Sensei, seemingly exasperated, looked me in the eye. The hand that held his cigarette trembled slightly. "You don't mince words."
"I'm simply sincere. I sincerely wish to learn about life."
"Even if it means unearthing my past?"
The word "unearth" suddenly rang ominous in my ears. The man sitting before me, it seemed, was no longer Sensei, whom I'd come to respect, but an unknown malefactor. Sensei's face had gone pale.
"Are you truly sincere?" he pressed me again. "My past has left me distrustful of all, including even you. You're the one person, however, whom I don't want to doubt. Your innocence doesn't warrant distrust. I'd like to confide in someone, just one person is fine, before I die. Can you be that person? Will you be that for me? Are you sincere to the core of your being?"
"As my life is sincere, so too are my words." My voice quavered.
"Very well then," Sensei continued, "I'll tell you. I'll relate my past with no omission. If I do so ... no, that doesn't matter. Bear in mind though, that my story may not serve you. In the end, you may wish you hadn't sought it. Also -- understand that I can't do it now. I'll relate it all in good time, but not till then."
Even after I returned to my lodgings, Sensei's words continued to weigh on me.