In our second summer, K was called home. Even when home, he apparently made no mention of his field of study. His family, for their part, did not pick up on it. Having received a formal education yourself, you'll understand when I say that the larger world, when it comes to academic life, is woefully disinterested. What we take for common knowledge is fully unknown to others. We live in and breathe our own air, immersed in the ins and outs of academia, and we're prone to believe that the outside world takes notice. On this point, K was a more astute observer than myself, and he thus ventured home without concern. We returned from the country together, and as soon as we boarded the train I asked how things had gone. K replied that there was nothing worth reporting.
Our third summer was the one in which I turned my back on the land where my parents lay buried, resolved to never return. I had advised K that he should return home too, but he'd declined. He questioned the purpose of returning home each year. He found more value in staying put to study. Having no other recourse, I set off from Tōkyō alone. I've already written of how those months at home altered my destiny, so I won't repeat the story here. When I next saw K in September, my soul was brimming with discontent, melancholy, estrangement, and loneliness. K's destiny too, was in similar throes of its own. Unbeknownst to me, K had written to his adoptive family and confessed his deception. He said that he'd planned all along to do so. He may have figured that at this point, when it was too late to change course, they'd bless his choice and direct him to carry on. At any rate, he had no intention of deceiving his adoptive parents all the way into his graduate studies. Even had he wanted to, it was clear, no doubt, that deception had its limits.