When our exams were successfully behind us, Okusan congratulated us and noted that we both had just one year to go. For Okusan's part, the graduation of her daughter, in whom she placed great pride, was just around the corner. K remarked to me how women finish their schooling yet still don't know anything. The daughter's extracurricular activities, her lessons in needlework, koto, flower arrangement and such, were entirely lost on K. I chided him for his oversight. I repeated to him my prior argument that he was looking in the wrong place and his critique of women was misguided. He didn't refute my words, but he didn't embrace them either. I was happy to see this. Judging from his manner, he still viewed women with contempt. And he seemed to take little interest in the daughter of the house, who to me exemplified the female gender. I can say looking back now that, at that time, I was already jealous of K.
I suggested to K that we travel together over the summer. His response was unenthusiastic. He was, of course, in no position to travel of his own accord. On the other hand, there was nothing to prevent him from accompanying me at my request. I asked him why he was reluctant to go. He replied that there was no deep reason. He just preferred to stay home and read. When I contended that it was better to escape the heat and study somewhere cool, he replied that I was welcome to do so alone. I had no intention of leaving that house without K. I was uneasy with how close he had grown to the family. You may object that I was uncomfortable now with the very outcome I'd desired from the start. I'll concede I was acting the fool. Okusan, seeing our discussion go nowhere, felt compelled to intervene. It was finally settled that the two of us would travel to Bōshū.