was a light brown paper bag with the words “An antique shop ‘BEAR’” printed on it. Within the bag was a business card-sized piece of paper with the store’s name and map on it. Since it was labeled “Antique”, she immediately understood what was going on.
It is a secondhand ring!
Her wrath welled up. A once-in-a-lifetime proposal. And secondhand?
Mai called Aoi to come and pick her up and managed to calm her temper, and she expressed her gratitude.
“Thanks for coming over despite your busy schedule!”
“No, no. But this is a one-time thing.”
When she left the apartment, she felt guilty, yet refreshed. In the car, she sent a text to Haru.
“Let’s break up. Goodbye.”
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“You surprised me with your sudden return.”
Her mother and father exchanged wide-eyed glances, but Mai remained unconcerned.
“Mai’s room is used as a storage room. Do you think she can sleep there?”
“It’ll be fine if we lay out a futon.”
It was the first time in a long time for her to have dinner at her parents’ house, and her appreciation for the food they cooked for her was really starting to sink in. He assisted with the cleanup.
“When are you leaving?”
“I’m not going back!”
“This again, aren’t you going to end up back together after all?”
Mai was annoyed by the way he phrased it but kept quiet without arguing. She could not help it, since she was going to be staying with them.
After finishing her bath and getting into her pajamas, she looked out of her room for the first time in a while. Mai’s room was on the second floor, with a view of the pedestrian bridge in front of the park. Ever since her early days, she had always enjoyed observing the pedestrian bridge, watching the people strolling along, and eavesdropping on their conversations.
Her parents were sleeping in the Japanese-style room on the first floor. It seemed that they had already fallen asleep and the house was silent. Mai considered opening the window, but the dust was accumulating in the sashes, so she opted not to.
Nevertheless, with the curtains up, the orange light of the full moon was streaming in, creating a beautiful sight. Mai lay down on her futon. Looking at her smartphone, she noticed that it was past 11 p.m. There was no reply to her text from Haru. As expected, he must have gone home.
“You probably think I’ll be back soon anyway. I’m never coming back and I’m never meeting you again!”
Mai put down her smartphone and went back to sleep.
In the middle of the night, Mai awakened. Momentarily, she tried to descend the stairs out of the habit of sleeping in the loft.
Mai shivered and hugged her body with both hands. The room was remarkably cold.
Mai stood up and looked for the remote control for the air conditioner in her room, but couldn’t find it.
That’s right… a room that’s not in use shouldn’t have a remote control…
She was startled. Someone was in the room. Mai hurriedly reached for the phone on her bedside table.
She can detect a human breath, a gaze, a presence, whatever it was. Mai glanced at the window. No one was on the pedestrian bridge. She was overcome with goosebumps.
Mai exited her room, leaving her the only person on the second floor. Seeing the dark hallway, she was reassured and headed back to her room.
It’s just my imagination… There’s nothing there.
She was about to close her eyes when she heard music playing on her phone.
Mai panicked and got up to check her phone. It was from Haru. She chickened out and picked up the phone.
“Why have you gone back to your parents’ house?”
His voice was threatening, unlike anything she had ever heard before. He must be quite pissed off.
“I’m here. Get your stuff and come out.”
“The pedestrian bridge.”
Mai was frightened and turned to look at the pedestrian bridge. A person was standing there in the dark. Perhaps it was too dark to spot him earlier.
“We can talk tomorrow, right?”
“No. Come out at once.”
“No! Do you know how many times I’ve been troubled by your selfishness? Even yesterday.”
Mai was scared out of her wits and trailed off.
“That’s not what I asked you. Come out now, I’m leaving.”
“W-What’s the matter with you…?”
Her hand trembled as she held her phone.
“Come out or I’ll kill you.”
Mai hung up the phone and dialed the police directly.
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“We searched the area, but couldn’t find the man. He probably went home. May I have the address of the other man’s home?”
Afterward, the police showed up right away, but Haru had disappeared. This was abnormal.
“I will try to visit the house tomorrow. Please contact us if you need anything else.”
“Thank you very much.”
Mai welcomed the morning with trepidation. He was never the kind of person who would say something like that. Her parents were apprehensive about the arrival of the police, so she urged them to be cautious for a while, just in case.
Was I too awful at him…
The next day, Mai went to work despite her anxiety. It had been a while since she had taken the train to work, and she was worried that she might run into Haru on the way, but everything turned out okay.
Today, she invited Aoi to join her for lunch.
“Thank you for yesterday, it was thanks to you that I was able to move in safely.”
“I’m glad to hear that. You don’t look well, are you okay?”
“Actually… Haru came to my parents’ house… yesterday. He was extremely mad.”
“What…! Are you alright?”
“Yeah. For now… But if it keeps on like this, I think I’ll consult with the police…”
It was hard to say that she had called the police, so she muddled through.
When they fought during the breakup before, Haru would cry or get angry, but it was a cute fight like, ‘I don’t care anymore!”. Haru was optimistic by nature and never yelled or lost his temper.
“As I expected… after the proposal, I can’t really say break up?”
“He proposed to you?”
“Yeah… but it was a secondhand ring. What do you think? Secondhand?
“Indeed… anyone would want a new engagement ring.”
“Right? It was a secondhand Tiffany. It didn’t even have a diamond on it.”
“Well, I think his desire to get married got the better of him.”
“It wasn’t even the right size. He really got carried away.”
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