I asked K if he and the young lady had gone out together. He told me that wasn't the case. He'd met her by chance in Masago-chō, he explained, and accompanied her back home. I had to refrain from querying further. However, I couldn't resist asking the same question of the young lady at dinner. She responded with that laugh of hers that I so disliked. Then she asked me to guess where she'd been. My temper was short in those days, and I didn't take kindly to her trifling with me. Of those at the table, though, only Okusan seemed to notice this. K was fully indifferent. As for the young lady's attitude, I couldn't decide whether she was provoking me intentionally or merely knew no better. She was more discrete than most of her peers, but she was not immune to the common flaws or her cohort. Moreover, these flaws seemed more apparent since K had entered the house. I wasn't sure whether to attribute this to my jealousy of K or to her toying with my emotions. I have no intention, even now, of denying the jealousy I harbored at the time. As I've noted many times, I was keenly aware of these other emotions that lurk alongside affection. Furthermore, these other emotions were easily triggered by occasions that, to an impartial observer, were nothing at all. If I may digress a bit, it seems to me that jealousy may well be the reverse side of affection. Since marrying, I've felt this feeling slowly lose its grasp. At the same time, my affection too is no longer what it once was.