Once the young lady was gone, I could finally relax. At the same time, I rued her absence profoundly. Perhaps I was effeminate in my manner. To a modern young man like yourself, it must certainly seem so. However, I was typical of those of my time.
Okusan rarely left the house. On occasions when she did leave, she never left me alone with her daughter. I can't say whether this was by chance or design. It may be pretentious to say so, but it appeared to me, based on my observations, that she was working to bring her daughter and me closer. At the same time, there were certain occasions when she seemed to have her guard up against me. When I first caught on to this, I struggled with how to react.
I wished for Okusan to make her intentions clear. To any rational mind, her inconsistency was evident. With my uncle's deception still fresh in my mind, though, I couldn't help harboring deeper doubts. One aspect of her behavior, I decided, must be genuine, and the other must then be a ruse. That was as far as my reasoning took me. I could draw no further conclusion, nor could I offer up any rational explanation for her behavior. Failing to unearth any pretext, all I could do was attribute it all to feminine flaws. That's just the way women are. Women, after all, are foolish things. Whenever reason failed me, this was where my thoughts invariably landed.