Five or six days later, Okusan suddenly asked me if I'd informed K of the matter at hand. I told her I hadn't. She then asked, rather scoldingly, why it was that I hadn't. I tensed up as she queried me. Her next words were a shock. I remember them still to this day.
"That would explain his odd reaction when I mentioned it. The fault lies as much with you as with me. How could you leave him in the dark when you've always been so close?"
I asked her what he'd said when she told him. She replied that he hadn't said much in particular. However, I couldn't refrain from pressing her further. She saw no reason, of course, to keep anything from me. Still saying it was nothing of import, she related the scene in detail.
Based on all that she told me, K had managed to keep himself fully composed. This despite the fact that it must have been quite a blow to him. He'd given only a curt response on learning of the new relationship between myself and the daughter. However, when Okusan pointed out that he should be happy for us, he had allowed himself a smile and congratulated her. Then he'd risen to take his leave. Before pushing aside the hearth room shōji on his way out, he'd turned back to Okusan and asked when the wedding would be. As she described it, he then added that he would like to offer us a congratulatory gift, but lacked the means to do so. As I sat before Okusan and heard this, an ache arose in my heart.