Before sealing and posting it, I turned to my mother and offered, "I've written to Sensei, just as you suggested. Give it a look."
As I'd imagined, she declined.
"If it's ready then post it without delay. You should have done so sooner, without folks having to prompt you."
Mother still regarded me as a child. And I felt, in fact, like I was still a child.
"A simple letter, you know, won't suffice. Come September or so, I'll need to travel to Tōkyō."
"I suppose so, but you never know that there might not be some chance just waiting. The sooner you get your request in the better."
"Agreed. Anyway, an answer is sure to arrive. Once it does we can talk about next steps."
I had full faith in Sensei, who was always so meticulous in such matters. I looked forward to his response. My expectations, however, were disappointed. A week went by with still no word.
"They must have gone off to escape the summer heat."
I felt compelled to offer some explanation, not just for my mother's sake, but for my own as well. To quell my concerns over Sensei, I had to conjure up circumstances to explain his behavior.
At times I forgot about Father's illness. All I would think of was getting back to Tōkyō. Father himself seemed to also forget he was ill. He was concerned for the future, but his concern induced no action. Time went by with no chance, as Sensei had advised, to talk through division of assets.