I thought I might thrust my heart, till now so indecisive, with full abandon into the other party's bosom. By other party, I refer here not to the young lady in question, but Okusan. I thought to ask Okusan outright for her daughter's hand. Having resolved to do so, however, I failed, day after day, to act. In hearing this, you may well view me as spineless. That's fine if you do, but you should understand that my failure in action did not arise from weakness of intention. Before K's arrival, dread of deception had held me in check, precluding any initiative. After K moved in, I was shackled by misgivings, wondering if the young lady didn't perhaps prefer him over me. If she did prefer him then there would be no point, I concluded, in professing my affection. It wasn't so much fear of losing face. However I might yearn for her, if she deep down cherished another, then I was loathe to have her. There are men in this world who will happily wed the woman they fancy by hook or by crook. Such men, I believed at that time, were nothing other than ruffians tainted by worldly wear. Either that or they were dullards to whom the finer points of love were beyond reach. In my passion, I rejected the line of reasoning that a bride once taken would warm to one over time. In short, I subscribed to the theory of noble love. At the same time, I was hopelessly circumspect in pursuing of such love.
Over the course of our time together, I had ample opportunity to bare my soul directly to the young lady in question, but I took care not to. That this ran counter to the conventions of Japanese society was firmly ingrained in my mind. This wasn't, however, the only thing that restrained me. I was convinced that no Japanese woman, much less a young lady, would dare to speak candidly under such circumstances. Her words, no doubt, would be veiled in deference.