"Who is this man you refer to as Sensei?" my brother asked me.
"Haven't I told you already?" I replied.
Even as I asked this, I felt annoyance at my brother for disregarding all that I'd already explained.
"I know what you told me. It's just that ..."
My brother, it turned out, was not satisfied with what he'd been told. I felt no obligation to enlighten him further. It wasn't worth the effort. Nonetheless, I was annoyed. That side of him which chafed me so was again rearing its head.
My brother assumed that anyone I admired and adressed as Sensei must surely be a gentleman of worldly renown. At least on the order of a university professor. What merit could there be in an unknown man who'd accomplished nothing? On this point, my brother and father were of like mind. However, where my father had dismissed Sensei offhand as an impotent idler, my brother took a harsher view. Any man, he intimated, who fails to do that of which he's capable, is no man at all.
"Watch out for egoists. A life of leisure is the height of indolence. There's no excuse for squandering one's talents."
I wanted to ask my brother if he even knew what "egoist" meant.
"That being said," my brother went on, "if he can secure you a position then take it. You saw how pleased Father was."
Without confirmation from Sensei, I was disinclined to place faith in any such outcome. At the same time, I lacked the courage to voice my doubts. Since Mother had rashly announced my triumph, I was stuck now, having no firm grounds for disavowal. With or without Mother's urging, I awaited Sensei's letter. I hoped to find in it the good news that my family was expecting. In light of my dying father, of my mother who sought so to comfort him, of my brother who disparaged men of leisure, of my aunt and uncle and others, I worried intensely now on this matter for which I'd had little regard.