Watching over you


This is my hairdressing salon. It used to be anyway – it hasn’t been open in over a year as I haven’t been well. Every week I tell myself that next week will be the one when I’m well enough to work, but that day hasn’t come just yet. I pray it will though. I knew all my customers by name. They were my friends and I don’t see them any more. We used to talk for hours. I remember the day I got the mural done on the shutters. My husband thought it would bring us good luck. “Makoto-chan,” he would tell me. “It’ll be like someone is watching over the shop. It will always be open!” So he called his friend from Itabashi who was a painter and he came round one Sunday. I made us udon and we drank tea all day, just the three of us. He would paint and we would sit on little plastic crates and watch. He finished just as the sun came down and then we drank sake out the front of the shop. I don’t think I’d ever been as happy. That was a long time ago now, but I still remember it very clearly. I hope I can open it again some day.

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