Antique Shop『BEAR』 - Chapter 37
Chapter 37 – Death Anniversary Candle
When she arrived home, a car was parked in front of her house.
It was the fiancé of her sister, Suda. He was sitting in the driver’s seat, with his eyes glued to his smartphone. Nozomi knocked on the driver’s window.
Looking up, he hurriedly clicked off his phone and exited the car.
“You came, didn’t you? Thank you.”
Suda wore a grieving smile on his face. Apparently, he got married last year.
“Do excuse me.”
Suda prayed at the altar and offered flowers as well as baked sweets from her sister’s favorite store.
“I’m sorry… I don’t know where the tea is, but I’ve made … coffee.”
“Oh… thank you.”
Sitting across from each other at the table in the living room, she served the coffee. The aroma of coffee pervaded the room.
“I heard that you got married, Suda. Congratulations.”
Suda replied in a brief manner. He gulped down the hot coffee in an instant and placed the cup back on the table.
“How about you, Nozomi?”
“I’m still unmarried.”
“I see. But I’m glad you’re doing well.”
“I’m pleased to see you’re doing well too, Suda.”
“Where are your parents?”
“Oh… they’re out for a while… Excuse me… Would you like another cup of coffee?”
“No, it’s fine. Thank you.”
Suda seemed to be holding back his tears. His eyes narrowed as he kept facing down instead of looking straight ahead.
“Is this truly alright….?”
“I was wondering if it is okay for me to be the only one… who is happy. I was thinking of telling Aki that I just got married, but I couldn’t.”
Nozomi felt like she would burst into tears as Suda spoke in a teary voice.
“Ah… Isn’t that obvious? Please inform my sister properly.”
Suda nodded and headed for the altar again.
It was before noon when her parents returned. It took a while for her mother to calm down. Once they settled her down in her room, her father talked about how the prolonged trial had pushed her over the edge. Since Nozomi was hardly able to attend the trial, it was mainly her father who confronted the drunk driving accident head on, but even so, the psychological toll on her was enormous.
Lately, the medication has been calming her down, but yesterday she couldn’t control her anxiety because the anniversary of her death was approaching.
“They both went to the scene inspection… They even went to court… Finally, things have calmed down, and now she needs to recover.”
“I know, but it’s not that simple.”
“I guess so… I still miss her… and it’s tough for me too.”
When her father heard this, he fell silent. Forced with no option but to return to her room, Nozomi lay down on her bed.
＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊
Later that evening, her mother called Nozomi into the living room. She was still in her pajamas, but her expression was composed.
“I’m sorry I startled you yesterday.”
“Are you okay?”
“I am already fine. I ordered sushi for dinner. Sorry I didn’t have time to prepare dinner.”
“Don’t worry about me.”
“Forgive me… By the way, you gave me something yesterday. I was wondering what it was, so I figured I’d open it.”
“Oh, it was from Aiba.”
“Is this guy your boyfriend?”
Nozomi’s mouth fell agape. “It’s a guy from the company.”
“Oh, really? Excuse me.”
When Nozomi brought the box from the altar, she carefully unwrapped the packaging paper.
“I wonder what it is?”
Upon opening the box, there were two white star-shaped candles in the shape of flowers and a white candle.
“Oh, so pretty.”
Nozomi was impressed by the candles, which she hadn’t expected. It even had a pleasant scent.
“It smells nice.”
“I wonder if elder sister will like it.”
“Yes. Angraecum flowers are often used for offerings. They have words like ‘prayer’ and ‘always with me’.”
“Oh… is that right?”
“Let’s light it.”
Once the candle was lit, her mother set it on the altar. There was a delicate scent of flowers in the air.
“It truly smells good.”
They stared at the candles without uttering another word.
“Tell the person who gave you this… that I appreciate it.”
The next day, Nozomi and her parents drove along the seaside road to take her to Kaihin Station. Whenever she passed this road, it always brought her sorrow and caused her heart to tighten.
“Be careful with your body, you two. I will be back for the New Year holidays.”
They smiled and waved Nozomi off until she was out of sight.
Before boarding the bullet train, Nozomi bought some souvenirs for Aiba and Kuma and boarded the bullet train.
On the way back, when she was slumped over, her sister was seated next to her once more.
It was probably yet another dream. Her sister will continue to live in Nozomi’s mind for the rest of her life.
“Suda, he got married.
“Did you get his message across?”
Her sister’s voice was brimming with wrath. The eyes that shot at Nozomi were sorrowful and enraged as if she was about to burst into tears. Nozomi was speechless in amazement.
“I’m here. And the baby is still in my belly.”
“You don’t have to say anything!”
Nozomi turned away from her sister, her shoulders wavering.
“I thought he’d come over here sooner.”
“I was hoping he would die soon.”
“Arriving at Sakurada Station.”
Nozomi jolted awake in a flash.
＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊
The next day, Nozomi showed up at work early and handed Aiba and Kuma a gift before work hours.
“Thank you for the candles the other day. Here’s a souvenir for you.”
“Seafood crackers! Thank you.” Aiba was delighted, seeing the contents of the bag.
“Thank you for even bringing me this.” Kuma smiled and accepted the gift.
“You both remembered that it was the anniversary of my sister’s death, didn’t you?”
They exchanged nods in silence.
“Angraecum? Was that it?”
Kuma gave a smile.
“I hope your sister will be able to reach heaven safely.” Kuma blinked at Nozomi, who sighed.
“I’ll go shopping at your shop next time!”
“By all means. Maybe you’ll find something useful.” Kuma wore a fearless smile on his face.
Comments for chapter "Chapter 37"
Support Fan’s Translations
Note: Individual translators usually have their own ko-fi buttons.