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(Translated and arranged by Saya)
942: 04/01/26 20:49
A few years ago, around midnight, I got a call from S, who was my girlfriend at the time.
She sounded quite flustered, and I couldn't really understand what she was saying.
Since it seemed she was already outside, I told her to come over to my place and talk to me in person.
S came to my place by taxi; I was surprised because she would normally never do that.
I invited her to come in but she was so nervous and fidgety that she didn't sit down immediately.
I told her to calm down and tell me what had happened.
She started talking after she poured herself some tea.
This is a summary of her story:
After work, she had dinner outside and came back home at around 11:30 p.m.
She'd had some yakiniku *1 so she wanted to have a bath as soon as possible.
She put down her bag at the front door, and opened the bathroom's door before turning the lights on.
But as soon as she opened it, some wisps of smoke wafted over her face, and it made her hand - which had been searching for the light switch - stop dead in its tracks.
She peeked inside and saw the bathtub covered over with a black cloth.*2 Laying on top of the cloth were a bouquet of white flowers, and a few lighted candles.
And in the middle of those things, among thick clouds of smoke made by incense sticks, there was a black-and-white photograph of herself in a frame.
She saw her smiling face illuminated in the dark by the candles.
But the eyes of the portrait, as well as the background, were blacked out.
Her mind went totally blank for a few seconds.
Then her legs started shaking, and her mind became wild with questions.
A funeral? Who did this? When? For what reason? How?
The front door was locked. And the windows...they were also locked.
So where is the person who has done this now?
It was then that she heard some faint sounds from the closet.
They were dry sounds like papers falling to the floor one by one.
She grabbed her bag and was out the front door even before she knew what she was doing.
She ran for her life to the national highway*3 , and called me from there.
"What if it's a burglar... I am worried about the fire."
She said; so we decided to go back to her room together. I took a lead pipe with me for protection.
Her room was on the second floor of a two-storey apartment building.
We went up the stairs and arrived at the front door of her room.
We stood there for a while straining our ears; there was only silence all around us and we could detect no movement inside.
We opened the door.
Immediately, the smell of incense*4 assailed our nostrils. We turned the lights on and entered the bathroom.
The bathroom was left exactly the way she described it. But all the candles and insence sticks had been blown out.
I went inside and observed the portrait. The eyes were blacked out with some type of ink. It looked crudely done as if a child had doodled on it.
I heard a scream from behind me.
I stepped out of the bathroom and found S standing frozen in front of the closest, with her hand covering her mouth.
A large amount of hair had fallen off the upper shelf of the closet and scattered on the floor.
There was so much hair that even just the one on the floor would have equalled to the whole hair of one adult, or more.
S just stood there looking stupefied.
Somehow her foot was drawing a circle on the floor.
It was more than I could handle alone.
I called 110 (*police number).
"So that sound was the sound of hair falling..." She muttered behind me.
She continued to mutter those words over and over again until the police arrived.
No items seemed to have been lost, and the place was basically undisturbed apart from the bathroom and the closet.
Probably for those reasons, the police only asked us some cursory questions and left without having done much investigation.
I thought they would take fingerprints but they did no such thing.
However, they questioned S again and again to make sure that the items left in the bathroom and the large amount of hair didn't belong to her, and took those things away with them.
From the following day onwards, S moved in with me to my room, but we broke up half a month later, partly because we realised we were incompatible as partners.
But the main reason for the break up was that S obviously changed since that incident.
She was often depressed, and she would burst out in tears at least once a day.
She would sometimes refuse to go to work. She would often skip meals, claiming that food seemed all tasteless.
A few times I woke up in the middle of the night and found her sitting in front of a table and staring at a mirror.
After the break up, any news about her was brought to me by her younger brother, who happened to be my colleague at work:
As days went by, S's behaviour became increasingly erratic, and her family decided to take her to the hospital.
At the hospital, they found out she had cancer.
By the time she got her results, it was past cure; she passed away in less than a month after that.
I attended her funeral out of respect for her.
I saw her portrait on the altar, which showed her happy, smiling face.
The colour photo looked so different from that gloomy photo of her we saw in her bathroom.
I saw her body too. She looked healthier than I had expected, and her skin was smooth.
But later I was informed that she looked well because of the makeup applied by an embalmer.
"My sister was so thin but she looks so healthy now because of the makeup and the cotton they put inside her face."
Her brother's eyes welled up with tears as he explained it to me.
"She has a wig on too. She lost all her hair because of the side effects of the drugs."
Just then I remembered those words S kept muttering under her breath while we were waiting for the police to arrive, and felt chills down my spine.
948: Anonymous: 04/01/26 20:59
But how did the police deal with it in the end?
949: Anonymous : 04/01/26 21:02
I can only think that someone broke into her room and did the handiwork.
Didn't the police find out how it was done ?
950 ：942：04/01/26 21:07
I think the police visited the room only once.
They said that S probably forgot to lock the front door, and while she was out, someone entered her room.
I remember they gave her some general advice, such as "make sure you lock the door properly before you leave," or "we suggest you stay in a different place for a while."
They also told her to let them know if something unusual happened again.
But I didn't think it was appropriate to report to them about her strange behaviours...
I am starting to feel upset now...
S, please forgive me...
952 ：942：04/01/26 21:10
The police hasn't contacted me.
I wonder too if S heard something from them.
953 : Anonymous：04/01/26 22:13
S might have done it herself, either consciously or unconsciously.
There are many possible explanations for her actions, and the hair could have been taken from a wig. I can't imagine how a total stranger could have prepared a black and white photo of her.
I don't know if it was a real photograph that she owned or it was a print because you didn't make that clear in your story...
958 ：942：04/01/26 22:55
I think it would make the most sense to assume that she did it all by herself.
Perhaps she knew she had cancer and she decided to set those things up on display.
But what message was she trying to convey by it, and whom the message was directed to?
But whenever I try to figure out those questions, I get overwhelmed by my emotions.
960 ：942：04/01/26 22:58
I am not sure if the black and white photo was a real photograph or a print.
Because the frame was without a glass cover, I could clearly observe that the eyes had been blacked out.
*1 Yakiniku --- literally, grilled (yaki 焼き) meat (niku 肉). It refers to Japanese style BBQ. In a yakiniku restaurant, customers usually grill their meat at their table by themselves, which cause their clothes to become smelly; hence S wanted to have a bath as soon as possible.
*2 Bathtub --- Japanese bathtubs usually come with lids, so I think that's why they could set up the display on it.
|A bathtub with a lid|
*3 National Highway -- See national highways of Japan (Wiki)
*4 They burn incence at funeral in Japan.(See Japanese Funeral Etiquette for more information )