Antique Shop『BEAR』 - Chapter 48
Chapter 48 – Hanging Scarf
Iguchi read out the sign, “An antique shop BEAR”.
“Let’s go in.”
If Sashima had been alone, he would probably not have entered. Iguchi made her way in, her eyes twinkling. The owner was sitting at the cash register, and he stopped polishing the lens of his camera and faced up.
“Oh… is it okay if I have a look…?”
“Certainly. Take your time.”
Sashima stepped in involuntarily, though the store seemed to be full of jewelry and miscellaneous goods that he had no need for. Even so, he browsed through the store, hoping to find inspiration for his novel. Iguchi appeared to be absorbed in the jewelry, her eyes sparkling as she gazed at the shelves.
Sashima glanced at the jewelry shelves and racked his brains for any possible use in horror, but nothing sprang to mind; his eyes lit up upon the miscellaneous items on the opposite shelves, which were honestly the most stylish items he had ever seen. Antique rabbit scissors; glass spoons and forks; a carved wooden music box in the shape of a flower; a ceramic photo frame decorated with seashells; a golden brass clock.
“Wow… All these beautiful antiques…”
At that moment, Iguchi let out a sigh. Looking at it, she stared at a silk scarf. It was a beautiful scarf with a pattern of blue flowers on a dark red fabric.
“Would you like me to bring it out?” The owner rose to his feet.
“Eh… no… ah, please, after all!” Iguchi nodded, flustered for some reason. On closer inspection, she might have been swayed by the handsome owner. Sashima was slightly taken aback.
The owner brought out the scarf with his gloves on. On the back of the scarf was a box, and within the box was another scarf. The other one was a dark blue scarf with a pattern of water on it.
“This is a set of two. They are brand new, but they have been owned previously, therefore they are unused.”
“Adorable…! I’ve been wanting a scarf. I was thinking of using it in the summer or some other time. Is it silk?”
“It’s 100% silk. Two for 2,000 yen.”
“Oh. I just paid my membership fee, so I’m a thousand yen short… Sashima, can you lend me your money?”
“What? You’re buying?”
“Yeah. I’ve always wanted a silk scarf.”
Sashima sighed and handed over a thousand yen. “Make sure to pay me back, okay?”
“Thank you! Of course, I will.”
Iguchi headed to the cash register in a cheerful mood.
＊ ＊ ＊ ＊ ＊
On the way home, they walked along the river and parted ways at Hosho Station. After boarding the train, Sashima promptly accessed “Yomikaki” website and read Iguchi’s novel. Within the club, she had an image of writing fantasy, but in Yomikaki, she wrote a love story of falling in love with an absolutely charming man, finding something wrong with him, and searching for a new partner every time. The title of the piece was “Is Handsome Man a Justice? Perfect guy wanted!” or something like that, which he couldn’t have imagined from Iguchi. Even though she had just been flattered by the handsome owner earlier.
After getting home and taking a shower, he headed to the computer to update his horror novel. The number of registered readers didn’t increase at all, nor did the ratings. Was it boring or… For Sashima, who wished to be a professional writer, things were so hopeless that he even cried. That night, he made up his mind to register a blog and start promoting it. After that, he found users of “Yomikaki” and registered them. While doing this, it was past 3 a.m. when his phone rang with an incoming call. It was Iguchi.
“I read your novel, Sashima. It’s interesting, but it’s a bit conventional. If you have time tomorrow, why don’t you come to my house? I’ll give you back your 1,000 yen.”
Iguchi’s house was an apartment near the university. Obviously, he did not go to her house before, but he knew where it was since the apartment was visible from the station. Going to a girl’s house was something that made him hesitant. He didn’t have a girlfriend, and she had told him earlier that she was single as well. She texted him again before he started sweating oddly.
“I’ve got a good horror plot. So if it’s convenient for you, come by tomorrow at 1:00 p.m.”
Sashima replied after a sigh. “Thanks for taking your time for me.”
On the following day, he proceeded to the station closest to the university and continued in the opposite direction from his usual route. The university was on the north side of the city, while many apartments for students were built on the south side. Sashima lived alone a short distance away from the university so as to reduce the rent. After arriving at the apartment, he looked at his phone to check the room number and found a text message.
Iguchi was waving at him from the balcony above. Her room had none of the atmospheres of a girl’s room and was utterly devoid of any liveliness. She was most likely a minimalist. In the 1K room, there was only a small television, a table, and a cushion. On the table was a laptop.
“You have absolutely no belongings.”
“There’s luggage and a futon and a vacuum cleaner in the closet.”
He offered her some snacks and coffee he had bought at a convenience store on the way.
“Eh! Thanks…! That’s very thoughtful.”
“Yes, yes. How about a thousand yen?”
Iguchi grinned, grabbing her wallet from the closet and handing him a thousand yen. “Yes. Then watch me put on the scarf.”
Ikuchi suddenly wrapped a dark red scarf around her head like a bandana.
“One is for you, Sashima.”
“Huh? I don’t need it〜”
“Just take it.”
Iguchi wrapped a dark blue scarf around Sashima’s neck, wondering what he was thinking. Looking like a flight attendant.
” Alright. Well, let’s talk about the horror story.”
“Oh… that’s sudden.”
Iguchi laid out the coffee that Sashima had bought on the table and opened the bag of sweets flamboyantly.
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