"I wonder about my father then. Could he meet the same end?"
"What did the doctor say?"
"That there's no way to cure him, but that he's all right for now."
"If that's what the doctor says, then I'm sure he's fine. The fellow I spoke of was unaware of his own condition. On top of that, he was a military man who didn't know his limitations."
I felt a bit better. Sensei, who'd been observing my mood, then added, "Human beings, whether healthy or sick, are truly fragile things. There's no telling who will go when, or in what manner."
"Then you think about such things too?"
"I may be in good health, but I can't say the thought never crosses my mind." Sensei showed a trace of a smile. "Some just slip away easily, in a natural manner. Others are taken in an instant, through some unnatural violence."
"What sort of unnatural violence?"
"I can't give specifics, but suicide would be an example. It's unnatural, and inevitably involves some form of violence."
"Those who are murdered, then, also die of unnatural violence."
"I hadn't thought of murder, but yes, that's the same kind of thing."
After that I returned home. Once home, I no longer dwelled on thoughts of my father. Nor did I fixate on Sensei's words. What he'd said about natural and unnatural death was interesting in the moment, but I soon put it out of my mind. My graduation thesis, which I'd dabbled at in fits and starts, was looming before me. It was time to start writing in earnest.