The daughter, who'd been nearby and laughed off my friend's comments as nonsense, had at some point removed herself to the far corner and was sitting with her back to me. I saw her there as I turned my head in rising to leave. From the backside, a person's heart is opaque. I had no idea what her thoughts might be. She was sitting before the closet. Its door was open a bit, and she seemed to be looking at something that she had taken out and placed on her lap. Through the gap in the door, my eye caught a glimpse of the fabrics we'd purchased two days prior. Mine and hers were stacked together in the same corner.
As I silently rose from my seat, Okusan suddenly asked in a serious tone what I thought. Her manner was so abrupt that I had to ask in return what she meant. After she clarified that the question concerned her daughter, and whether she should marry her off sooner versus later, I replied that I thought she should take her time. She confirmed that she, too, was of the same mind.
At this point in my relationship with Okusan and her daughter, another young man, by necessity, entered the picture. His inclusion in the household would alter my fate most profoundly. Had his path not crossed mine, it is unlikely I would be writing you, as I now am, to leave behind this lengthy account. You could say, in a sense, that the devil passed before me, casting a shadow on the whole of my existence, as I stood there unawares. I should confess that it was I who brought this young man into the house. I did so, of course, with Okusan's consent. Initially, even after I explained everything to her in broaching the idea, she opposed me. I had ample reason for bringing this young man in, while Okusan had no sound argument in support of her opposition. In the end, I prevailed. I pressed my case with resolve, and proceeded as I thought best.