Chapter 37: Show Windows
“Oh my! Leah, look at this, the sleeves of this dress are so cute! I wonder if I should try adding sleeves like this with a fluffy silhouette to the design I’m working on next.”
A woman turns around and looks at the many clothes displayed in the store, her amber eyes shining.
“Poppy, if you get too excited like this from the start, you’ll run out of energy. Won’t you be looking around the store in the afternoon too?”
As I speak to her with a wry smile,
“But there are just so many amazing clothes! No matter what, I can’t help getting excited!”
She turned around with an overflowing smile.
There was a clear blue sky with no clouds, and strong sunshine.
Despite the sweltering heat, there was a refreshing crispness, as if somehow sensing the end of summer.
It was perfect weather for walking around clothing stores on a day off.
“Next day off, would you like to go around clothing stores with me?”
Poppy made this request about a week ago.
Apparently, Madam Grace, whom Poppy is an apprentice for, had told her to visit clothing stores in the capital city and increase her repertoire of design ideas.
Poppy had initially intended to go alone, but thought it would be difficult to enter men’s clothing stores alone and so turned to me.
I eagerly accepted the invitation, and here we are now.
“This dress is also great! Of course, the fabric used is excellent, but most importantly, the tailoring is superb. It’s sewn together neatly without any distortion. I wonder how they sew it together…?”
I follow Poppy as she walks around the store, muttering to herself in a good mood.
There are various types of stores lined up on this street full of clothing stores.
As I look around, I notice the mannequin displayed in the show window of a nearby store.
The lustrous, ample fabric. The delicate embroidery. The gems in various colors.
It was a dress store.
I stare absentmindedly at the show window.
“That’s a beautiful dress.”
Poppy came next to me before I knew it and was looking up at the dress show window as well.
“Do you like dresses, Leah?”
Poppy asks me, and I blink my eyes.
“…I’ve never really thought about whether I like them or not.”
I try to think about it, but I still can’t come up with an answer of whether I like or dislike dresses. Besides…
“It’s not really something that has to do with my way of life.”
When I answer like that, Poppy’s eyes widen in surprise.
“I’m living this kind of life, and I probably will continue to live a life unrelated to such appearances for the rest of my life. So, I’m not sure if I like dresses or not.”
As I look at the dresses, I feel Poppy’s gaze on me from the side.
After a moment of silence looking up at the show window, Poppy suddenly brings her lips close to my ear.
“It’s not necessarily true that you have no connection to such appearances, I think Leah shouldn’t decide that yet.”
“…Even if I’m a person who is pretending to be something she’s not?”
When I mutter that, she smiles softly.
“Yes, there’s no such thing as an ‘absolute’ in life. Besides, no one knows what will happen 10 or 20 years from now.”
After whispering that, she steps back and winks.
“Regardless, I’d like to try making such a lavish dress at least once. After all, it’s wonderful! Maybe I’ll consider a design drawing next time.”
She smiles brightly.
Unconsciously, I smile back at her smile.
At that moment, I feel like I see a familiar figure passing by in the distance.
I turn around in surprise, but there are only people passing by on the street, and there are no familiar figures.
“Leah, what’s wrong?”
In response to Poppy’s curious voice,
I say, and start walking with her.